Kenneth is passionate about sustainability. In his mind, the Queen Alexandra Community League (QACL) can be a leader and resource for the sustainable future, with the QACL hall as a prime driver.
Through QACL, Kenneth, in his role as Chairperson on the Buildings and Grounds Committee, has taken steps towards the future he wants to see. In Kenneth’s words, “My vision is to take the QACL Hall to a well-developed level of authentic sustainability to help it take its place as the true center of our community.”
This would mean taking advantage of the multitude of things that community leagues already do with the intention of making a functioning, positive, and sustainable place for the community to gather. Some parts of Kenneth’s vision include on-site power generation, heat and water production, edible landscaping, safe play spaces for kids, and infrastructure to make the hall an emergency shelter for those in need. Kevin points out that, “Sustainability is a framework that can unify discussion on how to re-envision the role the Hall is to play in our community.”
Though this vision is daunting, Kenneth is making strides towards this vision. In August 2017, Queen Alexandra Community League added a solar array with 7.8 kW of installed capacity. With this array, they are currently annually generating as much electricity as they consume. This means that they are an electricity net zero building. One of only three community leagues to reach this impressive milestone!
This has opened many learning opportunities for community members. Kenneth often showcases the array and the power that it generates. Which is a truly powerful experience. The slight hum that the generator makes, is a reminder to those learning about the system, just how much power the sun creates at every moment. As Kenneth puts it “The inverter makes a whirring sound whose pitch and intensity changes as the amount of sunshine that hits the array varies by time of day and the passing of clouds. It is an amazing, gentle experience to "hear" the sky through the sound of the inverter.”
Kenneth is already exploring what it would take to upgrade the building envelope, making the building extremely well insulated. Kenneth has reached out to industry expert Peter Amerongen to ask the best path forward for his league hall. Working together, they are dedicated to reimagining the possibilities for the hall to make it last far into the future.
Would you like to steward your hall into a paragon of sustainability? Kenneth recommends getting an energy audit of your building to know where you are starting from and how far you come. Audits also provide a step by step instruction of the easiest and cheapest path forward. And knowing that, you have clear priorities and the proper order to tackle them. “Enough leagues have gone through this process before you,” he says, encouraging leagues who want to engage in these projects to draw upon the knowledge of those that have come before.
Kenneth also recommends talking about your ideas, not only to the rest of the board but also to the community. This knowledge sharing develops a community-wide understanding of the technical nature of sustainability. “The sooner communities embrace sustainability understanding, the easier communities will be able to adapt to whatever comes.”
For tools, resources, and more information contact the Green Leagues Program at GreenLeagues@efcl.org