With over 50 years of experience and hundreds of religious and non-profit projects completed, Heimsath Architects has learned a lot about the process of building with groups and community volunteers. More personally, most of my 15 plus years of experience have been spent understanding groups, helping them find their vision, and shepherding that vision into physical form.
One thing I know is that being on a Building Committee is a time consuming and often under appreciated job. The countless hours spent worrying and discussing about how to best steward the donated funds is a monumental but essential task. We really do appreciate all those volunteers who give up their personal time to provide their knowledge and experience to help get the project completed.
Since many volunteers do not come from construction backgrounds, I am offering these 10 pointers to make your life easier. Even if you are used to construction, building with a committee is an art form in itself, so these pointers should help you as well:
1. There will be problems:
Design and Construction of a building (especially renovations) is an immensely complex process that can easily span 2 years. Issues are going to come up.
2. Contingencies are crucial:
Some of the issues that come up are going to cost extra money, plan for the unplanned by having funds set aside. Having a contingency allows for more potential solutions when problems arise
3. Good Business = Good Project:
Treat those you hire, those who volunteer, and your fellow committee member with honesty, respect, and forthrightness and things will go smoother.
Get our complete list of 10 Things to Know for Building Committees, and a more in-depth discussion: