WATERSHED served as the sustainable design specialist for the Weeks Bay Research Reserve Facility Master Plan. We developed the Weeks Bay Principles as a guide for design teams and facility operators at the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The principles are intended as a road map to align Weeks Bay Facilities and Construction with the goals described in the Weeks Bay NERR Management Plan, “to promote Education, Stewardship, and Scientific Research focusing on Estuarine Ecosystems,” by defining appropriate ways for the buildings and site development to interact with the ecology of the Reserve.
The principles lay out measurable performance goals for both new and existing facilities on the Reserve in 5 categories: Site Development, Restoration, and Protection; Water Conservation and Re-use, Efficient Energy Use, Building Materials and Resource Conservation, and Healthy Indoor Environments. These performance goals can be used to give direction to the teams responsible for the design and construction of new facilities on the Reserve. They can also be used as a roadmap to improve the environmental performance of existing facilities over time, as funds and personnel become available. Additionally, they outline opportunities for research and data collection, so that the Weeks Bay NERR can “test drive,” measure, and demonstrate best practices in sustainable development to surrounding coastal communities.