Anticipating more regional flooding, the center is raised 14 feet above sea level and the high water expected in coming decades. There are no paved parking lots to interfere with natural drainage; staff and visitors park on nearby streets and walk to the center on a natural path through the woods. Any code-required handicap and emergency access areas use permeable pavers that let water soak in rather than run off. More importantly, the surrounding sand, shrubs, and trees remain largely untouched.
All of this natural, "soft" landscaping serves as a giant sponge, absorbing rainfall and storm surges and allowing flood waters to spread and recede naturally without harm to the center or nearby neighborhoods.
With its super energy- and water-efficient features, zero polluted runoff, and near-zero environmental impact, the Brock Environmental Center is designed to gain the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Platinum designation and to meet the strict standards of the Living Building Challenge.
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