GREEN ROOF TECHNOLOGY IS NOT NEW

While our plan is to install a “state-of-the-art” roofing system for our church, the fact is that our ancestors built homes and other structures with “sod” roofs for many of the benefits we will realize, including: 

 

  • Absorbing and cleansing rainwater 

  • Providing insulation 

  • Increasing green space 

 

For Trinity, a green roof could also provide space for urban gardening and help mitigate the “heat island” effect that typically causes higher temperatures in urban areas.

 

In addition to environmental benefits, there are financial benefits that can accrue, as a green roof typically has a dramatically longer life span and will result in a reduction in energy usage. 

Another Kind of Green 

When talking about green roofs, there are also those that are “green” because they generate clean energy. Installing solar panels on rooftops is becoming increasingly common. These panels produce electricity for the building owner, but importantly, in Illinois, we use a system called “net metering.” This means that surplus electricity produced during each monthly cycle generates a credit against our future bills, providing additional savings. 

 

Florida Avenue Baptist Church installed such a roof in 2011. Their roof generates savings of $450 a month, and through a partnership with Volt Energy, they were able to set up a for-profit company and recoup nearly one-third of their initial investment ($18,000). 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FEASIBILITY COMMITEE REPORT

Charge 

The Feasibility Report comes at the request of the Senior Pastor, as part of a larger stewardship effort for our congregation. It includes research and recommendations to move towards energy efficiency and sustainability in real estate properties owned and managed by our congregation. Volunteers for the Feasibility Committee came from members of the congregation, led by God, and inspired by our Senior Pastor, to investigate the range of energy conservation-related upgrades that are feasible for a 30-year-old facility. Many of our components are in poor condition and are more costly to repair and maintain over time than it would be to replace the units with more energy efficient ones. 

Recommendations

It is the recommendation of the Committee that the Energy Management System (the temperature control system), HVAC and mechanical equipment be totally replaced at the Energy Star to the LEED level, using a phased approach. 

Energy-efficient and sustainable features include: 

  • Incorporation of low-flow fixtures, shower heads and toilets 

  • Utilization of Energy Star appliances/equipment 

  • Incorporation of high-efficiency boilers 

  • Incorporation of solar photovoltaic panels 

  • Incorporation of top solar thermal panels 

  • Incorporation of energy-efficient and sustainable HVAC and Mechanical Equipment 

  • Energy Management System (the temperature control system) 

Feasibility Committee

Deacon Tracey Brice, Co-Chair • Deacon Billy McGhee, Co-Chair • Deacon Regena Glenn Caldwell • Deacon Dion Fleming • Rupert Graham

Deacon Beverly Holman • Deacon LaRita Logan • Deacon Rosalyn Priester • Deacon Angelo Rose • Deacon Melvin Thompson