Garrett-Evangelical Building Earns LEED Gold Certification
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has been awarded a LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for the renovation of Loder Hall. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Building Rating System is a feature-oriented rating system that awards points for satisfying specified green building criteria. Following a thorough review of Loder Hall in six major environmental categories, the seminary received the certification in mid-November.
“In the design, construction, maintenance and operations of Loder Hall, we sought to use less energy, reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a healthier environment for students, employees and the larger community,” said Garrett-Evangelical President Philip Amerson. “Our hope is that this environmentally-conscious building inspires students to live fully as stewards of God’s creation.”
In 2010, Garrett-Evangelical made a commitment to renovate historic Loder Hall in a manner consistent with the needs of the modern religious and academic community and to bring the space into alignment with their own stewardship and sustainability ethics. Every facet of Loder Hall was evaluated for improvement, including environmentally responsible lighting, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and construction materials. Some of the improvements that qualified the building for LEED certification were: geo-thermal heating, motion sensor lights, wall and roof insulation, dual disposal water conservation commodes, and ENERGY STAR building materials.
Designed and renovated by locally owned companies McGuire Igleski & Associates, Inc. and W.B. Olson, Inc., Loder Hall was reconsecrated in May 2011. The new Loder Hall has realized its potential as a state-of-the art multi-function building. It now contains a residence hall, bookstore, community space, a smart classroom, two chapels, laundry facilities and a popular café —Food for Thought—which is open to the public.
Garrett-Evangelical is committed to educating members of the seminary community as well as the community at large on issues of sustainability. Classes on environmental sustainability in theory, theology and practice are held throughout the year and walking tours of Loder Hall are available. Garrett-Evangelical is a member of the Green Seminary Initiative, and in addition, joined with 11 seminaries this year to form The Seminary Stewardship Alliance (SSA), a consortium of schools dedicated to reconnecting Christians with the biblical call to care for God’s creation. “The challenges facing the world on matters of the environment, energy, and a just sharing of the earth’s resources raise some of the most urgent theological, ethical and pastoral questions facing the church and its leaders today,” said Dr. Timothy R. Eberhart, Visiting Assistant Professor of Moral and Public Theology and Garrett-Evangelical’s representative to the SSA. “The time is ripe for bold leaders and vital congregations to accept God’s call to be reconciled with creation. Garrett-Evangelical is committed to this great work of our time.”
LEED certified improvements to Loder Hall and the campus of Garrett-Evangelical were made possible in part by a generous grant from The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. To learn more, go to www.illinoiscleanenergy.org.