Arch Nexus is a Sacramento architecture design firm, and is California’s only certified Living Building to date. It serves as a beacon of sustainability for other building owners in the community to follow suit and accept the living building challenge. While California may be late to the party with establishing the 19th living building in the world, Arch Nexus made up for it by becoming double LEED platinum and the first reused building in the world to become living building certified. Before Arch Nexus became what it is today it was a print shop. There is a level of difficulty that goes into designing and establishing a living building, which deters many that consider pursuing certification. One of the extremely difficult standards to which one must adhere to, is that all design materials must be purchased locally and non-red listed items while also maintaining documentation of all used materials on the building. If purchasing sustainable materials and vast documentation isn’t difficult enough, the building must also be capable of producing 105% of the energy necessary to power its entire operation.
With all the difficult designing and engineering that goes into gaining Living Building Certification, Arch Nexus chose not to back down from the challenge and in turn created one of the most successful and award-winning living buildings in the United States. The building itself produces 170% of the necessary energy needed to power the entire complex. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Arch Nexus also houses a rainwater collection system, along with a filtration system to irrigate the outside edible agriculture. With the amount of surplus energy that Arch Nexus produces, a saltwater battery storage system is utilized to retain the energy for later use or to feed the surplus energy back into the grid. A very advanced toilet composting system, an EV charging station, a smart HVAC system, along with a large solar panel array can all be found at Arch Nexus and showcases how much is needed to obtain living building certification. In the country’s most progressive state, Arch Nexus has set a very high standard for others looking to follow.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CleanStart has a new face supporting the region’s Entrepreneurs. Renonedo Williams is a CSU Sacramento Mechanical Engineering Student who is the newest intern at CleanStart. He is entering his final semester at Sac State and is looking forward to connecting with as many clean tech startups as possible and understanding each of their value propositions, to connect his enthusiasm of building things to his goal of being his own boss. Renonedo has a background in design and material selection