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Student Center incorporates many green features

The M.U.M. Review
Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, USA
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22 January 2008

In addition to being constructed according to principles of Maharishi Vedic architecture, the Argiro Student Center also incorporates a range of environmentally friendly features that will qualify it for LEED certification.

Energy efficiency and daylighting have been a main focus. The biggest energy savings will result from heat exchangers, said Julian Potter, a sustainable living graduate who is now on University staff. These exchangers capture 80% of the heat from the air that is being exhausted from the building and use it to help heat the incoming fresh air.

The most evident feature may be the large, triangular windows that cast light deep into the building on the two upper floors. Daylighting sensors automatically turn off the lights when enough daylight is present. The building's cupola also helps reflect light into the atrium area.

Mr. Potter said the building is well insulated—about 50% better than average. The heating and cooling systems also have a higher-than-normal efficiency. This was accomplished by using many smaller, residential-sized systems rather than one large heating and cooling system.

According to Vincent Bataoel, a sustainable living grad who is overseeing the LEED certification process, LEED is an internationally recognized standard for a green building system. Some features, such as landscaping, a rain catchment system, and possibly a wind generator, will be implemented in the spring.

Use of non-toxic materials was an important considering during construction of the Student Center. According to Chief Administrative Officer David Streid, it contains over 13, 000 square feet of bamboo flooring.

The carpeting is green certified, and is mostly all-wool. The flooring in the serving areas is Marmoleum, which is a natural linoleum made with 100% natural ingredients: linseed oil, cork, limestone, tree rosin, and natural minerals.

'We've tried to incorporate as many green features as our budget would allow,' Dr. Streid said. 'This building is an important part of the University's commitment to be more environmentally friendly, and to bring our buildings in accord with Natural Law on all levels.

Copyright © 2008, Maharishi University of Management

Global Good News comment:

Please also see Global Good News article February 1 grand opening celebration for Student Center

For information about Maharishi's seven-point programme to create a healthy, happy, prosperous society, and a peaceful world, please visit: Global Financial Capital of New York.

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