As you may have read in November, the Environmental Center met six of the seven “petal” requirements during the initial performance year. Net-zero energy is still proving to be challenging, and we are continuing to work on finding the solutions.
Water-wise, the building never dipped below half a tank (our tank can hold nearly 6,000 gallons), and we achieved a full year of using only roof captured and treated water. However, there have been fits and starts to figure out the best practices for this system. The building’s water system is the first chlorine-free rooftop public water supply in Massachusetts – and one of only two operating rainwater harvest public water supplies on the east coast. Because we are on the leading edge of this technology, there aren’t industry standards or design manuals that can be turned to when we challenges crop up.
Just before the winter break, the building was switched over to town water to try to problem-solve a couple of the building’s nagging water issues. Once the solutions are worked out, the system will be switched back to the rooftop rain harvested water.