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.

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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.

3 Tips When Working with Volunteers

Working with the staff and leadership of The Village Christian Church was an absolute pleasure. The wonderful relationship that we were all able to develop allowed for excellent collaboration and the ability to solve project hurdles quickly.

Using the design/build delivery method we were able to maximize the overall amount of space as well as its function based on the overall budget established by this ministry. As a trusted partner, we will do whatever we can to work within a customer's ministry budget parameters.

With ministry projects, challenges can arise at times with the need for careful communication and collaboration. On this recent project the ministry was able to procure donations of several items providing them with the ability to save a significant amount of money. These items were to be installed by volunteers who were associated with the church. Having a clear definition of where our scope of work stops and the volunteer's scope starts can be challenging.

Here are 3 tips when working with volunteers:

  1. THANK them for their commitment to the ministry and willingness to serve.
  2. Provide them with a thorough understanding of what needs to be completed in their area of service.
  3. Confirm for the benefit of the ministry that each are qualified and have the time to accommodate the master construction schedule. Determine in advance which areas need skilled labor and which areas need the work of many hands.

Proper sequencing of volunteers can also be difficult since most of the volunteers are performing their work after hours. Thankfully we were able to work through these challenges with good communication established at the onset of the project. Because of this they were able to receive the cost savings without greatly extending the overall schedule.

The end result is an attractive and inviting ministry facility with the ability to accommodate many uses for ministry.

Partnering with Al-Amin Brothers Transportation

Partnering with Al-Amin Brothers Transportation through the design and construction of their new refrigerated warehouse, freezer and corporate headquarters was an honor for PBS.

Al-Amin Brothers Transportation approached PBS as they were making plans to accommodate their continued growth. Their plans were strategic around how to best accommodate their team, continue to provide quality service to their customers and keep up with changing regulations within the industry.  Their desire was to work with a single source of delivery/responsibility for the design and construction of their new facility.  By utilizing this delivery method, Al-Amin worked closely with PBS to develop the most efficient facility for their needs.

After a period of extensive and thorough planning including coordination with local government and permitting authorities the final design provides them with a professional, efficient and aesthetically pleasing facility.  Their new headquarters also provides them with significant room for expansion and positions Al-Amin Brothers Transportation at the forefront of the refrigerated cooler/freezer warehousing and transportation industry.

As great as the experience was, the more valuable result of this partnership for PBS was the relationship that developed with the Al-Amin Brothers team.

Church Design Builder

PBS is a design builder specializing in the planning, design and construction of commercial and religious buildings throughout Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. As a design builder, it has been proven that the more planning and coordination that can occur under one umbrella, the more opportunity there will be for project success byway of cost effectiveness and overall construction efficiencies.

Through our 5-step process, we work closely together to build a relationship with those we are partnering with. The PBS team is comprised of Certified Church Consultants and is in leadership as a member of the National Association of Church Design Builders (NACDB). As a part of this National Association we bring to our customers opportunities to partner through PBS with a comprehensive team of professionals who provide churches with the systems and resources they need for a fully integrated project. While the PBS planning process is important to help insure that each of our ministry partners are developing the best tool for their ministry needs, we do not allow this process to get in the way of ministry vision.

Our team are equipped to meet ministry needs by way of providing Green Church Solutions, Demographics, Communicating Your Vision, Multi-Site Churches, Masterplanning and Programming, Stewardship and Financing for the 21st Century, design, construction and construction management.

We look forward to the opportunity of serving your ministry. For more information, click here.