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Sustainable building supplies its own energy, plus extra for the MUM campus
by Global Good News staff writer
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12 June 2012
One thing which sets the new Sustainable Living Center apart from the other buildings on the Maharishi University of Management campus is its complete focus on sustainability and self-sufficiency.
According to Jon Lipman, main architect on the new building, one of the myriad sustainable aspects the building excels in is electricity generation.
Mr Lipman gave a tour of the Sustainable Living Center in which he spoke about its electricity-generating strategies.
Along the top of the building are dark panels that generate electricity directly from the sun. They are known as photoelectric or photovoltaic panels. The idea of getting electricity directly from the sun is one that the founder of Maharishi Vastu architecture, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, promoted for years, even from the very first talk he gave about Vastu design. But something that has often held Mr Lipman and other Vastu architects back has been the prohibitively high cost of photovoltaic panels.
According to Mr Lipman, this recently changed.
The cost of photovoltaic panels has dropped dramatically in the past two years, by over half. In addition, Mr Lipman said, the United States government also subsidizes the cost of installing the panels by 30% and often electric companies give additional subsidies.
With all this financial assistance, the panels will pay for themselves in just a few years. After that point, everything generated will be free electricity.
With the help of the photovoltaic panels, the building generates 16 kilowatts of energy directly from the sun, which is much more than enough to power the electrical needs of the building.
'In fact,' Mr Lipman said, 'very commonly, anywhere from 5 to 55 times more energy is generated by this building than is used by it and all of that excess is used to power the electrical needs of other buildings on the [Maharishi University of Management] campus.'
He added that with just a few more buildings like this one, it will be possible to supply electricity for all buildings on campus.
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