New “living building” breaks ground along the Potomac in Maryland

The state of Maryland has long been a leader on a national scale when it comes to implementing environmentally friendly and energy efficient practices into the day-to-day lives of the residents who call this area home. Now, the Alice Ferguson Foundation, a group dedicated to helping promote sustainable technologies, has partnered up with local officials in Prince George's County to build the region's first "Living Building."

Designed to be one of the most energy efficient structures in the world, the new Potomac Watershed Study Center is envisioned as a net-zero water, net-zero electricity and carbon neutral facility that will help researchers explore the latest environmentally friendly technologies.

"Prince George's County has a wide range of many wonderful points of interest and the addition of the 'Living Building,' one of few in the world, adds to the rich legacy of the Alice Ferguson Foundation and is certainly a proud and historic achievement for our county and country," Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, III told The Associated Press in a story on the new construction. Baker attended the groundbreaking along with Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown back in late April.

This new structure is the Ferguson Foundation's response to the International Living Future Foundation's Living Building Challenge, which encourages environmentally conscious institutions to construct buildings that have virtually no impact on their surroundings and actually contribute to bettering the world for future generations.

While you may not be in a position to construct a net-zero property of your own, there are still steps you can take to increase your home's energy efficiency. Request a home inspection from a licensed contractor today to learn which areas of your home may be contributing the most to your waste.