In a recent and ambitious i3 webinar, we covered all the steps in the process of constructing a new or remodeled church building, from start to finish.
Step one was about determining the catalyst – the right reasons for your church building project. In step two, you need to convert that understanding into a practical, workable, overall plan. This is the design phase and it’s also the time to bring in church building professionals.
Getting a Needs Assessment
The first step in the church design phase is a needs assessment, which is a professional review of what you need for fulfilling your ministries. There are consequences for every decision that you might not have the expertise to understand. A professional will, however.
For example, let’s say you want to increase participation or develop a new children’s program. From a church building perspective, what does that mean? Do you want classrooms, a children’s church, a multi-use facility, an activity center? Did you think about the need for restrooms and storage to go with each of these? Have you considered the regulations governing safe exits and modern parental safety concerns in the church design? This is why you need professional help.
Getting a Church Building Professional’s Perspective
It’s not enough to get just any architect or designer to work with you. Professionals who design offices can give you the right square-footage requirements, but they won’t understand how to analyze your current building limitations in terms of the ministries you want to achieve. When you work with church building professionals, they understand that a church vision and the associated ministries have special sets of requirements.
Getting Your Church Remodeling or New Building Documentation Together
The final element in the design phase is gathering all the documentation needed. For example, for a church remodel, you need to have available all existing blueprints and plans for your current church building and the property as a whole.
If you’re starting from scratch, you still need property documentation. In this case, design professionals need the topographical survey of the land to know the boundaries, any rights of way, and elevation changes over the property because no piece of land is completely flat.
In addition to the property, architects need information about the church community to design an appropriate church building. This information includes operations (when and what types of worship services and other activities, which may overlap and impact parking and hallway usage) and numbers (church attendance, percentage of children, etc.).
Since these factors greatly influence the design and layout of your church building, it’s easy to see that the average office-design professional probably won’t understand the value and importance they add to your church vision.
We believe it’s never too early to involve professionals in your church remodeling or new building project. Contact us today with your questions—and with suggestions for our 2019 i3 webinar series now being finalized.
In our next “start to finish” step we’ll address zoning-code review.