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Sustainable Living Center 'the most ambitious environmental building'
by Global Good News staff writer

Global Good News    Translate This Article
12 March 2013

The Sustainable Living Center on the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) campus in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, is 'the most ambitious environmental building that has ever been attempted', said Dr David Fisher.

Dr Fisher is the founder and Chairman of the Sustainable Living Department at MUM. He has served as a research scientist at the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) Forest Experiment Station in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and was a Humboldt fellow at the University of Göttingen, Germany. For years, he was the primary advocate for the design and construction of the new Sustainable Living Center, which was inaugurated last spring.

What makes the building so ambitious?

Firstly, it attempts to meet the highest criteria of four different building philosophies: LEED Platinum, Living Building Challenge, Building Biology, and Maharishi Vastu architecture.

Dr Fisher said that meeting 100 per cent of Building Biology, LEED Platinum, and Maharishi Vastu criteria looks feasible; they may meet almost all Living Building Challenge criteria.

Secondly, the ultimate goal is for the centre to be off-grid, or self-sufficient, in terms of electricity, lighting, cooling, heating, water, and waste disposal.

As far as Dr Fisher knows, no commercial building has ever been 100 per cent off-grid. He briefly considered the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, 'but then I remembered that they pull energy from off the grid and store it down there so those people can do their research at the South Pole. So it's not really off-grid.'

He added, 'When our building gets that far . . . it will be the first one.'

The main reason for these high goals? 'We wanted to walk our talk.'

Maharishi University of Management wanted to provide 'a building that teaches', Dr Fisher said. 'We wanted a building that actually reflected our curriculum, that actually was a good demonstration of what we were talking about.'

See previous articles in this series:
Sustainable Living Center at MUM aims to be first commercial off-grid building
Sustainable Living Center moves closer to full self-sufficiency

Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service

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