How to Begin the Church Building Process

[An excerpt from the book, Faith Building]

How do we begin the Church Building Process? Countless groups have met for hours, days, weeks and months to discuss this question.

A very small percentage of churches build, add on or repurpose their facilities more than once or twice in a generation. Generally pastors and church leaders seek out people within their church family to begin a planning or building team. In most cases they also seek outside advice to assist in the important planning and feasibility phase.

Involving a design/build firm at this important stage early in the process can pay financial and space utilization dividends for years to come. Trust and an open relationship are key at this point in the process. Developing a trust relationship with a design/build firm is much like allowing a Dad to catch his trusting toddler when the toddler jumps off a table into Dad's arms. The church has to allow and entrust the professionals to do what they do best. However that is not to say that the church just blindly allows the design/builder free reign, but it is to say that, working in partnership together, the Church trusts the expertise and experience of a good design/build team.

Trust That Leads to The Wedding

This trust is much like a marriage for a significant period of time. The courtship occurs during the time where the design/build team asks questions and learns of the church's dreams and aspirations.
The engagement occurs when the church has contracted with the design/builder to develop planning schemes and illustrations during which time the church and the design/builder deepen their trust and relationship with one another. Both the church and the design/builder, much like transferring trust when first coming to faith, must be open and totally honest with one another. This is not a time for wavering or second thoughts about one another. You have now both gone through many meetings and learned of the strengths that will significantly impact your ministry. This time together can be significant and eventually leads to the actual wedding. On the wedding day, the church and the design/builder enter into a design build contract triggering the final design phase leading to construction.

This courtship, engagement and wedding concept and the churches transferring trust to the design/builder is vital to the Faith Building concept.

Faith Building will ask and answer key questions as to how to build a ministry tool. It will assist your ministry to focus and head in a direction that will help you ask and then answer the important questions.

For your FREE copy of Faith Building click here.

If you have considered planning for the design, renovation and/or construction of a new worship facility and are looking for a team of resources to help guide you through the process please contact PBS at 920-868-2229.

Extraordinary Journey

Sometimes in life we experience certain circumstances, events or an all-out journey that take us beyond our minds definition of ordinary or happen chance and into the realm of extraordinary; or, perhaps for those who are Christ followers there is no other explanation than, the Sovereign Hand of God.

Southfield Church is such an example of this Extraordinary Journey. With humble, patient and faithful leaders they have been able to weather the "trials and tribulations" that often come our way in life and ministry as they have journeyed and navigated to this new destination they now call home. After being in their new home for just a few years they have been blessed by what they would refer to as non-other than the Hand of God wrapped around their ministry. Growth has not been an ambitious or singular pursuit, but an encountered result of their faithful stewardship.

After a number of years in a temporary facility following the sale of an original campus location and many ups and downs, they were able to design and build a beautiful new multi-purpose ministry facility. Planning the design and construction under one umbrella allowed them to be good stewards in how they approached their vision. As a result of this faithful stewardship the Lord has blessed them with the ability to expand after just a few short years. In lieu of doing everything they would have desired out of the proverbial gate, they planned efficiently and effectively in order to not put themselves under the column affecting many ministries across the country commonly referred to as being "building poor". Proper planning and guidance allowed them to continue doing ministry with significant Kingdom impact, in lieu of being burdened with a focus on debt beyond their reasonable means. Not to be mistaken, this was still a large step of faith for this ministry trusting that the Lord would provide in alignment with their prayers, planning and stewardship, yet they know in whose hands they remain.

Often times we allow previous circumstances to bind us and we bypass the vision God has for our lives and our ministry instead of allowing God to be God. Stepping back and understanding that God is Sovereign and THE one true navigator, even in the midst of trials, is often the launch pad He utilizes to create great change within us. When we limit God, He will often work through others to open our eyes and hearts to what he has in store for us. As you seek to expand your ministry, step out in faith and walk into the open arms of Jesus allowing him to chart the course. Prayerfully seek God's wisdom in preparing the best leaders around you to navigate the waters ahead.

If you have considered planning for the design, renovation and/or construction of a new worship facility and are looking for a team of resources to help guide you through the process please contact PBS at 920-868-2229.

Dental/Medical Design and Construction Planning

Working With a Single Source of Delivery

If you are a practice owner or manager and are growing and need to expand or perhaps desire your own stand-alone building, the task of determining the best space to meet your needs can at first seem daunting. This does not have to be the case. Working with a qualified and integrated team that can be your single source for complete design and construction will help paint the picture, count the costs and coordinate all construction activities for a seamless transition from planning through permitting and into construction. A professional team will ask appropriate questions, listen to your vision/needs and guide you through the process. Your time is valuable and cannot be spent trying to direct a design and construction process.


Variables to Consider

There are many variables to consider which will affect your end goal. A few of these might be whether you want to purchase land and build a new facility, have found space in an existing building that you would like to build out and lease or perhaps you have found an existing building that you would like to purchase and repurpose to meet your needs. If an existing space, most can be repurposed to meet your needs; the question becomes, at what level of repurposing? Your investment in the space can go from A to Z depending on your specific needs including such factors as size, conditions and type of space. If a new building, have you purchased the property? Is the entire site buildable? Do we have municipal utilities close to the site? If existing, how much has to be undone prior to renovation? By working with a professional design/build team they can help you determine what will be necessary to meet your needs by laying out an efficient and functional design plan and counting all project costs prior to moving forward into final construction.


Planning and Delivery Process

In years past owners would generally go directly to an architect/engineer and have a beautiful design prepared with little understanding or thought given to the project budget. What would generally occur and still does to this day is that while the design may meet their needs, they "bid" the job out to multiple providers only to determine the project cost exceeds their budget. Also important to mention, under this circumstance you the owner assume full responsibility for the design. So, the owner has a beautiful design that cannot be constructed without going through redesign incurring valuable lost time and money. This can be extremely costly if you are under a tight time frame moving from one location to another. In lieu of a close working relationship with their design/builder, they have minimized the relationship to one of a transaction bid out to multiple "general contractors" who may or may not have picked up everything in the design. Regardless, in this circumstance the owner will end up paying the price through lost time and often unexpected costs with the potential for a sacrifice in quality.


The 3-Headed: Quality, Service and Price

The old adage that you cannot receive quality, service and price is simply false. If you are working with a professional design/build firm, you should receive all three. You will receive quality as they are partnered with a trusted and qualified team, service as this should be inherent and proven in their ability as a firm to serve their customers and price as they are providing you with fair and real project costs through your taking the time to work closely together to design a space that is functional and predetermined to be within your budget. In providing all three, you have a qualified design/build firm who will assume full and complete responsibility for the project.


The Big Question

So, with all due respect, an important question to consider: why would you not want to partner with someone you can build a level of trust with as they help you plan; who will design a plan to meet your needs; and who will count the costs for you ensuring the plan is within your budget prior to moving into construction? Your investment meets your budget; you have a space that meets your needs within your budget and are partnered with someone you have developed a high level of trust with. Why would you want anything different?

If you have a need and have thought about planning for the design, renovation and/or construction of a new dental or medical space and would like a free consultation please contact PBS at 920-868-2229.

How Does Design/Build Work?

How Much Will It Cost?

This is the question every church wants answered and every architect and contractor doesn't want to answer. Why? Because there are many issues that can affect the answer - land cost, utility cost, interior and exterior finishes, audio/visual etc. However, we at the NACDB feel that it is appropriate to provide churches with a ballpark estimate up front.

Give us a small amount of information using this form to receive more information and a cost estimate for your project needs.

How Long Will It Take?

Building a church is a commercial scale development that requires considerable attention to literally hundreds of details. Historical averages indicate that it takes 18 to 21 months for the entire process. It can take as little as 12 months for a very motivated church. However, there are many variables that are outside the control of the owner and the design-builder. The most significant of these are civil engineering issues. Every municipality has different requirements and document review times can vary wildly from city to city.

There are three main phases to the life of a project:

-Preliminary Design/Build Services: 3 to 4 months
-Construction Documents: 3 to 8 months
-Construction: 7 to 10 months

What's the First Step?

After you hire a Design/Builder, you will begin making crucial decisions about your facility. Money is saved in the Preliminary Design/Build Services (planning) phase, not in the construction phase. Items addressed in this phase are:

-Needs Assessment
-Master Planning
-Preliminary Design
-Budget Estimate

What is Needs Assessment?

Also known as programming. Needs Assessment includes meetings with the Building Committee and Staff to gather information about ministry objectives, congregation demographics, and budget parameters. This research will help determine the desired exterior image of the new facility, optimal size and character of the spaces, relationship of spaces, and other ministry directed facility issues. Some Needs Assessment activities are:

-Analysis of the long-range plans and goals of the Church
-Recommendation, consulting, revision, and/or development of the Church's long-range ministry pan
-Financial needs and abilities review. Recommendations and guidance and financing and lender options
-Analysis of current and future programming needs
-Recommendation for future space needs
-Analysis and development of a Master Plan of the ministry and traffic flow for the complete build-out of the church's new property
-Suggested schematic architectural design to suggest the size and character of the design and construction of the project resulting in a Schematic Design package that will include Floor ---Plans, Elevations, and Bird's Eye View? drawings

What Happens Next?

After Needs Assessment is complete, a Master Plan of the existing campus will be developed to document the vision of the Church. The Master Plan will identify all future structures, their usage and their placement on the property.

What's It Going to Look Like?

A schematic architectural design will then be developed to further establish the size and character of the project. The schematic design will include the floor plans and elevations for the initial facility of the Master Plan and further define the building layouts. The schematic design package will provide information to develop a preliminary budget estimate for the initial facility. The design/builder will sometimes solicit bids from consultants and subcontractors to help provide an initial construction estimate for the owner's review and approval.

Article source:

5 Reasons the Design/Build Process is Superior

PBS is a Design/Build firm dedicated to providing solutions that focus on integrity and consistency and building authentic relationships in order to exceed our customers' expectations.

Design/Build is a method of project delivery in which one entity – the Design/Build team – works under a single contract with the project owner to provide comprehensive design and construction services. One entity, one contract, one unified flow of work from initial concept through completion – thereby re-integrating the roles of designer and builder. Design/Build is also known as single-source delivery.

Design/Build is the desired alternative to Design/Bid/Build. Under the latter approach, design, engineering and construction services are all split by separate entities, separate contracts and separate work, with you the owner assuming responsibility for all design and engineering. Design/Build is a method of project delivery in which one entity – the Design/Build team – works under a single contract with the project owner to provide all their design and construction services. Here are five reasons why the Design/Build process is superior.

1) Time Savings - By eliminating all design bid phases for engineering and construction, PBS can provide occupancy 3-5 months sooner.

2) Single Source Responsibility - By making us your single source responsibility for both design and construction, you retain tight control, thereby improving quality - saving you significant time and money.

3) Professional Construction - We assign a Project Manager to control all phases of your project. This manager reports directly to you - elminating multiple contacts, lost time and finger pointing under the older Design/Bid/Build model.

4) Cost Savings - Our Design/Build concept uniquely allows you to continue growing your existing business while we build the most efficient facility for you.

5) Finance - Another convenient service provided by PBS. We will guide you through the details, allowing you to focus on managing your business.

For more information, click here.