New ADEQ Headquarters Decked Out with Environmental Features

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - Officials hope there's no doubt the new $23 million headquarters of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is friendly to the environment.

Nicknamed the "Riverside Palace" by some employees, the department's new headquarters in North Little Rock is partially made of recycled materials, has solar heating for water and recyclable carpet, among other features.

To help emphasize conservation, employees who car pool or drive hybrid vehicles will get the best parking spots.  That's a policy similar to that at Heifer International, whose Little Rock headquarters also is a green building.

ADEQ now rents space in the Arkansas State Police headquarters in southwest Little Rock.  The department's new building is paid for under a 30-year bond issue that authorized $22 million for construction costs and $1 million for the land.  Officials say paying off the building would cost as much as rent, but this way, the state will own the building.

The department's 327 workers will start moving in July 20 and will finish on July 29.

The new six-story building features views of Pinnacle Mountain and the Arkansas River.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)