Keystone Community Church of Grand Rapids, MI turned to Integrated Architecture of Royal Oak, MI to help them design a new 33,000 square foot facility that would be highly energy efficiency and meet “green” building criteria. Consequently, in addition to focusing on energy efficiency in the facility, Keystone Church addressed factors including site selection, encouraging alternative transportation such as bikes and carpools, storm water management, erosion and sedimentation control, construction waste reduction, use of recycled and local material, native landscaping, air quality, and recycling, as well as Green Housekeeping, and water conservation. As a result, Keystone became the first American congregation to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
Integrated Architecture designed the facility to take advantage of daytime views, so all occupied space offers at least one exterior view and the commons is naturally lit from the south, east, north and from a translucent skylight. High efficiency lighting is used throughout the facility and daylighting controls were installed to respond to sunlight levels. In addition, motion sensors are used throughout the facility. All external lighting is low energy and is controlled by a combination of light sensors and computer systems designed to maintain the lowest level of lighting possible while insuring maximum safety. The rooftop HVAC is high-efficiency equipment and includes higher-efficiency energy recovery ventilators. Radiant floor perimeter heat increases comfort at glass curtain walls and eliminates high velocity air requirements.
Overall the energy savings at Keystone Community Church are estimated to be more than $12,000 annually, with reductions of 162,771 kWh of electricity and nearly 600 therms of gas. These reductions prevent CO2 emissions of more than 269,200 pounds per year.
Michigan Interfaith Power and Light (MiIPL) is one of 18 state affiliates of the national Interfaith Power and Light organization. MiIPL is a coalition of nearly 100 Michigan congregations whose mission is to “involve communities of faith as stewards of God’s creation by promoting and implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy and related sustainable practices”. MiIPL provides education resources for youth and adult education on “greening the congregation” and the faith community’s response to global warming.
MiIPL addresses its goals pragmatically by providing free energy audits to help congregations determine how best to cut energy costs on a “return-on-investment” basis. MiIPL’s most unique service is its online “Shopping Cart” to facilitate aggregated purchasing of ENERGY STAR qualified and other energy efficient equipment for price discounts of up to 30% below average retail costs. MiIPL partners with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) in its customer electric choice program, which offers members savings of up to 15% on electric bills. Savings can be applied to financing efficiency upgrades, and MiIPL facilitates purchasing green power in the form of “green tags.”
To date, MiIPL and those participating in its energy audits and Shopping Cart purchases have calculated that their actions have prevented emissions of 5,548 tons of CO2 (global warming), 27 tons of SO2 (acid rain), 13 tons of Nox (smog), 1079 pounds of particulates (asthma/heart attacks), 0.241 pounds mercury (cancer/birth defects). This equates to group savings of $775,987 annually and nearly 7.8 million kWh, which is the equivalent of planting about 1,500 acres of trees or preventing the pollution of nearly 1,000 cars for a year. To learn more, please visit www.miipl.org .
The 35,000 square foot San Francisco Zen Center opened in 1969, and functions as a Buddhist temple, school, library, conference center, guest facility, and as housing for students of Buddhism. Additionally, the Zen Center provides a place for daily meditation and for retreats. The Zen Center undertook a successful fund raising campaign to pay for the installation of solar electric (photovoltaic) panels on the roof. The solar panels help power the facility, and they make it possible for the Center to “sell” solar generated electricity back to the electric grid during daylight hours and generate credits on their account with the local electric utility.
In keeping with their philosophy of care for their environment, the Zen Center completed other upgrades to improve efficiency of energy and water use. These included the installation of an efficient natural gas boiler, insulation of water pipes, separation of hot and cold water pipes, installation of flow restrictors on hot water outlets, and installation of water efficient toilets. The Center has also re-insulated a walk-in refrigerator and installed a plastic air-curtain to reduce loss of chilled air. Fluorescent lighting is used in all public spaces, and dimmers have been installed on non-fluorescent lights in private rooms. Finally, light emitting diode (LED) exit signs have also been installed to replace older, less efficient models. These widely varies upgrades are allowing the San Francisco Zen Center to save nearly $2,000 in annual energy costs. Electricity usage is down almost 13,500 kWh, which is preventing emissions of about 21,500 pounds of CO2 each year.