MARYLAND

Prince George's County breaks ground on a 'living building'

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Prince George's County is taking "going green" to the extreme. County leaders broke ground Thursday on one of the world's only "living buildings" - the most energy efficient possible.

Image courtesy of Alice Ferguson Foundation

Those behind it say $15 million is a small price to pay for improving our environment and helping the next generation do the same.

In two years, the Potomac Watershed Study Center will open its doors on this farmland of learning.

The Alice Ferguson Foundation is constructing an environmental education center, nestled in the woods.

“We'll be collecting sunlight to generate energy and to generate hot water and all of the water for the facilities will come from rainwater,” says Sandy Wiggins of the Alice Ferguson Foundation.

That'll be true for an education building, two sleeping cabins, a lodge perched up in the trees, and a wetlands boardwalk. They will have a zero-waste program, feature composting toilets, and be made entirely from local and non-toxic materials.

The "living building" is being touted as being able to teach without saying a word.

The education center is slated to open by 2015. it will bring hundreds of new construction jobs to Prince George's County.

It will take $15.7 million to build and sustain the Potomac Watershed Study Center. Prince George's County and the State of Maryland, as well as private sector donors, are footing the bill.

About 75 percent of the funds needed have been raised leaving about $4 million dollars to be raised to complete all building costs, including an operational reserve fund.

For more information: Alice Ferguson Foundation.

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