How to Design a Church Building

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Designing a church may seem simple, but there is much to consider. You must take into account the size of the congregation and the way it will use the church. You must also consider the land use and the cost of utilities for certain church designs. Taking a look at the number of potential congregants before starting the planning will help you design a successful church.

Get an accurate count of the number of members in the church congregation. This will be the most number of people the church needs to host for special occasions, holidays and events. Make sure there is enough room in your design to fit this number comfortably. To figure out the average number of people who will attend services at any one time, calculate the space needed per person by multiplying the average number by 5. This gives an approximate comfort zone per person. Seating in the church proper should follow a simple, auditorium-style format.

Think of how the congregation plans to use the church. Will they have lively celebrations or will they be more serious and contained? The space needed for these two different congregation types is different.

Design the church so the restrooms, fire exits and main entrances are near the most commonly used areas. Have at least one exit for each exterior wall. Plan at least three fire exit doors on the main floor if the church is a mutistory building.

Provide for plenty of windows and ventilation. The windows will allow for a more open appearance and natural light. Having proper ventilation will also allow the air to flow freely and give the building proper heat and cooling exchange.

Plan for the number of children who will be attending church school. Divide this number by an appropriate class size to give yourself an estimate of how many classrooms you will need. Incorporate portable dividers into the classrooms to allow for room expansion (or contraction) if needed. This also allows for community and social events to take place.

Plan a nursery when designing the church. Any healthy church or congregation will have young children, who will need care while their families are attending services. Try to have adequate space for changing tables, cribs, a play area and toy storage. Make sure the nursery is next to a restroom.

Provide for private office or work space for the minister and the secretary of the church. This allows for private consultations and the minister to maintain his files and other work. This will also keep church records and other material in a safe place and organized.

Do not underestimate necessary storage space. A church is made up of a congregation or church “family,” which will accumulate odds and ends that will need to be stored.

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