Quaker A-Z: B is for Buildings

2011 01 Front of buildingThis is part of the Quaker Alphabet Project click here for more information.

B is for Building Records and Tours

Building – perhaps if you read the last post you suspected that B might be for Building. However, I’m going to concentrate on two bits of caring for a building that I often see forgotten.

Building Tours

Two different sorts here – the first is the one that is developed to sell each room or space that you let to prospective hirers.

Have you thought about what should be included in any tour? What points to be sure to raise as you walk around. A list to read from can ensure that nothing important is forgotten. A leaflet to hand out with the main points summarized can be very helpful too.

The second is – have you ever thought of doing a “Getting to Know your Meeting House” tour for local Friends and Attenders?

Empowering them and educating them to the important bits of their building – such as where the toilet paper is kept, where to find cleaning supplies or even the carol sheets?

Not only will it mean that people will feel able to sort out small problems without resorting to the warden, but also that they may feel more ownership of the building.

Combining it with some other issue – such as sustainability or ‘what colour should we paint’ can also add interest too.

This can be useful for members of Premises who may only be concentrating on the bits they see regularly or if they are new may never have known about.

Building Records

Both those from the building and any additions or changes, but also those which slowly help to create a fuller picture.

For example:

  • Do you have a set of up to date drawings?
  • Would you be able to calculate the floor area or the square meterage of each room or the entire building from them?
  • Do the records you have include where the utilities and drainage are – and where they run to?
  • Does the stopcock work and does anyone know where it is?
  • Are meter readings taken regularly?
  • If so are they recorded anywhere that anyone looks at them and can notice trends?

I love photographs – but have also found them invaluable for tracking and recording changes to buildings. Internally and externally as well as the progress of any works that may be happening. With digital cameras you can easily provide a fairly full photographic record of each room and aspect of the building and grounds.

This may not be the most riveting read once it is complete – but it is extremely useful. Obviously ensure that copies are kept somewhere that they can be accessed and not just on one person’s computer.

There is nothing more frustrating than having a shaft dug through concrete – which is meant to reach a drain at 4.6m, but instead hits an unexpected live cable at 3.9m stopping the works… or perhaps that is just me?

To browse through all of the posts click on the Quaker A-Z link here or in the side bar.

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