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MUM Sustainable Living Center to set new standard for green building
by Global Good News staff writer
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18 January 2011
The new Sustainable Living Center at Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, will surpass any other building in the world in incorporating eco-friendly features.
The Center will include a research lab, two large classrooms, several faculty offices, a kitchen, and a greenhouse. Over 80 undergraduate students at MUM now major in Sustainable Living, and many more enrol in the department's classes as electives. The new Center will provide these students with abundant resources and examples to enhance their classroom experience.
The building will be totally self-sustaining in terms of electricity, with photovoltaic panels and a wind generator; and for heating with solar hot water and geothermal heaters. In addition, the building will feature a rainwater collection and purification system to supply all water for the Center, as well as a three-stage wastewater treatment system.
'Unlike many green structures, the Center will incorporate day lighting throughout the building—not just to rooms with external windows,' explained Dr David Fisher, Director of the MUM Sustainable Living Department. Another unusual feature, he added, is that the building will be supported by whole aspen trees, which are 50 per cent stronger than regular wooden beams of equal volume.
Moreover, the building will meet all specifications of Maharishi Sthapatya Veda (Vedic architecture), thus combining ancient life-supporting technology with modern principles of sustainability.
Dr Fisher went on to explain that the Center will meet the certification criteria for three different rating systems. One, the most commonly sought for green structures, is LEED Platinum certification. Others, which are more rare and challenging to achieve, are the Living Building Challenge and Building Biology. Dr Fisher pointed out that no other building in the world has ever strived to achieve all three types of certification.
'Not only will the Sustainable Living Center serve as a demonstration for students, but we expect it will also provide an example to guide the entire green building industry,' commented Dr Fisher in conclusion.
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