Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion Fulfills Its Vision with a Compassionate Building

Modeling care for the Earth and Humanity’s 7th Generation through educating individuals and empowering advocates for change

  “At this time it is extremely important that every human being, according to his or her ability, consistently puts effort into ensuring the conservation and protection of this planet’s environment and its inhabitants.”                                  

― His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Green Building at DGCEC

The Green Building Plan of the Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion

Making a statement about Compassionate Care for our Earth Home

  • Affirmed by His Holiness’s guidance and Buddhist teachings
  • Conscious care for resources – being attentive to renewables
  • Conscious care for all beings and all things; making choices that recognize our interconnectedness to everyone, including those most harmed by global  climate change: marginalized and impoverished people around the world
  • Educating members to transform personal and community choices

Connecting with International and Interfaith Movements

  • Consistent teachings by major religious leaders
  • Part of the greening-congregations movement worldwide

Balancing Earth Care and Fiscal Responsibility

  • In line with priorities of eco-conscious donors
  • Modeling sustainability in the city
  • Investing in care for future generations
  • Employing careful, responsible use of energy efficient materials and appliances, insulation, windows, and lighting to minimize use of power
  • Generating more than half of the electricity needed through photovoltaic solar panel technology that shrinks both our carbon footprint and our energy bills.

Caring for Creation

According to Buddhist teaching, there is a very close interdependence between the natural environment and the sentient beings living in it. His Holiness teaches about it this way:

“Since I deeply believe that human beings are basically gentle by nature, I feel that we should not only maintain gentle, peaceful relations with our fellow human beings but also that is very important to extend the same kind of attitude toward the natural environment. Morally speaking, we should be concerned for our whole environment."

“Then there is another viewpoint, not just a question of ethics but a question of our own survival. The environment is very important not only for this generation but also for future generations. If we exploit the environment in extreme ways, even though we may get some money or other benefit from it now, in the long run, we ourselves will suffer and future generations will suffer.”   

― His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama1990

KHORYUG is a network of Buddhist monasteries and centers in the Himalayas working together on environmental protection of the Himalayan region with the aim of practically applying the values of compassion and interdependence towards the Earth and all living beings that dwell here.

As Buddhist practitioners, we believe that our actions must flow from our aspiration to benefit all sentient beings and safeguard our mother Earth and that this positive change in our societies must begin with ourselves first.”

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa has repeatedly spoken with great emphasis about caring for the environment and each person’s responsibility for change. He initiated the Khoryug movement (Tibetan for “surrounding land” or environment) and has been outspoken on our responsibility to care for all of creation. From his website we read:

"Leaders of many other religious traditions stress that care for the Earth is central to caring not only for vulnerable people today but for the grandchildren of our great-grandchildren."

Building Compassion Inside and Out

DGCEC is committed to applying the core Buddhist philosophic tenant of non-harm and interconnectedness to the construction of our building extension. The design incorporates the principles of Feng Shui. Applications are as follows:

Existing Building

  •  Electric rewiring and lighting fixture upgrade
  •  Spray foam insulation on the roof deck
  •  Upgrade HVAC equipment and ductwork

Building Extension

  •  Efficient electric wiring and lighting
  •  Spray foam insulation for ceiling cap and optimal wall insulation
  •  Dual flush and low water volume toilets
  •  Low water volume shower heads
  •  Energy Star rated double-glazed windows with efficient insulation and sealing
  •  Light-colored roofing shingles to assist with summer cooling
  •  Low VOC concrete flooring
  •  Water-based and low VOC paint
  •  HVAC systems employing a heat pump with gas furnace back up; two-stage heating  process for efficiency; well insulated and sealed ductwork
  •  Solar Panels – 70 x 280 W (19.6 kW solar array producing 23,520 kWh/year
  • Efficient Gas Water Heaters
  • Rain Barrels (500 gals) to collect rainwater for use in landscaping