A few months ago a member of my church pointed out to me that one of the walls (40′ long by 4′ tall – up to the windows) of a parish hall was (nearly) paper thin. As I understand it this hall, when build, was “temporary” – and that was at least 25 years ago. Anyway, I talked with a few folks at the church, and on Friday the sexton and I purchased MDF (medium density fiberboard) which I understand is an environmentally friendly wood since it is made up of fast-growing tree sawdust. We also purchased insulation.
On Saturday a group of 7 of us got together and built a wall and insulated it with 3″ of insulation. It is sturdy and the insulation should greatly help the energy consumption – especially this winter.
Secondly, today I had the fortunate opportunity to view an office building that has platinum status as far as environmental friendliness (I’ll have to find out a little more about this and share it with you all a little later). As I understand it, this office building is one of three such buildings in the state of Missouri, and the platinum status comes from getting points for various projects.
This particular space had both wind and solar generated power and we got to see the brains of the operation. Sometimes he sells energy back to the utility company and some times he ends up purchasing some energy. There were light tubes that ran from the roof down to the basement to provide light. The roof was covered with rubber and bags of rocks filled with plants that will provide additional insulation, and woven through these plants was a deck made of recycled plastic. The gutters were hooked up to collection bins for use in the small amount of watering. The toilets and sinks used water conservation methods, and many of the items throughout were recycled or re-purposed for renovating this old property (in, what I might add, is in a very old and fairly deserted part of the city). I am hoping to get a group together to visit this space in the next few months, and hopefully I will remember to take my camera along then so I can share photos of the space.