Building Green: New Campus to Emphasize Stewardship of all God’s Resources

Building Green: New Campus to Emphasize Stewardship of all God’s Resources

January 4, 2008

As a groundbreaking on March 28, 2008, at 1:30 p.m. is planned, design for the seminary's new campus is nearing completion. Through the process of building green, Sioux Falls Seminary is hoping to make a statement about using all of God's resources wisely to its students, constituents, and community. The new campus will be one of only a few green facilities in Sioux Falls.

The decision to build green was an easy one. "It seemed the only choice we could make since we believe the Lord gave us responsibility for his creation," said President Mike Hagan. "As good stewards, we want to model care for our environment."

Sioux Falls Seminary is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for its new building. A few of the ways the seminary hopes to score LEED credits include:

•Recycling and/or relocation of the homes located on future campus property instead of s full demolition, plus low percentages of waste during construction through recycling.

•Promotion of bike riding by making bike racks and shower/locker rooms available.

•Using durable hard surfaced floors that won�t need replacement and tile carpeting which is made from recycled material and is 100% recyclable itself.

•Saving at least 50% energy use through a highly efficient heating/cooling system.

•Insulating the building by using reflective roof materials and roof gardens.

•Lighting the facility with energy efficient light fixtures that save 75-95% of the energy used by standard incandescent bulbs and will last at least 5-8 years.

•Maximizing natural light penetration which will lower the use of electricity.

•Enhancing the appearance of the building by using superior efficiency reflective coated windows which will, at the same time, reduce heating and cooling costs.

•Designating an area to hold water runoff using "best management practices."

•Reducing light pollution to neighboring environments through the use of exterior lighting that produces minimal skyward reflection.

•Featuring only automated sinks and hand dryers in restrooms.

Excited to set an example to its community, Sioux Falls Seminary has already started thinking green in its daily routine by recycling paper, cardboard boxes, and pop cans; conserving energy by turning off lights when possible; purchasing more efficient lighting ballasts; and sending more e-mail based communications.

Additional details on groundbreaking will be forthcoming.

The Theology Behind Building Green
by Dr. Ron Sisk, Academic Vice President and Dean; Professor of Homiletics and Christian Ministry

In a very real sense, green theology is as old as creation itself. When God gave humankind dominion over the earth and its creatures in Genesis 1, we assumed the responsibility of using God's gift of creation wisely. We haven�t always done that, witness the phenomenon of global warming threatening human societies even now.

Building a green building is one small way that Sioux Falls Seminary will attempt both to use our little corner of the planet responsibly and to teach our students values that they can pass along to the churches and communities they serve.

What is the Process of Building Green?
According to, "building green is the practice of increasing the efficiency of buildings and their use of energy, water, and materials, and reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal - the complete building life cycle."

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website (, "As the environmental impact of buildings becomes more apparent, a new field called green building is gaining momentum. Green or sustainable building is the practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance, and demolition. Research and experience increasingly demonstrate that when buildings are designed and operated with their lifecycle impacts in mind, they can provide great environmental, economic, and social benefits."