Rising from the ashes

Unique Concepts Inc. installs an integrated solar roof system on St. Bartholomew's Chapel

Photos courtesy of Unique Concepts Inc., San Diego

The new integrated solar roof system on St. Bartholomew's Chapel, Valley Center, Calif.

In 2007, the Poomacha wildfire ripped through about 50,000 acres in California. It burned 84 percent of the Rincon Reservation's acreage and destroyed 65 buildings on the reservation, including the historic St. Bartholomew's Chapel in Valley Center, Calif. The bell tower was the only part of the chapel that survived.

The chapel recently was rebuilt, employing some new environmentally friendly innovations. The new 3,356-square-foot chapel has twice the capacity of the original and includes walls constructed using an energy-efficient rammed-earth technique&emdash;combining the reservation's soil with cement&emdash;and an altar decorated with an oak tree from the lands of a nearby tribe.