Benedictine Monastery Wins Highest LEED Platinum in USA | Home Design Find

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Benedictine Monastery Wins Highest LEED Platinum in USA

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The Benedictine Women of Madison just received the highest rated LEED Platinum rating in the US (63 out of 69 possible points) for their new monastery, Holy Wisdom Monastery in Madison.

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It was almost 100% recycled out of the former monastery there. Nine tons of building material were donated to Habitat ReStore, 8,628.6 tons were recycled, including the concrete which was crushed as a base for parking and paths and sculpted into berms, interspersed with porous concrete for capturing runoff rainwater. Only 12.5 tons went to landfill.

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The new monastery features a geothermal heating and cooling system with 39 wells, 300-ft. deep, designed by Sustainable Engineering Group LLC. In the winter the heat pumps move heat using a compressor cycle from the earth into the monastery, and in the summer heat in the building is pumped out and displaced in the earth. Radiant floor heat is used throughout the building.

The windows incorporate a customized glass to control glare, eliminating the need for window blinds.

Cost? Just $246 a square foot, made possible by an integrated approach to green planning, architecture and construction by Hoffman. “A second benefit of the certification is educational,” said Neal Smith, executive director at the monastery. “It provides the monastery the credentials to teach others that sustainable design and construction are possible at a reasonable cost.”
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A 20 KW solar roof provides 13% of the monastery’s energy needs for now, and as money becomes available will be added to, so that 100% of their energy needs are provided. The panel design is incorporated into the roof design so that it looks beautiful.

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If you are a customer of Madison Gas and Electric, you can purchase the Benedictine Womens’ holy power at $0.25 per kwh through the utility district’s Clean Power Partner program. And if you are close by you can visit. The Benedictine Women  teach the importance of nature in daily life as part of their mission, and educational tours are offered to learn about these options for caring for our earth.

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“LEED certification is an affirmation that the monastery is fulfilling its mission and vision,” explained Smith. The Sister’s mission is to weave prayer, hospitality, justice and care for the earth into a shared way of life as an ecumenical Benedictine community.

Source: Contractor Mag

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