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NEW WORLD WARWICK CENTER, HEADQUARTERS, USA


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BY ERIKA NORTON......

WARWICK — The new Jehovah's Witnesses World Headquarters located in Sterling Forest will be completed in August, thanks to the help of more than 25,000 volunteers from across the country who contributed to its construction.

Some of the volunteers have stayed at the site since ground breaking three years ago, such as spokesperson for Jehovah's Witnesses, Richard Devine, and his wife, while others have come for a week or a three-day weekend. With more than 1.2 million Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, many of which own construction businesses or work in construction, there is a high skill level working on the project.

'Going green'
One of the goals for the world headquarters campus was to make it efficient, both for workers getting around and energy efficiency. The first was accomplished through connecting the buildings with covered walkways, some of which are above ground while others are below. Devine said this helps workers easily get around the campus, especially elderly residents in the winter.

Being an energy efficient campus was created in a number of ways, one of which was through storm water control.

“We're not allowed to release storm water at any faster rate than it was in it's natural setting,” Devine said, “so we've incorporated things like this permeable paving ... and there's a couple feet of gravel below this so as the rain comes, it will just immediately go back into groundwater and won't runoff into the streams.”

There is also a large amount of underground water storage. Around the lake, there is a double row of black silt fencing, which keeps mud and dirt from flowing into the lake, and keeps the rattlesnakes out.

As far as the landscaping around the campus, Devine said they were not allowed to use any plants that are not native to Sterling Forest. And one of the most “green” additions to the headquarters is the installation of a growing medium on all of the flat roofs, containing little succulents and other similar plants.

“The whole idea is when it rains, the roof holds the moisture up here and then the plants can aspirate it over time,” Devine said. “By and large, we like to hold in as much water as we can and then that avoids having to discharge it into the streams or into our underground storage.”

There's also a geothermal field on site. Using about 125 wells, each 500 feet deep, in the wintertime, the system pulls heat from the ground used to heat the buildings and make hot water, and in the summertime, heat is put into the ground. With just one plant providing heating and air conditioning to all eight buildings, it is more energy efficient and requires less personnel.

With all of this green technology installed, according to the headquarters' engineers, the site will most likely receive four green globes, the highest rating given by the Green Building Initiative, an organization similar to LEED. Aspects like the use of recycled materials, construction practices, the use of green roofs, landscaping and storm water retention are all taken into account.

A  WONDERFUL  PROJECT  IS  NOW  FINISHED  ;-))

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