“LEED”ing the way….

by Brian Thill

Each day we have the opportunity at our centers to lead the way. It may come in the form of mentoring others, our educational programing, taking care of our staff and volunteers, or our facilities.

While attending the NAI National Conference today we saw an example of a facility that’s “LEEDing” the way (credit to Drew Heyward on that word zinger). The Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach is a LEED Platinum certified center that was on the Interpreters Road Show that showcased how they’re leading the way in efficiency and resilience.

They look at their building as an experiment, and vetted nearly every material or process that went into creating and operating it. Here are a few highlights of a center that uses what the sun, wind, water, and reusables give them to operate.

LEED photo

Brock Environmental Center, Virginia Beach

  • Car free site/No parking lot….when you access the site it requires a small hike to get to it.
  • Recycled materials throughout the building:
    • Recycled glass for donor wall.
    • Local high school bleachers recycled and used for the trim (complete with words carved in the wood from high schoolers and re-stained).
    • Recycled gym floors, sanded down, stained and reused as flooring.
    • Recycled fence posts from the Virginia countryside used as flooring.
  • Rainwater is captured and used as drinking water.
  • Compostable toilets, solid waste turning into compost and urine made into fertilizer sold to the public.
  • 2 wind turbines producing about 30% of their energy.
  • 100+ solar panels producing 70% of their energy.
  • “Vampire” settings that come on at night to reduce energy consumption from electronics that might be on.
  • Natural ventilation.
  • Natural lighting.
  • Elevated on pylons well above sea level to prevent damage from future flooding.
  • Landscaping the prevents runoff and promotes filtration.

Should you be looking into building with efficiency, balance, and resilience in mind this is one site to check out.
Check out their energy use dashboard at cbf.org/brockdashboard and the cbf.org to learn more about this facility.
How will you lead the way?

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