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Holy Wisdom Monastery

When the Benedictine Women of Madison partnered with Hoffman on the design and construction of the 34,000 square foot Holy Wisdom Monastery,

the collaboration resulted in the highest-rated LEED v2.2-New Construction building in the United States. While achieving LEED Platinum certification was one of the Sisters’ goals, they also held a long-term goal of providing 100% of the monastery’s needs on a net basis from on-site renewable sources. When the monastery was constructed in 2009, a 19.7 kW-ac solar photovoltaic (PV) system was installed on the southwest slope of the Assembly Room roof, which provided 8% of the total energy needs. A larger step towards the Sisters’ goal of becoming net zero was made in 2014 when 125.6 kW-ac of solar PV was added, bringing the total solar energy to roughly 60% of the monastery’s energy use. Finally, in 2023, the Sisters began the last phase of their plan to achieve net zero for the Monastery as well as the adjacent Retreat and Guest House as a 300 kW-ac ground-mount solar panel array was installed. This installation, combined with ground-source heat pumps and a battery storage system that will be installed in late 2024, will help the Sisters achieve their goal of Holy Wisdom Monastery producing 100% of their energy needs from on-site renewable sources.