U.S. Green Building Council Greenbuild 2022 Legacy Project Awards California Interfaith Power and Light $35,000 and $35,000 of In-kind Support to Establish a Neighborhood Climate Resilience Hub at Faith Baptist Church in East Oakland, CA
The Legacy Project Award, which includes $15,000 from the City of Oakland, will pay for a battery energy storage system to supply regenerative power for building operations and provide electricity and a place of respite for Oaklanders during heatwaves, power outages, and other times of need.
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San Francisco, CA (November 1, 2022) – The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Greenbuild Host Committee has selected California Interfaith Power & Light (CIPL) as the winner of the 2022 Greenbuild Legacy Project Award. The award, which includes $35,000 along with $35,000 of in-kind support, will be used to create a neighborhood climate resilience hub at Faith Baptist Church in East Oakland. The Greenbuild Host Committee, the City of Oakland, and parishioners will celebrate the award at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, November 13, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at Faith Baptist Church, 2680 64th Ave, Oakland, CA.
Climate resilience hubs are neighborhood-based facilities designed to provide safe, temporary shelter for community members during wildfires, earthquakes, heatwaves, and other emergencies. The Greenbuild Legacy Project Host Committee’s award, which includes $15,000 from the City of Oakland, will fund a battery energy storage system to ensure the supply of regenerative power for building operations and energy for urgent community needs. The project will also be used to improve energy efficiency and air quality at Faith Baptist.
“We are grateful to USGBC, the City of Oakland, and the EPA for making this green and energy efficient community resiliency hub a reality,” said Susan Stephenson, Executive Director, Interfaith Power & Light.
“The climate resilience hub at Faith Baptist Church is a wonderful example of how congregations are helping their communities prepare for climate impacts,” said Stephenson. “In underserved areas like the Havenscourt/Millsmont neighborhood where Faith Baptist is located, asthma rates are already high, and wildfire smoke and high heat only exacerbate the risk to residents. The climate resilience hub will be a welcoming, accessible place for neighbors to gather and have access to electricity and cool, clean air even when the grid is down.”
The battery energy storage system, consisting of one 20.0 kWh battery module stack, one 6.0 kW battery inverter, and an automatic transfer switch, will augment Faith Baptist’s existing solar PV system and make it possible to provide backup power for lights, receptacles, refrigerators, and other equipment in the building.
“Central East Oakland is a community that resides on the margins and the development of a Resilience Hub at Faith Baptist Church with independent battery storage for clean energy from the sun will help diminish environmental segregation in the neighborhood,” said Curtis Robinson, Senior Pastor, Faith Baptist Church. “The funding that is needed to challenge climate justice is a very large and important task, and this award will help Faith Baptist Church raise consciousness for other local churches in the fight for educational, environmental, and economic advocacy in communities that face these challenges.”
“The City of Oakland is committed to helping our community develop resilient infrastructure to adapt to the needs of a changing climate,” said Daniel Hamilton, Sustainability and Resilience Director, City of Oakland. “California Interfaith Power and Light has been a critical partner in helping to identify and realize the potential of houses of worship to serve as part of this approach, particularly in creating respite centers and resilience hubs.”
“First Baptist Church in uptown Oakland serves a large and diverse frontline community in Oakland and has the ability to accommodate many of our most vulnerable residents when crises arise,” said Hamilton. “With a growing number of smoke and heat days, this project will be tremendously valuable in ensuring Oaklanders have safe spaces to access clean and cool air in times of need. We hope this project will be the first of many such resilience hubs across our community.”
“In honor of Greenbuild’s 20th anniversary, we wanted to show the strength of the green building community in the Bay Area by exceeding previous years’ awards, and we are grateful to all of our supporters for their generous support,” said Dave Johnson, Principal, SERA Architects, and Greenbuild Host Committee Member. “We also wanted to identify a scalable, replicable solution that not only helps Oaklanders but also serves as a model for communities that are hardest hit by the global climate crisis.
“We are delighted to support California Interfaith Power and Light’s work, and we hope the resilience hub at Faith Baptist Church will serve as a model for other places of worship to become climate resilience hubs for their communities,” said Johnson.
“USGBC has long advocated for health and wellness through sustainable, equitable, and resilient buildings and communities. We are heading into the 20th anniversary of Greenbuild—the largest gathering of green building professionals -which will be held in San Francisco for the first time in 10 years,” said Melanie Colburn, director of market transformation at USGBC. “This year’s Legacy Project Award is quite special and has an important role in the Bay Area. The battery, combined with generous, in-kind donations, will turn Faith Baptist Church into a safe place for community members to gather during wildfires and other emergencies while also providing a model for faith-based communities everywhere.”
In addition to the Faith Baptist Church award, the USGBC Legacy Project is also pleased to recognize Oakland EcoBlock, First Runner Up, and The Community Garden – HomeRise at Mission Bay, Second Runner Up.
Faith Baptist will partner with CIPCL to host workshops discussing the impacts of climate change on their neighborhood and how to adapt to these changes. CIPL and its partner, Green the Church, will also use this project as a model to create a guide for other congregations to become community resiliency hubs. Visit https://www.interfaithpower.org/ for updates.
About the U.S. Green Building Council: The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, an international network of local community leaders, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
About Oakland EcoBlock, Legacy Project First Runner Up: The EcoBlock research team led by UC Berkeley working with the City of Oakland is launching a replicable net-zero, decarbonized, block-scale electrification retrofit of 25 older, single and multi-family homes in Oakland with the vision of scaling this process to other communities in Oakland to enable more resilience to power outages, improve air quality, and empower residents to co-own and share their main means of energy production. Learn more at https://ecoblock.berkeley.edu/.
About the Community Garden – HomeRise at Mission Bay, Legacy Project Second Runner Up: HomeRise at Mission Bay is a 141-unit permanent supportive housing building (pursuing LEED Gold certification) that will provide housing and 24/7 supportive services to people formerly experiencing homelessness. The building will be four stories tall and wrap around a large, landscaped courtyard that opens onto the future Bridgeview Way, a future pedestrian street that will connect the San Francisco Giants and Mission Creek redevelopment area from the northern Mission Bay waterfront to the Chase Center. The landscaped courtyard will feature the focus of this application, the community garden, which at first will be exclusively utilized by the residents of HomeRise at Mission Bay, but eventually, once neighboring construction is complete, will serve the overall Mission Bay community. Situated in between these two major commercial centers, the garden could provide a much-needed, natural, community space that can not only improve access to open space but also improve the connection between Mission Bay residents and the permanent supportive housing community and will also be a source of seasonal produce for a potential HomeRise restaurant that will participate in providing healthy access to vegetables for people experiencing homelessness through the EBT and CALFRESH programs.