June 20, 2008
EcoCentre, the “Living” Building is Born
Imagine a "living" building; one that is its own ecosystem because all of its living systems -- its occupants, plants and micro-organisms -- interact with all of its non-living physical features. The result is a holistically designed structure that is a self-sustaining eco-environment; a tranquil workplace offering its occupants a peaceful and soothing respite from the hectic pace of the Romano Law Group's busy trial law practice.
When it opens today, EcoCentre, the Living Building, located in downtown Lake Worth, will become Florida's first office building of its kind -- a 33,000 gross sq. ft., four-story structure incorporating natural "living" systems and "green" technologies designed to save energy, reduce CO2 emissions, water consumption and create an overall healthier environment. The project is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and will seek Gold L.E.E.D. certification.
The building's unique feature is its water-saving technology. Its Living Machine(R), a technological innovation which allows for the on-site purification and recycling of water, treats gray water from the building sinks and showers and re-uses it for exterior irrigation, further reducing potable water consumption in the building. In addition, rainwater from the rooftop, collected in an 8000-gallon cistern, will be re-used for flushing toilets, and air-conditioning condensate is the source of fish pond water which is used to irrigate interior landscaping.
Contributing to the healthier indoor air quality, a centrally located Biolarium, or atrium, lush with plant life, acts like the lungs of the building by reducing CO2 concentration from the building occupants, resulting in fewer airborne illnesses.
The main office occupant of the building will be the West Palm Beach trial practice firm of Romano Law Group. John F. Romano, the senior partner, said, "There is no second chance when it comes to the environment. We either do it right in this century, or it may well be ruined forever. We are looking forward to creating this 'Living Building' to prove that business can coexist with a comfortable working environment while addressing environmental concerns and needs, sustain energy, recycle water and provide for a happy, healthy environment for our employees and others working within the building."