Brock Environmental Center for a Living Chesapeake


Brock Environmental Center for a Living Chesapeake


The Brock Environmental Center, the tenth building in the world to achieve full Living Building Challenge certification, is an extraordinary building in a special setting. Located on a peninsula near the southern shores of The Chesapeake Bay, the building houses the staff and the outdoor environmental education programs of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Built on a legacy of green buildings, including the award-winning Philip Merrill Center, the Brock Environmental Center sets a new standard for sustainable, resilient design by blending cutting-edge technologies with nature-inspired forms, patterns, and processes.

Brock Environmental Center for a Living Chesapeake documents the journey from napkin sketch to full building occupancy, starting with the preservation of a rare parcel of undeveloped shoreline in a densely developed region. In a thorough and cohesive narrative, author Juliet Grable weaves together the many strands of the building’s journey, from initial concept and design decisions to its completion and award-winning recognitions. The story of the building’s many sustainable and restorative features include the project’s precedent-setting rainwater treatment system.

Another important publication in the Living Building Challenge Series, the book is part engaging narrative and part practical guide, informed with compelling stories including the voices of many of the project’s key players – design professionals, engineers, builders, consultants, and CBF staff. Illustrated with beautiful photographs and instructive diagrams, Brock Environmental Center for a Living Chesapeake serves as an inspiration for those who hold the vision of Living Buildings as the model for our future built environment.

Praise for Brock Environmental Center for a Living Chesapeake

“I often think about how buildings are heroes–physical manifestations of the environmental and health imperatives that must underscore our 21st century built environment. The Brock Center is such a building, truthfully and transparently sharing its rich, inspiring story with the promise to inspire others to believe that what may seem impossible is, indeed, possible.”

Gail Vittori, LEED Fellow
Co-Director, Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems

“The Brock Environmental Center is one of my favorite buildings—not just for its beauty and leading-edge sustainability features, but also because it demonstrates how resilience and climate-change adaptation can be integrated so well into building design. Ecotone’s new book on the building does an exceptional job at presenting these many features as well as the context behind them.”

Alex Wilson
President, Resilient Design Institute

“The Brock Center is at the forefront of sustainability and it sets a high bar that should inspire many people for generations to come.  I am particularly proud that the center mirrors the Commonwealth’s commitment to natural resource conservation, environmental education, and our shared future.”

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

Additional information

About the Author

Juliet Grable is a freelance writer and editor whose work covers a range of topics related to sustainability. Juliet is the author of another Living Building Challenge Series book, Desert Rain House: Resilient Building, Sustainable Living in the High Desert, that chronicles the design and construction of the first
residential project in the world to be fully certified as a Living Building. Juliet has served as Managing Editor for Green Builder Magazine; she still contributes to that publication and many others, including Earth Island Journal and Home Power Magazine.

In addition to stories about regenerative design and construction, her writing covers innovative water systems, watershed restoration, and trends in electric vehicles and renewable energy systems. Juliet is grateful to live in Oregon’s Southern Cascades with her husband Brint and cats Henri and Pico.


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