Environmental builders, architects and planners praised Wilmington-based Live Oak Bank’s recent headquarters development and construction as being one of the greenest projects completed in the region.
Members of the Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Coalition awarded the fast-growing bank its Outstanding Stewardship Award during its 2014 development awards banquet Wednesday afternoon at the Terraces on Sir Tyler.
The group and event honored development projects that demonstrate outstanding environmental stewardship through the protection, conservation, improvement and awareness of the region’s natural resources through a judging process.
The Wilmington division of LS3P completed the architectural design of Live Oak Bank's facility, while the Wilmington division of Clancy & Theys Construction served as the general contractor for the project. Wilmington-based Norris & Tunstall Consulting Engineers completed the engineering design for the highly-praised corporate headquarters.
Live Oak Bank opened its two-story, 37,000-square-foot facility at 1741 Tiburon Drive last summer.
Officials recently broke ground on phase two of the bank’s corporate footprint – a 55,140-square-foot building that will house its nCino division on a neighboring 10.66-acre parcel in the Tiburon Office Park development.
Shawn Ralston, New Hanover County planning manager and coalition member, said Live Oak Bank’s sleek design and attention to nature made it worthy of receiving the coalition’s highest award.
“Great lengths were taken to preserve trees and the natural features of the site and to maximize the view connection from the offices and workspaces to the exterior courtyard and grove of live oak trees,” Ralston said.
Ralston said other noteworthy environmental design elements incorporated in the building’s construction include interior glass walls that allow for transparency and views from any point within the building, pervious concrete colored to match pine straw for the parking spaces and river rock that catches rainwater from the roof and filters it back into the ground. She added the building’s slender office wings were also oriented for optimal daylighting and passive solar design so light fixtures do not need to be turned on during the day.
Chris Boney, chief architect of LS3P’s Wilmington division, said Live Oak Bank’s vision for the site enabled his firm to design environmental elements into the project.
“It was a great vision for a great cause,” Boney said.
Coalition officials also doled out three Significant Achievement awards, which honor projects that fell short of the group’s top award, but incorporated notable elements of environmental design, to:
- The City of Wilmington’s passive recreation design at the headwaters of Hewletts Creek in the Piney Ridge Nature Preserve, which includes the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden – an area maintained since the 1960s that showcases native carnivorous plants.
- Tonbo Meadows, a 14-lot single-family cluster development on a 3.19 acre tract of land along Greenville Loop Road that incorporates low impact development practices such as infiltration, stormwater wetlands and bioswales.
- The Brunswick Nature Park, a 911-acre property bordering Town Creek in Winnabow that includes a passive recreation park with a mix of vegetation, wildlife, ecosystems, vistas, wetlands and waterways.
Officials also awarded Brunswick Housing Opportunities – a group that constructs affordable, low-maintenance and energy-efficient homes in Brunswick County – its Stewardship Champion Award.
Leonidas Jack, a 6 ½-year-old, also received the Stewardship Champion Award for donating his birthday money to help replant Venus' flytraps that were stolen from the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Park.