PARISH BUILDINGS AND CEMETARY FACILITIES
Parish community centre
Many churches own a ‘sognegård’, a word we have translated to ‘parish community centre’. This is a building separate from the church building and often contains office facilities, classrooms, meeting rooms, bathrooms, etc.
Many churches in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark maintain the cemeteries around them. There are facilities for the employees of the cemeteries with office space and toilets (graverhus). Also, there can be public toilets, and/or chapel buildings with public toilets on the cemetery premises whose upkeep the parish council also oversees. We have called these buildings ‘cemetery facilities’.
Other similar buildings
The information on parish buildings and cemetery facilities is relevant for other similar building types: large community halls, common houses, public bathrooms, and other smaller buildings and facilities.
Energy savings in the parish community center
Parish community centre
It varies a lot how often parish buildings are used in different parishes. In some places, the parish community centre houses offices for clerks, pastors and other staff and is in use daily. Elsewhere, parish buildings are used only a few times a month for church council meetings, church coffee and the like.
The use of the building is essential for what energy cost-cutting proposals are most cost effective. If the building is in use daily, the same proposals apply as for vicarages: insulation and optimization or replacement of heating systems. If the building is only in use a few times a month, the same proposals apply as for church buildings: heat management focusing on the base heat and control of the indoor climate.
If the church centre is used regularly, reasonable energy savings can be achieved by replacing the lighting. High quality LED bulbs are now available for almost all types of lamps. Standard LED bulbs are available in great variety and often at very affordable prices, but perhaps it takes a little longer searching out the right bulbs for the particular lamps in local shops and good internet shops.
Cemetery facilities are typically in use during the day 4-5 days a week. It can be very useful to explore possibilities for night time drop and lowering the temperature over the weekend. Night time drop is especially a good idea if the building is old, poorly insulated and draughty.
It is also often a good idea to explore possibilities for re-insulating ceilings, refilling cavity insulation and replacing older double-glazed windows with energy glass or replacing the entire window. These may be cost-effective suggestions, that at the same time are very important for the comfort of the building.