Press release, Duke University, 08 Nov 2006.
Durham, NC -- The Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University will dedicate its new 5,600-square-foot Marguerite Kent Repass Ocean Conservation Center at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Duke Marine Laboratory campus in Beaufort, N.C.
The Repass Center is the first new academic building constructed at the Marine Lab in 30 years and is the lab's first "green" building. It uses geothermal pumps for heating and cooling, solar panels for hot water, and photovoltaic rooftop panels to convert sunlight into electricity. Local building materials, such as yellow southern pine and Atlantic white cedar, and recycled wood are used throughout the structure.
Other eco-friendly features include natural daylight in all spaces, fresh-air ventilation, deep overhangs to provide shade, native landscape and permeable sidewalks, and a zinc roof designed to last 100 years.
The center houses a teaching laboratory, a 48-seat lecture hall equipped with state-of-the-art teleconferencing and videoconferencing facilities to connect to other classrooms and research labs worldwide, and a large, glass-enclosed commons area containing art and sculpture with views of the Rachel Carson Research Reserve, Beaufort Inlet and Shackleford Banks.
A $2.3 million gift from Randy Repass, chairman of West Marine Inc. of Watsonville, Calif., and his wife, Sally-Christine Rodgers, helped fund the center and create a University Professorship in Marine Conservation Technology at the Marine Lab. The new center is named in honor of Repass' mother.
The center was designed by Raleigh architect Frank Harmon to meet the highest standards for energy and environmental efficiency adopted by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. A grant from the Wallace Genetic Foundation made it possible to design the Repass Center to LEED certification standards.
"The Repass Center represents a major first step in our long-term initiative to make our Beaufort campus a model for environmental sustainability, and it significantly enhances our capabilities for collaborative research, outreach and education," said Marine Lab Director Cindy L. Van Dover.
William H. Schlesinger, dean of the Nicholas School and James B. Duke Professor of Biogeochemistry at Duke, said, "Thanks to the vision and generosity of Randy Repass, Sally-Christine Rodgers and the Wallace Genetic Foundation, and to the leadership of Michael Orbach, former director of the Marine Lab who continues to play an integral part in the Repass Center's development, we have been able to construct a state-of-the-art facility that benefits both our students and our environment."
Located on Pivers Island in Beaufort Inlet, the Marine Lab offers a year-round curriculum for undergraduate, professional master's and doctoral students, and houses a full range of research, residential and teaching facilities.
The North Carolina trip was such a whirwind trip, that we didn't have time to examine the Repass Centre. But when we were setting up for the lecture and workshop, we noticed the design that allowed us to let in sunlight, the waterless urinals, the auto-lights off, recycled wood in the structure, etc. And of course the videoconferencing facility. Best of all, it looks out to the inlet and islands.