The primary goal for this project was to overhaul the organization's current wastewater disposal system by using alternative methods of treatment. As part of a larger effort to educate the client's visitors, staff, and local community on innovative wastewater strategies, they decided to showcase the system in a building that houses both the primary treatment cells as well as a classroom and laboratory. In addition to using the treated water for garden irrigation and in a greywater recovery system, they use both the system and building as a teaching tool in their educational program designed around the ecological impact of their system. These classes are offered to campus visitors, area school children, university students, and other local communities.

Environmental Aspects

The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) is a purposeful building and site, designed to clean water, return the clean water to the local systems, and educate users about the process. The design team selected engineered biological wastewater treatment system technologies to clean the water using the earth, plants and sunlight. The entire building and water process use site-harvested renewable energy achieving a net-zero energy system. To achieve this goal the facility had to be free of waste (volume, material, energy), organized, and carefully tuned to harvest solar energy for passive heating and lighting, using the entire mass for thermal comfort. The resultant design's simplicity and elegance suits its purpose well.


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