The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center is targeting LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certification, which would make it the most environmentally sustainable building in Virginia. It’s one of fewer than 100 buildings worldwide pursuing full Living Building Challenge certification, which requires a building to operate independently of the public utility grid and create zero carbon footprint.

The 10,000-sq-ft building is the headquarters to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s outdoor environmental education programs in Hampton Roads. Green features include a net-zero energy, water and waste impact on the surrounding environment; state-of-the-art energy and water conservation; and sustainable production technology. The team had to avoid such materials as PVC, formaldehyde and halogenated flame-retardants.

To meet its sustainability goals, the Brock Center project was required to contribute to the expansion of a regional economy by incorporating place-based solutions. The team followed an extensive list of restrictions on source locations of materials and services based on distance from the project site.

The team utilized as much salvaged material as possible to showcase how scrap materials could be reused to provide a durable and aesthetically pleasing end product. In an effort to tell the story of these materials, items like bleacher wood seats used for trim, were merely cut to length and sealed rather than completely re-milled. Other unique features include wood flooring that was previously used in a school gym and champagne corks repurposed as pull knobs.

With 600,000 work hours logged, the team recorded no lost time accidents. As part of its safety plan, all members of on-site management staff for the Brock Environmental Center were required to maintain a Safety Trained Supervisor Certification. They were also required to be OSHA 30, CPR and 1st Aid, HAZCOM, fall protection certified, as well as maintaining any additional site-specific qualifications. Subcontractors were required to submit an activity hazard analysis prior to start of any work. All subcontractors were required to have a competent person on-site at all times, and it was necessary for all certifications and training documents to be submitted and approved prior to start of any work. The contractor’s on-site staff, corporate safety professionals and executive officers performed regular jobsite audits. Both contractor employees and sub-contractors were scored on their safety performance.

Brock Environmental Center

Virginia Beach, Va.

Key Players
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Owner’s Representative Skanska USA
Architect/ MEP Engineer SmithGroupJJR
General Contractor Hourigan Construction
Structural Engineer A+F Engineers
Civil Engineers WPL; Kimley-Horn & Assoc
Landscape Architect WPL
Concrete Bayside Concrete
Mechanical Warwick Plumbing & Heating
Electrical IES Commercial