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Sustainable Living Center at MUM aims to be first commercial off-grid building
by Global Good News staff writer
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12 March 2013
The Sustainable Living Department and its new building at Maharishi University of Management are the great pride of the university.
Dr David Fisher, the chair of the department, spoke recently about the progress of the Sustainable Living Center.
It is truly a unique building, he said, one that aims to be completely off-grid. In other words, the building will not rely on the municipal water supply, local sewage system, or electrical power grid.
'We moved into the building in April of last year and the students love it,' Dr Fisher said. 'We've had many visiting groups come through who have really liked it.'
He added, 'It is a very ambitious building.'
Indeed, it is one of the most ambitious non-residential buildings that Dr Fisher is aware of.
He explained that one of the goals of the building is to meet the certification standards of four different building philosophies: LEED Platinum, Living Building Challenge, Building Biology, and, of course, Maharishi Vedic architecture.
'In addition, we want the building to be completely off-grid with regards to heating, cooling, electricity, water, and waste disposal,' Dr Fisher said.
As many of the materials as possible are locally sourced, he said, adding that the walls are constructed of earth literally from across the street.
Dr Fisher explained that an off-grid commercial building is something truly unprecedented. 'As far as I know, it has never been accomplished and it's very difficult,' he said.
But the Maharishi University of Management Sustainable Living Center is making progress in that direction.
Now the building's water system is completely off-grid. All water is sourced from the rainwater that falls on the roof and is collected in a cistern. Naturally, Dr Fisher added, the water is filtered many times before being used.
In addition, funding for the greenhouse was just secured, so the greenhouse will soon be finished. Even with a partially completed greenhouse, students have already started planting and growing inside, Dr Fisher said. Once it is finished, the greenhouse will be used to capacity.
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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