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 which certifies that buildings have been constructed with environmental protection in mind. There are four LEED categories: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The Meetinghouse achieved LEED Certified certification in October, 2015.
- 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.
- Originally, no air conditioning was installed, as it was hoped that the building would maintain its temperature in the summer heat. Building users were surveyed after occupancy and air conditioning was installed after all in 2016, in the interest of making the building accessible during the summer months.
Learn in more detail how Red Cedar Friends approached the construction of its building.
- 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.
- 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.
- A motion-sensor turns the gender-neutral restroom light off when the room is 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.