Flushing toilets with rainwater

The Community College of Philadelphia’s new Northeast Regional Center opening on Earth Day tomorrow has some unique features appropriate to the day.

The site will be heated and cooled with 220 geothermal wells. A water runoff and retention system will capture and filter rainwater to be used to flush the toilets in the building. These components are not only Earth-friendly, they’ll save operating costs.

NERC combines a refurbished office building with a new 60,000-square-foot wing for a structure that is expected to receive Leadership in Energy and Envi­ronmental Design gold certification.

“We approached this expansion with an eye to­ward what it will cost to maintain and operate these facilities over 50, 100, even 150 years,” College presi­dent Stephen Curtis said.

The $31 million for the project came from state and federal funding as well as college fundraising and other financing.

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