Doylestown Presbyterian Church in Doylestown, PA is nearing the completion of a $14 million renovation and expansion of their building. The church members agreed that even though it would cost more to go as green as possible, they believed that it was more important for them to be models of good stewardship. The church installed a solar thermal array on their roof, which will not only help reduce the cost of electricity, but also the cost to heat up their water.
The solar array is constructed with a series of pipes which are filled with glycol (a type of antifreeze). When the roof heats up, so does the glycol. The heat transfer from this liquid will help reduce the work load of the current water heating system, thus reducing cost. The church building envelope was also upgraded with energy efficient windows and insulation. This is a great example of how to think about the “big picture” when deciding to invest and upgrade your existing building. Not only did the church take care of reducing their electricity costs, but also their water heating costs.