The roadmap to your dream church building includes several stops before the design is finalized and construction begins. Once zoning, utilities, building codes, and surveys have been reviewed, there’s enough background planning to sketch out design ideas. It’s time to create schematic plans.

It’s important to understand that schematic drawings are not blueprints, which are detailed construction plans. Think of schematic drawings as the design outline, and the pictures that are worth a thousand words to show your congregation to get them excited and involved. These are preliminary drawings, but they help everyone start to visualize the final build.

Master Plan Schematics

Schematic site plans provide an overview of the property and the building project. They show land use and restrictions based upon zoning codes: where you can build, where you can’t build, and other limitations and property features.

In this image of a master schematic, the church has 80 acres, enough for everything they want to build now and in the future. You can see that the phase one construction and future phases are outlined, along with a retirement community, recreation center, and more.

Notice the property and setback lines. The ballfields can go over, but buildings can’t, as the picnic shelter in the back demonstrates. It can only be built right up against the setback.

Floor Plan Schematics

Schematic floor plans show all the different spaces in a building and their relationship to each other — the size of rooms and where they are located, etc. Additionally, a schematic floor plan includes information about the occupancy of each room.

In this example, the location of areas like the classrooms, offices, café, nurseries, ministry space, and worship center are all laid out in relation to where they will be in the building, as well as how they interconnect and function.

3-D Renderings

Finally, there are 3-D renderings that show the perspective and end design of the future church building. This is the best way to visualize what the final build will look like from the outside.

These examples provided are all of new construction, but schematic drawings are also created for additions and building remodels in much the same way. Just remember that your schematic drawings need to include the findings from your zoning and building codes analysis, so that they represent something that can actually be built.

These examples demonstrate their importance in the building process. They are an ideal way to communicate to your congregation what the future holds, and to get them excited about the prospects.

Starting a church building or design project can be complex, so it helps to learn about the fundamentals. Join us for our free i3 webinar series to take a deeper dive into different building and interior design topics. You can even get your questions answered.