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Wanted: Old Stuff for New Building

Brock E. Center entrance
Hey, buddy, can you spare a dime? How about an old countertop or doorjamb? Some wooden floor planks? Old school lockers?

Has Bay Daily turned to panhandling? Yes!

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is planning one of the greenest, most environmentally friendly buildings on the planet on a tiny sliver of Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach, Va. And we’re looking for a few good materials -- used building materials.

The new building, which will break ground in late summer and be named the CBF Brock Environmental Center, will house CBF’s Hampton Roads environmental education programs, staff from CBF and Lynnhaven River NOW, and provide public meeting space. We also intend the building to meet the “Living Building Challenge,” a set of strict environmental standards that require the facility to have a Brock ventilation “net zero” impact on the environment.

Among other elements, the Brock Environmental Center will generate its own energy using wind and solar power, capture and reuse rainwater for everything but drinking, use natural ventilation, geothermal heating, waterless composting toilets…the list goes on. And one of the ways to minimize the building’s impact on the environment is to use selected reclaimed and salvaged materials. This saves natural resources, energy, money, and landfill space.

Salvaged materialsAfter putting out an initial call for salvaged materials a month ago, CBF is receiving donations from businesses and organizations across Virginia’s Hampton Roads region. Already in hand are:

  • Old bleachers to be converted to trim and wainscoting; 
  • Wood doors from the Hampton Roads Sanitation District;
  • Interior wood trim repurposed for base, windows, and doors; wall-mounted and mop sinks, cabinets, mirrors, soap dispensers, grab bars, toilet paper dispensers, and fire extinguishers from Virtexco’s renovation project at Lake Taylor Hospital in Norfolk; 

Still on the search list is wood flooring, cypress or cedar siding, counter tops, casework, and lockers.

“We are excited that many in the community are eager to be a literal part of CBF’s ambitious, environmentally sustainable project by donating approved construction materials,” says Christy Everett, CBF Hampton Roads Director.  “The CBF Brock Environmental Center will be a national model DSC_0448 (2) for living and working responsibly on the land while protecting sensitive natural resources such as the Chesapeake Bay. Using reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed materials will help us meet this goal.”

If you’d like to offer needed salvaged items, visit, send an e-mail to, or call 757/622-1964.

Chuck Epes
Chesapeake Bay Foundation


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