BRIT is committed to environmental sustainability. Through careful site design, responsible landscape management, and conscientious human behavior, BRIT seeks to reduce its footprint on the natural world as well as protect and restore ecosystem services. The new BRIT building was designed to accomplish several key goals: reduce energy and water consumption, enhance indoor environmental quality, and use recyclable and renewable materials. This was achieved through daylighting, photovoltaic panels (solar energy), low-flow and low-energy fixtures, low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) materials, wool and linen furnishings, certified wood products, and recycled-content steel and rubber, to name a few. In addition, the BRIT landscape—with its native plants, vegetated walls, bioswales, living roof, and retention pond—was designed to eliminate use of potable water, reduce overall maintenance costs, curb energy consumption, extend the life of building materials, mitigate urban heat island effects, and manage onsite stormwater. But our sustainable campus means little if the people using it are personally wasteful. Therefore, BRIT’s employees and users are encouraged to model sustainable personal practices, such as recycling, composting, and water and energy conservation.
The BRIT building and campus serve as an educational tool for the community, highlighting the myriad ways both organizations and individual citizens can improve their own sustainability. We also intend the campus to serve as a research site for local scientists. Our stormwater management system and our living roof, in particular, are innovative designs; long-term studies of their performance will inform and greatly benefit the green building and design industry. Plus, the reintroduction of two native ecosystems (Fort Worth Prairie Barrens and mid-grass prairie) into an urban setting will provide researchers a chance to study colonization patterns of both native and invasive plants and animals.