On April 1, 2015, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) began a year-long challenge to use net-zero energy or water—that is, no more energy or water than is produced on-site from renewable sources—at the organization’s Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach. The building, first opened in 2014, has wind turbines and solar panels to produce electricity. The Center also has two 1700-gallon cisterns to collect rainwater that is treated and stored for building use; CBF states that the Center is the first commercial building in the United States to have a permit for treating and using rain water for drinking water. Several other aspects of the building were designed to reduce energy use, water use, and waste production.
Those interested in following the progress of the challenge can do so online at http://cbf.org/brockdashboard.
CBF’s new Brock center in VA goes off power, water grids, commentary by CBF President William Baker, Bay Journal, May 2015.
Cutting-Edge Environmental Center Opens at Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/20/14.