William McDonough + Partners Celebrate Apex Plaza Topping Out

On May 19 William McDonough + Partners (WM+P) joined Apex Clean Energy and Hourigan to celebrate the Topping Out of the Apex Plaza mass timber structure, which will include the new headquarters for Apex Clean Energy. 

“Apex Plaza is a pioneer in the exciting advancements of mass-timber structures for tall buildings, topping out as the tallest on the east coast,” said WM+P Founder William McDonough. “It reflects the spirit of Apex’s ambitions to advance the state of technology in a world that can manage energy and materials in new ways that are sensitive to our new global needs for climate responsibility while being economically, ecologically, and elegantly enjoyed.”

The design team of William McDonough, Alastair Reilly, Eric Ross and Jennifer Hsiaw

The topping out — a traditional builders’ ceremony celebrating the final beam placed atop a structure during construction — holds unique significance for Apex Plaza, the first large-scale mass-timber project in Virginia and one of only a handful in the United States.

“The new technology to the United States of bringing cross laminated timber- CLT, as its known – and bringing a project of this size and magnitude to Charlottesville… It is a big day,” Hourigan Group CEO Mark Hourigan said.

Apex’s headquarters design features over 875 roof- and canopy-mounted solar panels, on-site battery storage, electric vehicle charging stations, an extensive green roof terrace, and high-efficiency mechanical systems.

“The building has over 300 kilowatts of solar power on it. What that will do is enable Apex to be net zero in this office, so we will generate as much power as we use in the building,” Apex President and CEO Mark Goodwin said. “What we want to do with a building like this is show how a company like ours, which works on the utility side of the economy, how we can help show an example of transitioning in other sectors.”

The 187,000-square-foot building, located on Garrett Street in Charlottesville’s Strategic Investment Area, will include retail, office, and living spaces adjacent to the Downtown Mall. 

Learn more about Apex Clean Energy’s solar-powered headquarters here.