Eco-friendly spiritual living at Holy Wisdom Monastery

March 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Eco-friendly spiritual living at Holy Wisdom Monastery

A basket of bread comes around, and the person next to me removes a chunk, holds it up and says, “Bread of life.” I accept it and do the same for the person on my other side. It’s the first time I’ve ever attended a religious service so egalitarian that all participants are assumed qualified to give each other communion. Earlier, the part of the service where folks exchanged the sign of peace seemed to go on forever; instead of a restrained handshake with their nearest neighbors, people were walking all over the room hugging their friends. This is a Sunday morning gathering at the  Holy Wisdom Monastery  in Middleton, Wisconsin. The unconventional group of Benedictine nuns who run the monastery oversee a whole host of enterprises, from managing a retreat center to restoring the surrounding prairie. While church attendance has declined rapidly in the US, with a Pew Research Center study reporting that more than half the population attends church between zero and a few times a year, Holy Wisdom has a robust turnout even during a Sunday morning snowstorm. What is it about this non-denominational Christian monastery that draws people from the progressive area around  Madison ? The welcoming attitude of the congregation, the relatability of the presiders, the gender-neutral language when speaking of divinity and the eco-spirituality of Holy Wisdom attract many people who are looking for a deeper connection with others and with the earth. An eco-retreat center In the 1950s, three Benedictine nuns from  Iowa  arrived in Madison to start a girls’ high school. They purchased 43 acres of pasture land overlooking Lake Mendota that would eventually become Holy Wisdom. But big changes were happening in the Catholic Church in the early 1960s. In 1966, the sisters closed the high school and re-opened as the Saint Benedict Center. The retreat center was ecumenical, meaning it was open to all denominations. As more retreatants attended events at the center, the sisters felt very connected to people they met from other faiths. “Praying with people from different denominations changed our hearts to be ecumenical hearts,” Sister Mary David Walgenbach said as she showed me around on a snowy February morning. Eventually, the sisters began a long, slow process to become an ecumenical order of nuns open to Protestant women as well as  Catholics . Nowadays, all kinds of people go on  retreat  at the monastery, either as individuals or in groups. The retreat house accommodates 19 people, plus the monastery has two more isolated hermitages for people seeking solitude. “There are more and more people who want to get away from everything because our world is more and more connected in every way,” said Sister Denise West. Buddhists are frequent visitors. “The Dalai Lama was here in ’79, so Buddhist groups like to come,” said Walgenbach. Sometimes they’ll do 10-day retreats, using the monastery’s nature trails for walking meditation and taking meals in silence. Nonprofit organizations also rent the monastery’s meeting facilities, plus breakout rooms. The sisters replaced their original Benedictine House — which was deconstructed and 99.75% recycled or reused — with a new, eco-friendlier monastery, which opened in 2009. The 30,000 square foot, two-story structure is “right-sized” at half the size of its predecessor. The sisters worked with Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, Inc. to envision one of the country’s greenest  buildings . In 2010, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded Holy Wisdom Monastery a  LEED  Platinum rating. Four years later, the monastery became Madison Gas and Electric’s largest solar customer. The monastery building generates 60% of its energy needs. The sisters are aiming for 100% eventually. “For us, sustainability is not a trend,” Sister Joanne Kollasch said on the monastery website, “but a commitment to the earth—a 21st century expression of 1500 years of Benedictine tradition.” The designers carefully planned the location of windows based on the orientation of the sun to reduce glare and minimize unwanted solar heat gain. The new building also uses geothermal heating and cooling. Friends of Wisdom Prairie The monastery’s grounds cover more than 130 acres, including woodlands, Lost Lake, gardens, orchards, nature  trails  and restored prairie. Lots of animals live on the property, too, with whom the sisters try to live with in harmony. As Sister Mary David Walgenbach showed me around the monastery, we stopped in a room downstairs that the sisters use for prayer. She told me about a  turkey  that would often catch sight of his reflection in the room’s windows while they were praying. “He’d puff up, turn around,” she said. “And we would split laughing.” When somebody suggested setting bow and arrow hunters on him, the sisters leapt to his defense. “We said, ‘You can’t harm Brother Tom!’” Walgenbach remembered. They fed him from the back door of their house to help him through a harsh winter. Come spring, he flapped off with a roving band of hens. The five sisters couldn’t take care of the monastery’s land without a lot of help. “We depend on  volunteers  all over the place,” said Walgenbach. While they’ve been relying on volunteers to help restore prairie lands since the 1990s, the more formal  Friends of Wisdom Prairie  was established in 2014. The sisters are thrilled to have Greg Armstrong, who directed the University of Wisconsin Arboretum for twenty years, as their director of land management and environmental education. The Friends raise funds for caring for the land, including reducing runoff into the lake and constructing a bike trail. Environmental volunteers join in work parties while learning about ecological land management. Sometimes the Friends host special events, like moonlight snowshoeing on the monastery’s trails or lectures on subjects like owls of Wisconsin or climate change and eco-spirituality. Life among the sisters Times have changed and religious life holds less allure to most people than it did 60 years ago. “Not a lot of  women  are flocking to become sisters,” said Walgenbach. “But we have a niche.” Holy Wisdom attracts women looking for a more contemplative life, who share Benedictine values like listening, respect and silence. The five sisters live together across the lake from the monastery. Walgenbach and Kollasch entered religious life as Catholic nuns in the 1950s. Sister Lynne Smith, a Presbyterian pastor, became the first Protestant sister in 2000. Sister Paz Vital, a lifelong Catholic, and Sister Denise West, who comes from a secular background, both joined the order in the last few years. The sisters often have a sixth woman staying with them who is going through the six-month Sojourner program for spiritual seekers. That’s what originally brought West to Holy Wisdom. “I came here to learn spiritual life with zero intent of becoming a sister,” she said. But once she was back home in New York City, the former  schoolteacher  felt an undeniable pull back to the monastery. It’s a pull that many progressive Christians around Madison feel, judging from the Sunday morning turnout when I visited, or the 100 people who showed up the day before to help the sisters devise a ten-year plan. People are hungry for connection with the divine, each other and the land , and Holy Wisdom fills this void for folks in Madison and further afield. Images via Teresa Bergen and Kent Sweitzer

View original post here: 
Eco-friendly spiritual living at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Steven Holl Architects unveils designs for geothermal-powered Angers Collectors Museum

March 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Steven Holl Architects unveils designs for geothermal-powered Angers Collectors Museum

Steven Holl Architects and Compagine de Phalsbourg have won an international design competition for the new Angers Collectors Museum (Le Musée des Collectionneurs) and hotel in the heart of Angers , France. Envisioned as a new cultural gateway, the sculptural museum is undeniably modern yet pays homage to its historic settings and derives inspiration from the nearby historic Chateau d’Angers located across the river. Geothermal heating and cooling will be used in the museum to reduce the building’s energy footprint. Built of exposed titanium white concrete, the 4,742-square-meter museum has a striking sculptural appearance that will be set within a series of reflecting pools—filled with recycled water—in a nod to the site’s riverine history. The museum will be connected to a linear hotel clad in clear and translucent glass for a mosaic-like effect inspired by the 14th century Apocalypse Tapestry on display in Chateau d’Angers. Related: Gigantic Slugs Made From 40,000 Recycled Plastic Bags Crawl Through the Streets of Angers, France In addition to the museum and hotel’s prime riverside location on the east bank of the Maine River, their proximity to Le Quai, the city’s largest theater , further cements the buildings’ future as the cultural heart in Angers. The museum will share a rooftop restaurant with the hotel as well as a public sculptural garden at the ground level. + Steven Holl Architects Images via Steven Holl Architects

Read more from the original source:
Steven Holl Architects unveils designs for geothermal-powered Angers Collectors Museum

Geothermal-powered forever home targets environmental and social sustainability

December 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Geothermal-powered forever home targets environmental and social sustainability

Japanese influence weaves throughout the stunning Pound Ridge Residence, a luxurious forever home in rural New York designed by Tsao & McKown Architects for an acclaimed international clothing designer and her husband. The strong architect-client relationship spanning the course of 20 years granted the architects design control not just over the architecture, but the landscape, interiors, and custom furnishings as well. Built to target environmental and social sustainability, the timber-framed house minimizes its energy and resource footprint and is designed for aging in place. Set on 30 acres of forested land, the 2,900-square-foot Pound Ridge Residence opens up to the outdoors through ample full-height glazing and covered walkways. “The structure is formed of exposed heavy timber construction , a rarity today, which, in addition to its natural beauty, has the added advantage of reducing the need for interior walls,” wrote the architects, adding that timber frame construction was built of local wood . “The load-bearing timber beams span the interiors and, with their darkened hues, recede from view as they frames the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the gardens and surrounding woods.” With design control over the architecture, interiors, furnishings, and landscaping, the architects achieved a customized and “holistically conceived environment” reflecting needs and preferences of the clients, whom they knew well. “With full awareness of how they live, work, and entertain, we conceived the furnishings simultaneously with the architecture,” said the architects. Related: Solar-powered forever home is a modern take on the rustic farmhouse The single-story home mainly features open-plan layouts that take advantage of natural ventilation and light through sliding glass doors, windows, and operable timber panels. Light is also let in through two large asymmetrically shaped skylights. Radiant geothermal heating and cooling regulate indoor temperatures and are complemented by two hearths with sculptural custom bronze chimneys. Low-energy materials were used in construction and all excavated stone was reused in the gardens and landscape. The exterior spaces and landscaping feature native species and minimize impermeable paving to capture runoff water. + Tsao & McKown Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Simon Upton

Excerpt from: 
Geothermal-powered forever home targets environmental and social sustainability

Cities in Scotland to start universal basic income trials

December 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Cities in Scotland to start universal basic income trials

Select residents of  Glasgow , Edinburgh, Fife, and North Ayrshire will soon begin receiving unconditional monthly payments as part of a Scottish universal basic income experiment. Universal basic income (UBI) is a policy that offers direct unconditional income for all citizens to ensure that everyone benefits from a basic standard of living. UBI is currently being tested in Scotland, as well as countries like Canada and Finland, and has attracted £250,000 (~$334,500) in public funding for feasibility studies. The selected cities must submit their plans for locally implementing the basic income program by March 2018. Proponents of a basic income claim that it will be necessary to implement UBI in some form in order to compensate for the major economic disruption and potential job losses from increasing automation due to advanced artificial intelligence . While the idea is still controversial, it is being increasingly taken seriously in cities and countries around the world. “It might turn out not to be the answer, it might turn out not to be feasible,” said Scotland ‘s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. “But as work changes as rapidly as it is doing, I think its really important that we are prepared to be open-minded about the different ways that we can support individuals to participate fully in the new economy.” Related: Wind power supplied 124% of household electricity needs in Scotland from January through June Scotland is not alone in its endeavor to understand how UBI might feasibly function. California , the Netherlands, Ontario, India, Italy, and Uganda all took steps in 2017 towards someday being able to implement a UBI system. In California, this work is being supported by companies like Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s largest start-up accelerator. “In a world where technology eliminates jobs, it will mean that the cost of having a great life goes down a lot,” tweeted Sam Altman, president at Y Combinator. “But without something like basic income, I don’t think we can really have equality of opportunity.” Via ScienceAlert Images via Depositphotos (1)

Original post:
Cities in Scotland to start universal basic income trials

Geothermal-powered Thompson Exhibition Building mimics a crashing wave

December 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Geothermal-powered Thompson Exhibition Building mimics a crashing wave

Walk beneath the curved ceiling of the Thompson Exhibition Building and you’ll be struck by how similar it feels to being engulfed by a crashing ocean wave. This dramatic effect is part of the many sea-inspired elements of the newly completed structure, designed by Centerbrook Architects , which serves as the keynote building for the 19-acre riverfront campus at Mystic Seaport , Museum of America and the Sea. The striking timber-framed building offers more than just bold design—energy efficient features are incorporated, including geothermal heating and cooling. Inspired by the nearby sea, the Thompson Exhibition Building also takes design cues from the curved hulls of the wooden ships that sailed from the town of Mystic. Its exposed wooden trusses bring to mind the ribbed skeletal forms of marine animals. The building replaces the Seaport’s previous indoor-oriented exhibit spaces with an improved, 5,000-square-foot exhibit gallery, visitor reception, events space, retail shop, cafe, and outdoor terraces that connect to the new Donald C. McGraw Gallery Quadrangle. Related: Greenery-infused nursery school in Japan brings children closer to nature Versatility was key to the design of the exhibition space, which features tall ceilings and demountable walls that can accommodate displays of varying sizes, from watercraft to fine art. Inspired by a sailing ship’s top timbers as well as the arc of a wave and whale vertebrae, the ceiling was constructed from curved lengths of glue-laminated Douglas Fir , a wood species preferred by New England ship builders after the Civil War. The architects write: “Overall, the building stands for what we came to regard as “the geometry of the sea” – the spiral shape of sea life, the kinetic movement of ocean swells, the crash of waves on the shore, the billow of sails, and the faring of wooden hulls. Wood was the ideal material for these purposes because it can economically enclose a large clear-span space while forming complex organic geometries.” + Centerbrook Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Jeff Goldberg

Read more from the original source: 
Geothermal-powered Thompson Exhibition Building mimics a crashing wave

Geothermal-powered Thompson Exhibition Building mimics a crashing wave

December 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Geothermal-powered Thompson Exhibition Building mimics a crashing wave

Walk beneath the curved ceiling of the Thompson Exhibition Building and you’ll be struck by how similar it feels to being engulfed by a crashing ocean wave. This dramatic effect is part of the many sea-inspired elements of the newly completed structure, designed by Centerbrook Architects , which serves as the keynote building for the 19-acre riverfront campus at Mystic Seaport , Museum of America and the Sea. The striking timber-framed building offers more than just bold design—energy efficient features are incorporated, including geothermal heating and cooling. Inspired by the nearby sea, the Thompson Exhibition Building also takes design cues from the curved hulls of the wooden ships that sailed from the town of Mystic. Its exposed wooden trusses bring to mind the ribbed skeletal forms of marine animals. The building replaces the Seaport’s previous indoor-oriented exhibit spaces with an improved, 5,000-square-foot exhibit gallery, visitor reception, events space, retail shop, cafe, and outdoor terraces that connect to the new Donald C. McGraw Gallery Quadrangle. Related: Greenery-infused nursery school in Japan brings children closer to nature Versatility was key to the design of the exhibition space, which features tall ceilings and demountable walls that can accommodate displays of varying sizes, from watercraft to fine art. Inspired by a sailing ship’s top timbers as well as the arc of a wave and whale vertebrae, the ceiling was constructed from curved lengths of glue-laminated Douglas Fir , a wood species preferred by New England ship builders after the Civil War. The architects write: “Overall, the building stands for what we came to regard as “the geometry of the sea” – the spiral shape of sea life, the kinetic movement of ocean swells, the crash of waves on the shore, the billow of sails, and the faring of wooden hulls. Wood was the ideal material for these purposes because it can economically enclose a large clear-span space while forming complex organic geometries.” + Centerbrook Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Jeff Goldberg

Continued here: 
Geothermal-powered Thompson Exhibition Building mimics a crashing wave

Turkish dairy factory turns cheese production into a 360-degree experience

December 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Turkish dairy factory turns cheese production into a 360-degree experience

The Farm of 38° 30°, an iconic boutique dairy factory designed by architectural studios Slash Architects and Arkizon Architects , is more than a simple production space. The architects designed the building as a cheese showroom and museum that allows visitors to observe the production of cheese in a unique 360° space. The circular building encloses an inner courtyard from where visitors can observe all sequences of production. The main entrance leads guests to a green courtyard where cocktails and events are organized. Most spaces are transparent, with Corten steel sun blinds rendering those used by staff semi-transparent. Vertical slits carved into the exterior facade offer views of the surrounding countryside and allow natural light to reach the interior. Related: Foster + Partners unveils new winery for Château Margaux in Bordeaux The architects combined locally-sourced materials such as natural Afyon stone with Corten steel to emphasize the building’s contemporary industrial identity. This rich material palette lends an element of modernity to the facility’s monumental form. + Slash Architects + Arkizon Architects

Here is the original:
Turkish dairy factory turns cheese production into a 360-degree experience

Breathtaking fairytale-like nature home is worthy of a Hogwarts wizard

February 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Breathtaking fairytale-like nature home is worthy of a Hogwarts wizard

Read the rest of Breathtaking fairytale-like nature home is worthy of a Hogwarts wizard

See more here:
Breathtaking fairytale-like nature home is worthy of a Hogwarts wizard

Candy-Colored Urban Development and Environment Office Opens in Hamburg

April 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Candy-Colored Urban Development and Environment Office Opens in Hamburg

Read the rest of Candy-Colored Urban Development and Environment Office Opens in Hamburg Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Daylighting , DGNB Vorzertifikat Gold , Environmental Ministry , geothermal , geothermal cooling , geothermal heating , germany , hamburg , International Building Exhibition , natural ventilation , Sauerbruch Hutton , solar thermal , Wilhelmsburg        

View original post here:
Candy-Colored Urban Development and Environment Office Opens in Hamburg

New Rammed Earth Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center Introduces Travelers to Green Design

February 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on New Rammed Earth Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center Introduces Travelers to Green Design

Read the rest of New Rammed Earth Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center Introduces Travelers to Green Design Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Anderson Mason Dale Architects , Architecture , colorado , Denver , geothermal , geothermal cooling , geothermal heating , green roof , highway rest area , living green roof , rainwater retention , rammed earth , Rest Area , solar , Solar Power , Southeast Wyoming , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , welcome center , wetlands , wind energy , wind turbines , wyoming

The rest is here:
New Rammed Earth Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center Introduces Travelers to Green Design

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1037 access attempts in the last 7 days.