2012 Secrets to a Successful Building Design
By: Bernie Satrom
Getting ready to design and build a new worship facility? Here are 10 secrets you should know before you begin.
Secret #1 - Either your building will serve your church or your church will serve your building.
They will help you define your vision, mission, and passion and will help you recognize your strengths. From this, they can help design a building as a tool that helps you be more effective.
Secret #2 - The chickens will die off to fit the size of the coop.
That is why we stress the importance of having buildings that are easily expanded. There is a big difference between expansion and addition.
Many churches outgrow sanctuaries and keep building new ones, turning the old ones into gyms, fellowship, classrooms, etc. They sell the old pews and buy new ones. They sell old sound systems and buy new ones.
Some of the problem is that it takes a lot of money to keep building new sanctuaries. It gobbles up land. It creates a maze, and it kills time and momentum.
Secret #3 - It is much less expensive to take out some walls and build an education wing that to keep building new sanctuaries.
Secret #4 - Energy costs are not going to go down.
There is a fairly simple computer program that shows the effect that insulation plays on energy savings. Geothermal, solar and wind are really cool, but, for most situations, the best payback is by building a well-insulated building.
Warning: Adding insulation incorrectly to existing buildings can make for sick buildings.
Secret #5 - You can't fix bad acoustics with a good sound system, and you can mess up good acoustics with a bad sound system.
Secret #6 - People come because they are curious but they stay because of relationships.
Consider incorporating large foyer/commons areas your building, which are natural places to minister to and connect with others.
As an experiment, you might want your ushers to count the cars after they do the head count and see what your number is.
The key here is not to allow yourselves to be fooled. Use a realistic number in estimating your property's capacity and take appropriate steps.
Secret #8 - Paying off an ugly building is like paying off a dead horse.
Secret #9 - Excellence pays.
Secret #10 - God wants to be part of your building project.
A building project can be a fantastic faith and growth journey, and God wants to bless you and be in the center of it all. Don't settle for anything less.