Orakei engaged the Sustainability Field Worker to assess their church buildings and operations, as well as the vicarage.
Knowing where you currently fit relative to recognised sustainability measures enables you to assess what improvements to make and prioritise actions. Their recent upgrade of the hall kitchen was an opportune time to include sustainable fittings such as a more efficient hot water boiler. The assessment of the vicarage revealed some potential areas to improve the thermal performance of the home such as installing a modern, efficient wood burner in place of the existing open fire place. Vicarage assessments were carried out under Home Assessment Scheme in collaboration with Auckland Council. See the Who We Are page of the Cherished Earth website for more about our Funding Partners.

The assessment of St James electricity use for the church and hall showed strong peaks during term time when the hall was in use. This information helps to prioritise saving measures towards the hall. Winter heating and additional winter lighting comprised ⅓ of their electricity consumption. The remaining ⅔ was due to general use throughout the year covering office equipment, refrigeration, lighting and hot water (called the Base Building Load). Lighting is often the largest component of this. St James took action by replacing all the incandescent bulbs in the hall and vicarage with eco bulbs.

St James make good use of thermal drapes over the large windows in the lounge area. Drapes are a form of insulation for windows and are very useful for rooms that are used for meetings at night. It is not necessary to prioritise insulation for large, old church spaces. The reason for this is that you need the heat for a short period of time and do not need to retain the heat after the parishioners have gone home. For more on Heating for Churches go to the DIY Sustainability Surveys page of the website.