“Our hope is that Arch | Nexus SAC will be an inspiration for others to employ similar methods and create places that enhance the community and respect nature.” – Arch | Nexus

Arch | Nexus SAC, a Sacramento architectural firm, is in the hunt for becoming the 16th building worldwide to gain accreditation by the International Living Future Institute for their Living Building Challenge. The Living Building Challenge is a certification that recognizes a building that satisfies excellence in all seven “Petal” categories of sustainable living, which are energy, water, materials, health + happiness, equity, place, and beauty. In essence, a Living Building Challenge certified building is net energy positive, water neutral, and carbon negative.

Walking into Arch | Nexus SAC and its living ecosystem you are welcomed by “Audrey”, the office’s living flora wall, which recycles used grey water while offering beauty to the building’s entrance. The office space offers an open design for innovation to flourish as employees collaborate under natural light filtering in through the office windows and concentrating skylights. The thermal regulators are the employees (community members) as they are notified by smart sensors on when to best open or close the windows for natural ventilation. Behind the walls of this innovative and sustainable layout is where the true beauty lies. In the backroom of the office, engineering at its finest has taken place as all greywater is recycled and stored for later use, and composting toilets act as the building’s own sewage treatment system. In addition to its water recycling process, the building is powered by a number of solar panels offering a minimum of 105% of the offices energy needs.

Now, the building itself and the technologies integrated into its existence are major contributors to the Living Building Challenge, but the commitment by the members of the office (community) to live and adapt to such an ecosystem is a major driving force. Arch | Nexus SAC seeks to enter into a new era of economy called the Purpose Economy. They state, “It turns out architecture is not about buildings. It’s about the people in and around them. The experiences they have. The purpose they serve. This is our why.”

As a steward for buildings of the future, Arch | Nexus SAC ticks the box on the highest level of LEED certification. The building is LEED Version 4 Platinum certified placing it within the top echelon of green buildings. In an effort to follow their why, Arch | Nexus SAC’s inspiration and leadership of others has been recognized as SMUD has taken them on as a partner in developing the SMUD Living Future Project Accelerator program aimed at increasing awareness and green building developers. The accelerator powered by SMUD will ignite the cleantech and green building industry within Sacramento by providing a platform and mentorship for sustainable thinking to thrive. If you are a developer or a cleantech company, who has technology that could supply and help build a living ecosystem or would like to attend a free Accelerator class or tour on Living Buildings and Zero Net Energy, click on the link below to check out the accelerator further.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cameron is a Sacramento-native who recently graduated with a Masters of Business in both Sustainability and International Business. His goal is to ignite Sacramento's clean tech economy catalyzing the transformation of the region into a global economic hub with CleanStart.

 


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