How We Present
Sustainable Living Center truly local, community built
by Global Good News staff writer
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12 March 2013
The Sustainable Living Center on the campus of Maharishi University of Management in the USA was built using natural, non-toxic, and local materials. In addition, several components of the building's construction and finishing touches were completed by students, exemplifying the principle of 'hands-on learning'.
Dr David Fisher, founder and director of the Department of Sustainable Living, spoke about several of the building's unique features.
The building's roof is held up by whole trees that were harvested sustainably. 'When you walk into this building, it's kind of like walking into a forest,' he said.
The high roof supported by whole trees helps contribute to the daylighting in the building, which sometimes enables the entire building to be lit with only natural light.
When people walk in, Dr Fisher commented, they 'can see the light at the top coming in from the monitor that . . . lets in light which is then redirected throughout the building'.
The walls of the building were constructed of locally sourced packed dirt. So local, Dr Fisher said, that the builders only had to go across the street to a former building site to get it.
The tables in each classroom are made from locally sourced wood from 20 different plant families. The wood was finished with natural and non-toxic materials so as to show off its original colours.
Many students chose to take part in the building's construction, with several helping out over the summer for a real crash course in sustainable building.
But, Dr Fisher added, the hands-on learning doesn't stop there.
The department has received a donation for a meeting room table, which students are constructing right now—a 'trustees'-board-room-type table'.
In addition, an upcoming class will likely do some of the work on a sustainable and organic landscape for the outside of the building.
Also, the greenhouse, which is being completed now, will be a hands-on classroom for the students in several of the department's upcoming classes.
See previous articles in this series:
∙ Sustainable Living Center moves closer to full self-sufficiency
∙ Sustainable Living Center 'the most ambitious environmental building'
∙ New master's degrees in Sustainable Living to launch next year at MUM
∙ Popular Sustainable Living department to offer MA and MS degrees: Maharishi University of Management
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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