Okay. The bird is the word.
Once a year we all sit with friends and family and gussy up the table a bit more than usual. The time of Holiday feasting is upon us. In the middle west that means meals chock full of flavor, carbs
We could have built our brewery on the outskirts of town, and while that would have been much easier, we chose to renovate an 80+ year old historic building. This building sits in the heart of the East Hills neighborhood and has unmeasureable character. While the building has had many uses, none have them have been a brewery so we had to get creative to fit our use in this space…but that is what gives it its charm.
If renovating an old building was not challenging enough, we are also in a Historic District, a neighborhood district, on an obsolete site, and went for LEED certification on top of all that. The entire building and parking lot had to be gutted. We had to replace all the infrastructure and utilities. This has proved to be a monumental task, but worth it in the end.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.
We have incorporated many things to help us reduce, reuse and recycle.
- High efficiency heating/cooling units with CO2 sensors that resulted in an energy savings of 7% over ASHRAE 90.1-2007 (LEED Energy and Atmosphere Prerequisite 2: Minimum Energy Performance)
- Our existing glycol cooling system for our beer tanks was up-sized slightly so it could also cool the cooler our draft beer comes from
- All of our rain water runoff is recaptured in a giant cistern and slowly released into the ground to reduce the pressure on our city's waste water treatment plant
- We also use no potable water to irrigate all of our landscaping around the building and within the beer garden (LEED Water Efficiency Credit 1: Water Efficient Landscaping)
- Instead of expending extra resources on tile, carpet or paint, we chose to polish our existing concrete floors in the pub. Not only did this save us money but also gave us a really cool look.
- Our toilets are all low flow and we have waterless urinals, resulting in a yearly water savings of nearly 50,000 gallons of potable water (LEED Water Efficiency Prerequisite 1: Water Use Reduction)
- The sinks in our bathrooms use sensors to turn on and off to reduce water use
Why the "greenest building" is the re-use of and existing building article link
The Metcalf family operated the largest funeral home in Grand Rapids from 1894 to 1980. The location where the brewery now stands was built in 1915. Although the building was originally constructed as an automobile garage, the Metcalf re-purposed it as the livery for the company’s 17 large white horses when they moved to the Cherry Street location in 1916.
Over the years the funeral home expanded. In 1948 the current Chapel building was built that now is home to the Brewery Vivant pub. The original wood beams and light fixtures were able to be restored and provide a great ambiance. All the renovations followed strict Historic Preservation standards and every effort was made to bring the building back to its original look.