New building made possible by recycling, volunteers

When the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene, Ore., went in search of a new building for its growing congregation, it wanted to make sure that its move upheld its green values. Long story short: The congregation bought a Scottish Rite building, then deconstructed the interior.

In the process it recycled 75 to 85 percent of the waste, according to Ed Zack, volunteer project manager for the congregation. That included removing and stripping wiring to resell the metals, salvaging thousands of board feet of oak flooring, finding a buyer for 140 theater seats, and dismantling a fire sprinkler system so its parts could be used by a contractor to install a new system.

The congregation estimates it saved more than a half million dollars through its recycling efforts. More than 150 of its 350 members worked on the site, including a crew that provided snacks and cooked for the volunteers and hired contractors.

The building itself was made energy-efficient with better insulation, lighting, and 43 skylights with louvers to control the building’s temperature. A more complete article with photos is at KVAL.com.