I’m not going to write too much about this project because it’s under construction and we’ll end up doing more when it comes to life. Here, though, is the design for a living building — one that gives something back. It’s the kind of building that goes beyond LEED (although I think it will also get LEED certification, too). Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center ranks within the top 1% of all sustainable structures, as compared to the USGBC’s registered buildings. How? The structure will generate its own power, react to weather conditions, reuse rainwater, and feed the animals with a trellis planted specifically with fruit vines. Located in Nininger Township, Minnesota, the 3,500 sf Gathering Center will also have an on-site wind turbine, operable windows linked to the HVAC system, a high performance building envelope, automated shading devices, in-floor radiant heating, and rainwater capture and treatment.
The Gathering Center will be a model of sustainable building for the future: living buildings.
Speaking of the building, Thomas Meyer, FAIA and principal in charge, said: "If this building was only about sustainability, it would be different … we could have simply tacked on a solar panel or designed a green roof, but this building is also about history and, at its core, it is about gathering. Consequently, the design tries to resolve the conflicts among technology, nature, and history." Can’t wait to see the final product, which should be sometime in Spring 2008.
Image credit: Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd.