Conflict in the Church - Building, Money, and Stewardship

June 6, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

Money issues are complicated. It’s hard for a congregation to talk about money. It’s even harder to ask for it. You can expect any issues concerning building, money, and stewardship to produce conflict in the church. While it’s safe to say that the majority of us would like to have more money, perhaps that is all we agree upon. For example, some people think of credit card debt as an acceptable ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Church Change

Building Projects and Church Conflict Resolution: Are You Being Too Nice?

June 2, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

Leaders need support during times of change, so do congregations. It’s tough to get through any kind of change, even a good one like a building project, with absolute trust in the process. New parents, kids off to college, brides and grooms all have moments of doubt, if not outright fear. Your congregation members will have doubts too, beginning the second you say the words, “building project” ... Read More

Design Process / Building Committee / Master Planning / Church Change

Managing Change and Conflict during Church Building Projects: What’s Stopping You?

May 31, 2017 by: Laura Lincoln

We’re excited to welcome guest blogger Laura Lincoln, an expert in managing church change. Laura will be contributing a series of guest blogs over the next several weeks dealing with early issues of conflict in planning for a major building program. You know your congregation needs to make changes. Your worship space is too small or inflexible. There’s no place for staff or volunteers to work. A ... Read More

Design Process / Building Committee / Master Planning / Church Change

Planning Ahead for Construction Disruption The Role of the Transition Committee

August 24, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

When a congregation or non-profit group is considering a building program of any size, it’s easy to overlook a range of issues that aren’t directly part of construction, but will likely occur before, during, and even after. These frustrating details have to do with all the disruptions caused by construction activity. Where will groups meet? Will they need help to move out or move in? Who will ... Read More

Design Process / Building Committee

Church Kitchens and Accessibility - 5 Issues to Consider

October 23, 2015 by: Heimsath Architects Staff

Accessibility issues can be particularly complicated and challenging for churches. When it comes to church kitchens and accessibility, there are a surprising number of gray areas in applying building codes and permitting requirements. Here are five issues that need to be considered early in the planning of your kitchen: Volunteers are not Employees and not all that goes on in a Church Kitchen is ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Building Codes / Codes & Permitting

Successful Stained Glass Back-Lighting

October 7, 2015 by: Heimsath Architects Staff

In the past, stained glass back-lighting has been quite difficult. The fluorescent and incandescent light sources we had to work with created heat, were hard to access, and had color issues. The stained glass never looked good compared to the natural lighting provided by sunlight. However there are some new LED solutions that are making it much easier to have a beautiful installation without ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Liturgical Arts / Technology

Adaptive Reuse: From Church to Cabaret in Canada

January 6, 2015 by: Ben Heimsath

When several communities north of Montreal were merged in 2005, an unused church building, formerly known as Sacré-Coeur-de-Jésus (Sacred Heart of Jesus) became the property of the new township. A straightforward adaptive reuse program kept the exterior of the old church, while on the inside, the old Sacred Heart was transformed into a musical theater venue. The new village of Mont Tremblant ... Read More

Adaptive Re-use / Historic Preservation

Adaptive Reuse: Church Converts to Bakery

September 10, 2014 by: Ben Heimsath

Save the churches! No, this isn’t a blog about threats to religion or a particular denomination; it’s about the buildings we use for worship. Many churches, temples, and religious buildings are at risk. I blogged last year about the growing threat to historic worship spaces. As congregation members are aging and as populations are moving, many old churches are suffering from neglect and are ... Read More

Adaptive Re-use

Church Reuse is a Magic Carpet Ride

April 21, 2014 by: Ben Heimsath

If you don't already know of one, there's a good chance you'll be seeing an abandoned church sometime soon. Last year, I noted that experts in historic preservation convened a conference in New York to begin examining this growing phenomenon. Many older cities, experiencing population declines, have become painfully aware of the loss of their major landmarks. As congregations either move away or ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Adaptive Re-use / Historic Preservation

Is Demolition OK? – Six Essential Questions

March 14, 2014 by: Ben Heimsath

Before you demolish an older building, remember, the decision is final. Whatever value, history or opportunity for reuse that might have been possible will be gone forever! Our firm has long been associated with historic preservation and creative re-use of older buildings, so it may seem surprising that this blogpost is about tearing buildings down. I served for five years on Austin’s Historic ... Read More

Adaptive Re-use / Building Codes / Sustainable Deisgn / Historic Preservation