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Sustainable Living Center integrates eco-friendly and Vastu design
by Global Good News staff writer
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12 June 2012
The new Sustainable Living Center on the campus of Maharishi University of Management incorporates a unique integration between energy-efficient design and life-supporting Maharishi Vastu* design.
According to the building's architect, Jon Lipman, there were a few issues to work out.
The main issue was the size and location of the windows.
Mr Lipman explained, 'Passive solar design in the northern hemisphere requires lots of glass on the south side of a building, whereas to get the nourishing influence of the rising sun [a key element in Vastu design], we want lots of glass on the east side of a building.'
But in sustainable design, east and west windows are considered a problem. They are a problem because in the late morning and early afternoon in summertime, both bring in quite a lot of sunlight, causing the building to overheat.
Mr Lipman said, 'It's almost impossible to shade that sunlight and heat and so [east- and west-facing windows] cause a building to get too hot. It's difficult to shade them because the sun is low in the sky, so a shade would have to extend far out to the east or to the west.'
After searching for a solution, Mr Lipman remembered a design element of Maharishi Vastu architecture that seemed a perfect one. The element was one that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Maharishi Vastu, had long been a proponent of.
'Maharishi pointed out to us an ideal Vastu principle is to have verandas on the east and west sides of the buildings,' said Mr Lipman.
'What we found is that a veranda is the perfect device to shade late morning sunlight and mid-afternoon sunlight to prevent that intense solar gain in the summertime from the east and west. This permits us to do as Vastu reminds us to do, which is have plenty of east light in a house, without causing any overheating in the summer. So this Vedic pattern perfectly meshes with the needs of energy-efficient design.'
* Vastu refers to Vedic architecture—the complete knowledge of design and building in accord with natural law—brought to light from the Vedic literature by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as Maharishi Sthapatya Veda.
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