Monthly Archives: May 2010


The Sustainable Heating System

In the following photos you can see the tubing that will be supplying the hydronic heating system. Picture 01 shows the mechanical room foundation on the north side of the building and some plumbing where water will be heated or cooled, depending on the weather. You can see trenches and tubing (flexible pipes) that lead to the building. During the winter this tubing will bring hot water to the hydronic pipes in the floor slab of concrete (the slab will be poured later this summer). The hydronics will heat up the entire slab to the desired temperature and return the slightly cooled water to the water heater in the mechanical room again. It is a closed system, that is, once it is filled with water there is no need to add any more water and it won’t leak out. In the heat of summer it will send cool water to cool the slab and keep the church at a comfortable temperature. Since the concrete slab holds heat or cold for a long time it will cost far less energy and money to maintain the desired temperature.
Hydronics tubing going to mechanical room
The following pictures (02-05) show where the tubing comes into the building and look like giant worms. (Yuk!) There is also a photo of the end of one of these tubes so that you can see both the incoming and outgoing plastic pipes wrapped in lots of insulation so that little to no heat/cooling is lost in the transition.

Additionally there are vents up in the clear story that can be opened to let out hot air in the summer and windows along the floor that will let in cool air. There are also fans in the clear story if there needs to be some assist.

There will be a supplemental system that will blow cool or warm air into the sanctuary. This will be used, for example, on an oppressively hot August day at a wedding where we need to kick it in on for an hour before the wedding starts then shut it off.

The narthex will have forced air gas. The fans, including those in the clerestory, are only backup systems. Those motors are what consume the most energy. They will only be needed during extreme weather situations.

Hydronics tubing going on North wall

Hydronics hose tubing behind Northwest sanctuary door

Hydronics tubing coming in behind Southeast Sanctuary door

Close up of insulated hydronics tubing

The Narthex

The last picture (06) shows the beginnings of the narthex (looking west). The panorama shot distorts the image. It is not fanned out as it appears. The walls are straight. The slabs are poured on the right and left. The center slab (entry way) will not be poured until near the end of the project because it will be the finish concrete with a rose design cut into it.

On the left and right at the entrance will be the men’s and women’s bathrooms, respectively. Then on the left, closest to the sanctuary, will be a mechanical/utility room which will have the heating unit for the baptistery as well as a floor janitor’s sink and a utility sink, a sacrarium (for purifying the chalices), cabinetry (to store chalices and other items) and a small refrigerator.

The room on the right of the narthex, toward the entrance to the sanctuary, will eventually be a Reconciliation Chapel (confessional). But until we get to Phase II this small room will have to serve as office space, and a confessional on weekends.

Initial construction of Vestibule


The walls and roof are up!

The walls and roof are up. In the coming weeks siding will be placed on the walls and the roof will receive insulation and its top surface. But there is still a lot of conduit to be placed on the roof before insulation can be installed. The ceiling has been cleaned and prepped for a clear coat seal that will preserve the beautiful decking.

Workers have poured the concrete for the bases of the light poles in the parking lot and around the church. An “open house” for parishioners is being planned for Memorial Day Weekend. Perhaps on Saturday and Sunday.

I went in the “sanctuary” to chant Vespers (Evening Prayer) one day and it already has a bit of church-like reverberation. But then, of course it is no wonder… it’s a CHURCH! No formal liturgies will be held in the church until Archbishop John G. Vlazny dedicates it on Sunday, October 24th at 2:00PM.

-Fr. John

Outside walls are up
Clear story roof is enclosed

Area above sanctuary where exhaust fans will go

West window has a dynamic shape

Chalk lines on ground delineate baptistry area from entrance to narthex

The Walls Are Going Up

As the walls go up one can see the curvature of the building and its final form. Inside the pictures show the open areas where large windows are located letting in plenty of light and allowing ample views of the natural surroundings. Some parishioners, seeing these photos, may start planning where they want to sit depending on the view out the window. One marvelous opportunity is that when we experience beauty of God in our sacred rites we will also have a view to the beauty of God in nature.

Wiring is being placed in some areas. We are awaiting final permits on the HVAC (heating and cooling) and hydronic systems (the water pipes that will heat and cool the slab in the sanctuary). Also, the plumbing permit is very close to being granted. Then we can pour the small slab for the entry area of the church and put up those walls and roof.

The walls going up

Near the entrance looking toward the southwest windows

Panorama from the entrance

Panorama from south wall looking north toward wall.

Electrical outlet on north wall. Notice steel plates so nails will not hit wires.