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Virginia Beach building aims to be one of the most environmentally friendly on the planet

Posted at 7:10 PM, Apr 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-16 19:10:04-04

Virginia Beach, Va. – The new Brock Environmental Center is home to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and it’s trying to become one of the most environmentally friendly buildings on the planet.

The center plans to use virtually no energy and water for a whole year.

Chris Gorri is in charge of making sure the Brock Environmental Center runs smoothly. With the center’s new mission at hand, he’s going to be a busy person over the next year.

“The fact that I get to be a part of this experiment is awesome,” he says.

If Gorri stays on top of his job, the center will join only five other buildings in the world as places that don’t need any outside energy or water.

“There are five Living Building Challenge buildings in the world and about 100 to 200 going through the certification process over the next few years,” says CBF Director Christy Everett .

The center powers itself with its own windmills and solar power and uses rainwater as its only water source.

“There is going to be something that this building can teach anyone who’s building a building,” Everett says.

The center has strict requirements to be named a “living future building” or in other words, self-sustaining. They cannot use any outside energy or water and must be built from natural or reused materials.

Another requirement for the center to make this designation is that they cannot use any toxic materials, like PVC piping in the plumbing. Instead, they went with a recycled plastic material, which means basically all the plumbing at the center is made out of milk jugs and yogurt cups.

“Many of the materials that we're using are traditional materials that are accessible and have been for hundreds of years,” says Everett.

"If you come to the Brock Center and it inspires you to do one thing or make one change in your life, for us the Brock Center served its purpose," Gorri says.

In this day and age, it’s hard to think of a building operating with very minimal energy and water, but the Brock Center is making it work. And if they can do it for a year, it will be one of only a few buildings in the world able to.

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