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Top 10 green buildings

May 20, 2010, 2:39 p.m.
exterior view of building with large windows

Photo: Assassi

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Omega Center for Sustainable Living, Rhinebeck, N.Y.

The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) is a very purposeful building and site, designed to clean water, return the clean water to the local systems, and educate users about the process. Eco-Machine technologies were selected to clean the water utilizing natural systems including the Earth, plants and sunlight. The entire building and water process utilize site harvested renewable energy achieving a net zero energy system. This required the facility to be free of waste (volume, material, energy), organized and carefully tuned to harvest solar energy for passive heating and lighting, utilizing the entire mass for thermal comfort. The resultant design’s simplicity and elegance fit its noble purpose. (BNIM Architects)