The Omega Center for Sustainable Living
The Omega Center for Sustainable Living is the first green building in the United States to achieve both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certification.
The building is constructed on land that was previously used as a burial spot for solid debris from years of operation with the previous owner. Originally, The Omega Institute commissioned BNIM Architects to design a new 6,200 square foot facility and 4.5 acre site to serve as sustainable wastewater filtration facility. In order to educate Omega Institute visitors, staff and local community on innovative wastewater strategies, it was decided the system would be showcased in a building that houses both the primary treatment cells and a classroom/laboratory.
Potable water comes from private wells, then passed through to an Eco Machine system for treatment and returned to the ground via subsurface dispersal. Rainwater from the roof is collected in an underground cistern, sized to provide a reserve for 100% of non-potable water use throughout the year. After the water is used, it’s passed through to the Eco Machine system, which treats roughly 3 million gallons of water from the campus per year.
Three solar arrays were installed on the building at Omega.
Type + size of renewable energy system(s) used: Omega pv
Sun Power, Roof Mounted PV
Sun Power, Trellis Mounted PV
Sun Power, Site Wall Mounted PV
Total design output: 46,305 kWh
Air quality during and after construction was important to the project team. As such, the construction team was careful to keep the construction site clean and minimize dust during construction. The building design and materials were carefully selected to minimize extraneous surface treatments and materials. Since the build, the owner has also put a “green cleaning” program in place which utilizes healthier, less toxic cleaners.
The building’s design is intended to meet the US Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum standards and achieve certification as a Living Building. To achieve these goals, the process relied on a highly collaborative team of experts in wastewater, civil, landscape, mechanical and structural design with a history of working together on high-performance buildings.