Virginia Association of Counties

  • Location:Richmond, Virginia
  • Designer:Melissa Cape, Acorn Sign Graphics
  • Completed:2010
  • Sign Types:Aluminum Historic Plaque and LEED Plaque, Lobby Graphics Panels and Dimensional Letters, LEED Educational Signs, Interior Room Identification and Wayfinding Signs, Exterior dHPL Exhibit Panel

LEED Gold! The architecture of the impressive four story structure, circa 1866, is ornate Italianate style reminiscent of Venetian Renaissance palaces. Fast forward one hundred fifty years...the new owner completes a major renovation of the building for his association headquarters and achieves LEED Gold certification.

Our Challenge: Create a cohesive system of signs using sustainable materials which might contribute to an Innovation in Design credit in the quest for LEED certification. Speak to both the old and the new, while being as “green” as possible.

Deliverable: Design, produce and install a prominent lobby installation to orient visitors to the green features of the renovation, as well as LEED educational signs throughout the building and on the roof garden to highlight sustainable practices. Also include room identification, wayfinding, and historic and LEED plaque.

Something we think is cool: How green it is! Gorgeous 300 year old heart pine was reclaimed from the old beams of the building and used to create the sign faces. The lobby signage repeats the double arch shape of the original windows, with dimensional letters also made from the wood. The text and design elements were printed directly to the substrate with UV-cured inks which emit no VOC’s. Mechanical fasteners decrease the use of solvents and adhesives. The aluminum pucks and clamps add a contemporary touch—and are recyclable. Since the heart pine would not survive long in the exposed conditions of the rooftop garden, we scanned the wood and created a graphic printed on a long lasting dHPL panel. This sign looks like the interior signs, and the durability of the material (25 years) is another sustainable asset.