22 April 2009

Earth Day 2009 = 1st LDS Green Building

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I previously posted on the Church History Library registering with the USGBC. And now we have the results of what rating they are going for. And on Earth Day no less. The new Church History Library is aiming to receive a LEED Silver rating. The actual rating won't be given out until a year from now, when the performance results of the building are in. Currently there are only five buildings with a higher rating in all of Utah. This building will now become part of history by becoming the first green building completed by the LDS Church.

“The Church’s commitment to attaining LEED certification for the Church History Library is a reflection of their long-term vision, and it underscores the leadership role the Church plays on so many levels in the community,” said Jim Bradburn, director of Sustainable Services at The RMH Group, a sustainable engineering services firm in Denver. “The forward-looking design and focus on sustainability from the outset made achieving the high professional standards required for certification a fluid part of the process.” (LDS Newsroom)

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“Improved lighting and indoor air quality allow customers to better use the records and be more comfortable while doing so,” said Brent Thompson, director of Records Preservation for the Church History Department. “More natural light in work areas improves the job satisfaction for employees and missionaries. The community benefits from a well-designed building that looks good in the urban setting while having less impact on the environment.” (LDS Newsroom)

The building’s occupants will experience healthier surroundings because many of the materials used in its construction are low in volatile organic compounds, or VOC, explained Dessa Fountaine of Jacobsen Construction, the company building the Church History Library. “The filters in the mechanical systems eliminate allergens,” Fountaine added. “The wood used comes from forests that are harvested wisely and are replanted. A center will be included in the building to collect paper, plastics and metal products to be recycled. The heating and cooling systems are efficient, thus eliminating waste. The landscaping designs and plumbing items will use less water, and the windows, blinds and insulation will preserve temperatures.” (LDS Newsroom)

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I will post the LEED scorecard showing the individual credits earned when it is uploaded to the USGBC website. Note: this will not be for another year. Requirements of building commissioning and quantifying the performance of the building will take a year before results and credits are guaranteed. So hopefully on Earth Day 2010 we can celebrate when they place the LEED Silver logo on the building.


Silus Grok said...

I'm very happy about the building. I think that in taking this move, the Church has thrown their hat into the ring. The next building will have to meet similar standards to avoid public scrutiny. But I have to say one thing: I'll give the Church real props when I can recycle in my ward house. And I'll fall over dead-with-joy when the 500-600 chapels we build a year meet similar standards.

Th. said...


I can recycle at my ward building.

The library looks lovely and darn it if it doesn't make me feel good that it's all LEEDy.

john f. said...

It looks great! Do you know any details about what kinds of green features the building has? Does it have any real innovations or does it just incorporate more up-to-date and environmentally aware building techniques and materials?

CatherineWO said...

I'm thrilled to hear about this rating, especially the efforts to make a safer and more comfortable indoor environment for employees and patrons.

NoSurfGirl said...


we want to build a strawbale home in Utah Valley. Do you know of resources/people we could go to for help... people who've done it? As far as I know, there are not currently any strawbale structures in utah county. Tips for getting permits, too? I realize this is a drive-by comment, sorry.

sheila olson said...

Thank you for sharing the information. Green building is helping a lot in the protection of environment as various types of materials like water, solar energy is being used. I have recently found a firm called logical green institute who is providing the service of green building videos.
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