The Environmental and Conservation Organization is moving its operations in May to a new, green building on Church Street that officials say will make an ideal place to demonstrate the organization’s values in green-industry advocacy.
“We are going to talk the talk and walk the walk,” said Rachel Hodges, ECO executive director.
Staff and volunteers will move from the current location on Third Avenue West at the end of the month to Biz611 at 611 N. Church St, Suite 101, in Hendersonville, and they will be ready to continue operations by June.
ECO has been on Third Avenue for more than 20 years. The organization’s mission is to preserve the natural heritage of Henderson County and the region with a focus on green infrastructure, water quality, energy conservation and recycling.
Hodges said the new locale will help promote their cause in educating the public about the environment.
“It will be a breath of fresh air,” she said. “It will re-energize members and volunteers moving ECO into the future of the green industry.”
The 9,000-square-foot, two-story building will have its certificate of occupancy in the next couple weeks, weather permitting, said Ken Gaylord of Ken Gaylord Architects/Black Hawk Construction.
“We are very excited about that project and building,” Gaylord said.
ECO’s presence in Biz611 is a perfect fit, said Gaylord, who was a founding member of the organization 23 years ago.
“ECO is at the cutting edge of promoting conservation and the environment,” he addd.
The environmentally friendly building uses natural light and generates solar energy, and the inverted roof captures water for the building’s use.
There will also be a plug-in station for electric or hybrid vehicles, along with a vertical garden on the wall facing Church Street.
Biz611, which came under construction about a year ago, will house 16 individual offices spaces, ranging from a one-person office to a suite that can accommodate six to eight people with a conference room, kitchen, porches and a rooftop terrace.
“(Biz611) has the most conservation features for a commercial building, not only in Henderson County but perhaps Western North Carolina,” Gaylord said.
More information about ECO can be found at www.eco-wnc.org.