Blog : Gateway Updates Studio Space with Focus on Sustainability

By Ali | May 23, 2014 | in

BY PATRICK MARTIN

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 setting aside a portion of the day to relax and enjoy themselves. After only an hour you can 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. He set out to provide his clientele with a warm and inviting judgment-free atmosphere – and he delivered. Gateway houses two large sunlit studios and an unusual array of classes that encourage people of all ages and skill sets to express themselves freely while exploring something new – or familiar.

However, Buckley wanted to create more than just a comfortable studio space in the former furnace oven room of the Button Factory on Islington St. He also wanted the space to be environmentally conscious. Buckley has taken it upon himself to invest in solar energy and more efficient lighting for a greener business.

A champion of community in various aspects of his professional and personal life, Buckley chose fellow Green Alliance Business Partner Jack Bingham of Seacoast Energy in Barrington to install his new solar panels. The journey was honorable in itself, 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. “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,” said Buckley. “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.” That said, in the two years since it’s opening, Gateway has undergone an awe-inspiring transformation.

As a green-certified business with the green business union and consumer co-op The Green Alliance, Gateway has always worn its commitment to the environment on its sleeve. Buckley is almost always in constant forward motion to raise the bar on the business’s sustainability profile. So it follows that the next step would be a full and complete energy audit.

In early 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 students.

“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.

To learn more about Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga, visit www.gatewaytaiji.com
To learn more about solar installer Seacoast Energy go to www.seacoastenergy.com
To learn more about the Green Alliance, visit
www.greenalliance.biz