Colin Arnold
Community Housing Partners Corporation


“The most meaningful accomplishment for me during my Fellowship was the design, development and construction of the Tekoa Boys Residential Campus Buildings. This project was my first major project as a newly licensed architect and incorporated all three aspects of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic.”

The fruits of Colin Arnold’s Rose Fellowship have been as varied as the communities his host organization serves. The standout among them for Colin was the design and construction of the Tekoa Residential Youth Campus on 15 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The facility provides housing, education and services for 20 at-risk boys. The project, a model for energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, today serves as a learning lab for the residents, industry colleagues and students from Virginia Tech’s departments of architecture environmental building science and building construction.

Backed by funding from an Enterprise Green Communities grant, Colin and his host also developed the Roanoke-Lee Street Housing Project as infill in an historic section of Blacksburg, Virginia. This award winning project provides 14 attractive, environmentally sustainable duplex homes for first-time homebuyers in this university town.

Colin founded Community Design Studio, LLC, a regional design firm with a staff of four LEED AP architects. He provides design assistance to community development corporations, including his host organization, Community Housing Partners. Colin holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University and a Master of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Accolades for Colin’s work include: 2004 Virginia Housing Award for Best Housing Development; 2005 Virginia Green Innovation Award for Best Institutional Project; 2006 Virginia Green Innovation “Green Designer” Award; 2007 Home Depot Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing Built Responsibly; and 2007 Best in American Living Award for Excellence.

carnold-tekoa-campus.jpgTekoa Boys Residential Campus

4.75 acres gross site area
New construction
10,871 sq ft gross project area
10 affordable rental housing units
3 community rooms
Common courtyard/terrace (14,688 sq ft)
6 offices
Surface parking

Residential Unit Profile:
Blending green building with affordable housing, Community Design Studio and parent corporation Community Housing Partners partnered to build the studio’s inaugural project, a group home for at-risk boys that can house and educate up to 20 youth. The Tekoa Boys Residential Campus is a 10,871-square-foot, block-and-wood structure designed to meet LEED™ (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards in green building and sustainable design, while providing licensed residential treatment, counseling and special education to at-risk boys aged 12-17.

Situated on 15 acres, the building is designed to be 50 percent more energy efficient than typical buildings, with key energy saving components, including a geothermal heating/cooling system, compact fluorescent light bulbs and a rainwater-capture irrigation system. Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the complex with natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Sustainable aspects include edible landscaping, renewable bamboo flooring and porous pavers eliminating storm water runoff. Low-volatile organic paints, adhesives and sealants were used throughout the project to provide a healthy living and working environment for the residents and staff. In fact, Tekoa administration, staff and residents were included throughout the design process to incorporate learning opportunities into the site design.

The building is situated at the crest of a ridge and is centered on an inner courtyard, which serves as a quiet place for reflection. Most importantly, the campus helps its residents overcome their psychological, academic and social challenges, while serving as a model for energy efficiency, social sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Completed 2003

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