Omega Center for Sustainable Living
Rhinebeck, New York, United States
The Omega Center for Sustainable Living is a new wastewater treatment and environmental education facility located at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, a New York-based wellness center.
BNIM Architects designed a new 6,200 square foot facility on a 4.5 acre site to house the ecological wastewater treatment facility and provide the dual functions of education and inspiration. The natural wastewater treatment facility was designed together with John Todd Ecological Design (JTED) to replace the Institute’s existing wastewater infrastructure, which consisted of a network of aging septic systems.
The 52,000 gallon per day wastewater treatment system is a low energy and low maintenance system with six treatment steps. Components include primary treatment, an anoxic tank, subsurface flow constructed wetlands, an indoor aerated lagoon, a recirculating sand filter and subsurface dispersal.
The effluent water quality meets all of the State of New York water quality standards for the land application/subsurface disposal of treated effluent. This will allow the Institute to potentially reuse the water to irrigate 2.5 acres of the campus using a pressure-dosed subsurface irrigation system in the future.
The Omega Institute will use the wastewater facility as a teaching tool in their educational program designed around the ecological impact of their campus. The facility has been operational since July, 2009. The facility was awarded the AIA COTE ‘Top 10 Green Projects’ and LEED Platinum certification in 2010. The building was also one of the world’s first (one of two) certified Living Buildings.