November 21, 2019
In October, the Loudoun County, VA chapter of Habitat for Humanity moved into a brand new office in Northern Virginia, a project that came together through the efforts of DPR Construction in collaboration with other industry and local business partners. What started out as a conversation initiated in 2018 about design advice for an underutilized space soon grew into a 2,800-st.-ft. donated remodel. It’s one of the latest examples of DPR’s philanthropic mission to build opportunities for the under-resourced, in action.
“We’re very excited to deliver a new space that will serve Loudoun Habitat for years to come,” said Ashton Osterberg, who led the project. “Fulfilled is an understatement for how I felt on the day we cut the ribbon.”
Designing for growth and functionality
The project consists of numerous upgrades, but the primary ambition was to establish an office that is more conducive to an exciting new initiative of Loudoun Habitat for Humanity. The new “Tools for Life Learning Center” will enable Habitat to offer a plethora of courses ranging from financial management and planning for homeownership to general home maintenance to benefit the community at large. A collaborative design process that included Habitat, DPR, and local architect Herring & Trowbridge Architects brought the redesign plan to fruition.
DPR made significant changes to the wall layouts to create a 740-sq.-ft. permanent learning center room, with seating and desks for up to 40 people, dedicated to hosting workshops for the community and Habitat families. The learning center is separated from a new 610-sq.-ft. open office environment for Habitat staff fully outfitted with modular workstations. Now, there’s enough space to accommodate future hires as the staff grows.
Also included in the remodel are two private meeting rooms where confidential conversations can take place in a comfortable and secure environment. Finishing touches included lighting, HVAC and sprinkler adjustments in the ceiling. Topping off the design, the project team brought in new furniture, flooring, paint plus canvas photo art, vinyl Habitat logo decals, and other architectural accent features.
A perfect place to work
The project team also created additional storage space in the back of the office by building a split-story, 8-foot-tall, 350-sq.-ft. free standing steel mezzanine complete with shelves and plan tables. This effectively doubled the usable space, and Habitat can now store all its equipment and tools for home remodeling and building on-site. It also proved to be the ideal place to set up a desk and drawing table for Habitat’s construction manager.