The Detroit Zen Center turns green building into green jobs

The Detroit Zen Center is known for its ultra-green complex in Hamtramck and expansion into organic food and urban farming. It's not as well known that the Buddhist temple supports itself by having a hand in a number of green projects across Metro Detroit.

Today the Detroit Zen Center's green building operation employs three full-time Buddhist monks, four local contractors and five student volunteers.

"The more we did the more we got into green building and sustainability," says Hillary Moga, director of the Detroit Zen Center.
 
It takes on or has a hand in about 20 green projects a year. Those include consulting on a Buddhist temple in California, the Mt. Zion church on Gratiot Avenue and the green roof installation on the Hanna House in Midtown.

The Detroit Zen Center has become so well known that it can be a little picky about its projects. Now it refrains from taking green new construction building in the suburbs, instead focusing on renovations in the city. This new business course jives better with the Buddhist philosophy to which the Detroit Zen Center subscribes. "One of the important things we look at is renovating existing structures and reclaiming existing materials," Moga says.

Source: Hillary Moga, director of the Detroit Zen Center
Writer: Jon Zemke
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