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Sustainable Living Center moves closer to full self-sufficiency
by Global Good News staff writer
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12 March 2013
The Sustainable Living Center at Maharishi University of Management is moving consistently forward in its goal to become completely self-sufficient, or off the grid.
Dr David Fisher, Chair of the Sustainable Living Department, spoke about the building's progress and its unique journey thus far.
Dr Fisher, who has his PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and whose research has been supported by grants from the US Department of Agriculture and the Leopold Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, is the founder and Director of the Sustainable Living programme at MUM.
Dr Fisher explained that the building has two main goals: to meet the certification standards of four different building philosophies: LEED Platinum, Living Building Challenge, Building Biology, and Maharishi Vedic architecture; and to be completely off-grid with regards to heating, cooling, electricity, water, and waste disposal.
'To put all of those features together in one building is unprecedented,' Dr Fisher said. 'We are not all the way there yet, but I want to give you some updates on how far we are.'
He explained, 'A few weeks ago we attained the ability to have our water system completely off-grid, that is, with all of our water sourced from rainwater that falls on the roof [and is] collected in a cistern.'
The water from the cistern is then pumped wherever it is needed in the building, and is even used for drinking water—'thoroughly filtered of course'.
Waste disposal will soon be handled on site as well. 'Recently we received a donation for putting in an off-grid wastewater treatment system,' Dr Fisher said. 'Installation of that will proceed just as soon as we get a break in the weather.
'Those two ways are good progress toward becoming completely off-grid.'
Dr Fisher said that although the building is still not completely off-grid with respect to heating, cooling, and electricity, however on a yearly basis, the building puts more energy back into the grid than it takes. This is accomplished through the energy generated by solar panels and a nearby wind turbine.
See Part I of this article: Sustainable Living Center at MUM aims to be first commercial off-grid building
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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