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"Sister, may I please go to the bathroom?"

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 02, 2003

Not a parody.

The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary opened their newly renovated 376,000-square-foot motherhouse on Earth Day, April 22. The $56 million, two-and-a-half-year project included tapping into a geothermal well for heating and cooling, installing a gray-water system that will reuse water and cut consumption by 35 percent, and undertaking the reuse and renovation of existing materials to make them more environmentally sound.

The scope of the project was massive. The geothermal heating and cooling system involves a field of 240 holes bored 450 feet deep to circulate water underground through 54 miles of pipe for natural heating and cooling. The gray-water system will retrieve water from sinks and showers, filter it through a wetland constructed on the property and return it to the building for flushing toilets.

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