Elizabeth River Project, a growing non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Elizabeth River, is working to develop a brand-new, nationally-recognized “Resilience Lab” in the rapidly redeveloping North Colley neighborhood. The focus of the project is to demonstrate accessible, approachable methods of resilience and sustainability for the homeowner, developer, or small business owner.
The new building will be located on an urban site, formerly a small marina and social club, situated between bustling Colley Avenue and Knitting Mill Creek. The river-facing site is planned to be redeveloped with a living shoreline replacing the aging bulkhead, along with an expansive new educational park and dock. The public will enjoy access to the park, for self-guided tours as well as interactive guided tours from staff.
The building will be engineered to withstand flooding and sea-level rise over time, while serving as the base of operations for Elizabeth River Project itself. All primary functions are elevated a story above the ground, with storage and outdoor classrooms underneath. The main floor will be home to staff offices as well as a collection of public spaces meant to accommodate volunteers and guests for events.
Sustainability will be a primary focus, with the goal of achieving net-zero energy usage. Solar power, rain water collection, and green roofs will be just a few of the highly-visible strategies employed on the building and site.