Wednesday, April 28, 2010

LDS Greenery

“It’s about creating a place of worship that works in harmony with the environment,” said H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints... . “For decades we have looked for innovative ways to use natural resources in our meetinghouses that reflect our commitment as wise stewards of God’s creations.” ... Bishop Burton said, “As the Church continues to grow globally, and there is a greater demand for meetinghouses, more than ever we need to engage in wise construction practices to benefit both the environment and our members.”

Jared Doxey, director of architecture, engineering and construction for the Church, said ... that “conservation is a natural built-in part of the planning process."

In fact, around 75 percent of the technologies qualifying for LEED certification have been used in existing Church buildings for several years. 
“I clearly think we’ve ramped it up,” said Davies, “We use emerging technologies in our building design, from the use of materials to computer aided design, to energy management systems.”
For example, Church buildings in the Baltic Nation of Latvia are built with radiant heated floors for greater energy efficiency during the harsh winter months, the tabernacle in Vernal, Utah was rebuilt into the Vernal Temple by reusing existing materials from the historic structure, and a meetinghouse in Susanville, California, is heated exclusively through geothermal energy produced from a well located on the property.
Emerging technologies also extends to landscaping. Moisture sensors monitor weather conditions via satellite to shut off Church sprinkler systems during rainfall at many meetinghouses across the country. The Church Office Building in Salt Lake City even utilizes several underground spring wells for heating and cooling.
 More about solar-powered meetinghouses here.

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