The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) primary goal was to protect, preserve, and celebrate the setting, while simultaneously showcasing technologies that contribute to net-zero energy, water and waste. CBF was looking for a Landscape Architect to master plan a property to include a net-zero building that would serve as the headquarters for their outdoor environmental education programs in Hampton Roads and provide a public meeting space. The structure would be a model of sustainability, restoration, and education about the Bay and local rivers. Every aspect of the building –its location, materials, construction utilities, operation, and use –would meet the strictest environmental standards. With these goals in mind, the design team embarked on a highly iterative, integrative process, while trying to meet the standards for LEED Platinum and the Living Building Challenge (LBC).
During the planning process for the recently acquired Pleasure House Point property, The City of Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation and CBF constantly engaged the surrounding community. The Parks and Recreation Department worked with the Virginia Beach City Council liaisons Vice Mayor Jones and City Councilman Wood established a 40 member PHP Stakeholder Committee who met every two to three weeks during the master planning process. The committee was comprised of City Council members, Planning Commissioners, adjacent property owners, civic league leaders, as well as Parks and Recreation staff, CBF Staff, and the design consultants. The Stakeholder Committee was briefed on the progress of the master plan for PHP as well as the site planning for the BEC. The Stakeholder Committee played a major role in reaching out the community at large and briefing them on the progress. The extensive nature of the community outreach program is a testament to the acceptance of the project by the Shore Drive Community.