AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects

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Heifer International Headquarters

This photo shows the stormwater pond and the view of the building from the west.
Photo credit: Timothy Hursley


  • Location: Little Rock, AR
  • Building type(s): Commercial office
  • New construction
  • 94,000 ft2 (8,730 m2)
  • Project scope: 5-story building
  • Urban setting
  • Completed February 2006
  • Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.2/v.2.1--Level: Platinum (52 points)

An organization dedicated to alleviating world hunger, Heifer International begins its interaction with communities by delivering one animal to one family. Like a drop of water generates ripples flowing outward from the impact point, the animal creates concentric rings of influence through a village, allowing knowledge and opportunity to be passed to others as the animal's offspring are gifted.

Part of a four-phase master plan, the Headquarters building was conceived as a series of concentric rings expanding from a central commons. The architecture was designed to expand environmental stewardship into the public realm while serving as a beacon of hope.

This project was chosen as an AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Project for 2007. It was submitted by Polk Stanley Rowland Curzon Porter Achitects, LTD, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Additional project team members are listed on the "Process" screen.

Environmental Aspects

Located next to the Clinton Presidential Library, the Heifer International Headquarters is in walking distance of busses, a new light-rail system, and a pedestrian entertainment district.

A restored wetland that wraps around three sides of the building collects stormwater for reuse as irrigation water. Rainwater collected from the roof is stored in a five-story water tower wrapped with a fire stair. Graywater collected from sinks and drinking fountains, condensate from outside air units, and rainwater from the water tower are reused in the toilets and cooling tower. Moisture removed from the building as condensate is reused to cool the building. Waterless urinals and low-flow toilets and lavatories further reduce potable water use.

The narrow, semicircular floor plan provides daylight and views for all employees. The majority of open offices in the building offer river views and northern light, and all major gathering spaces access the exterior: five balconies on each floor, designed as outdoor conference rooms, hang over the wetland and act as sunscreens.

The building was designed to use up to 55% less energy than a conventional office building and to last for at least 100 years. Materials were selected for their durability, maintainability, low toxicity, recycled content, and regional availability.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned and occupied by Heifer International, Corporation, nonprofit
  • Typically occupied by 474 people, 40 hours per person per week; and 100 visitors per week

Building Programs

Indoor Spaces:

Office, Conference, Circulation, Cafeteria

Outdoor Spaces:

Interpretive landscape, Wildlife habitat, Patio/hardscape, Drives/roadway


Integrated team, Design charrette, Commissioning, Brownfield redevelopment, Wetlands, Stormwater management, Water harvesting, Efficient fixtures and appliances, Massing and orientation, Insulation levels, Glazing, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, Adaptable design, Benign materials, Salvaged materials, Recycled materials, Local materials, C&D waste management, Connection to outdoors, Daylighting, Thermal comfort, Low-emitting materials

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Last updated: 4/23/2007

Our thanks to the ENERGY STAR program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and to the U.S. Department of Energy, and to BuildingGreen, Inc. for hosting the submission and judging forms.

For more information about the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects, contact AIA/COTE. For help on how to use this Web site, contact .

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