Concrete's sustainability and versatility are showcased in The Refinery, a 45,000-square-foot, two-story building on the Saddleback Church campus. It includes dining and kitchen facilities, a state-of-the-art theater, game rooms, an 800-seat auditorium, a full-court basketball gymnasium, classrooms, and a multipurpose room for recreation and meetings.

Recycled materials, including concrete, steel, wall framing, and wall board, were used as much as possible throughout the building; 4000 yards of concrete were placed during construction. Ninety-five percent of the construction waste was recycled.

About one-half of the interior concrete slabs were stained and polished. Also adding to the project's sustainability was extensive use of polished concrete countertops throughout the building. Concrete's low maintenance is another sustainable benefit.

As part of achieving LEED Gold certification, a high-efficiency irrigation system recycles water. The paving patterns and colors reduce reflected heat and light, and the roof was planted with low-water-use grasses and perennials.

Saddleback Development installed a green roof that will help remove pollutants from stormwater, reduce air conditioning needs, and minimize the amount of heat that radiates from the building. Sand beaches adjacent to cascading waterfalls and quiet lagoons, along with a sand volleyball court, allow rainwater to be sand-filtered, instead of running dirty into the storm drains.

The church will use 40% less water and consume 35% less energy than most buildings its size in California. Low E glass prevents heat transfer into the structure.

Project Participants

OWNER: Saddleback Valley Community Church, Lake Forest, Calif.

CONCRETE PRODUCER: Robertson's Ready Mix, Corona, Calif.

CONCRETE CONTRACTOR: Saddleback Development Corp., Lake Forest

GENERAL CONTRACTOR/ARCHITECT: Saddleback Development Corp.