National Journal Features Case Study of Duke’s First LEED-Gold Building

Ocean Conservation Center. Photos by Jeffrey Jacobs
Ocean Conservation Center. Photos by Jeffrey Jacobs

July 2, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Duke University’s only LEED Gold-certified building – the Ocean Conservation Center in Beaufort, NC – is featured in a case study in this month’s Environmental Design + Conservation, a professional journal and premier source for integrated high-performance building dedicated to efficient and sustainable design and construction.

Designed by award-winning architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, of Raleigh, North Carolina, the 5600-square-foot, state-of-the-art teaching facility is the Marguerite Kent Repass Ocean Conservation Center at the Duke University Marine Laboratory. It includes a teaching laboratory,  a 48-seat lecture hall with advanced teleconferencing and videoconferencing capabilities to connect to classrooms and research labs around the globe, interpretive educational displays, and spaces for social interactions overlooking Beaufort Channel.  ocean_conservation-thb3

The case study, entitled “ Beacon for Sustainability,” discusses how the building’s form directly responds to its location and allows it to maximize natural ventilation and lighting. The study also delineates the building’s other green features, including photovoltaic rooftop panels for converting sunlight into electricity, a solar hot water system and high-efficiency ground-coupled heat pumps, and the use of recycled and local materials wherever possible.

Since 1997, Environmental + Design Construction has supported progressive architects, designers, specifying engineers and building developers who enhance the sustainability of new and existing buildings. For more information, visit To read the entire online version of the OCC study, click on “Article Rotation.”

ocean_conservation-thb4 In March of this year, the OCC received a Wood Design Award: Green Building Category from WoodWorks-Southeast, a division of the Wood Products Council of North America for non-residential construction.

Frank Harmon, FAIA, is the founder and principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, and a recognized national leader in modern, innovative and regionally appropriate sustainable architecture. For more information, visit

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