Dimensional Dynamics is an architectural and planning firm that works with clients throughout the country. Over ninety percent of our work is with church and church-related facilities. The firm’s personnel have a combined total of more than forty years of planning experience and share a dedication in addressing the particular facility needs of congregations. The choices and problems involved in any architectural project can be bewildering in complexity, so we use our experience to communicate in a manner that makes decision-making more understandable. The following are some of our services that can be uniquely tailored for each individual church.
- INITIAL CONSULTATION: This is an opportunity in which a representative of our firm meets with key leaders of a church to review their facility needs and suggest potential solutions. The church and architectural representative ideally meet at the property in question and discuss the facility issues that have plagued them in their decision-making process. At the conclusion of this session, recommendations will be made that layout the necessary steps that should be pursued. We will provide this initial consultation for fee based on the reimbursable expenses (as applicable).
- ONE-DAY CONSULTATION: The objectives for this consultation are individually designed for the specific needs of the congregation. The following are some items that have been reviewed during our one-day consultations: site or property analysis/acquisition; roof concerns; water infiltration; maintenance prioritization; zoning for energy conservation; quality and function of spaces; circulation patterns; and handicapped accessibility. This day of sharing facility planning information and congregational input gathering can be capped off with an evening meeting where additional input is given and summary recommendations are made. A brief written report documents the day’s findings. This day can be likened to a general physical exam in which as many pertinent factors as possible are gathered and inter-related for a strategy of problem solving. We will provide this consulting service for a fixed fee, (TBD).
- HOURLY CONSULTATION: If additional work other than previously described is desired, we can arrange to provide the church with the design and planning information requested based on our hourly rates (ranging from $85 – $155 per staff member).
SPECIALIZED CONSULTING SERVICES
Specific facility concerns requiring a more in-depth analysis and solutions can be approached individually. Specialized outside consultants will be used as appropriate.
- PROPERTY/SITE ANALYSIS: In an effort to determine the potential for the church’s ministry growth on any site, an analysis of all the property currently or proposed to be owned by the church in relation to the current applicable Zoning should be done. This review will allow a better understanding of the restrictions of the site pertaining to the church’s ministry direction and desires. It will also give the church critical information that will aid them as they proceed into a decision-making process, pertaining to the properties acquisition and/or future use. In providing this analysis we will: Review the property in question and compare your desires for future ministry growth with the current applicable Zoning ordinance; Meet together with representatives of the local Planning and Zoning Boards (as applicable) to discuss the current zoning and to ascertain any new restrictions/criteria that will be placed on the church; Evaluate the site and any existing structures for a potential church facility and develop a report based on the following issues: location; accessibility to and from the site; parking potential; need for soil and other tests; suitability for building; utility access; zoning constraints; storm water management/drainage; and possibilities for growth onto adjacent properties. This analysis should be performed prior to any property acquisition by a church.
- EVALUATION/DOCUMENTATION OF EXISTING ROOF CONDITIONS: Due to the current conditions of many church roofs, a thorough evaluation and documentation of the existing conditions is a must. In an effort to protect their facility, this is the most important area for any church to maintain . An on-site inspection may be set up to survey the existing concerns and to ascertain problems. This evaluation will compare current standards and methods with the existing conditions to determine a path forward and give recommendations for solving the issues of water leaks throughout the facility. A written report will be prepared that will aid us in the preparation of a construction set of documents required for the repair work to be performed.
- ANALYSIS OF EXISTING AUDIO VISUAL SYSTEMS: As ministry styles change in any church it may become necessary to make modifications to existing systems so as to enhance these changes to better serve the ministries and church congregation. As such it becomes apparent that existing audio-visual systems installed in many sanctuaries do not meet the current ministry needs and a thorough analysis of the existing system and its potential to meet these needs should be done. This review will allow a better understanding of the current system and its limitation/ability for modifications to meet the ministry needs. In providing this analysis we will: Meet together with representatives of the church to determine the ministry needs which should be met by the audio-visual system; Review the church’s existing audio-visual systems to determine its limitations/ability based on the ministry needs. A written report will be prepared that will lay out options to meet the church’s needs.
- DEVELOPMENT OF EXISTING FACILITY DRAWINGS: If the church does not have an accurate, up-to-date set of plans, elevations, and sections of their existing facility, these will need to be documented prior to making any refined design analysis and/or physical change. Our firm uses computer-aided-drafting (AutoCAD) which allows for easy documentation of changes and a compact means of document storage (PDF/CD-Rom). If existing construction documents are available, this will allow us to make a reduction in the fee for this service.
- CODE AND ZONING REVIEW OF EXISTING FACILITY/SITE: An evaluation of present needs and future potential with an emphasis on required life safety, handicapped accessibility and Zoning issues is important, especially if local government approvals are needed for anticipated facility alterations and ministry programs.
- ANALYSIS OF EXISTING SPACE RELATIONSHIPS: As church ministries change and expand, a general study of the existing facility’s spaces in relation to the desired program needs will provide initial solutions to “space crunch”. This study will allow the church to easily move into the Master Planning Process.
- PLOT PLAN AND TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY: It will be necessary to have up-to-date plot and topographical plans prepared by a registered surveyor or civil engineer prior to planning for the functional utilization and accessibility of your site. These plans will be necessary for any building additions and for the purpose of acquiring both zoning and building permits from the local governing authorities. The work of the civil engineer will be necessary in any interactions with local officials that concern the building construction, site coverage and improvements. We assist the church in seeking proposals for these services. This information assists us in the development of the Master Plan and Construction Documents.
- STRUCTURAL, MECHANICAL & ELECTRICAL, REVIEW OF EXISTING FACILITY: If you have not already had this service done, an on-site visual review by a structural engineer and a mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineer can be provided. We assist the church in seeking proposals for these services. This information assists us in the development of the Master Plan and Construction Documents.
- ENVIRONMENT AUDIT: Most lending institutions require this review of a property prior to loaning funds to those anticipating property purchase, renovation or construction. The liability of clean-up costs of hazardous material, (asbestos, oil leak, industrial wastes, etc.), which may be above or below ground, is a major concern. If this service is required, we will assist the church in seeking proposals from a firm specializing in this service.
The Fees for these Special Services will be based on Not-To-Exceed Fees, plus Reimbursable Expenses. Fees will vary, based on individual Scope of Work.
MASTER PLANNING SERVICES
The purpose for Master Plan is to plan for the future so that the facility can enhance the ministries and growth of the congregation. Our design philosophy is that the program generates the use of the building and thus the design. So that none of our church facilities are alike, since no two congregations and their needs and concerns are identical. We try to get the fullest participation of the congregation in the early design process so that the result is their design of their facility, not just our design of their facility. This has proved to be a highly successful approach because the congregation feels ownership in both the process and the final design. Services will be tailored for each individual church’s needs. The following are some master planning services we offer:
- PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT: One way to determine the needs and function of each ministry’s space, and their resultant phasing prioritization, prior to the start of the Master Planning process is the development of a facility needs program. If desired, we will provide consulting services to work with the appropriate ministry teams to determine the program ministry goals of the facility. This program manual will then be used as the guide for the design of the master plan. We can provide this programming service for a not-to-exceed fee, (TBD).
- CHURCH-WIDE PLANNING RETREAT: Another means of getting valuable programming input is an optional one-day Congregational Planning Retreat. This has been an extremely useful event in the life of a congregation to educate and involve parishioners in listening to each other as together they work toward a facility solution consensus. People feel a sense of ownership as they give input toward the solution(s) in small and large group activities. A brief written report summarizes the day. If more information about this service is desired, we can send you a sample agenda. We can provide this retreat service for a fixed fee, (TBD).
- DEVELOPMENT OF A MASTER PLAN: When a congregation is contemplating building a new facility, adding an addition, or renovating an existing building, we provide master planning services to investigate the potential of the building and site. The major criteria in determining a Master Plan are: Space relationships and functions, circulation patterns, security, handicapped accessibility, visibility, aesthetic, contextual, historical concerns, energy conservation and construction phasing. By fully developing the potential, we can then set phasing strategies to allow an orderly, financially feasible development of the property. In providing the Master Plan Presentation Materials our firm will: Provide materials (listed below) for review with government agencies who may have input that would affect the design concepts; Provide materials (listed below) for use in a Capital Funds Campaign; Develop a site plan that presents the maximum potential for a church use of the site, if applicable (Based on plot plan provided by the Church); Develop floor plans, which provide space allocations for present and future program needs; Develop elevation drawings or exterior perspective sketches that show relationships between existing and future facilities as applicable; Coordinate future facility modifications with current code requirements (Zoning, Handicapped Access, Building Codes, Fire Codes, etc.); Investigate project and construction budgets/phasing strategies/cost estimates and review options with the church in coordination with financial parameters, (square foot costs will form the basis of the estimates). Phase One facility construction scope should reflect anticipated Phase One financial resources. The Fees for Master Planning Services will be based on a fixed fee, plus reimbursable expenses. The Fee will be determined based on individual Scope of Work.
OPTIONAL MASTER PLANNING SERVICES:
- Full color computer rendering of the exterior Master Plan building forms. This will include one 24 x 36 presentation rendering and digital files of three exterior views. We use the services of a cad rendering company and invoice you at their cost (approximately $5,500.00 – $8,000.00).
- Computerized virtual tour showing the exterior and interior of the major areas. We use the services of a cad rendering company and invoice you at their cost (approximately $8,000.00 and up).
- Scale model showing location and proportions of Master Plan facility at a cost to be determined when scope of project is known. We utilize a model building company and invoice you at their cost.
- Review with local officials the plans and items where their input may be required on an hourly time and expense basis. The services of a civil engineer would be necessary in a formal submission.
INTERIOR DESIGN SERVICES
We provide interior design services, which include aiding the church in color and material selections as well as furniture and artwork. Our experience in the needs of a functioning religious facility, aid us in addressing the desired appearance of your facility without interfering with the required function of the space. If requested, a proposal for the interior design services will be presented to you based on the determined scope of work.
We provide total architectural services including design development, construction drawings, specifications, and construction administration. Our fee will also include the services of our Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineers. Our sensitivity toward the needs and organization of church congregations aids us in interpreting and structuring the often-bewildering design and construction aspects of any project for appropriate church decision-making groups.
We can provide these Architectural Services for a fee based on Dimensional Dynamic’s current Fee Schedule Graph as per the scope of work. As with all our services, a standard A.I.A. Owner Architect Contract Form will be used.