News & Updates
Natural Systems International’s Pete Munoz & Erin English to Exhibit at GreenBuild 2010 in Chicago
USGBC’s GreenBuild event is happening in Chicago this year from Nov. 16-19 at the McCormick Place West Convention Center. NSI’s booth in the Expo (#1191) will be staffed with two of our friendly engineers…we would love to see you in person, so please stop by! We’ll be available to discuss your most burning water-related questions and show you some of the sustainability work we’ve been doing around the world. A map of our approximate location is included below. Hope to see you there!
Omega’s Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) achieves the world’s first Living Building Certification
The OCSL has achieved Living Building Challenge certification from Cascadia Region Green Building Council, becoming the world’s first dual LEED Platinum & Living Building Challenge facility. Living Buildings are designed to generate all of their own power, harvest, treat and reuse their own water and utilize safe, toxin-free building materials.
Designed by BNIM, the OCSL facility, in a nutshell, is an innovative example of ‘building as wastewater infrastructure’ since the facility treats 100% of the Omega campus’ wastewater (up to 52,000 gpd) while also serving as an educational, inspirational space. NSI engineered the natural wastewater treatment system (EcoMachine) in conjunction with John Todd Ecological Design. Treatment components include constructed wetlands, planted indoor lagoons and sand filtration.
Check out Omega’s Videos about the project:
Woodland Park Zoo Humbolt Penguin Exhibit wins AZA Award
The penguins at the beautiful new (2009) Humbolt Penguin exhibit at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo have yet another reason to celebrate. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has awarded the Zoo the 2010 Exhibit Achievement Award. The prestigious award is equivalent to an Oscar in the zoo and aquarium industry. NSI worked with Studio Hanson Roberts and Ted Maranda Associates to develop an innovative filter back-wash recovery system for the penguin pools. At the heart of the system is a subsurface flow constructed wetlands – integrated directly into the exhibit – that polishes water recovered from the pool filtration system. Instead of flushing back-wash to the sanitary sewer, the wetlands system instead recycles water back to the exhibit. The wetland system saves over 150,000 gallons of fresh water per year.
See more here.
Omnilife Stadium sets water saving precedent with infrastructure designed by NSI
Omnilife Stadium, formerly known as Chivas Stadium, is the 4th largest stadium in Mexico. With a seating capacity of 49,850, it is the first major stadium with a total wastewater treatment and reuse system. The stadium opened this summer by hosting the first leg of the 2010 Finals of the Copa Libertadores. All of the wastewater from the stadium is collected, treated, and reused on site. The unique treatment system, designed by NSI, utilizes trickling filters, constructed wetlands, and sand filters to purify the water. Treated water is disinfected before being utilized in the stadium for toilet flushing, irrigation, and stadium washdown. The treatment and reuse system saves millions of gallons of potable water each year.
Together, NSI, Regenesis and Mithun win honorable mention in Rising Tides Competition
The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) hosted an international design competition for ideas responding to sea level rise in San Francisco Bay and beyond. NSI collaborated with Regenesis and Mithun to present our collective ideas about evolving the living Bay community and culture, called The Estuarine City. There is a limited time to see all 130 competition entries (from 18 countries); they are on display at the San Francisco Ferry Building through July 19th. It is a free public exhibition open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also see the winning entires online at www.risingtidescompetition.com.To see our complete honorable mention poster click here.
Sidwell Friends Middle School is awarded a LEED Platinum Rating
Sidwell Friends Middle School has been awarded a LEED Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first Platinum-rated K-12 school in the world and the first Platinum building in Washington, DC. NSI contributed heavily to the water management component by designing the wastewater and stormwater treatment systems. NSI helped incorporate the design of the water infrastructure into the schoolyard entrance and courtyard. The final design helped contribute to the LEED Platinum certification and a ‘AIA top ten’ award in 2007. The Sidwell Friends Middle School has become an important example for sustainable building practice.
The Willow School is Awarded a LEED Platinum Rating
The Willow School has been awarded a LEED Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Willow School is the first school in New Jersey to receive a Platinum rating and the third in the country. The achievement is substantial. According to Mark Biedron, “The Willow School is committed to fostering academic excellence, a passion for learning, and the development of an ethical approach to all relationships, including humanity’s relationship to the natural world. We approach our relationship with the natural world not only from the perspective of using less energy to heat and cool the buildings, less potable water to flush our waste, and less materials that contain toxins, but also as an opportunity to improve the health of both human systems and natural systems. Our buildings, landscape, and curriculum, through their programmatic advancements, will help create a new generation of ecologically literate citizens who will understand the benefits of living in alignment with our planet’s ecological systems,”.
Constructed Wetlands in the Sustainable Landscape in Chinese
Constructed Wetlands in the Sustainable Landscape is a crucial guide for environmental engineers, planners, developers, and others responsible for the design and management of our built environment. The text is co-authored by Craig Campbell, FASLA, and Michael Ogden, PE, LEED AP.
This book, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in 1999, represents the first effort to integrate aesthetic design and planning issues with the technical aspects of wetlands engineering. With examples of creative stormwater management, wastewater treatment, pond design and wildlife planning, and integration of interpretive work by artists, this volume has received national recognition and fills an important niche in the existing literature on constructed wetlands. Recently the book was published in Chinese to make the text accessible for the Asian Design Community. Dr. Jiang Lijuan was responsible for the translation. As the world moves to global sustainability information exchange will aid the positive growth process.