AlexRenew Environmental Center Named ‘Most Innovative Project’ at National Architectural Engineering Conference

Press Release Date: 
April 26, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – April 26, 2018 –Alexandria Renew Enterprises’ (AlexRenew) Environmental Center was named one of this year’s Professional Project Award winners at the Architectural Engineering Institute’s annual conference, AEI Forum. The LEED Platinum certified facility won the Most Innovative Project Award in the “Less than $100 Million” category, the Electrical Systems Design Award of Excellence and the Construction Management and Methods Award of Excellence. 

The Professional Project Award program is an annual competition to celebrate outstanding achievement in design and construction, with a focus on the art and science of an integrated approach to architectural engineering. 

The Environmental Center functions as the organization’s main administrative facility, which showcases AlexRenew’s core values of innovation and sustainability through the building’s design. It was built to be an open door to the community, to serve Alexandria citizens of all ages and to connect them to their local water system. The Environmental Center features an educational lobby with interactive exhibits to inspire water stewardship with visitors of all ages. 

In December 2017, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) certified the AlexRenew Environmental Center LEED Platinum, the highest level possible. The USGBC’s LEED program is the global standard for assessing a building’s sustainability level. The Environmental Center also is the first building in the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County to achieve LEED Platinum under the LEED program’s New Construction category.

“Innovation is the cornerstone of AlexRenew’s approach to water transformation, which makes this award particularly meaningful,” said Karen Pallansch, Chief Executive Officer of AlexRenew. “This achievement could not have been fully realized without the support of our design partners Rust | Orling Architecture and Vanderweil Engineers, along with the Eisenhower East Design Review Board, who pushed us to construct a building to educate our community and its leaders on building innovation and sustainability.” 

The Environmental Center is a resource that enables AlexRenew to engage with the community, encouraging everyone to visit and acquire an understanding of the value of clean water. The Girl Scouts of America Brownies participate in Wonders of Water events; AlexRenew holds an annual Water Discovery Day with partners throughout Alexandria; neighbors participate in water color painting on World Water Day; local middle and high school students take tours to see how AlexRenew transforms dirty water into clean water and reusable resources; community groups meet in the Center’s sixth floor conference rooms that are available at low-to-no cost; and children enjoy activities in the educational lobby when AlexRenew’s water mascot, Moxie, hosts story time each month. 

AlexRenew partnered with several local businesses for the design and construction of its Environmental Center, including Rust | Orling Architecture, Vanderweil Engineers, SK&A Engineers, LandDesign, Christopher Consultants, MCLA and Clark Construction Group, whose collective expertise in green building made this achievement possible.

To learn more about the facility, please visit

About Alexandria Renew Enterprises

Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew) is an advanced water resource recovery facility serving more than 300,000 customers in Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County, Virginia. Established by the Alexandria City Council in 1952, AlexRenew is a public agency that transforms wastewater into clean water every year to protect public health and the environment. By transforming water and improving local waterways, AlexRenew helps support a higher quality of life and thriving local economy. For more information, please visit