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WUSTL's Living Learning Center shares the world's first full 'Living Building' certification
Date:10/12/2010

lot that was replaced with pervious concrete walkways, native landscaping and a rain garden.

The building's doors were salvaged and refinished. The hallway light fixtures came from an old St. Louis school. Door hardware was salvaged from the university.

A bat house built into the building's eaves will eventually be monitored by two "bat cams."

At one corner of the deck, which is also an outdoor classroom with bleacher seating, an elegant aluminum rainflower rain chain directs rainwater from the lower roof into a rain barrel. The water collected in this way can be used to water landscaping.

The hidden carbon accounting

"One of the things I liked about the challenge," Chase said, "was how it made us aware of everything and I mean everything that contributes to the carbon footprint of a building."

For example, construction activity itself releases carbon. The construction carbon footprint for the building was offset through the purchase of carbon credits from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

The habitat taken up by the building footprint was balanced by the purchase equivalent habitat through a program run by the Nature Conservancy. This land will remain untouched for the life of the building.

Not plug and play

The jubilation at Tyson was all the greater because the team had faced and overcome significant obstacles to achieve certification.

"I don't think any of us knew the challenges this would bring, including Washington University, our design team, the contractors or the folks at Tyson," Hellmuth said, "but throughout the process we have continually met them in a seemingly endless gauntlet."

One of the easier problems to solve was water purity. All water for building use is collected from the roof and stored in a 3,000-gallon underground tank where it is filtered and irradiated with ultraviolet light so that it is clean enough to be potable.'/>"/>

Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert  

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WUSTL's Living Learning Center shares the world's first full 'Living Building' certification
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