Brock Environmental Center earns top prize from National Institute of Building Sciences

Philadelphia, PA —  Wright Commissioning, an MBE / WBE and the region’s only independent building commissioning firm, announced last month that its project, the Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, has received the Honor Award for High-Performance Buildings from the National Institute of Building Sciences, Sustainable Buildings Industry Council in the Beyond Green High-Performance Building and Community Awards program.

“We understand that this is the first certified net-zero water property in the world,” said Will Wright, President of Wright Commissioning.  “It was tough to make it to LEED Platinum and meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge, but the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the design and construction team were committed to these extraordinary achievements. We hope to have the opportunity to do this again for the environment and our future.”

Wright provided LEED fundamental and enhanced commissioning of the building systems, including commissioning of the building envelope, photovoltaic arrays and wind turbines while the building was under construction. Since it opened in late 2015, Wright has conducted Indoor Air Quality testing services and Measurement and Verification services periodically as part of the Living Building Challenge criteria. The Living Building Challenge is the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings and is administered by the International Living Future Institute. As of July 2016, only ten other structures in the world have met the Living Building Challenge.

“The Brock Center generates nearly twice as much energy as it needs,” said Kim Wright, CEO of Wright Commissioning.  “Harvested rainwater becomes potable through special filtration systems, and overall Brock uses 90% less water than a typical building of its size.”

Located on the banks of the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach, the 10,500-square-foot Brock Environmental Center was created to engage and educate the public about the environment and ways they can help save the Chesapeake Bay from further environmental degradation.  As required by the Living Building Challenge, the building produces more energy than it uses over the course of 12 consecutive months of occupancy using solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal wells. Its 168 rooftop panels produce 60% of its energy needs and two 10-kilowatt turbines generate the remaining 40%. The Brock Center also meets other strict criteria for water use, location, health, materials, equity and design.  The building’s completion is timely as the President’s budget proposal cuts the EPA’s funding for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation from $73 million to $0.

In addition to the Beyond Green Honor Award, the project has been recognized by the following engineering and design organizations:

• Engineering News Record, National — Best of the Best Green Project
• Engineering News Record, Mid-Atlantic– Best Green Project and Best Safety Project
• ASCE Architectural Engineering Institute — Award of Excellence- Mechanical Systems Design
• ASCE Architectural Engineering Institute — Award of Merit – Architectural Engineering Integration and  Electrical Systems Design
• AIA Maryland — Institutional Architecture Award
• AIA Northern Virginia Chapter — Award of Excellence, Commercial Architecture
• American Society of Landscape Architects — Technology Award 2nd Place, New Commercial Buildings
• ASHRAE National — Technology Award
• ASHRAE, National Capital Chapter — 1st Place Commercial Building, New Construction
• ASHRAE, Region 111 — 1st Place, Commercial Building, New Construction
• Building Intelligence Group — Sustainable Initiatives of the Year
• American Planning Association — Sustainable Urban Design Project

Wright Commissioning was pleased to serve on the Brock design and construction team with SmithGroupJJR architecture and MEP engineering; Skanska USA project management; Hourigan Construction contractor; Janet Harrison green building consultant; WPL Site Design civil engineering; A&F Engineers structural engineering.


About Wright Commissioning
Wright Commissioning, an MBE / WBE-certified firm, provides independent, technical building systems commissioning and retro-commissioning services to achieve the highest level of functional integrity, reliability and efficiency, and to ensure that building systems meet the design intent and performance requirements of the owner and occupants.  Serving educational, institutional, government and corporate clients, Wright provides technical building commissioning for new construction and renovations, retro-commissioning for existing buildings, facility oversight and LEED-fundamental and enhanced commissioning. For more information visit or contact Kim Wright at 215.279.5950.