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APRIL 27, 2009 • ISSUE 32

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Rendering of the Sustainable Living Center


The floor plan of the Sustainable Living Center


Construction on the Sustainable Living Center continues


Rendering of the classroom and event center


Professor David Fisher

Sustainable Living Center Update

Maharishi University of Management announced the availability of naming rights for the new Sustainable Living Center that is currently under construction. The $1.5 million project is mostly funded through donations and donors now have the rare opportunity to be part of this groundbreaking achievement by naming a room after themselves or someone else.

The building will be named after Eric and Mary Sue Schwartz and Dr. Steve Guich, who provided the lead donations. MUM Trustee Jeffrey Abramson and his wife Raj Rajeshwari Rona Abramson used their donation to name the research laboratory after Drs. Mabel and David Fisher to honor them for their vision for this new building and as founders of the Sustainable Living Program.

The floor-plan offers additional naming opportunities. The classroom/event center can be named for $125,000. The atrium area, the Brahmasthan, the lobby, and the greenhouse each need a donation of $50,000; the small classroom as well as the workshop require $40,000; the kitchen can be named for $20,000 while the 5 offices for $15,000 each.

Every room in this totally off-the-grid “living building” is designed to demonstrate sustainability. The research laboratory will accommodate class research projects and provide opportunities for experiments on the building and its materials. The lobby and atrium will serve as display areas for exhibits to explain the structure and the various systems of the building.

The large 40-student classroom and event center will be available for lectures and will feature 20 custom-made desks each made of a different kind of local wood representing sustainable woodworking and biodiversity. The smaller classroom has an access to the utilities basement cubicle where students can monitor the building’s energy usage and other functions.

“We will grow plants in the greenhouse all year round for class demonstrations, for the kitchen, and to transplant to our organic gardens,” said Dr. David Fisher, department head. “The workshop will be used for table-top presentations and light projects as well as for seminars for the public.”

In the kitchen, students will take culinary classes using the most energy-efficient appliances. The offices will feature a variety of natural flooring materials and will be outfitted for each occupant’s specific needs. Sustainable Living students have been actively involved in the construction from the start and are currently making bookshelves and tables.

“We are trying to make this building as flexible as possible so it can continue to evolve,” said Dr. Fisher. “The interior classroom walls are not load-bearing so that sections can be replaced as a class project with different materials.”

According to the principles of Maharishi VedicSM architecture, the building’s Brahmasthan will connect its users to the cosmos and establish them on that level of reality that sustains the universe. The building has already received national attention for its innovative design and off-the-grid system.

The Sustainable Living Program is the country’s first and only 4-year undergraduate program in sustainability and the fastest growing undergraduate major at the University with 54 students currently enrolled.

If you would like to be part of this great undertaking please contact Dr. David Fisher at 641-472-7000 extension 2139, or Dal Loiselle at 319-217-2179,

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Development Office, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA 52557 641-472-1180

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