t taps wind and sun to generate power. It
uses rain to make drinking water. It produces zero polluted runoff and has virtually
no environmental impact. And it’s open!
As CBF President Will Baker and a host of
dignitaries symbolically “unplugged” the
building from the power grid, CBF’s Brock
Environmental Center opened its doors on
November 14 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The festive dedication ceremony and a
grand opening for the community two days
later capped a multi-year, $21-million
project to build a new regional office and
create one of the most unique, environmentally intelligent buildings in the world.
Campaign funds are endowing the center,
its educators, community programs, and
efforts to improve water quality.
With its solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal wells, rain cisterns, waterless
toilets, natural landscaping, and elevation 14 feet above sea level, the Brock
Environmental Center immediately becomes
an international model for energy and
water efficiency, climate change resiliency,
and minimal environmental impact.
“We hoped to raise the bar for environmen-
tally smart buildings when we envisioned
the Brock Environmental Center,” Baker
said. “And I think we’ve done that with this
remarkable building. But it never would
have been possible without the generosity
of Joan and Macon Brock and others in the
Hampton Roads community who stepped
up to make it happen. This has truly been
a partnership effort.”
The new center will house CBF’s Hampton
Roads staff and that of Lynnhaven River
NOW, a Virginia Beach watershed group.
It will also be headquarters for CBF’s
award-winning environmental education
programs serving Hampton Roads teachers,
students, and decision makers. Additionally,
it will provide meeting space for commu-
nity discussions and collaboration.
“It is our desire that the center be used to
educate and to improve the rivers and bays
around this region,” said Virginia Beach
philanthropists Joan and Macon Brock,
whose generous support helped make the
center possible. CBF’s Brock Center is
designed to generate all its own electricity
and return surplus clean, pollution-free
energy back to the grid. And the center
uses rainwater for its water needs, includ-
ing drinking water, becoming what is
believed to be the first commercial-scale
building in the continental United States to
With its super energy- and water-efficient
features, zero polluted runoff, and near-zero impact, CBF intends the Brock
Environmental Center to gain the U.S.
Green Building Council’s LEED platinum
designation and to meet the strict standards of the Living Building Challenge.
Completion of the Brock Environmental
Center concludes a successful community
effort to save the 118-acre Pleasure House
Point property from development. As
recently as 2008, developers intended to
build more than 1,100 new high-rise con-dos and townhouses on the site. A community partnership with CBF, the City of
Virginia Beach, and the Trust for Public
Land led to the purchase of the land, preserving it for open space and environmental education.
Partnering with CBF to create the Brock
Environmental Center were SmithGroupJJR,
Hourigan Construction, Skanska, and
WPL Site Design. CBF thanks and
applauds all of our partners.
uTo learn more about CBF’s cutting-edge
Brock Environmental Center in Virginia, visit
CBF’s Brock Center: Raising the Bar
CBF’s Brock Center is
an international model
for energy and water
efficiency, climate change
resiliency, and minimal