At a Glance

With a high-profile location near Washington, D.C., and an on-site wildlife refuge containing over 1,300 acres of marsh and hardwood forests, Fort Belvoir presents an ideal opportunity to incorporate ecology into the master planning process.

Project Description

Fort Belvoir is in the process of developing a Master Plan to accommodate 21,500 additional military and civilian employees as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Committee (BRAC) 2005 decision. The post-BRAC Fort Belvoir is envisioned to be a high-density, transit-oriented community with facilities within walking distance of mass transit options and other services. Within Fort Belvoir are copious natural resources highlighted by the Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge. The array of intact interior forests and tidal wetlands support a host of threatened and endangered species and provide a key stopover for migrating birds. 

To protect the existing natural resources of the base, and to ensure that future expansion is carried out in an environmentally responsible manner, Biohabitats worked with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (SOM) to develop an environmental sustainability model that uses a whole-systems framework. The Sustainability Model was then applied to various master plan initiatives to test and refine redevelopment options to maximize environmental sustainability. 

Biohabitats planned and led a workshop with key stakeholders to explore the boundaries of environmental sustainability initiatives that will result in long term cost and time savings while enhancing the quality of the site from an aesthetic, ecological, and human comfort perspective.



Chesapeake/Delaware Bays

Physiographic Province

Coastal Plain



Expertise Areas

Conservation, Infrastructure, Urban Ecology, Water


Fort Belvoir


Fort Belvoir, Virginia, United States

Project Team
  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP