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Architectural Services

Architectural Services

At OASTER, we know that the right development team can make or break a church’s project. For that reason, we work closely with church leaders and staff to determine the right delivery method for the project, whether it is design/bid/build, design/build, project manager, general contractor or lump sum bid. Once the risks and rewards are discussed and understood by all, a decision is made and the selection of development team members takes place.

Knowing what to look for in an architectural firm is very important to the success of the project. Many architects that specialize in church facilities do not qualify for the types of projects being developed today. The reason? While the world of Christian ministry is ever changing, many church architectural specialists are stuck in a perception of how they think a church should be built or function. At OASTER, we have found it is easier and better to work with a local architect who has no preconceived ideas regarding church design.

Most often, when you hire an architect, you hire his “family.” An architect’s “family” consists of the structural engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, sound/video/lighting consultant, civil engineer and others. It is important that the architect understand that “family members” must also qualify and be selected for the project based on their own merit. The church leadership team must have the right to disqualify and replace any “family member” that does not meet the predetermined requirements. The architect must also understand that in some cases, it is best for design consultants (such as the sound/video/lighting consultant) to contract directly with the church and not fall under the direction of the architect.

The team members involved in a typical church development project include:

  1. Church Representative
  2. Project Manager
  3. Fund Raising Consultant
  4. Church’s Bank or Lender
  5. Architect
  6. Structural Engineer
  7. Civil Engineer
  8. Electrical Designer
  9. Mechanical Designer
  10. Landscape Designer
  11. Sound, Video and Lighting Designer
  12. Geotechnical Engineer
  13. The Interior Designer
  14. The Kitchen Designer
  15. Fire Sprinkler and Fire Alarm
  16. Security and Video Surveillance
  17. Themed Environments
  18. Environmental Graphics
  19. The Builder

Knowing what to look for in qualifying and selecting each team member is vital to the successful outcome of a church’s project.

The OASTER Project Delivery Method and Team Selection process includes:

  • Project Delivery Method Analysis
  • Architect & Contractor RFP Development & Analysis
  • Architect and Team Member Selection
  • CM / General Contractor / Design-Builder Selection
  • Architectural Contract & Construction Contract Modification & Negotiation

Design and Pre-Construction Services

In the United States today, 60% of all church development projects are more than 30% over budget when they go out to competitive bid! In addition to that statistic, Christian ministries throw away millions of dollars in unaffordable church designs every year. This unfortunate fact is caused by several factors:

  1. Pastors and church leaders put too much trust in the architect. While architects are wonderful people and have the best intentions, they are not real estate developers and are not properly trained in how to manage and oversee real estate development projects. Just like a quarterback is in charge of the offensive plays on a football field, the architect is in charge of developing the design drawings. And just as the quarterback answers to and takes direction from the head coach, the architect must answer to and take direction from the developer. Most churches do not have an experienced developer on their team, thus putting the architect in charge. Quarterbacks are not coaches and architects are not developers. The only person qualified to coach your design team is a real estate developer with dozens of successful projects to their credit.
  2. Design Creep (This is a process, not a person.) Design creep occurs when no one is minding the budget or controlling the scope of work. Architects like to please their clients and sometimes find it hard to say, “No,” or, “You cannot afford to add this or that.” A seasoned developer will stay focused on what is necessary and affordable, and will treat the church’s money as if it were their money.

At OASTER, we know that a project simply cannot be over budget when the congregation is expecting to break ground on the project. Once church leadership and staff loose credibility and trust with the congregation, it can take years to regain it. For this reason, we oversee the design process, focusing our efforts on developing functional and affordable designs that will enhance a church’s ministry, and lead to the fulfillment of ministry goals and objectives.

OASTER Design and Pre-Construction Services include:

  • Facility Needs Analysis
  • Project Representation with Government Agencies
  • Project Master Scheduling
  • Design Phase Cost Estimates
  • Value Engineering Analysis
  • Reimbursable Expense Management & Reduction
  • Bid Package Analysis & Evaluation
  • Constructability Review