The Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church had the benefit of a thorough energy audit via Urban Options through Michigan IPL in 2005. They have instituted many of the suggested upgrade items on that list.
The new sanctuary was designed so that its silo captures as much sun as possible (passive solar). The slanted part of the new roof is designed to accommodate solar panels, and the flat part of the new roof is capable of becoming a “green roof,” which would incorporate vegetation to add beauty, insulation, and rainwater absorption. The church plans to add these ambitious upgrades in the future.
Other green installations and practices include:
- Adding a solar shade to mediate heat and light in the new sanctuary
- Putting HVAC units on timers to save energy
- Retrofitting old exit signs with LEDs (via an assist from Michigan IPL!)
- Creating a bioswale in front of the new sanctuary to catch, retain and clean rain water
- Installing dual/low flow toilets in the restrooms
- Adding a new Northwest UU roadside sign with LED lights
- Faithfully recycling everything from coffee grounds to cork and candle wax
- Purchasing dinnerware, flatware and cloth tableware to be washed and reused
- Replacing single pane windows with energy efficient dual-panes (as seen in some of the pictures below)
The Northwest Unitarian Universalist congregation invites visitors and newcomers to join their worship service Sundays at 10am at 23925 Northwestern Highway in Southfield.