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Church Building Guidelines

Church Building Guidelines Provides Tips for Church Construction 

Any church building project needs some general guidelines, or rules of thumb, to give a church a beginning point for planning.  A church building consultant can help your church refine it's needs from these general tips. The following church building guidelines will help you get started and provide both a framework and check and balance for work done by architects or builders.

Church Building Tips Guide...

  • In general you should estimate approximately 1 acre per hundred people to allow for a church building, parking, green space and waste water management.  Metro locations with offsite parking options will be much higher.

  • Typically, churches can afford to build for 2.5-3 times their current average attendance.  A church of a 100, might reasonably expect to build for 250-300.

  • Estimate parking to be approximately 110 cars to the acre if you have to park everyone on your church building site.

  • Your church building budget will tell you what you can afford to build (how big of project), your needs analysis will tell you how that project is laid out.

  • Plan on an average of 1 parking space for every 2.5 people on campus at one time. This will probably be less than the the city or county require in parking for your church building project, but it will more accurately reflects actual need.

  • Sanctuary seating ranges from 10 -15 square feet per person, depending on layout, seating pattern, and total size of the sanctuary.

  • Vestibule/Lobby/Narthex in the main church building should optimally be about 2 square feet per person seated in the worship center. Note: if you are running multiple services, you may want to increase this to facilitate the "shift change".

  • Classrooms range from 12 to 35 square feet per person in the room, depending on the age group using the space.

  • Almost no church is built with too much storage space.

  • A high school size basketball court is 50x84 feet. Add some minimal space around the edge of the court, restrooms, etc and you are looking at a minimum building of 7,500-8,000 square feet.

  • Individual church offices should be a minimum of 120 square feet. Pastors offices should be a minimum of 150 square feet and a recommended size of 300 square feet.

  • Round tables in the fellowship hall reduce seating capacity by 20% or more. 12 square feet per person for square tables and 15 for round.

  • Overall, a church building with dedicated spaces for sanctuary, fellowship, education, administration and multiuse space may require from 30-55 square feet of space per person depending on programs, ministries and other factors.

  • For preliminary planning purposes, use $125/sf for the estimated project cost  for your church building project.  This assumes nominal site work and landscaping, and an area with reasonable costs for construction.

Please note that the above are just general guidelines, tips if you will, to help get your planning into the "ballpark".  Considerable thought and research must be put into this to determine what is the right solution for your church.  A church building consultant can help your church properly apply these guidelines to its church building program.


More Church Building Guidelines

For even more church building guidelines, get the eBook, "Before You Build".  Chapter 10 of this book is entirely dedicated to providing more church building guidelines.  View the Table of Contents or Download the eBook.


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