LEED BD+C: New Construction v2.1
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
LEED Platinum 2008
Engaging, educating and empowering people to act became a very useful formula for leading the congregation through the project process.
The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC) project site is based in Evanston, Illinois on a piece of property slightly less than one acre in size. The original structure was a two story building with a full basement, originally constructed in the 1950’s. At 20,000 square feet, the original building was functionally obsolete and no longer met the growing needs of the congregation. The old sanctuary was limited to 300 seats, with poor air conditioning, and lacked classroom space.
In 2003, the conceptual process began. Committed to Tikkun Olam (a Hebrew phrase which means “Repair the World”) JRC felt strongly that any new design should be done with the knowledge that we were building for the future. The new space should consider the environment and needs of future generations of JRC members.
The decision was made to demolish the existing building, so work on the new structure began quickly. The planning process resulted in a 30,000 square foot, three-story building on the original JRC site. The new structure functions similarly to a typical office or school building. It houses administrative offices, an early childhood program, and a 100 seat worship space on the first floor, along with a classroom for after-school religious programming. The second floor multi-purpose space is highlighted by a large worship space suitable for 550 to 600 congregation members, and includes spaces for adult education.
As a result of JRC’s commitment to a progressive and environmentally focused building standard, not only has the building become the first LEED Platinum Synagogue in the country, but has also established JRC as leaders in sustainability in their community.