The Brock Environmental Center Moves Toward Completion Date

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The Brock Environmental Center is on track to meet its substantial completion date of mid October 2014.  The Center is an innovative example of an environmentally sensitive and sustainable building. It is the first in Virginia to target net-zero energy and water—and advance the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s efforts to defend one of the nation’s most valuable and threatened natural resources, the Chesapeake Bay.  This post will detail what has been completed and the upcoming milestones and key dates that are left for completion.

Current state of the Brock Environmental Center

brock environmental center september construction photo

Construction progress as of September 30, 2014.

The 50-year zinc roofing over the building’s conference room and education pavilion is complete, and the rainwater collection system is being installed.  The rainwater will be stored in tanks under the building and filtered for hand washing and drinking through a state-of-the-art water filtration system that has been licensed by the State Office of Drinking Water. This system is the heart of the net- zero water status of the project and will provide an ample amount of natural rainwater for use in the water purification system of the facility.

The composting toilet systems are finished and the installation of the grey water treatment system will wrap up next week.

The exterior reclaimed sinker cypress has been installed, and all staining of the material is almost finished.  The exterior wood decking on the access ramp and main deck on the south side of the building is complete, and the north side handicap and main access ramp is framed and fully decked.

Permanent power has been connected to the building for the purposes of mechanical systems start-up, which is also complete.  The two 10KW Bergey wind turbines will activate on October 6 and will contribute 40% of the renewable energy for the building.  All 164 photovoltaic cells are installed on the main building standing seam roof and tied into the power inverter. These cells will provide the other 60% of renewable energy.

The mechanical and electrical operating systems are now complete, and the installation of humidity-sensitive finishes, such as the reclaimed wood floors, casework, and door trim, is now in progress. 

Looking Forward

The exterior site work such as parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bio-retention ponds, exterior lighting, and landscaping will conclude next week.

City inspections of the net-zero power and water systems begin on October 13.  We are expecting a final inspection by the City on October 17 and have established a date of November 14 for the grand “unplugging” ceremony.

Thoughts & Comments

  1. troy ivie says:

    I live just down shore drive from the center and can walk to it from my house. SO excited about the “unplugging” opening. I am proud of the CBF for initiating this wonderful project, and look forward to many walks through the area, and visiting the center when it is operational.

    October 29, 2014 at 5:19 pm Reply

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