CBF's headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland, recently installed solar panels, which were too cost-prohibitive in 2000 when the building was constructed. Photo Credit: Loren Barnett/CBF Staff

Evolving with Green Technology

How does CBF coordinate its program staff over the vast Chesapeake watershed? That's the challenge that Mary Tod Winchester, long-time CBF Vice President for Administration, and her staff look forward to every day. They make sure CBF's infrastructure is in tip-top shape from our vehicles and vessels to our buildings and technology systems.

CBF's dedication to the mission is evident at the world's first LEED Platinum facility, CBF's headquarters, the Philip Merrill Environmental Center in Annapolis, Maryland, and the LEED Platinum Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. As a certified International Living Future Institute's Living Building, the Brock Center produces more energy than it uses. And, it is the first commercial building in the United States permitted to collect, treat, and provide drinkable rainwater, while producing net zero waste. "These buildings give back to our environment," Mary Tod likes to say. "The facility also inspires. It touches the souls of all who enter. These game-changing buildings pull people in, prompt questions, connect us to the Chesapeake, and remind us why we work to constantly raise the bar in all that we do."

The buildings work for a living, humming with activity every day. Not to be outdone by the newer Brock Center, "the Merrill Center is never old news," Mary Tod says. "In 2000, solar technology was not cost-effective for Merrill Center power, but geothermal wells offered us comfortable heating and cooling. Now solar panels have come a long way, so we invested in them in 2016. These systems together provide clean energy that greatly reduces costs over a conventional building. That kind of thinking saves funds for programs and it gives our staff a comfortable work environment so they can concentrate on saving the Bay."

BIG thanks to Senator Tim Kaine who came out to visit us at our Brock Environmental Center! While there, he toured our building with CBF's Christy Everett and held a roundtable discussion with Virginia's environmental leaders, including Rebecca LePrell, CBF's Virginia Director.

Sidebar Photos: 1. Chris Gorri/CBF Staff, 2. Bill Portlock/CBF Staff, 3. Robert Miller.