Island Green Living Statement VIPA’s Plans for New Multi-Purpose Facility on St. John
“Island Green Living would like to extend our expertise and support to VIPA in the sustainable design and construction of the new multi-purpose facility in Cruz Bay. It is imperative that the facility be built to the highest eco-construction standards possible while ensuring it can withstand Category 5 hurricane forces.
“Living Building Challenge™ certification would ensure sustainability principles are incorporated into construction and operations. It is crucial that the project include the use of sustainable materials whenever possible, and feature items such as solar roofing, renewable energy, rainwater harvesting, zero waste initiatives, a waste water recycling system for irrigation etc. Care should be given to using recycled materials in construction and being mindful of tropical architectural design considerations, including trade winds and sun paths. The design should also integrate and accentuate the Cruz Bay historic district features as much as possible.
“Every effort should be made to retain native vegetation as it is better adapted to the climate and soil and generally requires less water. Edible landscaping might also be a consideration, planting native produce that can be harvested by the community.
“Features such as a performance center, small museum featuring local history, farm-to-table restaurant and public parking with a special rate for local residents should also be considered.
“Island Green Living got its start as Island Green Building Association, established to encourage responsible development. Championing sustainable construction that benefits the community while keeping the carbon footprint to a minimum remains among our key principles. With proper planning, this multi-use facility can serve the community for generations.
“Now for the best news: In 1991, Island Green Living founder Doug White was hired by the Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation to draw up plans for a multi-purpose community center. According to Doug, who has been a USVI resident for over 50 years, these plans are part of the public domain (https://share.photomyne.com/share?u=8DCA5411-56EA-4D7A-827E25CE38D3EA8F&s=bc39c3ac-fad7-4b8e-8bc8-4c674f4d9e46). We strongly encourage review of these original plans as a starting point. Thank you for the opportunity to share our thoughts.”
– Harith Wickrema, President, Island Green Living