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Building Committee Report 4-10

Building Committee report for meeting for business: 4th month, 18, 2010

The committee has been deliberating on improved heating equipment for the meetingroom, First Day schoolroom, guest apartment, and ramada. Parallel to this is making sure that gas lines and appliances are in good condition. Also, work has begun on the sagging wooden portal beam which should be completed by next meeting for business.

Meetingroom. We have decided to add two electric baseboard units in the meetingroom for use during meetings for worship while retaining the current gas space heater for use during the week. The latter will continue to be the main heating source except during meetings for worship or other times when more quiet heating is needed. Thus, because of inherent noise and concentrated heating concerns with the gas heater, it will be turned off before the 9 am meeting for worship and turned back on following the 11 am meeting for worship. The electric baseboard heaters will be located under the two window areas and turned on Saturday evenings during the heating season or early Sunday mornings, likely using a programmable thermostat. These baseboard units operate without fans and are expected to be quiet and provide sufficient heat in cooler areas of the meetingroom following the gas heater's shutdown. The test of this plan will come in the next heating season and we ask Friends' patience in advance as we try to get the correct settings for these several different heating units.

The baseboard units will require the addition of a 220 volt outlet with wiring routed over the main building's roof and down through the garage roof to a point near the front garage doors and next to the west meetingroom window. A small hole will be drilled into the meetingroom from the garage wall for the electric cable to enter and serve the baseboard heaters. Also at the point of entry,  220 volt weatherproof outlet will be installed on the garage wall in anticipation of future electric cars' need for battery recharging. This plan has been developed with an electrician who has supplied an estimate for the equipment and labor for various electrical projects.

A shutoff value for safety purposes will be installed on the gas pipe leading to the current gas space heater in the meetingroom. We have requested the heating specialist to install an external thermostat to that heater to make it more readily controlled. As a result of the specialist's inspection of the meetinghouse and ramada's overall gas safety issues, we conclude that we are basically absent from any gas safety issues once the above shutoff valve has been installed in the meetingroom.

First Day Schoolroom. The current wall-mounted gas heater in the First Day schoolroom is heating the room satisfactorily and dependably. However, it is some 30 years old. We intend to replace it with a similar unit.

Guest Apartment. Our plan is to replace the small gas space heater in the guest apartment with a wall-mounted electric heater with more a accessible thermostat. The new electric unit will require less space and avoid any possibility of natural gas sensitivity by guests staying in the apartment since that is the only gas appliance in current use.

Ramada. To make the ramada more comfortable, we intend to replace a portable electric heater in the ramada's bathroom with a wall-mounted permanent electric unit.

Other electric installations. Several miscellaneous electric-related installations are also expected over the next few months, including adding a ceiling fan for cooling purposes in the portal area (using a previously installed junction box) and installing "heat tape" with automatic control for the garage downspout to address icing problems with the rooftop snow runoff in the winter.

Electric utility bills. In the short run, these changes will increase the Meeting's electric utility bill in the approximately six month heating season. However, we expect that a future building committee will undertake planning and installation of solar electric panels on the meetinghouse roof. These panels will, over time, pay for their installation and the cost of operating the various planned electric heating appliance through a reverse running of the electric meter. Present thinking is that the cost of such panels will dip dramatically over the next several years. Also new panel designs with greater efficiency will allow us to make the installation invisible to people passing at street level so that historic design considerations will not be compromised.

For these projects, the building committee is requesting that the meeting for business approve the expenditure of $4,700 from the maintenance fund over the next several months.

        Respectfully submitted on behalf of the building committee, David Giltrow, convener.

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