New Center embraces ‘green’ features

Triple-paned windows of the new Pastoral Center are seen from Poplar Level Road. The windows are both designed to reduce noise and to minimize extreme lighting conditions. (Record Photo by Marnie McAllister)

Triple-paned windows of the new Pastoral Center are seen from Poplar Level Road. The windows are both designed to reduce noise and to minimize extreme lighting conditions. (Record Photo by Marnie McAllister)

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

The Archdiocese of Louisville Pastoral Center features a number of energy-saving elements, including triple-pane windows and a multi-zone heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

The specially-designed windows are designed both to reduce noise and to minimize extreme lighting conditions, said Dr. Brian B. Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrative officer, in an interview last week.

The thickness of the windows acts as a sound barrier. Despite the Pastoral Center’s location on Poplar Level Road, a busy thoroughfare, employees and visitors experience relatively low outside noise from car and air traffic.

In addition to blocking noise, the windows are also coated with a special glaze that minimizes the amount of light that passes through the glass.

“The glass is designed to respond to the extremes of light. When it is particularly bright, it reflects the light back out,” Reynolds said,  adding that the glazing produces a tinting effect.

The HVAC system is separated into different zones to heat and cool the 40,000 square feet of office and meeting space. It’s designed so one zone can be turned on and warm or cool select rooms, leaving the rest of the building unaffected. This feature is especially useful for offices that conduct meetings or gatherings during the evening or on the weekend when most other offices are unused, Reynolds said.

“It’s a good example of both being efficient economically-wise, but also responding to the needs of offices. Not everyone is working at the same time,” Reynolds said.

Lights automatically go off at a certain time if left on and thermostats adjust themselves to a determined temperature at a designated time — both features are intended to use energy more efficiently, Reynolds said.

Also new is a central filing system. Previously, different departments maintained separate files on the same parish, department or organization at the old Chancery building. The new system eliminates duplications and utilizes a more efficient use of copiers and printers, Reynolds said.

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