Church of St. Joan of Arc Parish Center
In 1997, the Church of St. Joan of Arc formed an Eco-Spirituality Committee to “raise [their] awareness and change [their] behavior in all [their] relations with the earth, its creatures and each other.” Thus, when the Church of St. Joan of Arc needed to renovate its parish center in 2000, it was a matter of integrity and consistency to undertake the project with minimum impact on the environment and as a model of ecological sustainability.
As a first step in the planning, the Space Use Committee, parish staff, parishioners, architect and builder went through “The Natural Step” building and renovation review process based on ecological, social and economic sustainability. As a result, the renovated parish center reused or recycled 80 percent of the existing parish center materials, utilized wood products from sustainable forests, cork flooring from oak tree bark, office chairs made from recycled milk jugs, rubber stairways made from recycled tires, and windowsills made from soybeans, newsprint, and junk mail (to name only a few examples)!
The renovated building now exceeds energy codes by 50 percent, taking advantage of natural light, energy efficient windows, a state of the art heating and cooling system with energy recovery ventilation to capture outgoing heat and a high efficiency condensing unit and fan, as well as occupancy sensors to automatically turn lights off when not in use.
Further, the land surrounding the building itself has been landscaped with expanded green space, native and drought-resistant plants, plants to encourage wildlife, strategic shading to reduce energy consumption, and salvaged trees.
This successful implementation of an ecologically friendly renovation is an ongoing source of pride and joy for members of the Church of St. Joan of Arc, especially members of the Eco-Spirituality committee. These changes demonstrate to the parish and broader community one example of what it means to be good stewards of the Earth.
• St Joan of Arc Eco-Spirituality Committee Vision Statement