Posts Tagged ‘LEED Platinum certification’

The Iowan: Beyond LEED: Maharishi University’s Sustainable Living Center

March 5, 2012

[potluck] Beyond LEED

Fairfield, Iowa – March 1, 2012

MUM Sustainable Living Center

Maharishi University of Management's Sustainable Living Center

Compiled by Carol Bodensteiner and Mary Gottschalk

More and more new or renovated structures in Iowa trumpet their commitment to reducing demands on air, water, and energy resources — some even achieving platinum status in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification (currently the highest level recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council). The folks at the Sustainable Living Center (SLC) in Fairfield are aiming higher.

Rising to the Living Building Challenge (an international performance-based certification program) and incorporating both Building Biology principles and Maharishi Vedic architecture guidelines, the SLC design introduces such features as the use of naturally hygroscopic materials to self-regulate humidity, the use of natural building materials, and complete water and energy self-sufficiency — the ability to go off the grid.

According to David Fisher, Director of the Sustainable Living Program at Maharishi University of Management (MUM), this higher standard is “doable with current technology.” For example, the combination of insulation, solar and wind powers, and geothermal heat will allow the SLC to generate excess electricity, which will be contributed back to the campus power grid. Similarly, by collecting rainwater for drinking and running black/gray water through a peat moss filtering system for irrigation, the building will have net zero water usage.

In addition to being resource-neutral (and, possibly, resource-positive), the SLC has other unique features, including 16 whole aspen tree trunks that provide major structural support for the building and 26,000 earthen blocks manufactured by MUM students out of local clays. To avoid any toxic chemicals, plaster has been made from sand, cow manure, and soil; paints are milk-based with color pigments derived from clay, minerals, and spices.

When the building opens this spring as classroom and office space for the Bachelor of Science program in Sustainable Living, the SLC will still be a work in progress, says Fisher. “But we’re going to open so our students can share in the experience of showing the construction industry how it can be done.” — M.G.

For information on the Sustainable Living Center, contact David Fisher at dfisher@mum.edu and visit thesustainablelivingcenter.com. Learn more about Building Biology and Vedic architecture online at baubiologie.de (choose English language) and maharishivastu.org.

Rendering courtesy Sustainable Living Center

Related article: Iowa Outdoors: Fairfield’s Abundance EcoVillage: Harmonious Living With Nature — Off The Grid.

For more information about The Iowan check out these three options:

Solar Energy to Power Completion of MUM’s Sustainable Living Center

July 19, 2010

Maharishi University of Management

MUM to Launch Renewable Energy System

Solar panels provide power to complete construction of Sustainable Living Center

 

Photo credit: Robbie Gongwer

Fairfield, Ia, July 20, 2010 – On Thursday, July 22, at 2 pm, Fairfield’s ‘green’ mayor, Ed Malloy, will flip the switch on the solar electricity of the Utility Cottage to use only renewable energy to power all the equipment needed to complete construction of Maharishi University of Management’s (MUM) new Sustainable Living Center. (SLC)

The Sustainable Living Center will set a new standard for green building in America by being completely off the grid with respect to electricity, heating and cooling, water, and waste, and will be the first of its kind on any campus anywhere in the world.

On Earth Day, Whole Tree Posts and Beams were put in place, walls were tilted up, and roof trusses were placed on top of them. The entire shell of the building is now complete and is expected to be ready for occupancy in late fall.

Four Building Philosophies

The Sustainable Living Center features four green building philosophies. It has been designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, the highest standard for sustainable design and green building in the world. It will be one of the first three to achieve this. And it will be unique because it will be the first to combine that standard with the standards of LEED Platinum certification, Building Biology, and Maharishi Vedic Architecture.

Architects talk about 2030 as the year when all buildings will be built this way, sustainable and without a carbon footprint. But MUM is doing it now, with existing technologies and materials. “There’s no other building like this going up in the nation, or in the world for that matter, that we know of,” said nationally known green building expert Mike Nicklas, FAIA, founder and president of Innovative Design, the building’s Project Architects.

To date, Innovative Design has designed over 4750 buildings and more than 100 schools that use renewable energy solutions. Mike Nicklas is the Technical Architect for this project, and Jon Lipman, AIA of Fortune-Creating Buildings, is the Design Architect. Mr. Lipman was responsible for the initial concept, and for the design and Vedic architecture throughout the project.

A Building That Teaches

The Sustainable Living Center will serve students in the university’s Sustainable Living major. It will have classrooms, workshop, meeting room, greenhouse, kitchenette, research lab, recycling center, and offices, as well as east and west covered verandas and a porch on the north.

It has been designed as a building that teaches. In addition to embodying sustainability, it will allow students to monitor performance and energy efficiency and make adjustments.

“The Sustainable Living Center will be a living, evolving building,” said David Fisher, head of the MUM Sustainable Living Department, who helped plan the building. “The building itself is an educational tool, not just a passive one like most classroom buildings. It will provide participatory education where students will be continually adding to, or altering, the building and grounds as well as systematically checking its effectiveness.”

Off the Grid

The Sustainable Living Center will be completely off of the energy and utility grid. Every feature will exemplify healthy and sustainable green building — and will be geared to teaching those principles.

Construction uses all non-toxic materials from local sources, as defined by the Living Building Challenge requirements. All energy will be provided from solar panels on the building and from an outside wind turbine. Rainwater catchment will be the complete source of the building’s water, with purification of drinking water via ultraviolet technology. Wastewater will be treated onsite using a constructed wetland. Natural day lighting will illuminate the entire interior. Geothermal technology will assist with heating and cooling.

An Embodiment of Sustainability That’s Feasible and Practical

This achievement is remarkable because none of the systems in the building are new or experimental, according to developer and construction manager Dal Loiselle. “The Sustainable Living Center is being constructed using ‘state-of-the-shelf technologies,’” he said. “This building proves that we can meet our environmental goals for our built environment with the materials, technologies, and green building protocols we already possess.”

A Community Oriented Toward Sustainability

Sustainability has become a major focus at Maharishi University of Management, which has long used techniques for living in harmony with natural law, including the Transcendental Meditation technique and other Vedic technologies including Vedic Architecture. The University has filed a climate action plan to be 100% carbon neutral by 2020 as part of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

Fairfield, too, has taken a strong direction toward sustainability, hiring a sustainability coordinator and moving ahead with its Go Green Strategic Plan to become a sustainable city. In 2009, MSN.com named Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy as one of the nation’s 15 greenest mayors — alongside the mayors of New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, and Salt Lake City.

“Our city will benefit enormously by having this building on the campus of MUM as a demonstration of a new standard of design and will reinforce our commitment in Fairfield to changing the culture towards a more sustainable future,” Mayor Malloy said.

Industry-Educational Partnerships Industry leaders in green technologies provide sponsorships

The Sustainable Living Center features four green building philosophies, is entirely off grid and has amassed an impressive list of leading corporate sponsors. These industry-educational partnerships showcase a new level of leadership, cooperation and sustainable capitalism unique to green building and sustainable development within the state, nation and world at large.

The Sustainable Living Center has benefited by in-kind donations from these nationally recognized leaders in green building materials: Serious Materials (high performance windows); Pittsburgh Corning (FoamGlas insulation); Gerdau AmeriSteel (rebar); United States Gypsum Corporation (Aqua Tough-paperless drywall); Green Building Supply; SpiderLath Inc (lath mesh to support exterior stucco); and GlobalWatt (PV panels).

GlobalWatt is excited about participating in this special project and is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor. MUM SLC will be one of the very first customers to receive PV panels off the line at their new Saginaw, Michigan manufacturing plant, a former automotive facility. “We are pleased to partner with MUM on this historic educational green building,” says GlobalWatt Director of Sales, Dave Slivinski.

Wege Foundation Grant

There seems to be a Michigan connection here. With GlobalWatt in Michigan, the Kresge Foundation is headquartered in metropolitan Detroit, in the suburb community of Troy, Michigan. They provided MUM with a Planning Grant, and possibly an upcoming Challenge Grant.

Another Michigan foundation, the Wege Foundation, provided a $100,000 grant to fund the Maharishi University of Management Sustainable Living Center to help it achieve the Living Building Challenge. Peter M. Wege, who built Steelcase, Inc. into the largest office-furniture manufacturer, is an environmentalist who founded the Wege Foundation to promote environmental activities primarily in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Steelcase, Inc. is headquartered. The board of the Wege Foundation made an exception and funded the MUM SLC in Fairfield, Iowa because it is a nationally significant sustainable building. This is the largest Foundation grant the Maharishi University of Management Sustainable Living Center has received to date. In appreciation for this gift the University will name the largest classroom in the Sustainable Living Center, the Peter M. Wege Classroom and Event Center.

The Building will also be a showcase for the public, and will feature meeting rooms, a real-time energy and renewable systems monitor, and displays of materials and building systems featured in the building to showcase partnerships with leading technologies and materials manufacturers. For more information please contact: Marco Sunseri @ 641-472-7000 x2449.

Available for media interviews: Sustainable Living department head David Fisher, construction manager Dal Loiselle, Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, and design architect Jon Lipman, AIA. Contact Ken Chawkin, Director of Media Relations.

• • •

Also available here: http://www.mum.edu/sustain/slc and http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/07/prweb4290894.htm

See KTVO News Report: Solar power at Maharishi University With a flip of the switch, solar power is taking over one construction site in the Heartland. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU69q2P_R4c

Sustainable Living Center is unique in USA

April 26, 2010

Sustainable Living Center is unique in United States

Front page, Friday, April 23, 2010; published online: 4/26/2010

As ancient walls continue to crumble the world over, a few new ones went up yesterday in Iowa’s hippest farmtown.

The Sustainable Living Center at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield was the scene of a modern-day barnraising. Walls were tilted and roof trusses placed during the Earth Day event.

The structure uses “whole tree” post and beam techniques.

“It will set a new standard for green building in America by being completely off the grid with respect to electricity, heating and cooling, water and waste,” MUM director of media relations Ken Chawkin said.

Innovative Design of North Carolina conceived the building to meet the Living Building Challenge, a standard for sustainable design introduced at the 2006 Greenbuild Conference in Denver, Colo. The SLC is the first to combine that standard with those of LEED platinum certification, Building Biology standards, and Maharishi Vedic architecture guidelines.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system was created by the U.S. Green Building Council and is an internationally recognized third-party certification. Vedic architecture is based on Hindu traditions emphasizing the use of natural materials such as wood, bricks, adobe, stucco and marble.

“There’s no other building like this going up in the nation, or in the world for that matter, that we know of,” said Mike Nicklas, SLC co-designer and president of Innovative Design.

The company has created over 4000 structures that use renewable energy solutions. Nicklas participated in the first Earth Day in 1970.

The SLC building is slated for university occupation this fall.

“It’s a building that teaches,” Chawkin said. The SLC will provide students with classrooms, workshop, meeting room, greenhouse, kitchen, research lab, recycling center and offices.

In addition to embodying sustainability, the SLC will allow students to interactively monitor performance and energy efficiency.

MUM Sustainable Living Department head David Fisher, who helped plan the building, said the SLC will be a living, evolving project.

“The building itself is an educational tool, not just a passive one like most classroom buildings,” Fisher said. “It will provide participatory education where students will be continually adding to or altering the building and grounds, as well as systematically checking its effectiveness.”

The SLC is designed to be completely off-grid. Construction uses all non-toxic materials from local sources, as defined by the Living Building Challenge requirements.

All energy will be provided from solar panels on the building and from an outside wind turbine. Rainwater catchment will be the complete source of the building’s water, with purification of drinking water via ultraviolet technology.

Wastewater will be treated on-site using a constructed wetland. Natural daylighting will illuminate the entire interior. Geothermal technology will assist with heating and cooling.

None of the planned systems in the building are new or experimental, according to construction manager Dal Loiselle, who said the SLC uses “state-of-the-shelf” technologies.

“This building proves that we can meet our environmental goals for our built environment with the materials, technologies, and green building protocols we already possess,” Loiselle said.

Sustainability is a major focus at MUM, which has long promoted techniques for living in harmony with nature. The school was founded in 1974 by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as an international center for teaching Transcendental Meditation.

MUM filed a climate action plan to be 100 percent carbon-neutral by 2020 as part of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, named in 2009 by MSN.com as one of the nation’s 15 greenest mayors — alongside those of New York, Seattle and San Francisco — said the SLC holds promise for a sustainable future.

“Our city will benefit enormously by having this building on the campus of MUM as a demonstration of a new standard of design,” Malloy said.

The Sustainable Living Center includes material donations from nationally recognized leaders in green building materials, including Gerdau AmeriSteel, Pittsburgh Corning and United States Gypsum Corporation, as well as Green Building Supply of Fairfield.

Yesterday’s event was part of MUM’s tenth annual EcoFair, which runs from April 30 to May 2 at the Argiro Student Center, 1000 N. Fourth St., Fairfield.

2 comment(s) found

Prgressive!: 4/27/2010

Fairfield,Iowa/Maharishi University of Management is a creative outpost ~ of a life worth living; healthy, in tune with nature, cutting edge and friendly. Thank you to all involved.

Small Town USA: 4/26/2010

Its great to see even the small towns and universities going full swing into this Green thing. Whoo Hoo!

KTVO-3: Greenest building in America in Fairfield

April 23, 2010

Video: http://www.heartlandconnection.com/news/video.aspx?id=447437

Maharishi University of Management’s new Sustainable Living Center is a building that will set a new standard for green building in America by being completely off the grid with respect to electricity, heating and cooling, water, and waste.

Greenest building in America in Fairfield

The new sustainable living center will be one of three buildings in the U.S. to meet the Living Building Challenge
By Alex Halfmann
Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 6:12 p.m.

FAIRFIELD, IOWA — One heartland university aims to practice what they preach, and what they preach exemplifies Earth Day.

Maharishi University of Management’s new Sustainable Living Center will be one of the greenest buildings in America when completed this fall.

The University’s sustainable living program will utilize the building, which will help students understand firsthand what they are learning.

“The students will be able to see in the building that they are occupying what we are teaching. This building will be off the grid completely in respect to electricity, heating, cooling, water, and waste disposal,” said Maharishi University’s Director of the sustainable living program David Fisher.

The building is designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, the highest standard for sustainable design and green building in the world.

“After a while, the U.S. Green Building Council realized there was a lot more buildings could do so they came up with the Living Building Challenge which is much more stringent than even the LEED Platnium. In fact, they have now gone to the 2nd version of the Living Building Challenge” Fisher said.

Parts of the project  literally come from the school’s backyard.

“We’re using compacted earth blocks that come from earth just across the street where they were clearing out a parking lot.  We took that soil, compacted it into 26,000 earth blocks, and so that will serve as thermal mass which will help insulate the building,” Fisher said.

While the building might look relatively bare on Earth Day, they expect the roof, complete with solar panels, to be installed by the end of next week. The site will then use only electricity generated on site.

The building will be one of the first three to achieve the Living Building Challenge’s standards. It will be unique because it will be the first to combine that standard with the standards of LEED Platinum certification.


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