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Energy Guidelines for the Renovation and Construction of Religious Buildings

December 2004 (revised July 2011)


About this publication

The Interfaith Coalition on Energy has examined thousands of buildings belonging to religious congregations. Some of them are new or recently renovated, and from these, we have learned many helpful ideas for those beginning the construction or renovation process. This publication has several parts:

  • Part A discusses planning ahead to avoid mistakes

  • Part B is a narrative of several specific aspects of energy systems

  • Part C is a checklist

  • Part D is a list of questions to ask design professionals

Our thanks to the now defunct Nonprofit Energy Savings Investment Program for some of the following information. We also included some information from our article in the October 1988 issue of Construction Specifier magazine.


Part A. Planning ahead to avoid mistakes


Congregations that serve their communities can feel compromised by owning and operating facilities that demand high payments for electricity and fuel. More dollars for energy mean fewer dollars for service.

Read more: Energy Guidelines for the Renovation and Construction of Religious Buildings

Buying deregulated electricity or gas – What a Favorable Contract Could Be

Interfaith Coalition on Energy – November 9, 2013

When you buy electricity and/or natural gas from third party suppliers, you leave the protection of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The only “protection” you have is the contract written by the suppliers in their own best interest. They are usually written in legal language in small print.

Here are some guidelines that you could follow:

In choosing a supplier:

  • There are hundreds of third party suppliers because that business is profitable, often very profitable.
  • Do not rely on utility or Public Utility Commission advice.
  • Buying from a vendor has risks, but so does staying with your local utility. One difference is that you have PUC protection with your local utility.
  • Vendors may refer to your local utility website’s estimates of future prices. These estimates are likely false. Utilities typically revise their prices quarterly.

The Positive Effect of Low Temperatures on Pipe Organs

by Andrew Rudin, ICE Project Coordinator, March 1986

The Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) has found that local organ repair people and organ tuners have not provided the religious community with consistent advice concerning the relationship of patterns of heating to the well-being of the pipe organs. The purpose of this report is to clarify this confusion.

Expert confusion

We know that some organ experts suggest continuously heating houses of worship with pipe organs, at a cost of thousands of dollars per year, in order to “protect the pipe organ.” We know of other experts who suggest that the temperatures can be set very low when the buildings are not occupied, without causing damage to the pipe organ.

During the summer of 1985, we received a copy of a brochure written by the Federation of Master Organ Builders in Britain. The brochure clearly stated that the major problems with British pipe organs resulted from heating, rather than from cool temperatures.

The Interfaith Coalition on Energy summarized the brochure in a three-paragraph statement. On December 3, 1985, ICE wrote letters to each of twenty-two members of the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America (APOBA) to attempt to reach a consensus on the relationship of low temperatures to pipe organs.

We asked that they respond with their opinion about the three paragraphs about the effect of heat on pipe organs, which summarized the British brochure. We also enclosed a copy of the British brochure with our letter to the American organ builders.

Their responses form the basis of this article. On January 13, 1986 we sent each member a draft of this article for their final approval, resulting in a few additional minor changes.

Read more: The Positive Effect of Low Temperatures on Pipe Organs

Lessons From Inspired Partnerships Stewardship Program

ENERGY IN HOUSES OF WORSHIP:
LESSONS FROM INSPIRED PARTNERSHIPS' STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM


Information Series NO. 60, 1992

NOTE: This is a 16 page article, To read the FULL VERSION please click on the link below
(Opens in a new window, 6.1 Meg PDF File)

natl_trust_for_hist_preservation_info_60_1992.pdf

This technical booklet is the second in a series developed by Inspired Partnerships and co-published with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to address building issues facing traditional houses of worship. It is a summary of the author, Andrew Rudin’s, experience with four programs: Inspired Partnerships in Chicago and Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) prograims in Philadelphia, Buffalo, and Arizona. Actual data from numerous buildings were analyzed to determine the causes of measured reductions in energy use.

Several companies and products are mentioned in this booklet. Mention of trade names does not constitute an endorsement by Inspired Partnerships or the National Trust for Historic Preservation, nor does it signify approval of the product to the exclusion of comparable products or companies.

Read more: Lessons From Inspired Partnerships Stewardship Program

Some Advice Concerning Wireless Communication Antennas In Steeples

October 1997
The Interfaith Coalition on Energy


Introduction :

To many people, wireless communication towers are so ugly that they don't want them visibly installed in their neighborhoods. Wireless communication antenna companies consider properly—located steeples as an alternative. If they select your steeple, either for their own needs and/or because your congregation desires additional income, your lawyer can use the following advice and sample lease documents to help draft an agreement more in your economic interest.

The contractual agreements often have two parts to them. The first is some up—front payment, and the other is a lease with monthly payments. A church near Boston made a deal with one antenna company to re-paint its steeple (a $12,000 value) plus $1,200 per month for 20 years. They negotiated a second deal with another cellular service supplier for $20,000 in parking lot repayement with $1,500 per month for twenty years. Another church in nearby Providence negotiated a $300,000 up—front payment and a $1,500 per month lease.

Read more: Some Advice Concerning Wireless Communication Antennas In Steeples

Let’s Make a Deal and lower our church energy bills

Creation Care – Summer 1998

Electric meters are as prominent in churches as pulpits -- usually one per facility.  Understanding sermons, however, may be easier than understanding electric meters.  Pulpits are located in sacred space -- well-cared-for rooms with colors and cleanliness. Meters are usually located in profane space amid dirt, dust and dim light.

Electric meters are the cash registers for electric utilities.  Each month, the utility usually reads your electric meter, which belongs to them, and then sends you a bill.  Personally, I can't wait for them to read my meter only once a month; I read it each morning keeping score of the amount of electricity, measured in kilowatthours, we used the day before.

Read more: Let’s Make a Deal and lower our church energy bills

Comparison of Conventional and Infrared Heating Systems

April 1987

The manufacturers of gas-fired, unvented, ceramic panel infrared  heaters advertise that fuel costs are 20% to 50% less with their systems in comparison with forced air heating systems.  Several churches in the Philadelphia area have installed these systems.

The manufacturers claim that their infrared heaters do not heat the air, as other heaters do, but rather they directly heat objects and people, similar to the sun's heating the earth.  They claim that the units provide equal comfort at lower thermostat settings, that there is less air movement and associated dust, and that there is less stratification of air in the heated space.

Energy comparison

We compared the heating energy consumption data from four church sanctuaries and one multi-purpose room to similar buildings in our database. The following are the BTU's per square foot per year for the five buildings heated with unvented, gas-fired heaters mounted high on the walls:

Read more: Comparison of Conventional and Infrared Heating Systems

Suggestions on ways to reduce cooling costs

by Andrew Rudin June 1990

Electric costs are rising.  The heat of the summer will make us want to turn on the air conditioning.  How can we control cooling costs?  Based on experience with congregations in Phoenix and Philadelphia, here are a few suggestions:

1. Make certain your building is on the most advantageous electric rate.

  • If your peak use of electricity (when most things are turned on) occurs during your electric utility's off-peak periods, request off-peak rates lower the cost of electricity.
  • Pre-cool each day before the higher on-peak rates take effect.  In Philadelphia, this is 8am weekday mornings; weekends and holidays are off-peak all day.


2. Move morning worship earlier in the morning.

3. Reduce the generation of heat inside the building.

  • Install lower wattage lighting.
  • Turn off all unnecessary inside lights.
  • Reduce lighting levels.
  • Insulate domestic water heaters and piping.
  • Turn off circulators that pump water to hot water taps.
  • Minimize appliance use inside air conditioned areas.
  • Turn off pilot lights in boilers and furnaces.
  • Do not run air hander fans when building is vacant.  (The fans add heat to the air.)

    Read more: Suggestions on ways to reduce cooling costs

Electric Witness

September 1998 Green Cross magazine

Electric meters are as prominent in churches as pulpits -- usually one per facility.  Understanding sermons, however, may be easier than understanding electric meters.  Pulpits are located in sacred space -- well-cared-for rooms with colors and cleanliness.  Meters are usually located in profane space amid dirt, dust and dim light.

Electric meters are the cash registers for electric utilities.  Each month, the utility usually reads your electric meter, which belongs to them, and then sends you a bill.  Personally, I can't wait for them to read my meter only once a month; I read it each morning keeping score of the amount of electricity, measured in kilowatthours, we used the day before.

Read more: Electric Witness

Energy and What Kids Like

Winter 1999

Do children have to be plugged into have fun?

Among her other duties, Linda Wigingttm, an energy consultant from Pittsburgh, teaches grade school students about energy. Linda wanted them to know that they don't have to use a lot of electricity or fuel to be happy. To prove her point, she created a game in which each child lists their five favorite activities. Then, they put those activities in order of importance to them.

For example, a young lady named Alice may choose; play with my dog, play Nintendo, take walks with my Dad, jump rope, and visit Grandma.

When she puts them in order of importance it might look like this:

  • Play with my dog
  • Take walks with my Dad
  • Jump rope
  • Visit Grandma
  • Play Nintendo


In this example, Alice likes to be with her dog a lot, and Nintendo is toward the bottom of her favorite activities.

Read more: Energy and What Kids Like

EPA’s Energy Star Out of Reach in the Real World

Fall 1996
Like plastic slipcovers on a summer night, the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts are sometimes misguided. Following its questionable opinions on underground fuel tanks and asbestos, the EPA has now created a maximum energy intensity for a congregation to declare itself an “Energy Star”.

A congregation must decrease by 35% its total annual energy use per square foot (measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs). Alternatively, a building used for religious worship has to meet the following energy standard in total BTUs per square foot per year according to the region in which it is located: Northeast -22,800, Midwest - 22 ,400, South - 16,300, West - 15,900.

Read more: EPA’s Energy Star Out of Reach in the Real World

From ICE enthusiasts

Excellent energy report!!!!  Our potential energy cost savings are substantial and the initial investment modest.

 

It really is win-win.  Thanks, you have done extremely well for our church!!!!
Roger Olson, Pine Street Church

 

Again many thanks for your very intensive and informative review.
Joseph Scott, Unionville Presbyterian Church

 

We hope you are OK and that this little check helps.
Shirley Perkins, Minnesota

Read more: From ICE enthusiasts

More Helpful websites

www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-basics/   Up to date information on global climate change issues


http://www.uuministryforearth.org/GAPresentation2005.htm  Unitarian Universalist Slide Show on Congregation Green Activities
And from the Main Line Unitarian Church, a new bumper sticker….  




ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESOURCES FROM PC(USA) http://pcusa.org/energy/resources.htm
 
ENVIRONMENTAL CHOICES FOR CONGREGATIONS http://eco-justice.org/Choices2.asp

Read more: More Helpful websites

How to create interest in energy?

Energy management is not something that we do once and for all.  Instead, these activities are a series of repeated rituals.  But how do you keep members of property committees and the congregation interested in energy?  We have several suggestions:

Keep records.  You can’t play any game without keeping score.  Energy management is a series of repeated rituals listed here.  You can provoke yourself to renew your interest in them by comparing energy use day to day, month to month or year to year.

Read more: How to create interest in energy?

How to Survive for One Hour in an Un-air-conditioned Church

From the Lutheran Handbook, Pages 18 and 19.  This is from an enjoyable 240-page book from Augsburg Fortress Publishers (April 2005),  ISBN #0806651792, and $10 from Amazon.com.  We recommend you buy the book.

“Getting trapped in an overheated sanctuary is a common churchgoing experience. The key is to minimize your heat gain and electrolyte loss.

Plan ahead.
When possible, scout out the sanctuary ahead of time to locate optimal seating near fans or open windows. Consider where the sun will be during the worship service and avoid sitting under direct sunlight. Bring a bottle of water for each person in your group.

Read more: How to Survive for One Hour in an Un-air-conditioned Church

Lighting advice

What do you do with candelabra light sockets?
 
Candelabra sockets are small.  We find them in chandeliers, pendant fixtures, wall sconces.  We could buy a candelabra based, flame-shape compact fluorescent lamps, but the wattage is usually low and the light quality does not seem as good.  Pamela Bracey of Calvary Church, Germantown (and  Pleasantview Baptist Church) did some research to find that www.bulb.com sells an adapter for $1.99 each that modifies a candelabra socket into a standard, medium-base socket that accepts the higher wattage, better color, compact fluorescents.  Their product number is S51.  Their minimum order is $19.95 (10 sockets), and their shipping charges for that are $7.90.   Thanks Pamela!   ICE




Low wattage LED Holiday Lights

Brookstone is selling light emitting diode (LED) holiday lights again this year.  They back their products with a good guarantee.  They say their new LED lights generate much more light than conventional LEDs.

Read more: Lighting advice

Money saving Cold Weather Strategies

It’s that time of year again.  The holidays are past, and January-February weather is settling in.  Although it varies from year to year and building to building, about half the annual heating energy is used in January and February.  Here is our advice on how to reduce heating costs:

Lower the interior temperature during unoccupied times.

Read more: Money saving Cold Weather Strategies

National Energy Averages for Buildings Used for Worship

Every few years, the US Department of Energy collects energy data on various types of commercial buildings across the Country, including religious buildings.  With the help of Mike MacDonald of Oak Ridge Labs, we have organized the data into three graphs.

Read more: National Energy Averages for Buildings Used for Worship

Planning to build

Planning to build (or not to)?

The Interfaith Coalition on Energy has produced a few publications advising congregations about energy options in planning to renovate or ad to existing buildings or build new ones.  In addition, the following is a review of five books from other sources, listed in our opinion of most important listed first:

1. Before building, do you know how the congregation feels about its future? The Church Planning Inventory from Hartford Seminary solicits 180 multiple-choice responses to either questions or statements.  By analyzing the results, a congregation can see the demographics of its memberships, its intent to stay or move on, satisfaction with programs, facilities and ministry – plus a lot more.  The Hartford Seminary will sell copies of the inventory at 40 cents each and analyze a returned set for $2.50 per tabulated questionnaire.  They also charge a one time administrative fee of $75.  To obtain a free copy of their inventory, you can write the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, 77 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT  06105.  Their phone is (860) 509-9543 and their email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  The Hartford Seminary also has inventories for pastoral search and parish profiles.

Read more: Planning to build

What you need to know about your building

Early Spring, 2000

We think that members of congregation property committees ought to know certain facts about their buildings.

The following list is based on suggestions from several people who work regularly with religious congregations and the buildings they own.

Lightning – An Act of God

Andrew Rudin -- Interfaith Coalition on Energy -- September 1992

A quick-moving storm passed over northeast Philadelphia in August 1991.  When lighting struck the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, no one was in the building.  A malfunctioning alarm system was the initial symptom that something was wrong.  The church security system had automatically dialed a list of numbers to say that the power was off.

Read more: Lightning – An Act of God

Stoplight Removal in Philadelphia

Andrew Rudin - March 1994
Comfort and Light Newsletter #53

Philadelphia drivers have two driving habits that work at cross-purposes -- jump starting red lights as they turn green and running the yellow ones before they turn red.  The City Department of Streets had an idea to increase safety and save energy costs at the same time -- replace the traffic lights with all-way stop signs at moderate traffic intersections.

Read more: Stoplight Removal in Philadelphia

Oh! Say it Ain't So...

Busting seven myths about churches and energy
By Andrew Rudin – Creation Care magazine – Fall 1997

The Interfaith Coalition on Energy has been around since 1980.  After 66 newsletters, 200 workshops, a zillion phone conversations and gobs of correspondence some old myths seem to remain intact.  So, let's take another look at them....

Myth 1. Churches waste a lot of energy -- It may feel that way, but we use about 7% more energy per square foot than the average home, less than a third of the energy used by health care and food service institutions, two-thirds of what offices use, and a fifth more than warehouses.  And we provide more beneficial services to neighborhoods than any of those institutions!

Read more: Oh! Say it Ain't So...

Solar Electricity and Our Doorbell

Green Cross Magazine
April 1997

My wife, Joyce, and I consume as few as four kilowatt-hours per day, which is pretty good in comparison to the national average of 27-plus per day. Our average for last year was just over 7.  And no, we haven't thrown the TV out, we don't keep the house at 50 degrees in the winter, and we love our tropical fish aquarium.

Read more: Solar Electricity and Our Doorbell

Some rules to live by

(from the Arch Street Methodist Church)
Fall, 1996

1. If you open it, close it.
2. If you turn it on, turn it off.
3. If you unlock it, lock it.

Read more: Some rules to live by

Websites of Friends of ICE

http://interfaithpowerandlight.org/
A Religious Response to Global Warming
The mission of Interfaith Power & Light is to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. This campaign intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard the health of all Creation, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.

Read more: Websites of Friends of ICE

Your Current Third Party Electric and Natural Gas Suppliers

Third Party Electric and Natural Gas Suppliers Are Likely to be More Expensive Than Your Local Utility in the Long Run
 
We learned from a previous program that congregations generally do not examine their invoices to determine if they are being billed according to the least expensive electric and gas prices.  

During deregulation, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission forced electric utilities to randomly make a number of their customers purchase electricity from other suppliers.  It is called the MST program, for Market Share Threshold.  As of As of October 1st, there were 19,681 PECO Energy small commercial customers in this program today because they did not choose to return to PECO, down from 62,000 in 2004.  At the time MST was ordered, the cost of electricity for the first year may have been lower from some suppliers compared to PECO prices, but that changed.  Those suppliers are now charging as much as three times as much as PECO would charge.

Read more: Your Current Third Party Electric and Natural Gas Suppliers

From ICE Clients

"We wish you were in Pittsburgh!"
Jack Schmidt – St. Sebastian Catholic Parish

"ICE is simply the best in the business."
Don Kane – Main Line Unitarian Church

"Thanks very much for the thorough and excellent work."
Rev. Hentzi Elec – St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Newtown Square

Read more: From ICE Clients

What you can turn off to save energy and money

  • Add timers to photocell-controlled lights so they are not on all night

Problems with the Energy Star Congregations Program

EnergyStar Congregations is a federal DOE/EPA program to help congregations reduce their energy use.  In 2002, the EPA gave ICE a national award saying, ICE is “one of the oldest, if not the oldest, operating interfaith energy-environmental organization on the national scene, and remains a leading national advocate for congregational energy conservation and improved energy efficiency.”

They granted ICE this award even though in 1996 we strongly criticized the EPA about their unrealistic standards for awarding EnergyStar ratings based on faulty data.  They suspended that program.  In that same article we criticized the EPA for unrealistic rules about asbestos and radon, which continue to this day.

Now, they are at it again with their “Energy Star Congregations” program.  To us, it seems that they have never spent much time actually analyzing houses of worship, whereas ICE has analyzed hundreds of them.

For example, here is part of their list of “Sure Energy Savers” with our comments in bold:

  • Use fans when a room/area is occupied. Moving air makes people feel cooler during the heating season.

How Religious Buildings Use Energy

When we survey your buildings, we gather lots of information and record it into a database.  The information is anonymous, keyed in by codes that only we understand. 

Among other information, the database contains the following about the most common type of building – one used for worship, with classrooms often used for child care, a fellowship hall and offices:Number of buildings in this category to date – 334

Smithsonian scientists show museums and galleries spending too much on climate control

By Michael Kernan
Smithsonian magazine, March 1996
Taken from: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/atm-199603.html

 Around the Mall & Beyond

Protecting museum treasures - paintings by the masters, antique furniture, the delicate wings of a tropical beetle - requires the strictest climate control, right? Maybe not, say these scientists

 

"We could save up to $400,000 on the electric bill for this building alone. Every year." That's what the man said.

I better get this right up top: I'm writing about some Smithsonian scientists who have shown that museums and galleries are spending far too much money on climate control. Photographs, old planes, bones, rare bugs and what have you are much tougher than we thought.

That's the short version. It was not easy to come by. I had no trouble finding the Conservation Analytical Laboratory Research Group at the Smithsonian's sprawling Museum Support Center at Suitland, Maryland, but the scientists themselves were another story. They spoke a language of numbers, acronyms, graphs and formulas that made me yearn for the simplicity of E=mc2. Slowly I began to make out what they were telling me.

Read more: Smithsonian scientists show museums and galleries spending too much on climate control

Job Description: Property Manager, Sexton, Custodian, Maintenance Person

The following is a draft of a job description for a Property Manager for a religious congregation.  Each congregation who uses this document must fill in blanks, strike out phrases that do not apply and add phrases that do apply.  The goal of the final document is to be used by both the congregation and the Property Manager to improve communication and facilitate better facility management with fewer misunderstandings.

In addition to this copy on paper, this document is available on computer disk and by E-mail so that the editing can be done before the document is printed.  The Interfaith Coalition on Energy views this as a draft and eagerly seeks input from any and all who use it.

Read more: Job Description: Property Manager, Sexton, Custodian, Maintenance Person

Energy Activities for Faithful Youth

May 1998 (Revised November 2012)
 
Often, a congregation's interest in reducing energy costs does not extend to its young members or those in religious schools.  The purpose of this ICE publication is to suggest ways to include the youth in a congregation by providing a variety of ideas for specific activities concerning energy.

Contents:

Read more: Energy Activities for Faithful Youth

Energy Costs Are Not a Burden to Bear

By Andrew Rudin
Taken from : Common Bond Vol. 24, No. 1 Special Online Edition
Green Theology, Energy Efficiency and Historic Sacred Sites


"This article will explain how to lower energy costs for your congregation."

Contributors: Andrew Rudin

Since 1976, Andrew Rudin has studied changes in energy use in more than 3,000 buildings belonging to congregations in Philadelphia, New York, Phoenix, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Houston and other cities. He has also worked extensively with other non-profit community service agencies, such as YMCAs and day care centers, to reduce their energy costs.

For the past twenty-seven years, Rudin has been the project coordinator for the Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) in Philadelphia whose mission is to inspire congregations to reduce the costs of operating their facilities. He has presented more than 300 energy management workshops and has written over 140 articles about energy for national periodicals. He has also published one hundred and three newsletters, called Comfort and Light, for the Interfaith Coalition on Energy.

This article is a summary of Rudin’s methodology as he and ICE staff conduct energy audits for religious building throughout the U.S.

This article will explain how to lower energy costs for your congregation.

To do that, I want to start with three distinctions:

First, houses of worship are not houses ....

Read more: Energy Costs Are Not a Burden to Bear

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.

Read more: Guide to Greening Church Operations

Design for the Future by Looking at the Past

WORSHIP CENTERS:
A study of energy use in worship centers is presented along with recommendations for designing new buildings and improving existing buildings.
By Lawrence G. Spielvogel, P.E.  and Andrew Rudin
Taken from : HPAC Heating/Piping/AirConditioning November 1997

This article describes experience with energy use in houses of worship. It presents metered energy data from 302 churches,  synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship in and around Philadelphia. The buildings average 16,700 sq ft. Each building has its own utility meters and does not share fuel storage tanks with any other building. The average energy budget is 64,400 Btu and $0.7 per sq ft per yr.

Background

The Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) was started in 1980 by the religious community in Philadelphia, with financial support from foundations and corporations. During the past few years, ICE has continued its work with support from local religious denominations and from fees for service, mostly on-site surveys of the buildings and their energy systems. Data from each separately metered building are entered into a database. This article is based on those data. An earlier summary was published in February 1988 To date, ICE has conducted onsite energy surveys for over 460 congregations with over 1100 buildings. It has published more than 60 newsletters and conducted over 200 energy management workshops.

Read more: Design for the Future by Looking at the Past

ASHRAE Journal January 1984

Religious building energy use

Analysis of consumption in the Philadelphia area shows wide variations in the amount of energy consumed and indicates the possibility of large reductions.

By Lawrence G. Spielvogel, P.E. (Member ASHRAE) and Andrew Rudin (Member ASHRAE)
Taken from : American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Journal January 1984


The non-profit Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) was formed in 1980 by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis, the Philadelphia Chapter of American Jewish Committee and the Philadelphia Metropolitan Christian Council of Churches. In a pilot program in 1980, walk-through energy audits were conducted in three religious complexes. During the following year measured reductions in energy use of 14 to 19 percent were achieved.

Subsequently, the Pew Memorial Trust, a private foundation in Philadelphia, funded ICE to:
(1) accomplish energy audits in religious buildings,
(2) publish newsletters, and
(3) conduct seminars on energy conservation for the religious community.


Religious buildings have not been a target for government or private conservation programs.

Read more: ASHRAE Journal January 1984

ASHRAE Journal February 1988

An Update: Religious building energy use

An update and expansion of an analysis of the energy use in religious buildings in the Philadelphia area.

By Lawrence G. Spielvogel, P.E. (Member ASHRAE) and Andrew Rudin (Member ASHRAE)
Taken from : American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Journal February 1988 

The Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) was organized 1n 1980 by the Philadelphia area religious community and, funded in 1982 by local private foundations and corporations, began an energy management program for religious buildings whose utility bills are paid by congregations.

Since that time, ICE has completed on-site energy audits for 226 congregations with a total of 546 buildings. Each audit report contains a description of the facilities and their energy systems, a baseline year of energy data, a computation of energy use per square foot, and a list of recommendations to reduce energy costs in order of simple payback.

Read more: ASHRAE Journal February 1988

Energy Considerations for New Religious Buildings

By Lawrence Spielvogel and Andrew Rudin
Taken from :THE CONSTRUCTION SPECIFIER/OCTOBER '88

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.

Read more: Energy Considerations for New Religious Buildings

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?

Read more: Questions for Architects and Engineers