The Charlottesville Village of Veterans (C-ViVe)

ABSTRACT

Formed in 2016, the Charlottesville Village of Veterans (C-ViVe) group is a multidisciplinary project team focused on designing a housing community for veterans and their families in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. Our approach involves creating preliminary architectural drawings, gathering veteran input on the project through a comprehensive surveys and focus groups, and forming the foundation of the community to provide for a sustainable future for our nation's' heroes.

INTRODUCTION

This project was created by Brian Langmack, a contractor from the Vietnam War and resident of Albemarle County. Brian began writing down notes and specifications for the community over 20 years ago and only recently came in to contact with Engineers Going Global, who agreed to provide the necessary assistance to help him realize his vision. Brian wrote the following regarding the Village:

 

“Back in the early 1970s, I ran into a soldier outside of a convenience store wearing his dress uniform with this left sleeve folded up and pinned. He was in tears because he couldn't understand why he couldn't buy beer in a store but he could lose his arm in a war for his country".

"I thought of that soldier again when Desert Storm came about and I saw veterans coming back with injuries and PTSD. I thought how great it would be to have a place for them to live and recover with other veterans, people who understood what they were going through because they had similar experiences".

"I have made my career as a contractor, focusing on how to repair, fix and avoid problems in new and existing construction and minimizing required maintenance. With that background, I started writing specifications for such a community and began talking with veterans about the idea and their needs. Original specifications have been modified over the years through conversations with veterans and professionals in real estate development and engineering to what they are now.”

 

Based on Brian’s vision, C-ViVe will be a living community for veterans and their families.The community will promote internal sustainability and truly embody the core principles of a village, as well as provide for the physical, psychological and financial betterment of its residents. The current design has three “blocks” of apartments. Each block will have approximately 15-20 units, with either one or two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and balcony. A walkway will connect all three blocks.

An application and interview will be required to live in the community. The tenants will pay rent to the central Board or authoritative body. However, the rent will be approximately 20% below market value and the rent payments will go into a fund which will be used to help out the tenants when they eventually move out and build/buy their own house. Veterans of all ages are welcomed, but we are especially targeting younger veterans with young families who may be having a tough time adjusting to civilian life.  The purpose of the community is not to provide a permanent housing solution, but rather help veterans who may be struggling by providing them with a low-cost place to live and financial assistance with building or purchasing a home. That being said, there will be no time of residency restrictions; residents are encouraged to stay however long they like.

Keeping with the idea of a village, every position in the community, such as daycare staff, security, and Board members, will be filled by residents of C-ViVe. Residents struggling with PTSD or other disorders will have other veterans there to talk to, rather than a therapist who has not experienced the same events. This sense of community and trust has the ultimate goal of providing healing and a sense of security for our members.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The C-ViVe team was awarded the prestigious Jefferson Public Citizens (JPC) grant from the University of Virginia. The team will use the grant to fund a research study to gather feedback on the design in the form of a comprehensive survey and series of focus groups across Virginia.

PROJECT LEADER

Drew Boland - db3fd@virginia.edu​​

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Engineering Business Minor

Graduates: May, 2019

PROJECT TEAM

Kirby Cheng

School of Architecture Graduate Student

Graduates: December, 2018

Jordan Richardson

School of Architecture

Graduates: May, 2019

Stephanie Yusif

Civil and Environmental Engineering

School of Architecture 

Graduates: May, 2020

FACULTY ADVISER

Garrick E. Louis, PhD. 

Associate Professor, University of Virginia

Systems and Information Engineering

https://engineering.virginia.edu/faculty/garrick-louis

DOCUMENTS

C-ViVe Project Vision

C-ViVe Work Plan

Our mission is to inspire students to be proactive and contextually-aware Engineers who empower communities to attain their basic human needs in a sustainable manner.

Engineers Going Global

P.O. Box 4000314

Charlottesville, VA 22904

egg.atuva@gmail.com