Greening your Community Building

Working out how to make you building greener and cheaper to run. Where to find the money to do it.

Basics

  • There is no low cost quick fix that will make your building “green”. But there are usually a lot of small, low cost changes you can make that will make a significant difference to your carbon footprint and the cost of running your building.
  • This is a key message to get across because if everyone just feels bad about the size of their carbon footprint and powerless to change anything, they will give up. And the cost of running your hall will continue to rise
  •  Saving energy and costs involves how people behave when using the building, not just capital spending on insulation, solar panels etc. Changing how building users behave is a key part of self help.
  • So it’s very important that more than one person takes the lead on the greening mission. It’s a big subject. You need a small team to take it on with each member having one area of knowledge to absorb.
  • The process should start with a full environmental audit of the building and gathering all the information about what it costs to run.
  • You will then have a list of ways of saving energy by using the building more efficiently.
  •  Having done this, it’s important to look at low cost, self help, ways of saving energy before you consider the expensive solutions.
  •  It will usually be sensible to start by maximising the insulation. There is no point in putting in a greener heating system if the heat continues to pour out of the building.
  •  Things are moving fast in the energy saving technology field: new sources of funding; new views on what technologies are best for community buildings; which offer best value for money. So it makes sense for you to check regularly on what you think you know, to go back to possible funders websites to look for any changes on what they will fund.
  •  Because the technologies are relatively new, there are only a few possible suppliers for the various kinds of equipment and prices are reckoned to be high because of lack of competition.
  •  With some of the key funders there is a requirement that you use approved suppliers /contractors for alternative energy technologies.

Get a Sustainability  Audit done on your building

You can

 

  • Start by Downloading a quick guide we have produced for you on Making your building as cheap to run as possible to help you get an overview of the issues to be faced with your particular building. The document is available for download below.

Do a self audit of your building by

  • Following the self audit processes used by Areley Kings or Woolhope Village Hall committees  whose self audits are written up as a case study to be found here
  • If you are a member, downloading a useful free document called Energy Efficiency in Community Buildings, produced by NEA which is available in our members area -  and following the process it outlines
  • Visiting the Severn Wye Environment Agency website  swea@swea.co.uk or phoning them on  01452 835 060 and asking about their self-audit workbook for community buildings, which includes integrated advice
  • Ask us about undertaking an Overview Audit for you which will give you an outline programme for the work you need to do to minimize the costs of running your building. Phone or email  Richard Timney 01684 312734 richardt@comfirst.org.uk  Cost £90

Get a full professional audit done

  • If you are ready to go for funds to make the bigger changes, you will probably need to arrange for a professional audit partly because potential funders are likely to require it but also because the big decisions about what technology will be best for your building are likely to involve expertise beyond the layperson’s reach

Three organizations you can go to, all have experience of auditing community buildings.

Funding

Click here to view our "green funders" page.

Read about the experience of other community building committees which have installed a range of different green technologies using the downloads available here. These are real examples of energy saving and cost reduction within community buildings in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Making your building as cheap to run as possible

Getting your building to use as little energy as possible is a no brainer. The less energy you use, the less it costs to run the hall the less you have to charge your community, the more likely they are to use it the happier everyone will be. Download out guide below.