Maharishi University of Management to open new Sustainable Living Center, a net-zero energy bldg

When Maharishi University of Management’s Sustainable Living Center opens April 20 it is expected to produce more energy than it will consume, thanks to a wind turbine, solar panels, geothermal tubing, extensive use of daylighting, earth block walls, verandas, and a range of other measures. (Photo by Tim Messenger)

MUM’s Sustainable Living Center To Be “Net-Zero Energy Building”

With an opening celebration and press conference scheduled for Friday, April 20, 11 am CT, Maharishi University of Management’s new Sustainable Living Center will have the distinction of being one of the few net-zero energy buildings in the country—it will produce as much if not more energy than it uses.

The building is designed to eventually be completely off the grid, including for water usage and waste treatment, as more funds are available. However, it will initially be connected to the grid, using electricity as needed during extreme weather conditions. At those times when the solar arrays and wind turbine produce more than the building uses, it will feed excess energy into the campus grid for use in other buildings.

Annually the building will produce more energy that it will consume.

The building’s 58 solar panels are capable of producing 15 kilowatts, and the 100-foot wind turbine is capable of producing 10 kilowatts. In addition, energy savings result from the use of technologies such as a heat pump and geothermal tubing. Many passive methods of alternative energy also contribute, such as extensive use of daylighting, the use of earth block walls to moderate temperature extremes and insulate, and strategic placement of windows and verandas.

A view of Maharishi University of Management‘s new Sustainable Living Center taken from the 100-foot wind turbine tower by MUM alum and installer Troy Van Beek of Ideal Energy. Energy cottage is to the right, Golden Domes are in the distance. (Photo by Troy Van Beek)

As more funds are raised, more features will be added until the Sustainable Living Center is completely off the grid with respect to electricity, heating, cooling, water, and waste. A rain catchment system will provide water, and there will be on-site sewage treatment.

“Even in this phase of development, the building is one of the best of the current generation of green buildings,” Mr. Gamble said. Eventually the building will be carbon neutral, which entails being completely off the grid.

“Our carbon footprint is much smaller than most new buildings as we used earth block, earth plasters, and many other low-embodied energy and low-carbon materials in construction,” Mr. Gamble said.

In addition to many University supporters, Kresge Foundation and Wege Foundation provided grants, and nationally recognized leaders in green building materials offered in-kind donations.

The building currently qualifies for gold LEED certification, said construction manager Tim Messenger. But the application is being held until the water and waste systems are in place, which will raise the Sustainable Living Center to the highest level of LEED certification, that of platinum.

The opening of the Sustainable Living Center will coincide with the EcoFairfield weekend being organized by students, and also with Earth Day on April 22.

EcoFairfield events will begin Friday afternoon with community service tree planting, and a keynote presentation by Seth Braun on Friday evening on shaping a collective vision for the future of Fairfield. See ecofairfield.wordpress.com.

To find out more about Fairfield and neighboring Maharishi Vedic City, visit http://discoverfairfield.org.

Schedule of Events:

WEDNESDAY EVENING, 7:00 p.m.
Traditional ceremony to open the Sustainable Living Center.

FRIDAY MORNING, 11:00 a.m.
Grand opening, with press conference.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Open house and tours of the Sustainable Living Center

SATURDAY AFTERNOON, 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Tours of the Sustainable Living Center

See B.S. in Sustainable Living at Maharishi University of Management: News: Sustainable Living Center Grand Opening

Related articles: WHO TV: BEYOND GREEN: Building Produces Extra EnergyKTVO News: Groundbreaking Sustainable Living Center a source of pride in Fairfield | MSNBC: BEYOND GREEN: Building Produces Extra Energy | The Fairfield Ledger: Fairfield draws ‘who-da thunk it’ quote from Lode | Ottumwa Courier: Environmentally friendly building unveiled in Fairfield | The Hawk Eye: MUM to unveil sustainable center: Structure will be one of the only net-zero energy buildings in the nation | The Iowa Source: MUM’s Sustainable Living Center Opens April 20: Net Zero Building Will Produce More Energy Than It Consumes! | AASHE Bulletin ArchivesMaharishi U Mgmt Debuts Net-Zero Sustainable Living Center + More | Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities: New MUM Building a Net-Zero Energy Structure | Positive TV: MUM Sustainable Living Center to be “net-zero energy building” | The Iowan: Beyond LEED: Maharishi University’s Sustainable Living Center | The Iowan: Sizing Up Small Towns: Rethinking Success in Rural Iowa: Fairfield Thinks Inclusively | BUILDINGS Magazine: A Zero Utility Bill Building | The Iowa Source: MUM Sustainable Living Center

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5 Responses to “Maharishi University of Management to open new Sustainable Living Center, a net-zero energy bldg”

  1. Pieter Says:

    Excellent!!!

    Like

  2. The Fairfield Ledger: M.U.M.’s newest building sets new green standards « The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] see: BEYOND GREEN: Building Produces Extra Energy | Maharishi University of Management to open new Sustainable Living Center, a net-zero energy bldg | Maharishi University dedicates efficient building | The Fairfield Ledger: Fairfield draws […]

    Like

  3. Breaking Down Net Zero Building: Reality or Wishful Thinking? by Ashley Halligan « The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] reports of a university building and a business in Iowa to reach net zero: Maharishi University of Management to open new Sustainable Living Center, a net-zero energy bldg. (see additional coverage listed at the end of this article) and The Sky Factory meets ‘net […]

    Like

  4. Kysa Heinitz Says:

    I am looking for a exterior photograph of this building for an award submittal. Do you have the contact into for Tim Messenger or Troy Van Beek? I’m more than happy to credit the photographer. Thanks.

    Like

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