Marguerite Kent Repass Ocean Conservation Center

An Award-Winning ‘Green’ Marine Lab Building that Benefits Students and Our Environment

2014 Repass Ocean Conservation Center Case Study >

Read the Final Report to the Wallace Genetics Foundation:
Greening of the Marguerite Kent Repass Ocean Conservation Center >



Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Platinum Certification for New Construction Awarded to the Repass Center 

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the United States’ leading organization on environmental building matters, forms a national consensus for sustainable building, design, and maintenance standards.  The USGBC’s mission is to promote a new generation of high performance buildings that are “environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy” inside and out.  To enable this mission the USGBC has developed a “Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) rating system.


Major Environmental Features of the Repass Center

The Repass Center has the following major environmental features:

  1. Site Design – The entire site is designed to take advantage of prevailing winds and sunlight.  Native plants and a constructed sand dune system are in place, mimicking the natural landscapes on the adjacent barrier islands. 
  2. Energy Supply – The OCC uses photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight for approximately 20% of the energy needs of the building, and passive solar for heating the water used in the building. 
  3. Heating and Cooling – The OCC uses a geothermal circulation system, taking advantage of the constant temperature of the groundwater below the building, for heating and cooling, supplemented by a conventional heat pump system.  All air systems re-circulate air for maximum efficiency. 
  4. Innovative Materials – The exterior of the laboratory portion of the OCC and the interior ceilings are a material called Windscreen, a concrete-based material that is 90% heat and light reflective and is mounted with a “breathable” interface with the supporting wall structure.  Walkways to the building are permeable concrete, allowing rain to go directly into the ground beneath the walkways. 
  5. Local Materials – The wood used in the building is either recycled from other buildings, or produced within 500 miles of the building site in Beaufort. 
  6. Non-toxic Paints and Solvents – All paints and solvents used in the OCC are “low volatile organic content (VOC)”. 
  7. Natural Light and Ventilation – The OCC is design for maximum use of natural sunlight and ventilation.

Green Building Wood Design Award

Wood Design Awards celebrate excellence in wood design, engineering and construction, as well as innovative projects that showcase attributes of wood such as strength, beauty, versatility, cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

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