Back in 2019, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) solicited a Request for Qualifications to add a “Sustainable Classroom” to their well-known Brock Environmental Center (BEC). This extra space would provide additional meeting space for CBF, house the Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) Environmental Studies Program and create a learning space unlike anywhere in the country. It was important to CBF that the addition would mirror the built work and the firm that was selected would employ a high level of environmental ethic throughout the entire process. Their hopes were to continue with the Living Building Challenge 3.1 standards of the International Living Future Institute and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED 4.0 Platinum level rating, just like BEC.
CBF then selected Tymoff-Moss Architects to be their architecture partner and WPL as their site architect. The finished project is expected to earn a LEED Platinum rating and will be every bit as sustainable in its construction and operation as the original BEC building. Much like the original BEC project, site improvements are designed to minimally impact the landscape at Pleasure House Point. These measures protect flora and fauna in the area and serve as an example for the community in sustainable design and practices. Outside of the building itself, most of the impact is a result of the installation of native plant material to re-stabilize the construction envelope. This planting also includes a variety of species designated for the project’s constructed wetlands. The building will meet most of its own energy needs with the photo voltaic (PV) array, greywater and blackwater will be routed to existing on site facilities designed to treat and even re-use these elements.
The addition is slated to open spring of 2021. The VBCPS Environmental Studies Program participants are ready to get started!