We’ve been closely following the Omega Center for Sustainable Living in upstate New York, and we’re thrilled to announce that this week the state-of-the-art environmental education center and natural water reclamation facility achieved LEED Platinum certification! The reception of the highest green building designation available from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) puts the project on track to be the first green building to achieve both LEEDPlatinum andLiving Building Challenge Certifications.

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In a statement, Skip Backus, the CEO at Omega and the man behind the OCSL, said: “Omega is proud to have completed the year-long certification process, and to have attained Platinum status. We hope our building will serve to inspire others and be part of a necessary evolution in how we approach development in the 21st century.” The OCSL was also recently selected by the American Institute of Architects Committee for the Environment (AIA/COTE) Top 10 Green Projects Award for 2010, and it is in the final stage of the Living Building Challenge certification review process. If it is successful, the OCSL is set to be named the world’s first “Living Building” by month’s end.

Designed by sustainable design firm BNIM Architects, the OCSL is a state-of-the art environmental education and water reclamation facility in Rhinebeck, New York. The building will be used as a teaching tool to educate visitors on Omega’s ongoing environmental initiatives, including innovative wastewater strategies.

The OCSL is completely self-sufficient and is heated and cooled using geothermal and photovoltaic power systems. The core of the center is a 4,500 square-foot greenhouse containing a water filtration system called the Eco-Machine. This living system uses plants, bacteria, algae, snails, and fungi to recycle Omega’s wastewater (approximately 5 million gallons per year) into clean water that is used to restore the aquifer.

+ Omega Institute

+ BNIM Architects