Building is one of the greenest in Virginia

Posted at 10:45 PM, Nov 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-13 22:45:42-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - The Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach is being called the greenest building in Virginia.

"When it came time to build something down here, we wanted to up it a notch," said Paul Willey, Director of Facilities.

If it hadn't been for neighbors fighting hard to keep a housing development from being built in the area, located near the Pleasure House Point section of the city, this building would likely not be here.

You'll get a chance to take a sneak peek of the building this weekend, but on Thursday, NewsChannel 3 went on a tour of the center - a building like no other.

"What's interesting is Virginia Beach gets more rainfall than Seattle, Washington, and if Seattle, Washington, has places where it can capture rain water, we definitely can get enough rain water here to meet our needs," said Willey.

This cutting edge facility, sitting 14 feet above sea level to be climate-change resilient, gets all of its water from rain, produces no sewage, and makes its own power from wind and sunlight, which you can track on a monitor in the lobby.  Next spring, the center will open to the public, including school field trips, to promote conservation.

In addition, several items inside the building have been salvaged, including mirrors, sinks and doors.

"They have a memory and a story that's part of the design [of the building]," said Greg Mella, the building's architect.

Some of the floors inside the building are made from a gym floor courtesy of a school in Norfolk that was going to get rid of it.

But one the biggest missions for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation  and the Brock Environmental Center is to teach school kids and visitors about conservation and water quality in order to preserve our environment.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will host an open house to the public  Sunday, November 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.