May 4th, 2009
By Harriet Blake
Green Right Now
Let there be light. Places of worship throughout the world are taking this phrase to heart.
The US Green Building Council counts 43 religious projects registered with them, pending LEED certification. The projects include five Jewish temples, 36 Christian churches, one monastery and one seminary.
Not to be outdone is the epicenter of Catholicism, Vatican City, which has worked since 2006 to become the first carbon neutral state. A rooftop garden of solar panels above the Pope’s audience hall was turned on in November 2008. The panels on the 5,000-square-foot roof produce 300 kilowatt hours of energy, creating enough electricity to heat, cool and light the entire building year-round. The Vatican also is in the process of growing a 37-acre forest in Hungary to offset its annual carbon dioxide emissions.
Here is a look at some of the major projects around the nation: