BEAUFORT, N.C. – The Marguerite Kent Repass Ocean Conservation Center at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C., has been awarded a Green Building Wood Design Award from WoodWorks, a nonprofit cooperative program of the Wood Products Council.

The award, which was presented Feb. 24 in Raleigh, recognizes the center as an example of a nonresidential building that makes outstanding use of sustainable wood products.

In 2008, the Repass Center was awarded the Gold LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The 5,600-square-foot center, which houses a lecture hall, teaching laboratory and commons area, was dedicated in November 2006. 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.

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, which is named in honor of Repass’ mother.