Blog : GateWay - Out With the Old, In With the New

By Patrick | Feb 14, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH – The centuries-old arts of taiji (tai chi), qigong (chee kung), and yoga are practiced by an ever-increasing number of people. Participants quickly catch on to the benefits they can derive from simply setting aside a portion of the day to relax and enjoy themselves. After only an hour you could leave feeling better, moving more freely, and sensing a deeper energetic connection within. It just may be the best morning investment since the cup of coffee.

Bill Buckley was a strong advocate of these benefits when he opened Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga back in October of 2012. Buckley set out to provide his clientele with a warm and inviting judgment-free atmosphere – and he has delivered. Gateway’s large and sunlit studio, and unusual array of classes encourage people of all ages and skillsets to express themselves freely while exploring something new – or familiar.

However, Buckley hasn’t only aimed to create a comfortable environment out of what was once the old oven room of the Button Factory on Islington St. Instead, he has taken it upon himself to invest in solar energy and more efficient lighting for his business.

A champion of community in various aspects of his professional and personal life, Buckley choose fellow Green Alliance partner Jack Bingham of Seacoast Energy Alternatives (SEA) in Barrington to install his new solar panels.

The journey itself was honorable but both Buckley and Bingham will be the first to tell you that Gateway’s two-year path to greener pastures was no walk in the park.

“Because it used to be a refractory, the roof was made using really sturdy ceramic tile,” Bingham said during an October 2013 interview. “That means there’s not much to fasten the solar panel rackings -- you just can’t drill through it.”

“The plan has been to install a solar system from the beginning, so to have it this close to happening is pretty exciting,” said Buckley during the same 2013 interview. “It’s been quite a learning curve over the last year, both with the business and with the process of getting the business to run on solar.” However, in less than two years since it’s opening, Gateway has undergone an awe-inspiring transformation.

On Jan. 27, 2014, Paul Button of Energy Audits Unlimited completed an inspection of Gateway’s facility (as required for New Hampshire’s solar rebate initiative). Button completed an in-depth audit of the building’s lighting, a visual inspection of the heating system, and a discussion of the building’s insulation with Buckley.

According to Button, 80 percent of the building’s lighting fixtures have been converted to highly efficient LED lamps and another 10 percent to fluorescent lamps – with plans to convert the remaining 10 percent in the near future. Button determined that the building’s new solar array would sufficiently satisfy all of Gateway’s energy needs – a big step toward reaching the Zen state of energy efficiency.

Having been completely gutted, Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga has been refitted with better-insulated flooring, walls, and ceiling. The floorboards have been replaced with maple suspended over an air lock – making the floor both warmer and more comfortable for exercisers.

“The result is a comfortable, peaceful space with a minimal carbon footprint. Mr. Buckley is to be commended for his intelligent re-engineering of the building,” said Button upon completion of the audit.

Any Green Alliance member can use their card to receive their first month of classes for free.

To learn more about Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga, click here.