Louis & Pru Ryan Resilience Lab

We’re Building a More Resilient Future. For All – Including River Life.

As communities everywhere wrestle with the growing impacts of climate change, The Louis & Pru Ryan Resilience Lab of the Elizabeth River Project will serve as a global model for urban coastal living that protects both the ecosystem and humans as sea levels rise. Now being built along Knitting Mill Creek on one of Norfolk’s fastest growing commercial corridors, this $8 million living laboratory is funded through the future-minded philanthropy of its namesakes, Louis and Pru Ryan of Norfolk, and many generous donors to our Next Wave Campaign.

Follow along with the Resilience Lab construction updates

What’s the Resilience Lab? We’re glad you asked.

  • Engineered To Withstand Flooding And Respond To Sea Level Rise
  • Environmentally Sustainable Design & Construction Techniques
  • For Residents, Businesses And Developers
  • Solar Equipped/Net-Zero Energy Consumption Goal
  • Toilets Flushed With 100% Harvested Rainwater
  • Goode Family Entry Pavilion Floats During Flooding
  • Brock River Room for Workshops, Events
  • Northern Cornerstone: Norfolk Innovation Corridor
  • Anchor for Planned Eco-District
  • “Living Shoreline” of Restored Wetlands, Oysters, Native Plants
  • HRSD Research Dock For Higher-Education Partners
  • Changing Research Displays
  • Perry Family Boardwalk Observatory
  • Continuous Rain Gardens

Welcome to the Future.

$8 million
cost of build

opening date
net energy use
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“Developing on-land solutions to rising tides and rising sea level is not just a case of trying to make it more inhabitable for human beings. It’s also a case of making the land more friendly to the river.”


The Elizabeth River Project

In the News

The Washington Post logo

Meet the multimillion-dollar building deliberately built to drown

As coastal cities wrestle with increasing threats from rising waters, a nonprofit’s costly new headquarters offers an answer that is both defiant and prescient…

Changing Coastlines and the Rolling Conservation Easement

Questions loom about how to handle homes, businesses, and entire cities that are at risk of flooding, and there rarely seems to be an answer that makes everyone happy.