(RICHMOND, VA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's (CBF) Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach has achieved the U.S. Green Building Council's top designation, LEED Platinum, for its cutting-edge energy- and water- efficient features. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, sets standards worldwide for green building practices. Platinum is the highest LEED designation.
"We are so gratified that the Brock Center has received this prestigious designation," said CBF President Will Baker. "When we first envisioned the Brock Environmental Center, we wanted to raise the bar and demonstrate that a building can complement, even enhance the natural environment. We think the Brock Center hits that mark. We are very pleased that those who set green building standards agree. What a great honor."
CBF opened the Brock Environmental Center last November. With its solar roof panels, wind turbines, geothermal wells, rain cisterns, and composting toilets, the Brock Center is among the most environmentally smart buildings in the world. Partnering with CBF to create the center were SmithGroupJJR, Hourigan Construction, Skanska, WPL Site Design, and J. Harrison, Architect.
Located at Pleasure House Point, the Brock Center houses CBF's Hampton Roads staff and that of Lynnhaven River NOW, a Virginia Beach watershed organization. It also serves as headquarters for CBF's award-winning environmental education programs in Hampton Roads and features meeting space for community discussions and collaboration.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED certification program "recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices—Leaders across the globe have made LEED the most widely used green building rating system in the world with 1.7 million square feet of construction space certifying every day."
The Brock Center is the second CBF building to receive LEED Platinum certification. CBF's headquarters building, the Philip Merrill Environmental Center in Annapolis, Md., became the world's first LEED Platinum structure when it opened in 2001.
CBF also is seeking Living Building Challenge certification for the Brock Environmental Center from the International Living Future Institute. To earn Living Building status, the center must meet strict criteria related to place, health and happiness, energy, water, materials, equity, and beauty. All require twelve continuous months of operating data to demonstrate the center meets the standards.