855.204.2400

PraiseBuildings Articles

rss

A library of useful articles on every topic impacting your PraiseBuilding.


The Lending Mess Could Be a Blessing

The Lending Mess Could Be a Blessing Congregations with cash in hand could reap big savings by building now By Stephen J. Ferrandi A loan officer at a major global bank announced at a recent gathering, “We have money to lend, just not to the four R’s – residential developers, restaurants, retail businesses and of course religious congregations.” The current lending environment can be described simply as banks are risks adverse. They are looking to lend money, just not to anyone who actually needs the loan. Houses of worship pose a particularly interesting dilemma for most lenders. Not only do they have to always face the fear of having a public relations disaster should they ever have to foreclose on the church, synagogue, temple or mosque, but now they have the uncertainty of lending money on a project that may actually be worth less than its construction cost should foreclosure be necessary in the future. Many lenders who have traditionally lent money to houses of worship are currently sitting on the sidelines. As David Dennison, President of Church Mortgage ...

Developing a Scope of Work

Once the committee and construction professionals have agreed on the scope of work, it must be put it in writing. In drafting the scope of work, be as specific as possible. Keep in mind that three different construction estimators could address an issue differently. They could give three different prices and maybe not address the issue in the way the committee was expecting, unless they spell out the scope of work. If an architect is hired, part of his blueprint package should be a specification package. It is in this package that the architect spells out the details. If the congregation is not utilizing the services of an architect, then draft your own specification package. The main point here is to spell out what the group wants done, how they want the tasks to be completed, what building materials they expect, indicating the type, brand name, finish, color, quantity, quality, installation method, etc. The following pages show two contractors whose proposals are bidding on the same work… or are they? EXAMPLE 1 Proposal for: His Way Worship Center Worship Center Way Pilgrim, PA We ...

Designing the PraiseBuilding Complex

Whether one calls it a sanctuary, worship space, celebration room, nave, assembly hall, or great room, the focal point of a structure is the single most important room in the Praise Building. Designing this space, (which for the purpose of this text, we will call the sanctuary) need not be complicated to design or expensive to construct. There are four major components to designing your PraiseBuilding: structural elements, systems, assembly issues and decorative ideas. Structural elements are the brick and mortar components of building. These elements for the most part are governed under local and in some cases, federal building code regulations. How these pieces come together vary quite a bit from locality to locality because of various building codes and even local interpretation of these codes from inspector to inspector. While restoring churches in Homestead, Florida in September 1992, it was puzzling to learn that the building code regulation for installing roofs was changed three times in a single week. The Miami Herald ran an article that the Chief Building Inspector for Dade County had failed inspection on his ...

Understanding a Construction Budget: Funding the Project

No matter how much money you’ve raised, it’s not enough. BELIEVING IN THE PROJECT When working with a construction budget, there are many points that one should understand. In this chapter we explain both the “how” and “why” of construction budgeting for PraiseBuilding renovation, as well as a few “don’t ever do this” pointers and discussion of the mistakes made in years of working with congregations. Remember that when we speak of construction budgets for PraiseBuilding acquisition and renovation, we are probably going to be speaking in terms of hundreds of thousands of dollars to many millions of dollars. Dealing with these huge amounts of money to many people is unnerving. Remember that one is not raising all of this money from a single paycheck. Hopefully, the growing congregation is large enough and full of working families who, although living paycheck to paycheck, are able to have every family contribute a little from their paycheck each week. If a congregation of 250 families each contributed $50 each week to the building drive over the normal tithing and offering, the congregation would raise ...

Planning and Building a PraiseBuilding – the Preliminaries

WHAT MAKES A PRAISEBUILDING? The term praisebuilding simply refers to any structure, either new or converted from an existing structure, used for worship. Religious architecture scholar, Stephen J. Ferrandi, in his book by the same name, coined the term “praisebuilding.”  The term does not discriminate as to the faith, style of worship, or method of construction.  A praisebuilding can be as simple as several bamboo logs lashed together to make a rudimentary temple or it can boast the architectural magnificence of Saint Peter’s Basilica.  Mohammed Ali Mosque, Westminster Abbey, Mahabodhi Temple, and Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue are all praisebuildings. So too is a storefront church on Main Street, a converted barn in the countryside, and a tent where worshippers gather to pray. THE BASIC RULES FOR CREATING A PRAISEBUILDING FROM AN EXISTING STRUCTURE USING ADAPTIVE RE-USE PRINCIPLES. Congregations across the globe have used nearly every type of structure as a center for their praise and worship. During World War II, the Italians worshiped in the Roman catacombs, while the British held church services in the relative safety of the underground subway system. ...

Embezzlement: The Secret Hidden in God’s House

Each year billions of dollars are dropped in wicker baskets attached to poles, placed in shining metal plates, plopped into poor boxes attached to door post, or simply deducted from checking accounts. All of this money is cheerfully given by members of churches, synagogues and mosques spread out across America. In small towns and ever sprawling cities, these givers expect that their money is being used to support their House of Worship, propagate the faith, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, take care of the sick and infirmed, and do those things that will ultimately give us a better society. Each year millions of these donated dollars are used to support drug habits, pay gambling debts, buy the services of prostitutes and illicit lovers, and pay for the lavish lifestyles of those charged with the custodial care of this money, many of them clergy. Every faith has direct prohibitions against stealing. Yet, it appears that embezzlement of funds from Houses of Worship is both universal and widespread. The root cause of embezzlement can be found in greed and poor ...

Eight Steps to Qualifying Your Church Building Contractor

Pre-evaluate: study their personal habits Do the company representatives dress professionally? Was the company representative respectful, professional, polite? Was the company representative overly aggressive, rude, or used vulgar language? Evaluate the company: Do they have business cards and company stationery? Do they use a P.O. Box or a street address? Was the bid presented on time? Was the bid typed in a clear professional manner? Was the bid thorough in its scope of work? Did the scope of work outlined in the bid match the project specifications? ...

10 Tips for Greater Heating/Cooling Efficiency and Savings

Install a more efficient heating or cooling system.  Newer systems are more efficient, and can save you money in the long run.  Even replacing old window air conditioning units with newer models may save you money. Check your local county, state, or energy provider’s website for rebates when you recycle your old window A/C units.  (Click here fore Baltimore Gas and Electric’s program.) Teach people to keep doors and windows closed when heating and cooling systems are operating. Plan zoned systems in the facility so that only the occupied area is brought to the comfortable temperature. Use separate individual forced air units for each zone, rather than a central system. The initial installation costs less, and the operational costs are usually less with forced air, especially when both air conditioning and heating are involved. The heating recovery time for bring a room to the comfortable temperature with a hot water system often consumes the savings of this system, especially with older, inefficient boilers. ...

Ten Myths of Catholic Architecture

Ten Myths of Catholic Architecture By Duncan Stroik, A.I.A Architect and an Associate Professor of Architecuture at the University of Notre Dame. The Second Vatican Council requires us to reject traditional church architecture and design new churches in a Modernist style. This myth is based more on what Roman Catholics have built during the past thirty years than on what the Church has taught. Even by professional accounts, the church architecture of the past decade has been an unmitigated disaster. However, actions often speak louder than words, and the faithful have been led to believe that the Church requires buildings to be functional abstractions, because that is what we have been building. Nothing could be farther from the intentions of the Council fathers who clearly intended the historic excellence of Catholic architecture to continue. It is most important to keep in mind that "there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them, and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from ...

Archives