Work to start as church showcases environmentally-friendly technologies

Work to turn a Suffolk church hall into a showcase of environmentally-friendly technology is set to start next year.

Emmanuel Church, in Bungay, has managed to raise more than �100,000 through grants and loans enabling it to transform the hall, in Upper Olland Street, using the last green technologies.

The church is already known for installing 220 solar panels on its roof in 2010, and is hoping the latest stage of their ambitious Going Green project will help teach others about the benefits.

Project coordinator Graham Gibbs said: 'From a Christian point of view, God created the world perfectly and we have messed it up, and we believe we should get up and try to do something about it and not preach to people but encourage by showing what can be done.

'We believe people need to see it working and if they come in and the large hall is warm in winter it will show it can work in their homes.'

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The hall, which is used by a number of community groups, will have its wooden floor replaced with insulated concrete, including under-floor heating powered by a ground source heat pump that will draw solar heat from under the car park.

They are also using recycled and recyclable rubber flooring where possible, two solar thermal panels to provide a sustainable hot water supply, eco taps, insulating the walls and ceilings, and fitting secondary and triple glazing around the hall.

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A2 wall signs are to be made to illustrate the benefits, while church member Kimberley Aldous has created a logo for the project.

Mr Gibbs said: 'We hope that other people will be able to experience what we are doing and be enthused to do something themselves to reduce their carbon footprint.

'We know that everybody can't afford it all, but if we can encourage little steps by showing as many different ideas as possible, then we are moving in the right direction.'

The church has benefited from a number of grants for the project including �25,000 from the EDF Energy Green Fund, �22,500 from Suffolk Greenest County Fund, �6,500 from the United Reformed Church and �5,000 from the Hunter Rowe Trust.

Members of the enthusiastic congregation have also contributed with the church set to pay back further loads of �50,000 over 10 years.

The work will take place next year, with the hall closed between February 18 and April 15.

They will continue to look for further developments in the halls and hope to install a rainwater harvesting system in the future. They will also look to install insulation in the church building.

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