NEW SANCTUARY BUILDING CHANGES THAT YOU’LL BE SEEING VERY SOON
The bulk of the long planned Sanctuary Building improvements will be underway shortly. Work starts on Monday, July 16th. Thanks to the many donors and the smart decisions made by the Sanctuary Improvements Oversight Committee, by the end of August there will be some noticeable new looks to some parts of the building. (There will also be other changes that you can’t readily see).
Here are the four "big" visual changes that most people will notice over the next several weeks:
- The new roof will look different. The old roof membrane that we are replacing is a light gray. The new roof membrane is going to be bright white in color. This is because we are using a type of roofing membrane that only comes in white or black, and because white is preferred to black, since white better reflects the sun and the heat. Such light color reduces the "heat island" warming effect that we feel in cities that have dark roofs and black asphalt. Dark colored surfaces create warmer temperatures in the air around them due to the absorbed light heating up the dark surfaces which then radiate heat into the nearby atmosphere. (Remember what it feels like on a warm sunny day when you walk out of a store onto an asphalt parking lot? That is the "heat island" effect at work). As a result, the church campus and neighborhood will stay slightly cooler than it would with a black roof, and the inside of the Sanctuary building will be cooler as well.
We chose this particular chemical composition of roof membrane (called EPDM for short) because it is recyclable and it has the lesser environmental impact of the alternative roof membrane types. Nevertheless, it has a similar lifetime performance and manufacturer's warranty. Several of the less environmentally friendly roof membrane types do come with more color options than black and white, but they tend to leach off pollutants into the rain water runoff, and some of these membrane types are not recyclable.
In summary, we have traded off some roof color choices for a more environmentally responsible roofing material. Underneath that bright new roof top sheet will be an additional seven inches of rigid insulation that you won’t see.
- The new East window wall glass in the Sanctuary will look lighter than the gray tinted glass we are replacing.
In the mid-1950’s tinted glass was rare and expensive. According to old photos, the east hillside had been logged, so when the church was built there was very little in the way of trees and shrubbery to the east. Consequently, back then the sun shining into the Sanctuary on Sunday morning needed to be subdued with tinted glass. We believe that in the 1950s such tinted glass was only available in small pieces, which is probably why the horizontal silver metal splicers that we have viewed for many years needed to be inserted between the tinted glass panes --to bridge them.
Glass technology has come a long way since the 1950s. The silver metal splicers will not be needed today, since even tinted glass is now available in much larger dimensions. The type of double pane glass we have chosen to install has special coatings on its surfaces that reflect sunshine and its associated thermal heat. The manufacturer says that the new glass will allow 68% of visible light transmitted through, which may be just a little more than the old gray tinted glass has been allowing through. Given all of the natural tree and shrubbery growth that has happened since the Sanctuary was first built, the new special coated glass we have chosen will probably let in about the same amount of light as the original gray tinted glass did when it was first installed --before the forest grew up there. More importantly, the thermal characteristics of the new glass “sandwich” will be much better than the old tinted glass. The heat loss through the new double-pane glass “sandwich” in the winter will be about 75% less than what escapes through the old single-pane glass that we are replacing.
The independent architect that we hired to review the glass wall options with us (from Bassetti Architects) recommended going with the untinted special glass that we have chosen. (In fact, if we had chosen to use gray tinted glass in the new insulating double pane glass “sandwich” with special heat reflecting coatings, the light transmittance would drop way down to just 37% and the room would seem much darker than it has previously seemed.) With today’s special glass coatings technology, it makes sense not to tint. Our resident church photographer, Ron Hammond, agrees with this, too. From a photographer’s view, he expects the room will be better with more (indirect) daylight coming through, especially for afternoon weddings.
In summary, with the new glass technology, we have chosen to get rid of the silver metal splices between glass panes, save a lot of energy, and slightly improve light transmittance compared to we what we’ve experienced with the old tinted single-pane glass.
- The new East window wall framing in the Sanctuary will also look different. Much like the West window wall in the Sanctuary Lobby, it will be dark bronze anodized aluminum rather that the lightly stained wood framing that we are replacing.
A metal structure is required to hold the extra weight of the new double-pane glass. We could have wrapped the metal structure in wood, but that would have been considerably more expensive. Also, the wood wrapping would have added thickness to the frame and would thereby have made it appear “heavier” than the existing frame we are replacing. Furthermore, a wood frame wrapping would have reduced the glass viewing area.
Although wood is an excellent thermal insulator, you should know that the aluminum framing that we are using does have good insulating qualities inside of the frame; you just won’t be able to see it. In this window framing system there is not continuous aluminum metal connecting from the interior side of the room to the exterior. There is actually an insulating material “break” in the middle of the aluminum frame.
In summary, with the dark bronze anodized aluminum system, we are getting a slimmer structural window frame than would be possible using wood. This gives us more viewing glass area. In terms of color and texture, this new East window wall aluminum framing system will look much like the West window wall in the Lobby. The aluminum framing will be more economical than wood, and it will be quite energy efficient.
- In order to enjoy the option of pumping fresh air into the Sanctuary (which we have never had before), we are adding a new duct structure in the ceiling above the balcony, just off center to the North. This will allow hot stuffy air to vent out through the roof when fresh air is pumped into the room through the floor ducts. Only the folks sitting in north side of the balcony, or people standing on the dais (stage) looking up at the balcony, will notice this new ductwork in the ceiling. However, it will not hamper anyone’s view.
So there you have it. Those are the four visually “big” changes that people will likely be talking about very soon. Thanks to everyone who helped us to reduce our collective environmental footprint and make East Shore a better, more sustainable place!
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