Building with Our Values at the Forefront
At all phases of design and building, we considered the environmental impact of our choices. From our decision to purchase an inner city lot, to our choice of furnishings, we have sought to walk gently on the earth.
What Does LEED-certified mean?
The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design is a program that certifies that buildings have been constructed with environmental protection in mind. There are four LEED categories: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. While we built the Meetinghouse to LEED specifications, the building has not been submitted for official certification.
- Minimize resources used in site selection and construction
- Minimize fuel and water use
- Provide a healthy interior with clean air and natural light
- Reduce waste and pollution
- Provide education about green building and use.
Design and Construction
- We chose an urban site that is on a bus line and is reclaimed industrial property. We were careful not to take natural land (farmland or habitat) out of use.
- Most construction waste was recycled instead of being sent to the landfill.
- A Gabion (rock) wall on the south side of the building is an erosion barrier, using locally sourced stones and waste rock from the construction process.
- Green space was preserved using off-site pre-existing parking.
- Permeable brick pavers for the parking lot minimize run-off.
- A heat recovery system, insulation, and thermal pane windows maintain temperature.
- Skylights and plentiful windows enhance mood and reduce electricity use.
- When possible, we used locally-sourced materials, local vendors, and rapidly renewable materials.
- Interior trim wood was hand-crafted from local trees threatened by emerald ash borers, which were donated by a meeting family. Members solar-dried and planed the wood.
- Cork and linoleum flooring is from renewable sources.
- Low or no-VOC paints and finishes maintain air quality.
- Handicapper door openers recharge as the doors close.
- Light fixtures accept only compact fluorescent or LED bulbs.
- Most furnishings, including chairs and kitchen equipment, were previously used.
- Low-water toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush.
- Restroom water heats on-demand.
- Motion-sensors turn restroom lights off when rooms are not in use.
- Landscape plantings are native to Michigan and require little care.
Values-conscious Policies and Practices
- The building is barrier-free and handicapper accessible.
- No smoking is allowed on the property.
- Renewable electricity is purchased through the Board of Water and Light.
- Electricity use is minimized by having few plug-in electrical devices.
- Cleaning supplies are nontoxic and non-scented.
- A recycling center is provided for occupants.
- Building rentals are offered to groups that share and uphold our values of equality, accessibility, peace, and justice.
- We are committed to outreach on sustainable practices. We offer eco-tours of the building on request, we provide pamphlets, and we maintain a web page listing features of this building.