Eco-friendly design now includes a people-friendly hearing loop at WBUUC

White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church expansion, designed by   Locus Architecture

White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church expansion, designed by Locus Architecture

White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church incorporates many innovative features.  

White Bear Unitarian is a beautiful building, winning an award from the American Institute of Architects for its eco-friendly design. When the facility was expanded in 2006, some of the architecture design considerations included a re-purposed original structure, natural lighting, solar panels, preservation of natural habitat, sustainable landscaping, and low maintenance construction materials. Even the parking lot was paved with permeable material, allowing rainwater to drain through natural filters before it flows into groundwater. 


The latest innovative feature: an inductive loop system.

In 2016 we enjoyed the opportunity to work at this lovely location, but, of course, a building with such a unique design had its own unique loop needs.

At every location we install a loop designed specifically for that location’s needs. Because of the special architectural designs at White Bear Unitarian, we wanted to be extra careful to be as unobtrusive as possible. We laid a flat copper wire around the nave so that it would better hide under the carpeting and behind different architectural aspects. However, for the front of the nave close to the altar, we were able to incorporate some of the architectural touches to help us hide the loop. 

By switching from the flat copper wire to round wire, we were able to perfectly slip the wire into the concrete gap along the front of the nave, to the extent that it is next to impossible to see the wire in the front. The decision to make the switch from one kind of wire to another did mean that we had to do some on-site welding, but that was nothing Rick Korinek couldn’t handle.

Anna Gehres, representative for WBUUC, with members of our project team - Rick Korinek and Tom R.

Anna Gehres, representative for WBUUC, with members of our project team - Rick Korinek and Tom R.

In the end, this on-site decision was able to make sure that all the seats in the nave were looped, whereas before a few seats had to be left out to preserve the location’s architectural design. Another job well done, team! Now we’re on to the next loop!