Posts Tagged ‘green building’

The Fairfield Ledger: M.U.M.’s newest building sets new green standards

April 25, 2012

M.U.M.’s newest building sets new green standards

By DIANE VANCE, Ledger staff writer | Apr 23, 2012

It’s the ultimate green building, said Craig Pearson, executive vice president of Maharishi University of Management, at Friday’s grand opening of the Sustainable Living Center.

Pearson was quoting how The Associated Press described the newest building on campus while it was still under construction in an article that was published in national media, including Forbes, Business Week and MSNBC.

“This sets new standards,” said Pearson.

David Fisher, chairman of the Sustainable Living program, founded at M.U.M. in 2003, said plans for the building began in 2004.

“Its design evolved over time,” said Fisher. “The intention has been to be off the grid in all ways.

“Scores of environmental buildings are being built across the country, some much larger than this, but this is the only building to do it all in one building.”

Fisher said constructing the Sustainable Living Center was a teaching tool for builders, students and anyone who had a part in finishing the building.

“It’s a work in progress, a living building,” said Fisher.

Sustainability comes from materials used, the design and placement of windows for natural day lighting, rain catchment for water (not yet operational), solar panels and a wind turbine.

A classroom used for Friday’s grand opening news conference was furnished with about 21 wooden tables, constructed on campus.

“These tables are made from 19 different plant families all harvested within 100 miles of here,” said Fisher. “The differences in colors are natural, indicating the different woods.”

Faculty member Lonnie Gamble said designers and builders had to think outside the box on this building.

“This building and university are a great inspiration for the world,” he said.

Designer John Lippman has designed all the new buildings on campus since 2000. He listed the Sustainability Center as following architectural guidelines of Vastu, meeting gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification with plans to reach platinum, meeting the Living Building Challenge and meeting Building Biology standards.

“Vastu guidelines means the building is in harmony with nature,” said Lippman. “We have the silent core at the center of the building. High windows allow daylight to extend from two directions into the building’s rooms.

“We used natural materials in here, earth from the campus and whole tree trunks from Wisconsin.”

Sustainable Living student Makayla McDonald said the building reflects the people in the program.

“Community is strength,” she said. “This building has already drawn many people to come here. But it’s not just a building of classrooms. This is the merging of our dreams for the future. I want to express profound gratitude for this university and program. At age 20, it’s very important to have dreams and get to see them become reality.”

Fairfield Mayor and M.U.M. board of trustees member Ed Malloy, said the university was showing the kind of leadership in education that inspires everyone to consider new horizons with the grand opening of the Sustainable Living Center.

“In 2008, Fairfield began a process of creating a strategic plan for a sustainable community,” he said. “In 2009, we published the Fairfield Go Green plan and received national recognition.

“The theme that runs through the plan is to demonstrate for ourselves and others what a city can look like as it adopts new strategies and community designs. This building sets the highest standard.”

Malloy congratulated the university and everyone involved. He noted it was worthy to be called a learning center.

“Students participated in making the very materials that the walls are made of and participated as the mechanical systems that power the building were assembled,” said Malloy. “They will always know as they study in here that they are sheltered and powered by the very elements of nature that surround them — the earth, trees, wind and sun.

“Last year we celebrated gold LEED certification for Hy-Vee, and Kum & Go completed a renovation that earns them a silver LEED certification.”

The Sustainability Center building produces its own kilowatt energies and can send extra back to the grid to use to power other buildings on campus. With more fundraising, the building will complete the rainwater catchment system and waste treatment process, to move from gold to platinum certification.

URL: http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/news/story/m-u-m-s-newest-building-sets-new-green-standards/814324

Photo by: DIANE VANCE/Ledger photo. Posted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger.

Also 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 ‘who-da thunk it’ quote from Lode

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

April 12, 2012
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

Maharishi University hopes to set the standard for “green” buildings

April 28, 2010

Maharishi University hopes to set the standard for “green” buildings

by Matt Kelley on April 26, 2010

in Education, Health & Medicine

A new classroom and research building is under construction on a college campus in southeast Iowa that aims to set a new global standard for green buildings.

David Fisher, director of the Sustainable Living program at Maharishi University in Fairfield, says the building promises to be unlike any other structure on the planet.

“It will be off the grid completely with respect to electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal,” Fisher says. “In addition, the building will be day lit throughout the building.”

Banks of solar panels will provide the electricity for the Sustainable Living Center, Fisher says, and solar energy is being used by workers during the construction phase, as well. During the warm months, he says the building will be kept cool using a geothermal system.

“The heating will be done with solar water heaters on the roof,” Fisher says. “We will have insulation provided in part by very local materials, that is compacted earth blocks which came from some earth right across the street that was being cleared out for a parking lot.” That dirt was compacted into 26,000 bricks that will make up the building’s insulation. The building’s skeleton will use whole tree post and beam techniques.

“Water will be all rainwater,” Fisher says. “It will be collected on the roof and stored in a cistern and, of course, for drinking purposes, it’ll all be filtered with (an ultraviolet) filter.” Fisher says the system for handling waste is also accounted for as a green effort. Fisher says, “We have a constructed wetland and we’re planning to use a system that’s similar to what they use in submarines and on space capsules, purifying the water with a system that puts very, very finely-divided bubbles through the water to keep it aerobic and to completely degrade all of the organic matter so as to purify the water.”

Fisher says the building is designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, the highest standard for sustainable design and green building in the world. It will also be the first to combine that standard with the standards of LEED Platinum certification, Building Biology and Maharishi Vedic Architecture.

The building will serve as the base for the university’s Sustainable Living major. It will have classrooms, a workshop, a meeting room, a greenhouse, a kitchen, a research lab, a recycling center and offices. Fisher says it’ll be a building that teaches. The one-point-seven million dollar project is expected to be complete late this year.

Developer Celebrates How ‘Green’ Is Its Building

September 3, 2009

Picture 26
Developer Celebrates How ‘Green’ Is Its Building
Rockville Structure Gets Environmental Kudos
Picture 27
By Rick Rojas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 3, 2009

Two Thousand Tower Oaks Boulevard off Interstate 270 in Rockville looks like most modern suburban office complexes. It’s a sleek and shiny metal and glass structure that seems to have plopped down like an alien spacecraft on a freshly mowed plot.

What’s special about this building, its developers say, is the technology inside, which earned it the superlative from the state government of being the “greenest” office building in Maryland.

Walking into the building, made of an assortment of recycled items including old bluejeans and wheat products, visitors might think they are entering an office with dirt floors, joked Marnie Abramson of the building’s developer, Tower Companies, which is based there.

The building’s insulation is made of recycled denim. A composite of wheat products makes up the doors. The floor is old carpet that has been shaved down.

But, Abramson said, the structure has the amenities of the average office building and then some.

The building has a fitness center, a three-level underground parking garage and flat-screen televisions embedded in its elevator walls. Every work space has an outside view. The air-conditioning system circulates fresh, filtered air in the building every 51 minutes.

Abramson said the building challenges preconceived notions about environmentally friendly structures, such as that having a green building involves sacrificing certain conveniences or that environmental friendliness is counterintuitive to business success.

Tower Companies received $1.6 million in a state tax credit for the building, Abramson said, and dangling carrots like that in front of the business community is a simple and effective way to encourage them to take part.

Because of the tax credit, the idea of green practices as the norm “permeates into the marketplace,” she said. “In the long term, we can build our way into a sustainable future.”

The tax credit, which was created in 2001, allows developers to recoup 6 to 8 percent of construction costs if a building qualifies for platinum status in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, rating system.

Reaching platinum status includes using 100 percent wind energy, limiting water and electricity consumption, reducing air and light pollution and making sure 90 percent of occupants have outside views.

Tower Oaks was the first building in Maryland to qualify and was named the greenest office building in Maryland by state Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) last month.

Joe Shapiro, a spokesman for the comptroller, said the building is a “shining example for the rest of the state . . . because it has an economic value and an environmental value.”

Shapiro said LEED platinum buildings save on utility costs and increase productivity. State officials hope the tax credit encourages prospective businesses to reach for platinum status, he said.

Abramson said prospective tenants have told her, ” ‘I don’t know if I can afford the premium for a green building.’ ” Her response: “I don’t think you can afford not to.” Constructing something like Tower Oaks isn’t just environmental citizenship; it’s smart business, she said.

Going green increased overall construction costs by slightly more than 1 percent, she said. But employee productivity has increased, and fewer employees called in sick this past winter than in any other year, Abramson said, crediting the fresh air and natural light.

Debbie Webb, director of property management for Tower Companies, has taken notice of the difference in her own work space. She has been at Tower Companies since it moved in February and worked for other property management companies for 18 years.

“You start off in the basement or in some place where no one wants to rent,” she said of the standard property management work area. And, she said, with the lights flipped off and the midday sun flowing in, “it’s just such a healthy environment.”

Abramson said the company is looking toward the next step: finding a way to generate its electricity on site.

“We’re superheroes,” she said. “It’s our job to save the planet through real estate.”

http://tinyurl.com/mrkf7x


<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: