The Start of Mobilization, Construction and Sustainability Efforts

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After two long years of planning, organizing, designing, scheduling, budgeting and permitting, the Brock Environmental Center project team is ready to start construction of the facility targeting Living Building Challenge certification located in Virginia Beach at Pleasure House Point.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has been working on the overall program for the project, including land selection and acquisition, for more than four years and has invested a lot of time and energy into the project to ensure its success.

Throughout the life of the project, we will be providing frequent construction updates and sustainability efforts of the Brock Environmental Center.

Onsite sustainable construction office

The sequence of mobilization to commence construction has already begun with the setup of the onsite construction office which includes 1,500 square-feet of green construction technology including:

  • Double pane insulated windows
  • Low flush volume toilets
  • High efficiency HVAC systems
  • Occupancy sensor light systems

The office is powered by a mobile photovoltaic array that generates 10 kilowatts of power and receives water from an installed onsite natural well.  Both power and water sources will also assist in the construction of the facility.  The office is equipped with cutting-edge technology that will allow the entire project team to access the project’s 3D model for coordination in a group, or one-on-one meeting.

Current mobilization activities

In the construction schedule, we described general mobilization efforts that were to take place. Now that mobilization of the site has begun, here are the specific activities taking place on site:

  • Perimeter security fencing and erosion and sedimentation control have been installed prior to any construction taking place on site in order to maintain access and egress control and to capture water runoff.
  • Motion sensor, perimeter security lighting powered by individual photovoltaic cells have been installed.
  • Temporary roads composed of the stone base for the permanent roads have been installed from the primary existing road to the site and on the North perimeter of the project. These roads allow for easy access and passage of all construction equipment and vehicles.
  • An Ox-Blue construction, web-based, time lapse and video camera has been installed to capture the construction activities from start to finish and is powered by the mobile photovoltaic array.
  • Surveying of property and building corners and layout of concrete foundations is also in progress.

First construction activities

Starting in mid- to late-September, several initiatives will start to take place. First, the utility infrastructure (water, sanitary, and power) to support the building will be installed. Also, the plumbing and electrical distribution piping under the building will be set up. Then, the excavation, formwork and concrete placement of the building’s foundation system will put in.

Coming in October

After the building’s foundation is in place, the next sequence of construction activities will involve placing the first floor concrete structure. Starting in early October, the building’s primary support columns will be installed. Then, in mid-October, the placement of the building’s elevated concrete first floor deck and installation of the geothermal well field that supports the designed mechanical system will be constructed.

So the journey begins into the realization of Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s goal of creating a “living building” that nets zero energy and water usage while providing a state-of-the-art educational experience for the state of Virginia.  Stay tuned for many more updates and insight into how we build this sustainable, stand alone facility.

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