Duke’s Greenest Building Gets The Gold

Duke's Ocean Conservation Center in Beaufort, NC

November 25, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – Duke University’s Ocean Conservation Center at the Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C., designed by Frank Harmon Architect PA of Raleigh, has been awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification, Duke’s Office of News & Communications reported today.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the national benchmark for high performance “green” buildings.

The 5,600-square-foot Center in Beaufort is Duke’s only LEED Gold certified building, Harmon was able to design it to that standard of environmental responsibility and conservation thanks to a grant from the Wallace Genetic Foundation.

Completed in 2008, the Ocean Conservation Center uses geothermal pumps for heating and cooling, solar panels for hot water, and photovoltaic rooftop panels for converting sunlight into electricity. Harmon used local building materials (yellow southern pine and Atlantic white cedar) and recycled wood throughout the structure.

Other eco-friendly features include an abundance of operable windows for natural lighting and ventilation, deep roof overhangs to keep the sun off the windows, permeable sidewalks, a zinc roof designed to last 100 years and to reflect heat, and native landscaping.

The center houses a teaching laboratory, a 48-seat lecture hall with advanced teleconferencing and videoconferencing capabilities to connect to classrooms and research labs around the globe, and a glass-enclosed commons area.

Frank Harmon has designed many LEED-certified buildings, including the Botanical Gardens Visitors Center under construction now at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He designed that building to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest level in the certification program.

For more information on Frank Harmon and his work, visit http://www.frankharmon.com.

For more information on Duke’s Ocean Conservation Center, visit http://www.nicholas.duke.edu.

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