Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book.  Write a good one!" - Brad Paisley

The Church Master Site Plan

By Robert C. Foreman, AIA, LEED AP




When does a church need a Master Site Plan?

With the purchase of a new site or planning for expansion on an existing site, every church planning to build should have a Master Site Plan.  Every phase of expansion should be preceded by updating the Master Site Plan.  The Master Site Plan is a valuable tool in the planning process for a new facility because any church that wishes to provide for growth needs to know how much it will be able to grow on its currently available property.  The most important reason for a Master Site Plan is to provide a clear road map for future growth on a specific site.  It must allow for reasonable and practical current development while providing a path for future growth and facility expansion to accommodate that growth.  The goal is to provide for the most sustainable, economical, and efficient long term use of the site.  Poor planning will hinder growth.  Without careful planning, valuable resources may be wasted; and the church may eventually discover it has not been a good steward of its property. 

What is a Master Site Plan?

A Master Site Plan should not be confused with the Facility Master Plan or the Schematic Design.  The Master Site Plan is a conceptual site layout that shows the most ideal location for each of the major site elements.  It should show existing buildings, future buildings, parking lots, and the long term proposed expansion of each.  It should show each entrance and exit to and from adjacent streets and highways.  On-site traffic circulation should be shown, along with the location of the storm water retention area, easements, streams, steep slopes, utilities, setbacks, buffers, and all other property restrictions.  The future phased growth of each site element should show the most efficient long term potential of the property based on the church leadership’s vision of the future of the congregation.  It should show the approximate total parking space count for each phase.  It should indicate the number of people that can be accommodated by each phase of expansion and the ultimate capacity of the site.  These details can be provided in a separate document if too much information would make the master plan difficult to understand.

Who is most qualified to prepare the Master Site Plan?

This is not a “Do it yourself” project.  A church expecting to get the most benefit from their property should use an architect with extensive experience in the planning and design of church facilities.  Land planners, landscape architects, and civil engineers understand site planning, but they are not experts at church facility planning.  However, the architect preparing the Master Site Plan may need to consult with some or all of these professionals.  Hopefully, the property was thoroughly evaluated with a site feasibility analysis before purchase by a qualified church architect to make sure the site could be developed for a church without any significant drawbacks.  Such an analysis should have revealed the approximate ultimate capacity of the property – the total number of people the site could eventually accommodate at one time.

What information is required in order to prepare the Master Site Plan?

A complete topographic and boundary survey should first be completed by a professional land surveyor.  This survey shows existing site features, including buildings, parking, drives, utilities, setbacks, buffers, streams, ponds, easements, complete topography, and boundary lines.

Accurate utility information, including water mains, sewer lines, natural gas, electrical and phone / data lines must be clearly shown, including underground lines.  Not all of this information will be needed for the Master Site Plan, but it will become essential later when detailed site drawings are being prepared for the project.  If public sewer service is not immediately adjacent to the site, it will be important for the survey to show the nearest sewer location.

If sewer is not available, soil permeability testing will be necessary.  Some soil types and areas with rock just beneath the surface are not suitable for septic drain fields.  Therefore, it will be important to have soil tests to locate the best areas of the site for septic drain fields.  The Master Site Plan will show an area for the septic drain field, and it must be a large enough area to accommodate future growth.  Drain fields cannot be used for parking, but it may be possible to designate the area for recreational purposes.  Septic drain fields reduce the usable area of the site. 

If poor structural soils or rock are suspected, it may be advisable to have a comprehensive subsurface investigation conducted by a geotechnical engineering firm.  In areas of the country where poor soils are common, this should be completed before purchasing the property as part of the evaluation process.  The purpose is to know in advance if special building foundations will be required or to see if rock will be a problem.  Poor subsurface conditions can make some sites too expensive and impractical for use.

Tree preservation and tree replacement laws have become common.  It may be advisable to include a tree location survey in the duties of the land surveyor.  The Master Site Plan should include provision for the preservation of “landmark” or “specimen” trees.  It may be wise for the architect to consult with an arborist or landscape architect.

Some communities have strict environmental impact laws, and an environmental impact study may be required.  Historic or archeologically significant findings may limit where buildings or parking can be constructed.  Native American artifacts, old cemeteries, and endangered species can dramatically affect site use and may need to be indicated on the plan.  Another concern is hazardous materials and substances which may be discovered with a Phase One Environmental Study and which may require removal or remediation prior to site development.

Preparing the Master Site Plan

It is not usually necessary to get deeply into the civil engineering design prior to doing the Master Site Plan.  However, the architect must consider all of the site features revealed by the survey and site investigations.  The architect may consult with a civil engineer to determine the extent of site grading and to determine the best location for and size of storm water retention areas and septic drain fields.  An arborist or landscape designer may need to address the requirements of local tree ordinances.  A structural engineer’s advice may be needed if poor soil or other subsurface problems are encountered.

A Master Site Plan is not something that the architect and the engineering consultants can develop alone without church input.  Several meetings may be necessary for the architect to begin to fully understand the ministry needs of the church.  The architect must take into account the long term vision of the church leadership.  Are weekday child education programs or daycare anticipated?  Will recreation fields be part of the church’s vision?  How will the facilities be used during the week?  What does the church expect for projected attendance and capacity needs of the next phase of expansion?

What information should be on the Master Site Plan?

A detailed building floor plan is not essential for the Master Site Plan to be an effective planning tool.  However, the floor plan should be taken into account.  For this reason, an architect experienced with church facilities is essential to the site planning process.  Later on in the design process, once a schematic floor plan has been developed, the Master Site Plan may need to be reconfigured to align with the actual floor plan. The completed Master Site Plan should show a phased plan, possibly involving 3 or more phases of growth. 














Example of Master Site Plan

Capacity Chart

The capacity chart is a valuable tool to provide with the Master Site Plan.  It can show each proposed expansion phase, occupancy capacity, and total parking.  In some cases it can indicate approximate building square footage and number of stories in each phase. The most important information is the capacity – the total number of adults, young people, and children that can be accommodated at one time with each phase. 

Example of a Capacity Chart – Attendance

Function

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3
Worship

150

300

600
Fellowship (at tables)

0

150

300
Nursery -Preschool

20

40

60
Children – Small Groups

20

40

60
Youth – Small Groups

15

30

60
Adult – Small Groups

115

230

480
Parking Spaces

65

140

275

The example chart shows the capacity, the maximum number of people in the facility at one time for each major function area.  If the site for this chart has only six usable acres of land, it is doubtful that all functions could be concurrently loaded - unless augmented by nearby offsite parking.  Concurrent loading means that more than one event may be taking place simultaneously in different function areas.   

Site Capacity

Parking almost always determines site capacity.  When parking is available on adjacent property, site capacity is increased.  A building will always be restricted in attendance by the available parking, regardless of the building capacity.  The total number of people and cars that can be accommodated on a given site at one time depends on many factors.  A typical site will usually accommodate between 100 and 125 people per usable acre.  Larger sites usually accommodate more people per acre than smaller sites.  Usable site area is the part of the site that can be utilized for buildings and parking. 

Churches are finding ways to increase capacity and usability by scheduling multiple events and concurrent use of facilities.  Most modern growing churches do not use their buildings just one time on Sunday.  They have multiple services and many have multiple Sunday small group events.  Multiple use and concurrent use should be planned into the Master Site Plan from the beginning. 

A church with more than one worship service taking place at the same time or simultaneous worship and small groups must still accommodate the parking needs of everyone in attendance.  Depending on the demographics of the membership, churches today will require one parking space for between 1.8 to 2.7 persons in attendance.  The typical ratio is for one parking space for every 2.0 to 2.5 people.  A church with a large percentage of children will need less parking than a similar size church with a large percentage of older teenagers, singles or senior adults.  An aging church may require one space for each 1.5 attendees.  Some urban churches may need less on-site parking because off-site or street parking is available, or some members walk or take transit.  Parking needs change over time.

How will the Master Site Plan be used?

The Master Site Plan is a planning tool, but many churches will also utilize it for marketing or fund raising.  The leadership will present it to the members to help everyone get excited about the upcoming expansion.  It will be kept in front of the membership to help keep everyone interested in what the church plans to do. 

The Master Site Plan can also be used to show local land use or zoning boards the site development plans of the church.  It can also be shown to local neighborhood groups to assure approval and avoid opposition.  Some local communities require that long term site usage plans be “approved” by local planning authorities as a prerequisite to obtaining a development permit.  Finally, the plan should continue to be used as a planning tool to help shape the future direction of facility growth.

May the Master Site Plan change?

The Master Site Plan is only a snapshot in time.  The program and building program needs of the church are likely to change over time.  Communities change over time.  As a community becomes more urbanized, a denser site plan may be needed.  Adjacent property may become available for purchase.  A revised Master Site Plan can reveal the potential of the expanded property.  Roads may be widened or rerouted and traffic patterns may change.  New land use restrictions may be imposed by local governments.  A Master Site Plan must be ever changing and evolving reflecting the changing needs of the church over time.

Conclusion

Every site should be evaluated by an experienced church architect before it is purchased and before every phase of expansion.  Using data from the survey and with input from the church leadership, the architect should develop a phased expansion plan that makes the most efficient and most practical use of the property.  A Master Site Plan will help keep the church from making costly mistakes and will assure the efficient and effective use of the property for many years to come.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Reuseable Building Materials from Life Cycle Building Center

Looking for building materials for a renovation or upgrade project?  Something creative to hang in your house or office?  Life Cycle Building Center is a great place to start.  Their goal is to connect people with reusable items that were otherwise going to the landfills.  You can view more information about them as well as see some of what they offer at their website www.lifecyclebuildingcenter.org.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

How to Select the Best Site for Your Church

By:  Robert C. Foreman, AIA, LEED AP



The church steering committee has many important tasks early in the planning process for a new facility. After selection of the architect, the contractor and the construction delivery method, one of the next big decisions will often involve property acquisition.  It is risky for a church to purchase land before hiring an architect.  An architect experienced with church facility design will help the church avoid serious misjudgments in property selection. 

There are three situations creating the need for new property. One is when a newly formed church is ready to move out of temporary facilities and purchase land for their first building.  The second is when a church has decided to relocate or build a second campus.  The third is when an established church needs to build an addition but requires additional adjacent property to accommodate the expansion. 

In each situation, the church must carefully consider many factors as it begins the process of finding and purchasing a piece of property.  Using these recommendations as a guide, a church should develop its own site selection criteria.  Each church’s site selection criteria will depend on their particular situation. 

Real Estate Agent and Architect

Select a qualified commercial real estate agent to help you learn what property is available.  The agent will need to know the approximate size property and the general location.  The real estate agent will know local land values and will find prospective sites that meet your specific criteria.  If considering land adjacent to your existing church property, it is better to have your realtor contact the property owner to discuss the purchase.  Otherwise, the price of that property may suddenly exceed actual market value.

A church looking at property should also rely on the services of an experienced architect. The architect will provide advice on how much of each site can be developed and what facility size and capacity could be placed on that property.  The architect will investigate each property under consideration to see if it meets the criteria you have decided are most important.  Most of the same site selection criteria apply when an established church is considering purchasing adjacent property. 

Land Value

When investigating different sites, it will be helpful to determine the actual dollar value of the usable area of the property.  Take the total land area of the site and subtract the total area of setbacks, buffers, easements, road improvements, floodplains, steep slopes and any other zoning or land use restrictions to the site.  All of these factors can add up quickly to reduce the amount of usable property.  What remains is the usable area of the site.  There are 43,560 square feet in an acre.  Use the calculated usable area to determine the effective cost per acre. 

In order to compare different sites, it is vital to be able to compare the true value of each site being investigated.  A church may be considering purchase of 15 acres. They may believe they will obtain it for a bargain price since it appears to be half the market value of similar land in that neighborhood.  Then upon further investigation, it may be discovered that the property has only five usable acres of land because so much of the site is unbuildable.  With 5 useable acres and 10 acres of worthless land the church would have paid 150% of the market value for the usable area of the property.

Zoning 

At one time churches could be built in almost any zoning.  But many localities now require special use permits or conditional use rezoning for churches.  Find out the current zoning and if a church is permitted in the current zoning.  If not, what are the requirements for rezoning?   Is there possible local opposition to rezoning for churches? 

Check for required acceleration or deceleration lanes, sidewalks or other required public right-of-way improvements.  Check on required buffers next to adjacent residential property, as well as setbacks and other zoning restrictions.  A buffer is a strip of land adjacent to the property line that must be landscaped or left completely natural.  A set back is the minimum distance that a building can be located from the property line. 

Other typical restrictions include building height limits, building use restrictions, and architectural controls for building fa├žade materials.  A location with high impact fees, lengthy rezoning requirements or very restrictive local ordinances can make development and building more expensive and time consuming.  You may need the services of a real estate attorney if rezoning or special use permits are necessary.

Topography

Is the site above or below the street?  It is usually better if a church building is at or above street level, especially on sites with less than 10 acres.  It is not as critical on larger sites, but being below the road will mean less visibility.

Is the site flat or hilly?  Parking requires a large relatively flat area.  If the site has too much slope, then a large volume of earth must be moved.  Steep difficult terrain can be very expensive to develop.  This cost must be considered as part of the actual cost of the land.  When comparing the cost of relatively flat property and hilly property, the higher cost of grading the hilly property must be taken into consideration. 

Is any of the land in a federal wetland or flood plain?  Typically, this land cannot be disturbed at all.  A property topographic survey will normally show this information, and it is also available on publicly available flood plain maps.  Flood plains and wetlands almost always reduce usable acreage.

Shape 

Site shape can effectively reduce the usable acreage.  Triangular or odd shaped sites usually have less usable area than square to rectangular sites of the same acreage.  For example, a normal rectangular 20 acre square site may have 18 acres of usable land after accounting for restrictions and site features.  However, a 20 acre site with relatively long road frontage, normal setbacks, normal buffers with an odd shape may result in less than 15 usable acres.

Utilities 

Some sites will require expensive utility infrastructure improvements and in most localities, the cost of these improvements will be borne by the property developer.  Always verify the availability of electricity, natural gas and telephone or cable.  Then find out if public water and sewer are available to the site.  If not, how close are they to the site?  What size is the water main and is it adequate to serve the property?  If water and sewer utilities are located at some distance or even on the opposite side of the road, the church will likely have to bear the cost of extending utility lines, boring under the road or cutting existing pavement.  Find out how much this is going to cost.

Is there adequate water pressure to serve a new church building or will a larger water main have to be constructed?   Most church buildings are required by code to have an automatic fire sprinkler system.  Adequate water pressure is critical to the proper operation of a sprinkler system. Without adequate pressure, an expensive holding tank or pump system may be required.  Is the nearest fire hydrant within the required maximum distance to all points on the exterior of your proposed building (distance measured as the truck drives)?  If not, then the church will pay for a water main to be constructed into the site.  If sewer is unavailable, is a septic system feasible?  Is the soil suitable for a septic drain field?  Your architect can bring in an experienced civil engineer to help find the answers to these questions.   

Storm Water 

Will storm water retention be a problem?  Retention ponds are required for almost every site.  Will the location of storm water retention areas hurt the appearance of the site?  How much land area will be required?  If expensive underground storm water structures are required, how much will they cost?  The architect and the civil engineer can provide preliminary assessments of each site’s storm water requirements.

Subsurface Conditions 

Does the site have hidden rock or poor soil conditions?  Was the site filled to bring it to its current level?  Poor subsurface conditions can significantly increase the cost of construction.  Removal of rock or bad soil is an expensive undertaking.  It is always advisable to have subsurface investigations made by a geotechnical engineering company before purchasing property.  Your architect can help you select a geotechnical engineer to conduct subsurface investigations.  Investing a few thousand dollars before purchasing the property may reveal conditions that could add significant construction costs when you build.  In some parts of the country, poor soil conditions are common.  In these situations, it will be better to select the site with the fewest subsurface problems or a site where foundation costs will be manageable.

Visibility and Access 

The “message” of your facility will be influenced by its visibility and ease of access.  A church that is not visible or accessible sends the message that it is not really part of the community.  Is the site on a major road where your church building will be seen?  If the land slopes away from the street, your building may not be visible.  Sites level with the street or above the street usually permit your facilities to be seen.  It is generally believed that if a church building is visible, the church will usually grow more quickly.  If the building can’t be seen, how will anyone know it is there?

If your church is looking for a large tract of land with intentions of growing into a large church, then easy road access will be very important and may be a requirement of local zoning law.  Larger churches that believe they will have regional appeal should consider property that will be accessible from an interstate or other high capacity highway.  Visibility and access are important in church site selection. 

Growth Potential 

How large can your church grow on this property?  The rule of thumb is that you can accommodate about 100 people at a time per useable acre.  Sites with 15 acres or more may be able to accommodate 125 people per usable acre.  The parking needs of most churches are on the order of one parking place for every two adults in attendance.  An ideal flat site of the right dimensions can accommodate about 100 parking spaces per acre.  If simultaneous events are to take place, such as simultaneous worship services and Sunday school, parking should be in the range of 2 to 2.3 persons per parking space for the total attendance at all concurrent events.  If multiple worship and Bible Study events are to be scheduled with only short breaks in between, significantly more parking will be required because attendees often arrive early and stay late, resulting in overlapping parking requirements. 

A site with five useable acres of land should be able to accommodate up to 500 in attendance.  A site with ten usable acres should easily accommodate 1,000 attendees. Twenty usable acres may be able to accommodate 2,500 attendees.  Recreational land is not included in usable land area for this calculation.  Zoning laws in many communities require a five acre minimum site area for a church, but this varies greatly.  In dense urban areas, with offsite parking or public transit, each site will require careful analysis by design professionals.  If you expect your church to grow on the new site, you must have enough property to accommodate the growth you anticipate.  Additional adjacent property may not be available for purchase in the future.

Competition and Local Culture 

Are other churches already in the neighborhood?  If they are very similar to your church in theology and style of worship, will their programs or facilities overshadow your own?  Will your church have something to offer that other nearby churches do not have?  If an existing neighborhood church is relatively traditional, perhaps even liturgical and formal, is your church willing to offer a more contemporary and informal alternative to the community?  The building architecture and site should reflect the standards of the people that live nearby.  Can your church afford to build to meet locally expected curb appeal? Otherwise, the “message” the building sends may appear uninviting to some in the community.  On the other hand, a much nicer or grander facility than is warranted by the local culture may also turn people off and discourage them from visiting your church.  Consider an Existing Facility

One option many churches fail to consider is the possibility of purchasing an existing building.  This option may be the only option in built-up urban areas where land is scarce.  In some areas vacant church facilities are available for sale, many of which are move-in ready.  Vacant commercial buildings are for sale in many communities, sometimes for prices much less than the cost of building a new facility.  These properties may have most of the utilities and storm water control structures already in place, as well as plenty of parking and good visibility.  A creative architect will be able to transform a former big box store or industrial building into an attractive and functional church facility for a fraction of the cost of a new building.  Repurposing existing buildings should never be ruled out.

Feasibility Study 

Once you have a site that really looks promising, have your architect prepare a site feasibility study.  This will consist of a written evaluation of the criteria outlined as important to your church.  It will also include a rough conceptual site master plan showing how the property might be developed in phases over a period of time.  A site master plan should indicate the site capacity and growth potential, taking into account all zoning and other government restrictions.  Such a feasibility study may need to be kept confidential if the current property owner is not yet aware that the property is seriously being considered.  Confidentiality is very critical if an established church is considering purchasing property adjacent to its existing location.

Other Considerations 

Is the surrounding community a growing residential area?  Will it continue to grow?  A community transitioning from residential to office or industrial may no longer support continued residential growth.  Are the culture and demographics of the community similar to those of your existing congregation?  If not, will your church be able to attract people from different racial, ethnic or cultural groups?  Is the site located near the geographic center of the congregation or will your current members have to travel longer distances to attend church?  Are there other negative factors in the immediate area, such as a landfill or wastewater treatment plant? 

Have both prayer and careful investigation been part of the selection process?  Is the site in a location to which you feel directed by the Holy Spirit?  Does the vast majority of the congregation support the proposed location?  Have the original selection criteria been met to everyone’s satisfaction?  Does the feasibility site plan clearly indicate the property will work and provide room for growth?  These are questions you must ask yourself and your members

Secure an Option to Purchase 

Most commercial developers seldom purchase property until they are ready to build.  There are ways to obtain the right to purchase, without actually proceeding to complete the purchase.  Some churches purchase land, only to end up holding the land for many years before being ready to build.  A real estate attorney can help place an option on a property that will hold it until the church is ready to build.  The cost of the option will provide the time to raise funds for building and provide an easy way out, if a better piece of property becomes available or the church is delayed by an economic downturn or other unforeseen events.

Conclusion 

Thoroughly investigate property before purchasing it.  Hire an architect and a real estate professional to evaluate the property.  Determine the actual usable land area to calculate the cost per usable acre and the site’s ultimate capacity.  Investigate whether this site is expensive to develop because of difficult topography, poor subsurface conditions, lack of sanitary sewer or inadequate water supply.  Is the neighborhood right for your church?  Have your architect prepare a site feasibility study and a conceptual site master plan.  Can your church grow on this particular property?  Purchase of land is a significant long term investment.  Be sure it is the right property and will meet the church’s long term needs.

The Church Building Team

By:  Robert C. Foreman, AIA, LEED AP

 

Nothing is as important to the success of a new church building project as the people you select to help with the task.  Assembling the right team of people is a critical decision, which should result in a building that meets all of your facility needs and everyone involved having an enjoyable and rewarding experience in the process.  If you have the wrong people – the wrong team – you will probably be very disappointed.  There are three components to the Building Team:  (1) Owner, (2) Designer, (3) Builder. 

There are several possible ways to contractually organize the Team. This contract arrangement is referred to as the “delivery method”.  The key to success lies in organizing these three groups into a highly effective team, all working toward the same goal.  Each church should learn how to assemble a successful Building Team and understand which delivery method is best for their particular church.

OWNER

It starts with the church having the right people in charge of the project.  For many churches it will be a committee structure.  For some churches, it will be pastor led or led by another staff minister or lay person acting as chairman.  A project of any size cannot be handled by just one person.  Being pastor of a medium size or larger church is a full time job.  A pastor that thinks he can serve in the capacity of Owner’s representative on a major construction project will come to understand that such a task will soon consume a tremendous portion of his time and there will be little time left for pastoral duties.  An Owner’s committee, a group of people, will be necessary because there are numerous decisions to be made.  Some larger projects may require an outside consultant to serve as the Owner’s Representative, sometimes referred to as a Program Manager or a Project Manager.  Unless the church is willing to turn every decision over to outsiders, most churches will still need a committee of members and pastors who can speak for the church.  We refer to this group as the Church Steering Committee.  In most cases, it includes both laymen and pastors and is selected by the top leadership.  There is a right size and a right way to go about selecting the Steering Committee.

DESIGNER

The right Design Team is also critical to project success.  The designer determines the design based on input from the Steering Committee.  Churches that allow non-designers to dictate the building design will ultimately be dissatisfied with the end product as well as the process.  The Architect is the professional educated and trained to lead the design team.  The Architect heads up a team of designers and other professionals who each have specific roles to play in the design and build process.  Examples of the design team members who work under the Architect’s direction include civil engineers, landscape architects, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers.  Other specialists under his direction include interior designers, kitchen designers, audio, video, and lighting specialists.  There is a tried and proven way to select the right architect for your church.

BUILDER

The Contractor is the leader of the Builder Team.  The Contractor heads up a team of specialists (sub-contractors and suppliers) who complete the work.  The right contractor for your church is critical for a quality finished product – a well built facility for a fair price. The contractor should be experienced working with churches as well as experienced in current construction methods and techniques.  Finding the best contractor for your church should be a top priority.

DELIVERY METHOD

 “Delivery Method” is shorthand for the different possible contractual arrangements that define the roles of the various Building Team members.  The most well known and traditional delivery method is referred to as Design-Bid-Build (DBB).  In this system, the Architect is hired by the church to prepare a design and once the “plans” are complete they are “put out to bid” for multiple builders to competitively price.  The low bidder is usually awarded a stipulated price contract.  The Design-Build (DB) method of delivery combines the services of the architect and contractor.  Under this system, the Architect and Contractor are one contractual entity.  Another system, sometimes called “Partnering”, places the Architect in a traditional contractual relationship with the church but instead of bidding to several bidders, a contractor is hired under either a cost-plus agreement or a stipulated sum contract.  A popular variation of this for larger projects is called Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).  Construction Management (CM) is the system in which the church hires a construction manager and essentially acts as its own contractor.  Each of these delivery methods has advantages and disadvantages.  The church Steering Committee must understand each of these delivery methods and the pros and cons of each in order to be able to decide which delivery method is best for their situation.

Nothing will impact the success of a new church building expansion or renovation as much as the people selected to help with the task.  A Building Team that includes the right people will result in the best design and the best facility.  It is important to understand the well defined roles each team member will play and how they can be best organized for your church’s benefit.

In a series of articles we address how to select and how to organize the Building Team.  We address the different ways the team can be organized contractually, and we explore the pros and cons of each delivery method.

Articles on the Church Building Team:


  • Selecting and Organizing the Steering Committee for your church building project

  • Selecting the best architect and the best contractor for your church

  • Selecting the best delivery method for your church