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Green Building Vision

photo of Dominican Sisters in front of the new LEED certified ResidenceGreen Building Vision

Update: please read our May 2017 news release on the completion of this project!

The structure was designed and build to meet US Green Building Council as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) with a Gold rating. It will be a model for health, wellness, and sustainable excellence as it supports the Sisters in their mission to serve “the young, the poor and the vulnerable.”  

It was conceived with a number of goals including:

  • The desire to better serve the health and wellness of active and retired Sisters at the Motherhouse.
  • Provide opportunities to partner with the larger community in health, wellness, education, and the arts.
  • Serve as a model of ecological sustainability.

The ultimate result intertwines these goals within the idyllic natural setting of the historic Mission San Jose.

Inside the traditional skin of the Mission Style structure lies a cutting edge facility which will support the aging-in-place needs of the Dominican Sisters. The design of the site and building focuses on reducing the overall carbon footprint; developing a natural, healthy indoor environment; and integrating innovative and ecologically sustainable strategies that are both instructive and beautiful.  Features include:

  • A network of water retention and biofiltration systems culminating in a natural meadow which will utilize land contours and sustainable, native planting to retain and filter stormwater.
  • Reflective and emissive roofing reduces the total amount of heat coming into the building.
  • Strategically designed high performance glazing systems on the windows and skylights maximize visible light while substantially reducing UV and radiant heat into the building.
  • Active photovoltaic solar system will provide more than the total amount of energy consumed by the building , resulting in an overall net positive energy project.  Additional energy produced will be aggregated to the rest of the campus.
  • The variable refrigerant flow (VRF) mechanical system redistributes heat throughout the building, removing heat from areas that need cooling and utilizing that heat in other areas rather than throwing it away.  The initial cost and installation footprint of the system is very low, and it will generate substantial cost savings through the life of the building.
  • LED lighting throughout.
  • Water-efficient low flow toilets and lavatories using 30% less water than a comparable building.
  • All air entering the building will be filtered and monitored.
  • All interior products have low to no volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).
  • Over 95% of the waste produced during construction will be salvaged, recycled, or otherwise diverted from landfills.
  • Many of the materials used for construction will be sustainably sourced from recycled materials, rapidly renewable resources, or materials that are extracted and produced locally.

We're very happy to offer this facility to you and your community. Please come visit us.