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Old 04-14-2008, 08:26 AM
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ChristopherHall ChristopherHall is offline
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Green Churches: Churches Building Green

Should churches build “green”? Would you build “green”? What are your thoughts about Pastors who choose to go "green" in building programs etc.?What are some of your thoughts on, "the green church"?

Quote:
The Green Church
Posted on: 08/07/2006
by Paula Suhrbier, AIA and William Brocious, AIA
The Green Church
Responsible Stewardship of the Earth’s Resources Pays Off
By Paula Suhrbier, AIA and William Brocious, AIA \
http://www.churchsolutionsmag.com/ar.../3b1feat1.html

Global warming. A thinning ozone layer. Toxic waste. Pollution of the air, water and soil. Today, environmental issues loom large in the minds of many people.

Some churches are part of the problem, and others are part of the solution. Some have a long way to go in reducing their environmental impact; others become excellent examples to the world, demonstrating their awareness and concern for the community’s needs.

Indeed, environmental responsibility is an increasingly visible and personally important issue to congregation members. Many work in buildings that are environmentally sensitive, and their companies are registered to the ISO-14001 international standard of environmental care. At home, they rigorously recycle. It stands to reason they would enjoy being associated with a church that shows environmental concern.

It’s easy being green

There are many different elements to being a green church. If you are planning to build, analyze your congregation’s current situation as well as its plans for the future.

Consider an existing building. Your first step is to consider whether an existing building will do the job. Using an existing building means there is no need to clear farmland or natural landscape for a new structure, or to demolish any buildings on the site you have chosen. It also means less steel, wood and other natural resources will be absorbed into a new structure.

You might find excellent possibilities in established neighborhoods, which means more people can walk or cycle to church. Existing buildings are also quite likely close to public transit, reducing the environmental impact of people driving their cars.

It often is possible to gradually retrofit an older building and to keep each year’s costs under control. If an air-conditioning unit has a 20- to 30-year lifespan, for example, you can replace it with a more efficient system at the end of the system’s useful life. Carpets wear out and can be replaced with recycled materials. Repainting can be done with products that do not emit hazardous fumes.

The beauty of such a program is that it saves money in the long run. Better insulation and more efficient mechanical equipment reduce heating-and-cooling bills and consume less energy from fossil fuels.

If relocating, do it wisely. Maybe your existing building does not meet your congregation’s needs, perhaps because you are relocating to a part of town that is newly developed. If so, being green might mean going “brown.”

In many parts of America, former heavy industrial sites have been cleaned up for other uses, including light industrial, commercial, residential and parks.

From an environmental standpoint, occupying these “brown” sites for nonpolluting purposes is a positive move. Eager to redevelop these eyesores into something attractive, governments often have done the site preparation, dealt with any soil-contamination issues, and are prepared to sell the property at a low rate.

If you are considering a new site, pay attention to the environmental implications of the location. You do your church a disservice by subjecting it to protesters objecting to your plans to build on a sensitive wetland or to cause diversion of a waterway.

Build new with care. For a new structure to have reduced environmental impact, start thinking green early in the planning process. Once site selection has determined a location that is as environmentally sound as possible:

• Go high vs. wide. Recent trends in church architecture have moved away from vertical designs to low, flat structures — but these occupy a tremendous amount of land. A multi-story structure consumes less land, and because it is more compact, often takes less energy to heat and cool.
• Plan for enough windows that much of the lighting can be natural. This reduces electrical use, and windows that open can decrease ventilation and cooling costs.
• A light-colored reflective roof helps lessen the intensity of excessively warm microclimates in many urban areas.
• Choose local or regional building materials whenever possible. Use wood, clay brick or concrete, depending on what is available nearby. This reduces transportation costs and supports local business, increasing your church’s ties in the community.
• Use recycled materials whenever possible. Until recently, colors and textures of recycled materials were limited, but now the range is greater.
• Protect the natural aspects of the site as much as possible, including trees, shrubs, grass and watercourses. You might need to work with your general contractor to make sure your concerns are honored during construction.
• Landscaping can make your church greener. Trees planted close to the building cut cooling costs with their shade. Use species that are native to the site. In desert and semiarid locations, this often means xeroscaping — using dry-climate species vs. those accustomed to more plentiful rainfall. Landscapers can offer many alternatives to water- and pesticide-guzzling lawns. Wise landscaping reduces the need for mowing and trimming, saving money and reducing emissions.
• Consider the impact of how people will get to your church. Being close to public transit routes lets you get by with a smaller parking lot. Offering bicycle racks — or even better, lockable bike storage lockers — encourages members to ride to meetings. Many workplaces offer showers for use of cyclists, and you can too. Buying a bus to pick up congregation members and encouraging carpooling also reduces your overall environmental impact.

Perhaps one of the best benefits of going green is lower operating costs, even if construction ends up being more expensive. In the long run, many churches find it easier to raise money for capital costs — such as energy-efficient windows — than to keep the money flowing for ongoing operating expenses.

In the end, a green church sets an example for the entire community. A good way to show your concern for the environment is to get your building certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) rating system of the Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org). Your local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (www.aia.org) also has resources on environmentally responsible buildings.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:30 AM
AmazingGrace AmazingGrace is offline
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Re: Green Churches:

I know a lot of churches that have been green to begin with. We recycle. one of our old churches had solar panels as a man in our church sold them and it saved us tons on our elec bill. I dont think there is a thing wrong with it. As for the reasons everyone wants us to "go green" well....
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:49 AM
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ChristopherHall ChristopherHall is offline
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Re: Green Churches: Churches Building Green

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Originally Posted by AmazingGrace View Post
I know a lot of churches that have been green to begin with. We recycle. one of our old churches had solar panels as a man in our church sold them and it saved us tons on our elec bill. I dont think there is a thing wrong with it. As for the reasons everyone wants us to "go green" well....
Awesome bro! Nice to see an Apostolic church leading the way.

I wouldn't worry so much about what others think. I believe it should about our stewardship of the earth. God has entrusted the earth to us and, just like our finances, we really should protect it and handle it with care.

Also it’s about protecting human life. An estimated 600,000 children are afflicted with permanent disabilities including mental retardation that are directly attributed to mercury poison from air pollution annually. The church rarely addresses this but as urban populations soar and urban areas spread into what was previously suburban wildlife habitat it’s something to think about. If we are going to address any issues like this one I think it would be important to lead the way on a personal level by minimizing the church’s environmental impact.

Also this opens a wonderful door to be a witness to the community. What sets your church apart from all the other fiery Pentecostal churches in the city? This is one area where a church can break ranks from the popular mold and show them selves to be a conscientious body in the community. Some of the individuals we desperately need to reach are good people but they don’t fit the mold. They care about things like labor, human rights, environmental issues, wildlife preservation, natural living, etc. Often they look at Pentecostals like we’re slash and burn religionists who have little regard for the environment. This is something a church can put into practice to reach these individuals.

Those are just a few of my thoughts.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:53 AM
AmazingGrace AmazingGrace is offline
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Re: Green Churches: Churches Building Green

Thanks... but its Sis
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:55 AM
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ChristopherHall ChristopherHall is offline
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Re: Green Churches: Churches Building Green

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Originally Posted by AmazingGrace View Post
Thanks... but its Sis
lol

Sorry sis.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:55 AM
AmazingGrace AmazingGrace is offline
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Re: Green Churches: Churches Building Green

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Originally Posted by ChristopherHall View Post
lol

Sorry sis.
NP
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:00 AM
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Michael Phelps Michael Phelps is offline
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Re: Green Churches: Churches Building Green

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Originally Posted by AmazingGrace View Post
Thanks... but its Sis
This has happened to you twice in two days, AG!

Maybe you need to put just a pic of yourself in your avatar, lol.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:05 AM
AmazingGrace AmazingGrace is offline
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Re: Green Churches: Churches Building Green

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Originally Posted by Michael Phelps View Post
This has happened to you twice in two days, AG!

Maybe you need to put just a pic of yourself in your avatar, lol.
I am beginning to wonder! I think I will just take the pic down and put something girlie! The pic wasnt put there by me to begin with LOL Carey convinced the Mrs to put it up and it just stayed! I hate it!
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