Omega Center seeks world's first Living Building certification

From Jetson Green

The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), which officially opens on July 16, 2009, is at the bleeding edge of green building. It's located on the 195-acre campus of the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, an education and retreat center. Not only is it on track to achieve LEED Platinum, it may be the first building in America to meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge.

The ambitious Living Building Challenge requires buildings to have net zero energy and water use (among other stringent criteria) which must be verified with measurements over at least one year of occupancy post-construction. The Omega Center also treats all of its wastewater via a Living Machine:

Living Machines use a combination of plants, bacteria, algae, snails, and fungi to treat and recycle wastewater. Wastewater flows through a system of aerobic and anaerobic tanks located under ground, inside the greenhouse, and outside through the four "cells," which are man-made wetlands. The OCSL handles all of the wastewater generated by the Institute’s 23,000 annual visitors and has a daily capacity of 52,000 gallons.