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Introducing the New Apex Charlottesville Headquarters

Bringing Our Core Values to Life in the Built Environment

Cat Strumlauf
Manager, Corporate Communications
The new headquarters will epitomize Apex in every aspect, from exterior architectural design to open office layouts and natural building materials.

Apex is a company that operates at lightning speed, with a culture that often evokes Silicon Valley as much as it does Central Virginia.

Our growth trajectory fits that description too. From a scrappy start-up in 2009 to placing more utility-scale wind generation on the U.S. grid than any other company six years later, Apex has strategically navigated expansion by balancing efficiency with acquiring “the best of what’s around” in terms of local office space. In 2015 alone, we increased our staff by more than 80 people at our corporate headquarters, gaining honors as the Top Job Creator by the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council.

Today, we look ahead to bringing all our employees under one roof for the long term, in what will become one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings in the entire mid-Atlantic region.

At the same time, office space in downtown has run at over 95% occupancy and has only trended upward. Apex’s growth has been expertly managed—enabling our team to simultaneously develop projects across more than 20 states—and has benefited greatly from the repurposing of a century-old community hospital.

Today, that complex is a mixed-use center that houses some of the most cutting-edge businesses in the region, including an Apex footprint over two floors that enabled our most recent office expansion and the custom build of our state-of-the-art NERC-compliant Remote Operations Control Center, which manages wind and solar assets across North America 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

These new facilities join Apex’s more traditional offices on Court Square downtown, a hub of professional service providers dating back more than 200
years. Altogether, more than 170 of our employees work in Charlottesville, and no Apexer is farther than a 10-minute walk from another—an accomplishment in itself.

Today, we look ahead to bringing all our employees under one roof for the long term, in what will become one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings in the entire mid-Atlantic region.

Living Our Corporate Values

It is often said that success creates problems, and the entrepreneurial success of Apex has indeed contributed to the need for a new headquarters. But just as entrepreneurship is a core corporate value, so is sustainability. Thus the design of our new offices will achieve significant environmental milestones, from energy generation to leading-edge materials and infill development of an underutilized downtown parcel.

The new headquarters will epitomize Apex in every aspect, from exterior architectural design to open office layouts and natural building materials.

The new headquarters will epitomize Apex in every aspect, from exterior architectural design to open office layouts and natural building materials.

“The design of the building required an imaginative and creatively challenging process,” says John Bahouth, Apex’s senior vice president of administration. “Our direction was clear: to achieve financial efficiencies that met, or even reduced, our current obligations while setting a new benchmark in terms of sustainability. Fortunately, our process led to a partnership with world-renowned architect Bill McDonough, who literally wrote the book on sustainable design.”

Charlottesville-based William McDonough + Partners is an architecture and urban design firm that applies a positive, principled design philosophy inspired by Cradle to Cradle—an approach that takes its cues from living systems and processes and seeks to expand on enduring standards of design quality. Its projects can be found in cities across six continents.

“It is an exquisite moment that the preeminent wind energy company in the United States is about to be a preeminent neighbor, whose elegant new home will reflect their powerful and clean values,” says McDonough. “We are honored to be a part of this grand project and look forward to the process of realizing it together.”

Leading priorities for the new office included leveraging the reunion of all team members with open, ergonomically designed spaces to foster creativity, collaboration, and future flexibility. State-of-the-art communication resources will help reduce unnecessary, carbon-intensive airline travel. Energy generation and utilization was also key, resulting in design elements that will make the building energy-positive through on-site solar, a green roof, passive heating and cooling, and efficiency initiatives throughout.

“Whether it’s clients and partners visiting our new headquarters, or employees showing up for work every day, our corporate values will be evident the second one walks through the doors,” says Bahouth. “While the major change we can bring to the world is continuing to achieve our mission to accelerate the shift to clean energy, we also believe that being intentional about sustainability every single day adds up. Hopefully others in our region and beyond will follow in our footsteps.”

Groundbreaking for the new building is expected to occur in spring 2018, with an anticipated 18-to-24-month buildout. Individual aspects of the design will be introduced throughout the construction process.

Cat Strumlauf
Manager, Corporate Communications
Cat works on media relations and digital content creation for Apex projects and at the corporate level. Prior to joining Apex, she worked in broadcast journalism as a reporter. Cat holds a MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a BA in marketing and entrepreneurship from the College of William and Mary's Mason School of Business.
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