Mormon Church seeks to be 'more proactive' in green-building efforts with City Creek

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  • Mary
    March 13, 2010 1:33 p.m.

    Yes, the Garden Park was retrofitted--because it is so beloved-- but will the Yale Ward building on Gilmer Dr. be? There are many rumors regarding the potential tearing down of the building because of the cost of retrofit. You can build 4 stake centers in South America for what it would cost to retrofit Yale Ward's building. Keep the Yale ward, don't sell it, don't tear it down. We've torn down too much of our past already.
    The facilities management folks are insane wanting all our building to be alike. If I had to attend one of those chapels without windows, I would go insane--or leave the church.

  • Anonyous
    March 13, 2010 11:24 a.m.

    Using recycled steel has nothing to do with going "green". It's a cost effective way to make buildings. The amount of money wasted in "green" projects, that produce little to no benefit to the world, is astounding. As members of the church, i'm sure you've all heard "We are in the world but not of it". We should be above this green fad.

  • Mark B
    March 11, 2010 8:31 a.m.

    One easy thing: no suit coats/sport jackets allowed on any day that the A/C is operating. Why crank up the A/C so the building will feel cool for people who are overdressed? And so women who are wearing summer-weight short-sleeved dresses or blouses have to bring a sweater to keep warm?

    All it would take would be one word from the brethren.

  • Anonymous
    March 10, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    To the Xeriscape commentator:
    Since 2005-2006, the Church has had Xeriscape landscape designs reflecting different geographic regions that along with SMART controllers has reduced water usage by 50% or more. Just visit recently completed meetinghouses and you will see beautiful, drought tolerant landscape. Way to go Church leaders for being sensitive to water usage concerns, especially in arid regions.

  • @John Lambert 9:16
    March 10, 2010 2:12 p.m.

    "If the 7:53 person is right that the lights are for outdoor seurity, why in the world would they turn them off?"
    Simple. Outdoor lights don't help security during daylight hours. They waste energy and money if left on during the day.

  • Xeriscape
    March 10, 2010 1:15 p.m.

    Now if the Church would apply the same ethic to the grounds surrounding its chapels, and xeriscape instead of installing acres of lawn, that would really be progress. I can hardly imagine the amount of water that would be saved, which in turn could be used to support the population growth that the Church is famous for.

  • @DesignerGenes 9:53
    March 10, 2010 1:10 p.m.

    As an example of how wrong you are, and that the Church does restore historic buildings rather than tear them down, take a look at the Garden Park Ward on 1150 Yale Ave. It was recently restored at a cost greater than it would have cost to tear down the old building and build a new one in its place. The restoration is gorgeous. Kudos to the Church for its sensitivty to historical as well as green values.

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 10, 2010 12:14 p.m.

    To the 9:53 commentator,
    You ignore many factors. The first one is that no temple has been torn down. The revisions of the Ogden Temple will not be a tearing down, and they relate to updating the efficiency of the building.
    The issues with chapels are much more complexed. For one thing the Church does not tear down chapels at nearly the rate you claim. Secondly, there are some they sell off instead of tearing them down. Thirdly, and by far the most important, over time the programs of the church have changed, and thus the types of things needed in chapels.
    Fourthly, and most importantly, as people relocate the Church builds chapels where they are. The Church generally does not build in anticipation of growth, which leads to gripes about how long it takes to get chapels in mushrooming neighborhoods. When I was on my mission in Las Vegas there were at least two wards with multiple LDS chapels in their boundaries due to relocation of members from certain areas of Las Vegas to other areas, while there were chapels in other areas with four wards meeting in them.

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 10, 2010 12:06 p.m.

    To Evets,
    The amount of land a chapel sits on varries greatly. Currently the Church is in the process of building a chapel in Massachusetts on 1.3 acres of land.

  • C. Nickle
    March 10, 2010 11:38 a.m.

    re: Just a thought | 10:02 a.m. March 10, 2010

    I agree and in theory that is the way it s/b done. But, people are too obsessed w/ reality TV and prefer to expand their waistlines.

    Then, the lobbyists on K Street in DC might have something to say as well.

  • Bridge
    March 10, 2010 10:04 a.m.

    This is such good news. I am really glad to hear this. I'm formerly LDS with huge respect for my fellow Mormons and the community they include me in. The LDS Church, with its leadership, can make such a huge difference for good, as it already has. I am behind you 100%! Keep it up and don't listen to the naysayers. This is wonderful news for so many reasons.

  • Just a thought
    March 10, 2010 10:02 a.m.

    I have always thought that we were taught proper principles and were allowed to govern ourselves. We have been taught to spend wisely and to conserve ever since I joined the Church nearly 30 years ago. We as members of the Church and our community need to act, not just sit back and hope the Church will tell our Government Leaders what they should do or how it should be done. That is our job/obligation as citizens of this great Nation. I am not a tree huger but I believe in proper management of all our resources for all to use not just a select few. Let us educate ourselves and make informed choices about what to be done and who should run it. Ask the hard questions of our local and state leaders but most of all expect an answer, after all we voted them in office so they work for us, not the other way right.

  • DesignerGenes
    March 10, 2010 9:53 a.m.

    This is all well and good. However, as long as the Mormon church continues its "tear it down and build anew" practices for everything from local meeting houses ("wards") to major temples, it's barely more than window dressing. Historical gems go down every year rather than be preserved or slated for adaptive reuse. This utilitarian only, aesthetics and history-be-damned approach continues to squander both Utah's architectural legacy and its energy -- new construction, even with some recycled materials, is not prefered to saving the energy content that already went into creating original structures that can be wisely reused.

  • Definately NOT PC
    March 10, 2010 9:35 a.m.

    It's nice to save energy, be a good steward of the earth, have nice asthetics and all but really. Why the hysteria? Green is the new red and is a bigger fad today than in the 60's. Everyone knows global warming is caused by unicorns :) And we should do everything we can to control the unicorn population without causing their extinction (they need to be protected). They should be treated humanely with large expansive sections of prime range dedicated to the Unicorn Homeland while we determine (through exhaustive central planning) what to do with those pesky humans. Just sayn'

  • BlindedByTheLight
    March 10, 2010 9:25 a.m.

    I think that a good spot for the Mormon church to start with their "green" effort would be to tone down the lights around the Temples. I am sure that the cost alone to keep those building's lights on at night could solve our lack of education funds in this state. They could be saving the Earth and the Children!

  • Anonymous
    March 10, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    re: John Pack Lambert | 9:16 p.m. March 9, 2010

    It seems lights w/ automatic sensors that come on only when needed would be approved everyone concerned but mainly Al Gore.

  • Church - tell the State
    March 10, 2010 9:00 a.m.

    Now if we could just get the church to tell our legislature about how this isn't costing them more money, and will save them millions in the long run in energy bills. The legislature wouldn't even consider a resolution this year to have schools build to these green standards because they refused to listen to the experts that it would save money almost immediately. Well, they always listen to the Church, so will someone please talk to them?

  • Greenwashing
    March 10, 2010 8:36 a.m.

    I am sure that they are using some genuine "green" techniques, either here or on other projects. But here in America, rebar and structural steel sections are made almost exclusively from recycled steel. If you tried to order some from "new" steel, you'd have to pay a lot more and wait a lot longer, and get it from overseas. There are other things that you get green points for that are just as phony. There are others that make economic sense over the life-cycle, paying the increased initial cost over time. Others cost a little more and give a great environmental benefit.

    With the size of its building program, the Church has a real opportunity to establish its own sustainability program and sort out the real from the phony, and present it as a model to the world.

  • LDS Tree-hugger
    March 10, 2010 8:18 a.m.

    What about the new LED lights in the Celestial Rooms?

    I like to think of the symbolism of a better world yet to come.

  • @anon
    March 10, 2010 7:59 a.m.

    I'll bet that was hard for you to say "hats off to you" regarding the church you so vehemently oppose.

  • Evets
    March 10, 2010 7:48 a.m.

    Hopefully they are incorporating solar thermal and CONDENSING on-demand water heaters (98+% efficient) as part of their enviromental chapel design. I retrofitted my home last year and cut my energy comsumption by 85%.

    Given the amount of property a chapel sits on they could easily cool the chapel by running coolent underground and use the geothermal cooling (55 degrees)it could provide. No compressors needed...just a small pump.

    Both of these cost a little up front but are much more cost effective than solar voltaic which still needs to come down in price.

  • Scott
    March 10, 2010 5:56 a.m.

    Rebar (used in masonry construction) has always been made from recycled metals. That's what it is.
    I have been using it for 35 years. Many so-called "green" building materials and techniques are not cost effective. They can be done if you want to pay more for them. It is politically correct these days so we hear alot about "building green". But it costs more than it otherwise needs to. We can build to code for less money.

  • Light guy
    March 9, 2010 11:55 p.m.

    So is this ok ?

  • next door Wilson
    March 9, 2010 10:51 p.m.

    re: George | 10:02 p.m. March 9, 2010

    I know this will be controversial & shocking, but, you could do some independent reseach & upgrades at home all by your self.

  • George
    March 9, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    Thank you to the church leadership for setting the example! Let's hope we can hear more instruction for the general membership on how we can and should apply these principles in our own areas of stewardship.

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 9, 2010 9:16 p.m.

    If the 7:53 person is right that the lights are for outdoor seurity, why in the world would they turn them off?

  • Anonymous
    March 9, 2010 9:02 p.m.

    As a liberal tree hugger I say, YES! Thank you church leaders. My hat is off too you.

  • Solar
    March 9, 2010 8:15 p.m.

    Once solar panels become cost-effective, it would be great to see all the ward and stake buildings retrofitted. Of course that would be true for all our homes as well.

  • Fads are Hard to Undo
    March 9, 2010 8:06 p.m.

    As a Member, I dont' want to 'steady the ark' and criticize the brethren and decisions on real propety and facilities. HOWEVER, my observation is that the 1970's architecture, and early '80s (you know, the big "roof" design) while very practical, were more "community-center" looking and not church looking. They are not very inspiring. The church building we attend, has 3 wards in it, and the chapel is dank, dark, low ceiling in comparison to other chapels, and not a single window or door to the exterior. It's depressing frankly, and smells bad. On the other hand, we've attended meetings in buildings like up at Palmyra, which are wonderful. Light-filled, beautiful and inspiring inside and out. WHY, oh WHY cna't more of our ward buildings be like that one? Bring back the palladian windows, please!! Cinder block lines painted over DRIVE ME NUTS!!! I'm sorry, I know, I'm ungrateful for what we have. So, while I appreciate the nod to political correctness on environmental greennesws, please also try to incorporate some aesthetic qualities of beauty and inspiration into new ward facilities. Please. Facilities people. Thanks.

  • Anonymous
    March 9, 2010 7:53 p.m.

    It would be a good idea to start with the local meeting houses. Our building has several mercury vapor outside lights for nighttime security. One of them has been operating 24/7 for the past five years. You would think the church maintenance department would have done something about this by now!