By Heidi Glaus
St. Louis (KSDK) -- Solar panels and rain gardens can help buildings to be more green and save energy. NewsChannel 5 viewer Katie Ingold wanted to know what is the greenest building in the St. Louis-area, so Heidi Glaus found out the answer in this week's Hey Heidi segment.
Forget emerald, kelly and lime, when it comes to green buildings it has nothing to do with color.
"It basically means you're using renewable energy, you're making things energy efficient and your sustaining the environment," explains Dan Andrews, training coordinator at the Sheet Metal Workers Headquarters and Training Center.
The sheet metal workers new building on Chouteau is about as green as you can get.
"The building is targeting 64 points on a 69 scale, which would make it the highest scoring building in the Midwest," Andrews points out.
To really show you what that means, requires a trip to the green roof; a roof partially covered with grasses and plants.
"It's part of the insulation value of the roof. It expands the lifespan of the roof itself. The other thing is it collects the rain water," Andrews says.
Speaking of water...
"There's also the solar hot water collectors that will generate most of our hot water needs during winter," Andrews adds.
Plus, there are 357 solar panels creating electricity.
"In here, it changes from DC Solar to AC," Andrews explains.
And combined with the wind turbines on the roof, they've cut their electric bill in half.
"We're pretty proud of it," Andrews says.
Crossroads College Prep also has a reason to be proud.
"We are one of two schools in the state of Missouri to be named green ribbon schools by the United States of Department of Education," says Clark Daggett, Head of School.
It's also one of only seven schools in the country to be LEED Platinum certified.
"This is a rain garden. The rain comes off the roof and down a pipe and then it's filtered through the rocks that you see," Daggett explains.
The halls and library are lit with mostly natural light, most of the building is made of recycled material and they too have solar panels and solar water heaters.
"All the hot water in the whole science wing and the cafeteria is heated on the roof as well with solar heaters," explains Dr. Howard Ganok, a science teacher.
Actually, it heats the water almost too well. The thing is, not only are these buildings green, they're also helping to educate students on how to maintain and sustain our environment.
If you have a question you would like Heidi Glaus to answer in a Hey Heidi segment, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.