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April 2009 Letter from the Editor
By: Jill Pinheiro

You may be thinking now is not the time to embark on a church construction or renovation project. However, in fact, it's actually a good time to build. A positive side of today's economy is that prices for key construction commodities have dropped.

"For example, prices for steel, gypsum products, lumber, and cement have all come down recently, which makes taking on projects more attractive to developers," said Kermit Baker, the chief economist for the American Institute of Architects.

And, the church market will continue to improve in the future.

According to the latest Consensus Construction Forecast recently released by AIA, religious-related construction is one of only two institutional market segments predicted to show positive growth in 2010.

One important element to consider in a construction project is the audiovisual aspect.

 At a recent Church Growth by Design workshop here in Birmingham, I heard Donnie Haulk of Audio Ethics speak on the importance of A/V technology in church construction.

He offered a rule of thumb for churches as they consider what percentage of their total construction budget to allot to A/V:

* Traditional churches: 6% to 8%

* Contemporary churches: 8% to 12%

* "Ultra-modern" churches: 12% to 15%

Haulk said, "Build for how you will worship, not how you currently worship."

Our annual focus on Church Construction is full of great articles on the most timely and critical issues regarding churches and the building process. I hope you'll find this issue helpful as your church moves forward with an expansion project.

I'm always interested in hearing from you. You can reach me at jill@rpnmag.com.

God Bless,

Jill Pinheiro
Managing Editor

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