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The greenest building in America

June 04, 2009
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CHESTERFIELD, MO — Washington University recently opened the doors to one of the greenest buildings in the world and aims to meet one of the toughest green building standards: The Living Building Challenge, according to a Matter Network story hosted by Reuters.
The Living Learning Center, a 2,900-square-foot building at the university''s Tyson Research Center that not only provides its own water and power, but is also built from reclaimed wood, captures and stores all of the water it needs and harness energy from wind turbines and solar panels, the story stated.
According to the story, the Living Learning Center has a green roof that catches rainwater, which is filtered and stored in a 3,000-gallon tank underground, eliminating its municipal water consumption.
Eden Brukman, research director at the Cascadia Region Green Building Council, said: "In order to be certified as a Living Building, it must be fully operational for at least 12 consecutive months; this program demands proof that the occupants engage the project as anticipated. After all, an empty building serves no purpose."
According to the article, the Cascadia Region Green Building Council launched the Living Building Challenge three years ago, and since then, over 60 proposed structures have been registered.
The Learning Center monitors all building processes and displays avoided emissions to show how efficiently the building is operating, the story noted.
Living buildings are a step beyond current green building requirements such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and are expected to be the high performance buildings of tomorrow, the story added.
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