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Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Brock Environmental Center

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Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Brock Environmental Center

  • With a rallying cry of "Save the Bay," the Chesapeake Bay Foundation serves to improve the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. When it came time to build a home for its hands-on education programs, they turned to Skanska, as Owner's Representative, to help deliver them one of the world's greenest buildings.
  • CBF Ext Walk
  • CBF Interior
  • CBF Exterior with Wind Turbine

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


Service: Program Management
Mark segment: Building, Recreational, Education, Community centers
Concept: Green
Start date: 2012
Completion date: 2014
Clients: Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Country: United States
City: Virginia Beach
Project status: Completed


• VA Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
2015 Governor's Environmental Excellence Gold Medal Award
• Sustainable Buildings Industry Council
2016 Beyond Green High Performance Building Honor Award
• Engineering News-Record (ENR)
2015 Best of the Best, Green Project
• Commonwealth of Virginia
2015 Governor's Environmental Excellence Award
• Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC)
2015 Award of Excellence, Best Institutional Building
• Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC)
2015 Overall Excellence in Construction Award
• Engineering News-Record (ENR) Mid-Atlantic
2015 Best Project, Green Project
• Engineering News Record (ENR) Mid-Atlantic
2015 Best Overall Safety Project
• Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate
2015 Award of Excellence, Best Sustainable Project
• Hampton Roads Assoc. for Commercial Real Estate
2015 Award of Excellence, Best Master Planned Project
• Hampton Roads Assoc. for Commercial Real Estate
2015 Juror's Choice Award
• American Planning Association
2015 Sustainable Building Project Award
• Fast Company
2016’s Most Optimistic Architecture Project
• American Institute of Architects and the Committee on the Environment (COTE)
2017 Top Ten Awards
• United States Green Building Council, Virginia Chapter
Leadership Award for Exceptional Leadership