First Unitarian Society of Madison is most physically recognizable as the "Frank Lloyd Wright church." As a Unitarian Universalist congregation, we are rooted in a tradition based on the "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." In 2008, we built on our legacy and tradition with our 2009 LEED-certified Atrium Addition building, which included the installation of a living roof, a rain garden, geothermal heating and cooling, and a permeable pavement parking lot.
Our most recent sustainability work is centered around the addition of solar panels to sections of our roof. The historic landmark part of our building remains true to the original design with its copper roof, but the Atrium Addition had solar panels installed in November 2019. Led and largely funded by our membership, our solar panels provide a quarter of our energy use every year. Our Sustainability Ministry Team, in collaboration with staff, was crucial in bringing solar to our campus. We were able to achieve this sustainability goal with the assistance of a grant from RENEW Wisconsin, with guidance from Legacy Solar Co-op, and with installation by Full Spectrum Solar. Inspired by this work, two of our members are working with other local nonprofits to make solar affordable for their buildings.
Additionally, we've maintained a small prairie and woodland space on our campus, creating a sanctuary space for wildlife and insects in the bustling area around UW Hospital. As a congregation, we continue to explore new and innovative ways to build a more sustainable campus that honors our tradition's principle to care for our earth.
You can learn more about our solar efforts, and see real-time energy savings, at www.fusmadison.org/solar.