The Episcopal Parish of St. Paul, 1135 Walnut St., Newton Highlands 02461

The Boiler is Gone!


After 70 years of faithful service, our cast iron boiler has now gone to that scrap metal yard in the sky.  The boiler was demolished and removed by ESI in late August.  Much of the piping, including the head-banging duct in the Godly Play room, has been removed.  The boiler room is empty and spotless, awaiting the installation of the new gas boilers.

ESI has completed the asbestos remediation of the heating pipes that run underneath the stage of the parish hall and the parish all itself.  The removal of the boiler and the asbestos remediation was necessary before any construction of the new heating system can begin.

This is a major step on our journey of installing a modern, clean and efficient heating system.




We Have Green Hot Water

The on-demand water heater was installed in the downstairs kitchen and now provides hot water for the kitchen, pantry, and large bathroom. Gone is the oversized tank in the kitchen! A smaller unit now supplies warm water for handwashing in the two bathrooms at the end of the undercroft. Thank you Ken Anderson for supervising the installation by Jonasson Plumbing and completing this part of the total Green Heat project.

Thanks to hard work by Margaret and Eliza the application for the $100,000 Diocesan Green Loan was signed by the wardens and submitted to the diocese last week. We expect to hear within 6-8 weeks.

                  Submitted by Anne Goldman on behalf of the Green Heat Team.

Vestry Approves Construction Plans

In a major milestone for the Green Heat project, the vestry voted this week to move forward on five fronts by:

  1. Selecting Aalanco as the contractor for the heating system replacement part of the project. They lowered their bid by using a later start date. The team will continue to work with them to see if other economies are feasible. Carl Jonasson has volunteered to advise on possible cost savings.
  2. Accepting the Jonasson bid to replace the hot water heater with an energy efficient on-demand system. Our Green Grant will pay for this, and the installation will start ASAP.
  3. Accepting the asbestos abatement proposal by ESI. The abatement must be completed before construction for the heating system can begin. During the abatement, it will be necessary to limit access to the parish hall to contain the environmental hazard, and we will announce the schedule as soon as it is known.
  4. Approving the submission of the application for the Green Loan. Margaret and Eliza are putting on the final touches on the bulky application packet. Thank you for doing this monumental work.
  5. Approving applying for a diocesan Stokes Loan to provide additional funds for the project. This application requires supporting documents that are similar to those for the Green Loan, so it can be relatively quickly assembled.

                  Submitted by Anne Goldman on behalf of the Green Heat Team.

Green Heat Limbo

Last week we received four bids for the heating system replacement, two of which are under consideration by the Vestry. Unfortunately, both are significantly higher than the preliminary estimate we received earlier, but both companies have been invited to resubmit with lower cost alternatives, for example by starting construction after “peak summer season.” Once a contractor is selected, the Vestry and Green Heat team will negotiate with the contractor to find ways to reduce the cost of the project without sacrificing significant functionality.

Also being considered are two bids for the asbestos abatement that must be completed before any construction can begin. This mainly involves safely removing deteriorating asbestos from the pipes that run the length of the crawl space under the Parish Hall, as well as a little from the old boiler and some pipes in the nursery.

The Vestry is committed to the Green Heat project and is examining various sources of funding in addition to the diocesan Green Loan.

                  Submitted by Anne Goldman on behalf of the Green Heat Team.

Greener Hot Water

The Green Heat Project made huge progress this week, on Earth Day, no less:

  1. We were awarded a Diocesan Green Grant for $5,645 to cover the cost of installing the on-demand gas hot water system. We are particularly pleased as the number of applications was unusually large, in this the last year of the initiative. Mr. Jonasson, our plumbing shepherd, is in charge of installation.
  2. The specifications for replacing our heating system have gone out on bid. Responses from interested contractors are due May 12. When the contractor has been chosen by the vestry, we will apply for the Diocesan Green Loan to help cover the cost. Margaret and Eliza have worked hard to get the application ready, but still need bids from at least two contractors and a final budget before send off.

Submitted by Anne Goldman on behalf of the Green Heat Team.

Brand New Radiators!

This week the vestry chose radiators and “heat-zones” in the 3/15 recommendation by the Structural Engineer and also the Green Heat Team, except for a few minor adjustments. In summary, two types of radiators have been chosen (see images below):

  1. Brown “Runtals” in the sanctuary, parish hall, and two vestibules—the color matches the existing paneling nicely and are skinny enough to fit on wall without moving the pews (except during installation).
  2. White “Slant/fin baseboards” throughout the entire undercroft, first floor bathroom, sacristy, choir room and pantry—a safe choice around children.


Slant Fin

The electric baseboards will remain in the rector’s office.

Meanwhile, the GH Team is reviewing the highly technical preliminary construction drawings. When finalized and approved (4/19), these drawings will be the basis for the completed design, which will go out to potential contractors for bidding. The bids are due on 5/17, after which we will apply for partial funding by a Diocesan loan.

                Submitted by Anne Goldman on behalf of the Green Heat Team.



Hot water only when we need it

Although the last blog post was about a month ago, that does not mean the the Green Heat team has been idle. Most significantly, we have applied for a Diocesan Green Improvement Grant for $5,440 (Thank you Eliza and Margaret). This grant together with an expected energy rebate of $800 will cover the cost of replacing of our hot water heater, as described on the first page of the application:

Summary. We plan to replace the current water heater with a more efficient on-demand system. The 80-gallon electric heater which now provides all our occasional hot water needs will be replaced with two efficient on-demand units. Instead of the tank now in the undercroft kitchen, a gas-fired on-demand heater will serve the kitchen and additionally the pantry and main bathroom located immediately upstairs in the parish hall. A second small electrical unit will provide hot water for hand-washing in the two remote lavatories at the other end of the undercroft.

Mr. Jonasson, our faithful plumber who has kept our ancient heating system functioning for many years, will be installing the system. Those who are interested in considering a similar system for themselves can find an excellent write-up by MIP&L on the Creation Care bulletin board and also on the POSP Creation Care website (

Other significant progress has been made in the overall project:

  • The vestry signed an agreement with Norian/Siani Engineering to oversee the heating system replacement. We will receive the preliminary design of the new hot water heating system before the end of March.
  • An inspector has evaluated the need for asbestos abatement during the removal of the old boiler—a report is due this week. (Thank you Amy)
  • Mr. Siani has given us a preliminary time-line for completion of the project. We are hoping to shorten the time frame by being very efficient in our response to various decision points so as to reduce the chance of cold Sunday mornings in the fall.
  • Margaret and Eliza have already started on the application for the Diocesan Green Loan to partially fund the heating system. Many of the supporting documents are identical to those required in the grant application, but we still need: a complete project design plan and its vestry approval, bids from contractors for the work, and a budget for the project.

Submitted by Anne Goldman on behalf of the Green Heat Team.