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PraiseBuildings Articles

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


Walk Through The Church Facility: The Fellowship Hall

What should you plan to construct? What can you afford? What is the cost difference between a sports facility and fellowship hall? Could we worship in the same facility? The first question to be answered is, “What functions are to be facilitated in this building?” The functions to be served dictate the features of the building if you are to be satisfied with the accommodations. Otherwise, you will be disappointed with the facility. Will this building also be used for our worship services? Then the acoustics and aesthetics must accommodate congregational participation and quality expectations. These features will add cost. You will need heating and air conditioning that is not so noisy that you can`t hear. You should have acoustics for congregational singing, not just a sound system blasting canned music or preaching at the people. The floor should be carpeted with squares of gymnasium carpet. Seating must be comfortable, with adequate chair storage when the room is used for sports. Get ready for lots of work day after day arranging the room for the multiple functions. Is this to be our ...

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES

When designing the administrative office portion of the PraiseBuilding, it should be placed close to the main entrance area. The placement of the administrative offices should allow one to enter the PraiseBuilding to take care of administrate business without wandering throughout the complex. Additionally, by placing the offices closest to a main entrance, one can zone the heating and air conditioning to allow for efficient heating and cooling of the this space, without having to heat or cool the entire PraiseBuilding space to the same extent. A trick of the trade is to install a safe into the concrete floor of a closet of one of the administrative offices. This safe is then covered with a piece of carpeting, which can be lifted, for easy access. ...

KITCHEN

The term “Kitchen” when applied to a PraiseBuilding means specifically a room used for the preparation and cooking of food. Don’t use this term if the only use will be to make coffee for an after-service fellowship. The reason for this admonition is that a “kitchen” in buildings of assembly, come under the health and building requirements for restaurants. Thus, if the congregation plans on preparing chicken and fish-fry fund raising dinners or cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the elderly or homeless, the PraiseBuilding must be constructed to the standards of a commercial kitchen. A commercial kitchen differs from a residential kitchen in several ways. First, local health department codes normally mandate the size of the kitchen. On average, expect to dedicate a space of at least 14’ x 20’ for the kitchen area. Much of the expense of a commercial kitchen is due to the requirement that it contain a fire suppression system over all grills, stoves, deep fryers and ovens. The purpose of a fire suppression system is to automatically suppress a quick spreading grease fire before it leaves the ...

Walk Through The Church Facility: The Day School

During the school week Monday through Friday there are over 600 Kindergarten Four through Grade Twelve day school students in my sample church classroom and nursery facilities. Nearly all the classrooms have school desks for the students. Most elementary classrooms have all walls covered with school lessons; some classrooms have displays hanging from the entire suspended ceiling. In many cases all the storage is for school days. On Sunday, most churches could be comprised of perhaps 75 percent adults, 18 percent school ages 5–17, and 7 percent preschool children (since this is the age distribution of the community demographics). Where do you place the adult Sunday school classes? This decision has major impact on adult education and assimilation in your church. Or, is there a room large enough that we can arrange for children`s church? Awana Club night poses other major questions: Where will we have Council Time? Where can we store all the equipment, supplies, awards, and shirts? It is common for me to see even first-grade school desks stacked on one side of the classroom, while metal folding chairs have ...

CLASSROOMS

The rule here is simple: Make the room as large as possible for its intended purpose. Use operable partitions to turn larger spaces into smaller ones while still retaining the flexibility to serve multiple purposes. Consider location of restrooms and whether restrooms will be “child friendly.”When considering bookshelves, toy bins and other room furnishings make sure they are durable and also safe. Keep materials at a level where children can reach them without climbing. Take a few extra measures to insure safety in child areas including wall brackets to insure children will not pull heavy furniture down on themselves. If there are televisions available, make sure they are secured onto platforms to prevent them from being pulled or pushed. Pay particular attention to electrical outlets and wiring used around children. Are all wires hidden from view and out of tripping range? Security and safety have become critical issues when addressing classrooms and school facilities. Are all outside doors locked to the outside during school hours? Consider all circumstances when deciding on locations of your child care rooms and make sure your staff is ...

Walk Through The Church Facility: The Nursery Suite

When I was a baby, the nursery suite in the small-town/rural church was the pine benches in the congregational service. These benches were made of a wide and narrow pine board for the seat, and two narrow boards for the back rest. According to my mother, I could lie on the bench on my stomach with my legs and arms hanging over the bench to secure my sleeping position. There is a trend among a certain following today to return the nursery to the congregational service, with the mothers caring for their babies in the service regardless of the level of disturbance. This concept is also being applied to church education, stating that it is the parents` responsibility to teach the children at home. I was in one church recently where everyone was kept together in the auditorium for Sunday school while the lesson was directed to the adults and the children were left to “color”. No one learned anything in this setting, especially the majority of the adults who no longer have small children and were distressed with the ...

Walk Through The Church Facility: The Rest Rooms

In similar fashion, our church facilities of that era provided nothing more than an outdoor toilet behind the church building. After a few years, indoor rest rooms were added. We saw progress in facilities to adequately address the changing community expectations. I still go into some church facilities that are nearly as primitive as the provisions in the days of my boyhood. Many church buildings still have rest rooms only in the basement. Some of the toilets are one step above the floor on a raised concrete pad so the plumbing will work. Others rest rooms are only accessible through the furnace room. Often the generic stalls are rotten or destroyed by abuse. Lighting is sometimes very dim and ventilation is lacking, producing a very uninviting environment. “Can I hold my breath until I can get out of here?” Modern homes give high priority to the bathroom facilities. The size, furnishings, and decor reflect a high priority for what has become a very inviting room. These current expectations are brought to your church. The rest rooms are one of the foremost tests ...

RESTROOMS

In most PraiseBuildings, the construction of restrooms is as important as the construction of kitchen or audio/visual center and is nearly as expensive. On average, PraiseBuilding restrooms need to be replaced every twenty years, so it is important to spend some money here to get the most out of every fixture. Use the highest quality materials the budget will allow to withstand years of abuse. There is a difference between high quality fixtures and designer fixtures. Since restrooms will be used and abused, it is important for architect or building committee to specify high quality sinks, faucets, toilets, urinals and dividing partitions Over the last several years, many congregations have decided to make their restrooms more than the utilitarian spaces they once were. Today, restrooms may feature baby-changing stations, lounge areas, changing areas with showers and even decorative artwork and lighting.It is important that restrooms are built to area building codes. Depending upon the space constraints of the PraiseBuilding, it may not be possible to make each restroom ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) compliant. The law requires that an ADA compliant restroom ...

Choose Your Seat Wisely: Stack Seating Content

There are generally two varieties within stack seating: one is fully upholstered and padded, the other is a molded plastic chair with a chrome frame and high-density stacking capability. The major benefit of this molded chair is its storage and stacking. The capacity varies with the particular chair but is usually about 38 to 45 high per chair dolly. The upholstered chair affords more overall comfort. It is more popular and cost per seated person is much less than for pews or theatre seats. There are dozens of sources for stack seating, but only a few that specialize in seating specifically designed for the church. The preference is to use a chair that when ganged together allows the seat cushions to be tightly adjacent to one another. This will form a continuous seat and allow you to overcrowd by seating the people pew style. Most of the major suppliers will provide you with a complimentary sample chair. Take advantage of this so you can truly assess the differences in quality, construction and comfort. Determine what your buying criteria will be but ...

Walk Through The Church Facility: The Baptistery

The immersion baptistery symbolizes the truly repentant believer`s identification with Christ his Savior in death, burial, and resurrection to walk in new life. This service is a wonderful time for testimony and evangelistic appeal. The physical process must be dignified to avoid distraction from this biblically prescribed public ordinance of the local church. During my many years of church facility development consultation, I have seen many designs for the immersion tank. I`ve seen a horse trough used. I watched the deacon of the pastorless church baptize the scared lady a second time because another deacon yelled from the back of the room that her arms were not under the water. I recommended the closing of the baptistery with access only through the window from the choir area. I recently observed access to a baptistery 20 feet straight up a steel spiraling stairway. I learned of the candidate who was nearly electrocuted by the makeshift heater dropped into the water (while the pastor was insulated by his rubber waders). I heard of the man who was toweling to dress after his baptism, ...

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