LEED BD+C: New Construction v2.0
Felician Sisters Convent and School Renovation
Coraopolis, PA 15108
LEED Gold 2006
As great as the building is, the advocacy that they [The Sisters] adopted became a great benefit as well.
In 2001, the residents of the Felician Sisters Convent were thinking about the future of their community. Their average age was 77 and their population was decreasing while expenses were increasing. In short, the sisters could not maintain their Convent’s long-term sustainability and viability without first instituting some major changes. The Felician Sisters decided it was time to make those changes – a decision that has resulted in one of the nation’s first faith- and school-based LEED certified buildings.
At the project’s outset, sustainable building methods were not a top priority for the sisters. However, being students of the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi (the Patron Saint of the environment), they were already accustomed to prioritizing the natural environment in their daily lives. The sisters simply had not yet made the connection between the natural environment and the buildings in which they lived and worked. Developing a relationship with eco-conscious architects and contractors would soon change that.
Before the renovation, the sisters were living in two buildings on the campus: St. Joseph Hall, a 1960’s infirmary building that housed the ill and maturing sisters, and a 1930’s era Motherhouse, which was also home to Our Lady of Sacred Heart High School. Neither building was operating effectively. After completing a feasibility study with Perkins Eastman Architects, the decision was made to pursue a LEED certified renovation on the Motherhouse and move all of the sisters into that building. The project achieved LEED-NC Gold certification in 2006.
One of the most successful strategies the Felician Sisters project team pursued was to apply an integrative design approach. Its success and continued impact are the result of the hard work of several players, which included: Arthur Schock Engineers; Clearview Project Services Company; Perkins Eastman Architects; Sota Construction Services, Inc.; The Kachele Group; Viridian Landscape Studio; and the sisters and teachers at the Felician Sisters Convent and High School.