Of the 14 firms that the sisters had invited to submit proposals, BKSK ultimately wooed them with a plan that features rooftop gardens, water heated by solar power, rainwater collection, natural light and ventilation and the use of environmentally sensitive materials throughout. BKSK is no stranger to this field; the firm has also designed a new green building at the Queens Botanical Garden and is drawing up plans for what will potentially be a new “eco-synagogue,” the Sephardic Synagogue, in Gravesend, Brooklyn.
Now it is the sisters’ turn to go an even deeper shade of green, which raises the question: Why would a community of nuns, devoted as they presumably are to spiritual matters, take the relatively unusual step of embracing environmentalism so energetically? “It’s a question of stewardship,” said Sister Faith Margaret, a Staten Island native. “Of responsibility.” The site of the new building is currently an empty lot. But if all goes as planned, then by the spring of 2010, the eight nuns of the Community of the Holy Spirit, most of whom are in their 50s and 60s, will be living in a home that reflects the environmental ethos that has become a central tenet of their lives.
Read on at the source: NYTimes