Guide to Greening Church Operations

For Clergy, Maintenance, Property, Office Boards and events personnel who purchase and use products for places of worship.

This 15 page pamphlet provides information for places of worship to help them reduce the environmental and resource impacts of the supplies they typically purchase and use. The activities covered in this pamphlet encompass both internal and external care and supplies for the place of worship. Resource information is provided as guidance. Consideration and environmental goals, cost, and convenience must be weighed in making the right choice.

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Energy Considerations for New Religious Buildings

By Lawrence Spielvogel and Andrew Rudin

The gathering of a group of people for worship never requires a church, temple, synagogue, or mosque as we presently build it. And certainly no Biblical justification exists for wasteful building use within the religious community. Yet the energy cost in newer non-residential religious buildings exceeds that in older ones.
Dollars that congregations could devote to community service should not be used unnecessarily by their facilities. As congregations enter an era of virtually certain increased energy cost, designers and specifiers should remember that plans for religious buildings require extra care in design.

During the past five years the Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) has examined several hundred religious buildings in the Philadelphia area. In Philadelphia, two-thirds of the energy expense is for fuel. However, our recommendations for energy management of lighting, domestic hot water, and other non-heating-related energy uses are applicable to most other parts of the country. For example, an Interfaith Coalition has begun in Arizona where only five percent of the energy expenses is for fuel.

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Questions for Architects and Engineers

Designing a Worship Center with Minimal Environmental Impact:
Questions for design professionals
September, 2001, The Interfaith Coalition on Energy: by Andrew Rudin, January 1996
We have received requests from congregations wanting to know what to ask for when they want to design a building that uses relatively low amounts of energy and is less harmful to the environment.  In 1988, we wrote an article for Construction Specifier magazine which outlined many of the  principles dealing with energy.  Since then, we have continued our research and studied that of other people in this field, resulting in this series of questions which can be asked of design professionals to assist them in providing plans for buildings that tend to have less harmful impact on the environment:

Section 1 -- General Questions

­Basic overall issues
Does the building need to be built?  Can the congregation rehabilitate an existing structure instead of building a new one?

Is the land suitable for development?  Is the planned building the best use of the site?  What is the future of the surrounding land?  Are plans consistent with the needs of the community?

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