D’ylan: We renamed our team the Crazy Creative Builders for this year’s challenge, Boomtown Build. We brainstormed a whole bunch of names and then voted on which one we liked best. We learned a lot about Boomtown Build by researching information on the internet, watching you tube videos, using our engineering notebook and speaking with an architect. We also learned about the CORE Values at our team meeting and played a game to learn them and work together!
Epic: An architect, Mary Ann Lazarus, came to visit us and taught us a lot about sustainable buildings. She works at Washington University. Sustainable means to not use up all the earth’s resources that people in the future might need. She showed us there are a lot of things you have to think about when creating a sustainable building. Things like lighting, energy, water, food, waste, and even the health of the people in the building. She is very creative and is a great drawer. We were so thankful she came to visit us and we got to have pizza afterwards!
Chase: We decided that night we would do a sustainable building for our project. We had a bunch of ideas like an aquarium, a zoo, a library, a STEM Center, a church and a few others. We voted on which one we liked best and picked a church. We started researching some more on what types of things would make a building sustainable. We learned about something called LEED. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Builders can use the LEED guidelines to build green buildings. Not the color green, but “Green” buildings are environmentally responsible and energy efficient.
Isaiah: We watched videos that showed us there are ways to save energy. You can use recycled materials to keep them from going to the landfill. Instead of turning on lights, you can use daylight for lighting. We also learned about LED light bulbs. Old light bulbs may last up to 850 hours, but LED bulbs may last up to 50,000 hours! We also found out that some of these items may cost more in the beginning but will end up saving money and energy later.
Caden: A church is a place where people with the same beliefs can come together and learn about God. It’s also a place where people in the community can come to get help. The problem may be that most church buildings are old and are not sustainable so they may be hurting the environment or wasting resources.
Jacob: We thought about the different areas we would need to build our “Green” church. We each picked a different part of the church and came up with ideas to make it sustainable. We drew a plan on graph paper for our blueprint. I built the outside of the church building. I am going to use recycled materials to keep our landfills from getting bigger. I will use solar panels on our roof to save electricity. I will also use large windows where a whole lot of daylight can come in and the sound from the outside of the church will be reduced.
D’ylan: I built the pulpit and the congregation area for our model. The pulpit is where the preacher stands and the congregation is where the members sit. This area will have sky ceilings so light will shine during the day and use less electricity. I will also use recycled church pews. I can fix old ones so they do not go in the trash.
Epic: I picked the kitchen and basement area because one day I would like to be a chef! In my church kitchen, the “Energy Star” appliances will use less electricity. I will use food from the garden to cook and also feed the community. I will compost foods like fruit peels, vegetables and egg shells so our garden soil will have nutrients for the plants to grow. In the basement, I will have superior insulation made from recycled materials that keeps out drafts, helps the basement stay dry, and improves the air quality.
Chase: I had the utilities of the church. I built a small wind electric system, called a wind turbine. We looked up which way the wind blows in St. Louis and found out that the wind changes directions each month. We decided that the wind turbine should spin so that it will be facing in the right direction each month.
Isaiah: I built the bathrooms and offices of the church. I will use automatic sensor lights that will turn on when someone comes into the rooms and turn off when no one is using the rooms. Recycled supplies will be used, such as paper, and our trash will be recycled. The bathrooms will have water saving sinks and toilets, so we will use less water.
Caden: I built the garden for our model. I will have a rain barrel to catch water for our plants if needed. I will not use chemicals on the garden, instead I will pick the weeds. Pesticides are not good to use because they can find their way into the soil and the air we breathe and cause cancer. All of our food we grow will be cooked in the kitchen and served to our members and the community.
Jacob: It was really cool to see how all our ideas came together to build our “Green” church! We are going to record our presentation to share with Mrs. Lazarus, the architect. Hopefully she can use some of our ideas in her buildings. We also shared our ideas with a deacon of my church to see if we can make my church more sustainable.
OUR MODEL - A "GREEN" CHURCH