Means and Methods of Sustainable Construction: Part 2

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In part 1 of this blog post, we described the different ways that our team will support the Living Building Challenge’s mission during construction of the Brock Environmental Center at Pleasure House Point. This post will continue the discussion and describe the sustainable construction methods and processes that will be used on site to limit our carbon footprint and protect the Chesapeake Bay.

Minimizing contamination of the Chesapeake Bay

We will be putting several processes in place to minimize the amount of contaminants going into the Chesapeake Bay during construction:

  • natural stone road for temporary access roadsTemporary access roads with natural stone materials will allow construction vehicle access to and from the site without disturbing the existing subgrade soils that would contribute to the contamination of rainwater runoff.
  • A perimeter security fence with a double layer of erosion control filter fabric will assist in maintaining the rainwater runoff on site.

In addition, all water runoff will be captured, filtered on site and allowed to evaporate into the atmosphere in lieu of running off the jobsite and carrying pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay.

Controlling fuel leaks

All fossil fuel operating systems onsite will be required to pass an initial “fluid leak” inspection prior to operating on site.  Each machine must show 100% containment of all fluids within the engine compartment with no evidence of leaks through or around gaskets, valves or plugs.  This will eliminate any pollution of the soils by fossil fuels or fluids and thereby minimize any carbon footprint of the site.

Reducing noise pollution

Normal construction equipment noise will be reduced by the use of filters and baffles on the exhaust systems of all operating equipment.  This will minimize the amount of manmade noise pollution thus limiting the negative effect on the environment and its occupants.

Creating an aesthetically pleasing construction site

The perimeter of the site will be secured with a six-foot tall fence that will have a variety of signage posted to describe the project in pictures, renderings and other graphics. Typically, construction sites can be an “eye-sore” for neighbors, but the signage will help the site fit better within its natural surroundings.

In addition to all of these initiatives, a full-time onsite Quality Control Manager will ensure all materials used on the site are in accordance to the “Red List” restrictions of the Living Building Challenge. Any materials that do not meet the requirements will not be allowed to offload at the site.

These means and methods mentioned in both parts of this post will contribute to helping the Brock Environmental Center receive Living Building Certification. They also support the mission of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation by minimizing contamination to the Chesapeake Bay.  The Brock Enviornmental Center will serve as an environmental educational facility that will focus on preservation, sustainability and education, while also having a “net zero” impact on the environment.

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