Think of the new meetinghouse in Farmington, Utah, USA—complete with solar panels and wider hallways—as a test drive.
The building, along with four others in Utah and Nevada, is part of a new pilot program that will influence future building designs. They were built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification requirements, designed to reduce water use, waste, and pollution. The solar panels will prevent two million pounds of carbon dioxide pollution over the next 25 years, and the other buildings have special light-colored roofs that will reduce cooling costs.
In addition, the Church is saving money.
“These projects are both environmentally friendly and cost-efficient,” said Jared Doxey, director of the Church’s Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Division. “It makes sense to build them this way.”
But wise construction practices are nothing new for the Church. Designs for existing meetinghouses already met 75 percent of LEED certification requirements.
Dozens of other improvements are also making their debut—from larger classrooms to a fan-shaped chapel that holds more people but sits them closer to the pulpit.
The new buildings also have Webcasting capabilities so meetings can be broadcast via the Internet without a satellite dish. In fact, Webcasting technology could replace satellite dishes altogether.
“Webcasting expands the Brethren’s reach,” Brother Doxey said. “They can deliver messages in one place and be heard in any meetinghouse with a broadband Internet connection.”