The Marine and Coastal Science Research and Instructional Center at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography has been awarded a gold level certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Completed in mid-2009, the research and laboratory building was designed from the outset to be environmentally friendly.
The building’s orientation minimizes its east-west exposure, which reduces the heat it absorbs from the sun. Its courtyard, roof and sidewalks are organic and reflect the sun’s energy, further reducing the amount of heat the building absorbs.
The layout of the MCSRIC’s interior minimizes the building’s perimeter, reducing the energy and heat that can leak into or out of the building. The common work areas and the central hallway are open to the roof and have a row of upper windows that run the length of the building. This allows natural night to flood the building on sunny days and saves on lighting energy.
The building’s other "green" characteristics include a solar hot water heating system, a 1,000-gallon cistern to capture rainwater for various uses, six-inch foam insulation and energy-efficient windows.
The MCSRIC contains 11,000 square-feet of research laboratories and offices, space for visiting scientists and instructional space for marine science students from throughout the University System of Georgia. It was funded with a $5 million dollar appropriation approved by the Georgia General Assembly in 2006 and signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue.
The architect for the MCSRIC was Lord, Aeck & Sargent, Inc. The construction manager was Choate Construction. Engineering work was done by Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung International Inc., and Nottingham, Brook & Pennington, Inc.