Skanska provided program management services for the state-of-the-art, 10,000-SF Environmental Education Center on Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The center houses office space for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and local conservation partner Lynnhaven River NOW. It also includes space for community meetings and CBF’s award-winning environmental education program, which provides outdoor watershed experiences for 2,500 students and teachers across Hampton Roads each year. The Brock Environmental Center has achieved both LEED Platinum and Full Living Building Certification v2.0™, a rare designation that requires that the building be so in tune with its site that it has “net zero” impact on the surrounding land, air and water. As such, the center is the first of its kind in Virginia and among only 18 prospective Living Buildings on the East Coast.
Through substantial conservation efforts (using 80 percent less than a typical building of the same size) and onsite generation (solar photovoltaic panels and residential wind turbines), the project produces 83 percent more energy than it uses. Innovative technology, such as composting toilets, helps the building use 90 percent less water than a typical office building. Rainwater is collected and filtered on-site for use as drinking water – making this the first commercial building in the U.S. permitted to do so.
As a leader in Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification and working in collaboration with the owner, designer, and construction team, Skanska facilitated "green charrettes," which outlined sustainable design elements and materials approved for use on the project, and "red-list charrettes," which outlined unhealthy materials and chemicals to be excluded from the project. Skanska was responsible for overseeing the success of the project on behalf of the owner, helping to facilitate proper LEED and LBC administration and providing insight for innovation with regard to sustainable design and construction practices.
LEED Platinum, Living Building Challenge