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Pipe Organ Advice

Memo from a local pipe organ builder

While working with a church in South Philadelphia, we learned about a September 15, 2006 memo from the Mudler-Hunter Company, Pipe Organ Builders, 2638 W. Gordon Street, Philadelphia 19132, (215) 229-5470.  We thought you might like to read it too:

“To prolong the life of the pipe organ, keep the heat as LOW as possible when the building is not in use. This not only adds years to the leather and other material in the instrument, but also saves on the fuel bill.

Read more: Pipe Organ Advice

Charging for Rented Space

A compendium of information
January 2001,The Interfaith Coalition on Energy

How to Determine Energy Costs for Rented Space

Frequently, ICE receives requests from churches who are interested in renting space to groups, but they are confused about what to charge to cover energy costs.

If you go through the following steps, you will arrive at a rough estimate of the energy cost involved in renting space in your facility. Please bear in the result from following these steps is an estimate of energy cost. lf you can actually measure the consumption for use of the various parts of your facility, those measurements would likely be more accurate than an estimate.

We think that it is best to estimate energy costs for rented space in two ways.

The first way involves estimates of energy costs for the occasional user. For your protection, it is best to anticipate that these users will want to rent space during the coldest hour in the winter or hottest hour in the summer.

The second way involves estimates of energy costs for the regular user, such as a day-care center or Alcoholics Anonymous, that will occupy your facility regularly, every week over a longer period of time.

Read more: Charging for Rented Space

Religious Buildings Special Report

Windows in Religious Buildings:
Higher Standards Needed for Protective Glazing

Installation of protective glazing is very popular on religious buildings for storm protection and security. However, a recent study shows that improperly designed secondary glazing cab cause more problems than it cures.

Neal Vogel, Inspired Partnerships, Chicago Ill. stated "The vast majority of U.S. Churches have protective glazing (PG) today, yet a recent study proves that it causes serious damage to stained-glass windows nationwide by increasing condensation and heat build-up in the airspace, and preventing routine maintenance.

Read more: Religious Buildings Special Report

Questions to Ask Contractors

Are you soliciting bids for work on your systems for heating, lighting, cooling, ventilating, cooking or water heating?

Here are some suggestions to check the quality of the proposals you receive.

Does the contractor:

Include references for similar recent projects along with the proposal?

List his or her street address and phone numbers, or just a post office box?


Date the proposal?

Clearly describe what will be done?

Read more: Questions to Ask Contractors

Questions for Retiring Custodians, Janitors and Maintenance Supervisors

Religious buildings are complicated – big boilers, commercial air conditioning systems, stained glass, pipe organs, slate roofs, masonry and artwork.  Inside religious buildings are terrazzo, tile, wood, concrete, and sometimes rubber floors. Add to that the ability of a custodian to deal with various agendas, myths, committee politics, tight budgets, and the mission of the congregation, and we then know it takes a special person to maintain our buildings.

And, then they retire.  What can your congregation do to smooth the transition from an experience maintenance person to someone just starting out? 

Read more: Questions for Retiring Custodians, Janitors and Maintenance Supervisors

Questions and Requests for Vendors of Control Systems

From the Interfaith Coalition on Energy, September 17, 2005

We are fans of very simple control systems.  Often, however, we hear from congregations who have been approached by sales people selling energy management or building automation systems, or other types of complicated control systems. We think that congregations purchasing such control systems, give up control of their facilities to some extent to the installing contractor. 

Read more: Questions and Requests for Vendors of Control Systems

Protecting Pianos

From the Dampp Chaser website:

The Piano Life Saver System from Dampp-Chaser Corporation is sold by piano technicians and piano dealers throughout the world. To activate the 5-Year Warranty for the System, it must be installed in the piano by a professional piano technician.

Read more: Protecting Pianos

Suggestions for Facility Maintenance, Maintainance Hints

By Andrew Rudin, Project Coordinator, The Interfaith Coalition on Energy

Congregations face several difficulties in developing a good maintenance program for their buildings and equipment. Changes in property committees, maintenance personnel and clergy disrupt the continuity of maintenance programs.  ICE has some suggestions for developing and improving maintenance of buildings and mechanical systems.

Read more: Suggestions for Facility Maintenance, Maintainance Hints

Draft of a Job Description for a Property Manager for a religious congregation

Job Description Property Manager

 ( This Article is available to download in a printable version in PDF Format here )

[Alternative titles -- 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.

Read more: Draft of a Job Description for a Property Manager for a religious congregation

Hints about Installing New Heating Systems

The Interfaith Coalition on Energy – July 2004 (Revised November 2012)

When a congregation wants to replace a heating system, here are a series of suggestions to them that could lower both the purchase cost and the cost of installation.  If you have old equipment, you should start setting aside funds for replacing it. The typical life of a boiler or furnace is 25 to 35 years. 

Read more: Hints about Installing New Heating Systems

Protecting the Parish Interests in Shared Savings Agreements and Performance Contracting

by Andrew Rudin of the Interfaith Coalition on Energy
August 6, 1996


Last April, I spoke at a national Catholic conference on "Construction, Maintenance and Real Estate" in Baltimore.  I asked one of the conference organizers his opinion about shared savings agreements in which energy efficient equipment is installed without cost to the parish. 

Read more: Protecting the Parish Interests in Shared Savings Agreements and Performance Contracting

Reasons to Turn Off Lights Very Often

IT PAYS TO TURN OFF OFF THE LIGHTS

Myth:
Continuously operating fluorescent lights is cheaper than turning them off for brief periods.

Read more: Reasons to Turn Off Lights Very Often

Biblical Citations On Our Environment

The Interfaith Coalition on Energy, March 2005

Frederick W. Krueger’s List of Biblical References to our Environment:

*  before citation indicates commentary included in full printed text in Fred’s larger document. 
(For an annotated version of this list postpaid, send $22 made out to: RCFC, 409 Mendocino Avenue, Suite A, Santa Rosa, CA 95401)

Old Testament:

 

*Genesis 1:1 The "creation"
*Genesis 1:3 Let there be light
 Genesis 1:4-5 The first day
 Genesis 1:6 Creation of the "firmament"
*Genesis 1:7-13 The separation of land and water

 

Read more: Biblical Citations On Our Environment

Energy, Religion and Lifestyle

By Andrew Rudin, September 1991

Several articles in recent magazines have described the “greening of the church”—the increasing interest among congregations in protecting the environment.  Many congregations have recyling programs and some refuse to drink from styrofoam cups, for example.  If your congregation is struggling to improve its relationship with the environment, consider for a few moments the relationship between the religious beliefs and lifestyle of the Amish.

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Suggestions About Air Conditioning Worship Spaces

From the Interfaith Coalition on Energy. May, 2000
It’s Cooling Time, Just Like it was Last Summer…


We don’t want you to install air conditioning because we are in business to help you lower your energy use, not increase it. 
Anyhow, here are some guidelines we send to congregations who are considering air conditioning:

  • Air conditioning is expensive to install and can be unsightly.  A central air conditioning system may require that you install a larger electric service to the building, so include those costs with the installation costs.
     

Read more: Suggestions About Air Conditioning Worship Spaces

Ceiling Fans - Blowing Your Money?

by Andrew Rudin, Project Coordinator, The Interfaith Coalition on Energy, Philadelphia
The Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) has always doubted the energy effectiveness of ceiling fans during the heating season. The theory says that warm air rises toward the sanctuary ceiling and that ceiling fans can force down the warm air to mix with cooler air at the pew level. Therefore, the thermostat is satisfied sooner, and less heat is lost through the cooler ceiling area or holes to the attic.

Read more: Ceiling Fans - Blowing Your Money?

Swing Low, Sweet Thermostat

by Andrew Rudin, Project Coordinator, The Interfaith Coalition on Energy, Philadelphia
Lower Winter Interior Temperatures Imitate Conditions in Other Seasons


Since it began ten years ago, the Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) has been recommending that congregations set back the temperature as low as 45F inside their buildings when they are not in use in the heating season.

Read more: Swing Low, Sweet Thermostat