New Civic: Greenest Church in Iowa, Coralville

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Society had two goals to build the greenest and most accessible church possible and to produce energy from renewable sources on site.

Using land that was originally slated for condominiums, approximately 2/3 of this 8 ½ acre piece of land has been preserved as natural areas or used for a bioretention cell. The parking lot is limited to 75 spaces because nearby parking lots can be used and bike racks are provided.

The building is run completely on electric, with no use of fossil fuels. It has on-site renewable energy production through 429 solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling system, heat pumps throughout the building, radiant heating in the floor, and includes four charging stations for electric cars.

Members went with sustainable materials and practices such as domestic woods, energy efficient window glass, passive solar in large areas, and roof insulation that exceeds required codes. Looking toward the interior, visitors will find low VOC carpet, adhesives, sealants, paint, and coatings, recycled glass countertops, polished concrete floor for low maintenance, energy star appliances, energy recovery steam dishwasher unit, LED lighting with motion activated switches, composting and recycling receptacles,

Water saving features are a strong criteria for this category and the building met them well with motion sensored fixtures and dual flush toilets.

The entire site was thoughtfully considered through stormwater management — bioretention cells, native flowers and grasses; connection with the land through the trails, labyrinth, community garden, and natural playscape.

People United for Responsible Land Use