Omega Center for Sustainable Living, Rhinebeck, NY

Photo: Assissi

Photo: Assassi

Completed in 2009, the Omega Center was the first building in the world to achieve both “Living” status and LEED Platinum.

The Living Building Challenge is a building certification program that considers itself “the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today.” The certification, Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) sets ratings for green buildings, and Platinum is the highest certification level.

BNIM’s design included a new wastewater filtration facility with a strong educational component. The project replaced the current wastewater disposal system for 119 buildings on a 195-acre campus by using biological methods of treatment using an Eco Machine, a system that “cleans water by mimicking the processes of the natural world.” With more than 200 solar panels, the building is net zero, generating more electricity than it consumes.


Greensburg, KS Sustainable Comprehensive Master Plan


The Kiowa County School is LEED Platinum.

In 2007, an EF-5 tornado destroyed more than 90 percent of the town of Greensburg, KS. BNIM worked with community members, town officials as well as local, state and federal organizations like the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help shape the vision of the nonprofit Greensburg GreenTown, which was formed to help the city’s residents rebuild Greensburg as a model green community. In 2007 and 2008, the firm prepared the first phase of a comprehensive master plan to rebuild the city, which provides a framework for the rebuilding of Greensburg based around the principles of economic, social and environmental sustainability.

In response to the community interest in renewable energy, the city completed a 12.5MW wind farm that produces a 100-percent renewable source of energy for the town and enables the city to be a net exporter of energy.

In 2007, Greensburg became the first city in the country to adopt a resolution that all city projects would be built to LEED Platinum standards and would exceed the baseline code for energy efficiency by 42 percent.

BNIM designed the Kiowa County School as a LEED Platinum certified building that utilizes an on-site wind turbine, rain water collection, recycled materials and natural daylighting.