How the Brock Environmental Center Supports Car Free Living
One of the imperatives of the Site Petal of the Living Building Challenge is that a project should promote car free living. The objective of this requirement is not centered on the elimination of vehicles, but rather on “contributing towards the creation of walkable, pedestrian-oriented communities.”
By promoting pedestrian-based development, there will be an inherent reduction of vehicles on the road and on the project site. From a high level perspective, this will reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by running and manufacturing vehicles. From a low level perspective, this will reduce the amount of fluids leaked onto the site from vehicles, as well as reducing the amount of vehicular noise that would otherwise interrupt the enjoyment of the space.
With all these objectives in mind, project teams are challenged with designing a site that promotes pedestrian travel, and reduces vehicular traffic without restricting access. The Brock Environmental Center was designed to do just that. Below are examples of how low-tech and cutting edge development practices were utilized to maximize the site’s potential and how the site was designed to support this initiative.
In order to accommodate those with disabilities, there will be three ADA parking spaces adjacent to the building. These spaces are the only permanent parking spaces on site. Deliveries and drop-off access will be accomplished with a permeable, minimum-width road that will make a circle at the West end of the building—providing an area for short-term parking.
The parking for staff and visitors will be located nearly 600 feet from the building site and be constructed of permeable paver system. Access to the building will be a footpath that mirrors the access road.
Access to the site by foot can be accomplished in a few different ways. One mode is taking one of the new trails built to interconnect the project with the surrounding neighborhoods and existing Shore Drive trail system. The other is to navigate a sand trail through Pleasure House Point Park that will bring you right to the building’s doorstep.
In the spirit of encouraging people to commute and visit via bicycle, all trails will be open to cyclists, and the building will have a bike rack to allow them to safely store their bikes.