Founded by Iowa natives Max and Elizabeth Stanley, the Stanley Center for Peace and Security uses education and diplomacy to advocate for global policy that addresses existential threats to humanity, including nuclear weapons, mass violence, and climate change. In 2019, the Center needed a new headquarters to house their global operation. They chose to stay in their hometown of Muscatine, Iowa to continue to deepen their connections with the local community.
In 2019, the Center partnered with Neumann Monson to bring their new facility to life. After researching the viability of several sites with Neumann Monson, the Center decided to purchase and renovate the former Musser Public Library building. With its prime downtown location, the building provided a unique opportunity to connect with the Muscatine community, along with approximately 20,000 square feet of occupiable space. Embodying their global mission, the Center decided to pursue a Living Building certification, the most rigorous measure for sustainable development.
The Living Building Challenge (LBC) requires innovative solutions and a collaborative process. Its success relies on a close partnership between the Center, Neumann Monson, and Graham Construction. Graham joined the team early in the process to help meet the project’s unique technical requirements. To fulfill the standards of the LBC, the Center must produce 110% of its energy needs and offset its water usage. Solar arrays will produce the building’s energy, while a combination of low-flow fixtures and community outreach will offset water usage. By upgrading outdated water fixtures in neighboring buildings, the Center will reduce Muscatine’s wastewater discharge.
The design balances private and communal spaces. The open first floor provides flexibility for collaborative work and community events. Staircases, discretely tucked along the walls, lead to private offices on the second floor. Following LBC guidelines, biophilic principles influence the design. Large windows will fill the space with natural light and visually connect the first-floor communal area to the outdoor courtyard. In addition to outdoor workspaces, the courtyard will include an 850 square foot community garden that will provide fresh produce to the neighboring foodbank, fostering community connections.
Construction will begin in the Fall of 2021 with an expected completion date of 2022.
The Stanley Center for Peace and Security