There have been many stops already on our roadmap to your dream church building, but the time to actually build it is definitely close ahead. Having a budget and the funds to pay for the project, it’s time to move on to the construction documents phase.

Construction documents include design and engineering plans that cover a variety of different aspects of the building and property. Here’s a look at some details of the various plans that are created in this phase of the project.

Architectural and Engineering Considerations

Architectural plans will, of course, highlight the construction details for the building. This example from a recent project shows the elevations on the outside of the building from different directions.

Your documents will also include civil engineering plans, which cover areas like the topography of the property, such as grading, storm water management, sewer, utilities, and parking lots, among other things. Here’s an example of topographic civil engineering plans from one of our recent projects.

Structural engineering plans are another component of construction documents. One type will detail the precise structural components of the building, including the steel used in the trusses, etc. Other engineers will cover plumbing, heating, and electric. In this example, we show HVAC engineering plans, drafted to show the layout of the ductwork and where the heating and cooling units are.

AVL Systems and Acoustics

You will also need plans for infrastructure, especially audio, video, and theatric lighting. This is particularly important if you’re building a worship center or similar venue.  You need to ensure the conduits, boxes, and power are all provided and sufficient for the needs of the AVL’s system. You should also consider that rooms where audio is important should be designed for good acoustics.

Other Documents

This is also a good time to look at the security details of your building project. Where will you put the security systems to access the controls? What security components are needed across the site? Also, plan what the building will need for internet access, and think about whether you need wireless or wired connectivity. Finally, consider the interior design you will want, including what kind of materials you’re using, where these materials will be used, and what’s cost-effective.

Prepping for Zoning Approval

We wrote about zoning requirements previously, but it’s during the construction documents phase that you’re going to submit for zoning approval. The process varies depending on where you are, whether it’s a city, a town, a township, or a county. It could take as little time as a week and just filling out a form to complete it, or it could take several months, depending on how particular your existing jurisdiction is. Keep in mind that zoning typically must be completed before the building permit is issued, and then you can start construction, so allow time for it in your planning.

Want more church building and design tips and tricks? Join us for our i3 webinar series. These free sessions help you explore ideas for your own project and give you an opportunity to ask questions.