William McDonough + Partners Break Ground on Mass Timber Headquarters for Apex Clean Energy

Today William McDonough + Partners (WM+P) joined Apex Clean Energy, Hourigan Development and Riverbend Development for the groundbreaking of Virginia’s tallest Mass Timber building. The 187,000 square-foot building, located in Charlottesville, will serve as the corporate headquarters for each of the firms with Apex as the anchor tenant. 

The office’s foundation is based on WM+P founder William McDonough’s original aspiration of designing buildings like trees, leading the structure to draw on natural energy flows from the sun. A total of 875 roof- and canopy-mounted solar panels is expected to produce 364 MWh of energy per year, enough to equate to net-positive energy use by the Apex offices.

“It is wonderful that the preeminent wind energy company in the United States is about to have a new solar-powered headquarters,” said McDonough. “WM+P was honored to be the architects of this project and to realize our shared vision of a safe, healthy and inspiring workplace.”

The Cross-laminated timber (CLT) frame is sustainably harvested and the building will realize a total potential carbon benefit of approximately 3,000 metric tons compared to traditional approaches. Beyond integrating Mass Timber for its carbon sequestering properties, the building prioritizes occupant well-being, offering excellent views to natural light, lighting controls and operable shades. The building will also feature a green roof terrace, materials assessed for the Cradle to Cradle Design™ Framework and high-efficiency mechanical systems.

“Breaking ground marks two key milestones for Apex Clean Energy,” said Mark Goodwin, Apex president and CEO. “In our tenth year, it signifies our evolution from start-up to standing among industry leaders as we accelerate the shift to clean energy. Perhaps more important, the intent and the design of the building will yield immediate benefits to our climate and our community, helping members of our team individually and collectively live our corporate value of sustainability.”

The construction process is expected to take approximately 20 months, with its opening scheduled for mid-2021.