It’s Easy Being ‘Green’ When Building Your Church

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Religious scholars can trace existence as we know it back to the Book of Genesis and the Garden of Eden. Eden is described as being home to every tree “that is pleasant to sight and good for food” and had fresh water to drink. You could describe Eden as perfection. From my account, Man was put in the garden to watch over it and keep it, but Eden wasn’t the only thing for which man was responsible.

As time has passed by, we’re still responsible for our Earth. Due to increasing reports of the negative effects of global warming, among other things, people are making all types of changes to protect the environment. Your church can be part of the change and you can do your part to keep God’s creation in good shape for all of us. This is especially true if you’re in the process of building a new metal church building.

metal church buildingKermit the Frog might say “It’s not easy being green,” but I disagree. An easy first step to ‘go green’ is to reduce your energy output. Try setting your thermostat to one degree lower in your metal church building. This change may seem small, but it could cut your heating costs 5% or more over the course of a heating season. By installing large windows around your church or a skylight on the roof, you can use the natural light to illuminate your church and reduce the amount of electricity your church consumes. An HVAC system can be installed in your church to provide ventilation that keeps unpleasant smells and moisture out and can circulate outside air to cool your building without running the air conditioning. Motion sensor lights can be used to ensure lights aren’t left on when there isn’t anyone in the room. You can incorporate solar energy panels to power your church, and check out Energy Star rated products as well.

You can lower your congregation’s carbon footprint by promoting a reduction in driving. Encourage the members of your congregation to purchase an electric car or a hybrid. Riding a bike and carpooling are other options that reduce the amount driving your congregation will do. Be sure to practice what you preach. Provide a carpool for your congregation and if you provide busing to part of your congregation, you can use Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel or biodiesel fuel to fuel your bus. Biodiesel fuel is made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or restaurant grease, produces less air pollutants than petroleum diesel and is biodegradable. You can reduce the amount of repairs necessary if you build a pre-engineered steel garage for the church’s vehicles. Your green initiative won’t last long if you don’t get your congregation on board. Incorporate green teachings into your sermons on Sunday. You can provide a seminar on the benefits of shorter showers, for example, to give your congregation a more in depth look into what they can do at home to help make God’s creation greener.

metal church buildingMost importantly, it’s possible your current building can’t handle some of these changes. A pre-engineered metal church building CAN handle it. Pre-engineered metal buildings can be designed to incorporate HVAC systems, skylights, large windows, solar energy panels, motion sensor lights, insulation and many other green energy solutions. But the steel itself is recyclable and inorganic, making it the ultimate ‘green’ construction material! Steel’s recycled content makes it a desirable construction material in looking to obtain LEED credits. Designers and builders have long recognized and lauded steel for its strength, durability, and functionality. Increasingly, however, architects and contractors are recognizing steel’s important environmental attributes—especially its recycled content and high reclamation rate. The LEED rating system only promotes the use of materials with high levels of recycled content. Also, your county or local building department might also have its own set of required energy efficiency regulations for your new metal church building.

A pre-engineered metal building is ideal for a new metal church building due to the clear span design which will allow you house your congregation. Steel is durable and can be engineered to last decades. Just check the warranties available for your pre-engineered metal church building to get an idea of the quality you can expect when you purchase. If you’re thinking of building a new church or just want to erect a new addition, a pre-engineered steel building can be erected in days or weeks, not months like a wood building. Consider one significant distinction steel buildings maintain over traditional wood framed buildings. Not one single tree is cut down in the process. You won’t disturb nature or cause any deforestation, unlike when you build with wood.

Your church can ‘go green’ with a new pre-engineered metal church building and return our planet to the way God intended.

Photo courtesy: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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