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Building a Sustainable Church

God shaped the world so that natural systems render no waste. One organism’s waste is another organism’s food – this is the mystery that we, humans, have yet to crack – a simple yet beautiful order to all things that has allowed us to thrive as a species before time was even a thought.

Though through time we have slowly moved away from this sustainable model of life. That doesn’t mean it is too late to turn things around. In fact, it is our duty now, more than ever, to preserve the divine order of all things that God willingly put in our hands. 

Sustainable Churches? Absolutely. 

What better way to foster the preservation of God’s creations than by building a sustainable place of worship? Here are a couple of ideas to spark something great (and more importantly green) when planning your next project:

Setting matters.

Designing for place is very important when thinking about building a church (or any structure for that matter). Not only does it take environmental, societal, and economic aspects into account, but it also helps free up common roadblocks such as lack of access to local building materials, lack of community engagement, and lack of local economic enrichment.  Choosing the right setting for your project can go a long way toward helping the environment as local materials and labor supports the surrounding economy while mitigating the need for excess resources to be exhausted. 

Mimicking Nature.

This process, also known as biomimicry, can minimize costs and boost efficiency. For example, just as butterflies utilize nano-sized scales to repel dirt and stay clean, building exteriors can be coated with a protective layer that reduces the need for maintenance and extra spending.  Another common example of biomimicry is solar panel technology that converts solar energy into usable energy – the same way that plants utilize photosynthesis to covert the power of the sun into chemical energy. Not only is this type of energy clean and green, but it is also cost-efficient in the long run. 

Passive Design.

By reducing or removing the need for simulated climatic systems such as air conditioning, heating, lighting, etc., this type of design model is the textbook example of sustainability.  Examples of this include harnessing prevailing winds in a way that cools the interior of a structure, integrating natural desiccants to remove humidity, building acoustically efficient spaces to reduce/remove the need for speakers and other electronics, and incorporating vegetative roofing to deflect heat in the summer and retain warm air in the winter.  All of these design elements can work to reduce overall costs and minimize your Church’s carbon footprint.

Take a Stand.

Buildings have been telling God’s stories for thousands of years.  Now, it is our job to preserve the world that God gave to us by incorporating the organic processes that we were created from into the things that we create with our own hands.  By building a church in accordance to the diverse, natural systems that show the balance between life, death, and growth, congregants are more likely to take these practices home with them and realize how invaluable they are to the future of our planet. 

Building a Church: Why Design Matters

A church is more than four walls and a roof. When you enter a church, you should feel something. Something that transcends normalcy. Something that makes you feel closer to heaven. But how is this possible? How can a building have such a profound influence on our faith?

The answer is simple: God is in the details. In the design to be exact. A church’s design elements—from exterior to interior—play a vital role in its ability to attract and retain congregants.


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5 Perks of Using an Architecture Firm With an In-House Construction Team

An architect and a construction manager working together on a construction site

2-in-1 — the simple concept that was developed to make our lives a little easier. The phone case that acts as a wallet. The laptop that can be twisted into a handheld tablet. The washer that turns into a dryer.

You can welcome this type of simplicity to your new building project if you hire an architecture firm with an in-house construction team. Here are 5 perks your project will receive when design and build are coming from the same team.


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Top 3 Reasons Why Construction Projects Fail & The Steps You Can Take to Avoid Them

Construction hats sitting on a work site.

Construction projects fail for a variety of reasons, but more often than not complications can be avoided with proper planning, resources, and the right personnel in place!

Vanman has a 98.8% completion rate for all of our bank, school and church construction projects. In every project, we work to avoid the main issues that cause construction projects to stray from both timeline and budget.

Discover the top 3 causes of construction project failure and their solutions below.

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3 Modern Bank Interior Design Features Your Branch Needs

Two coworkers meeting outside a coffee shop

Modern banks are getting a face lift with added interior design features to improve the overall customer branch experience. Upgrading the in-store banking experience can help increase foot traffic and customer satisfaction.

Take Capital One, a once digital-only bank, for example. They did what no one predicted by opening the Capital One Café, a coffee shop plus bank. The premise? To provide a space where their customers have options to explore their finances or just grab a coffee and go about their daily routine. Despite initial industry skepticism, this out-of-the-box idea is proving to be quite successful.

Learn how your branch can hop on this trend and why adding modern interior design elements is the key.

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A Tour of How Modern Church Architecture Characteristics Can Improve Your Sermon

A church with green and brown siding with a large white cross on the roof

While many of the lessons from scripture apply to our 21st-century lives, classic church designs have fallen by the wayside when it comes to today’s society. Gone are the days of the copy and paste brick and mortar projects.

Today, modern church architecture characteristics are unique to each building due to the array of church sizes across the country. But when it comes to trends in congregation retention, the characteristics are vital, no matter a church’s square footage.
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An Easy-to-Follow Guide For Opening a New Bank Branch

Bank owner looking at the floor plan for her new bank with an architect at the construction site

Making the leap to opening a new branch of your financial institution takes careful consideration. Your bank is running smoothly, sufficient cash flow is coming in and your market shows that more people are coming to your area. You need to grow to meet their needs.

Before you begin your application process with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, you should take time to thoroughly research your bank branch location selection.
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7 Strategies to Help Move Your Congregation During a Church Relocation

Group of six people praying around a table with Bibles open

The decision to relocate your church is never easy. You have built your community at this location. Your congregation is comfortable here and it has been a major part of their lives. But sooner or later, whether your current church is running out of room or is getting too old, church relocation becomes the only solution.

Instead of stressing about how your move will be perceived by the congregation, take it as an opportunity. This is a chance for your church’s community to rally together and create excitement about a new adventure to ultimately help grow their faith.

After meticulously going over the final blueprint for your new building, it’s time to implement a church transition plan for your congregation and rally support for the big move. Here are seven strategies you should implement to smoothly move your congregation.
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Crafting Your Bank Design Concept: 3 Tips to Keep You Focused

One of the best parts of working with an architecture firm is watching your ideas comes to life. From the blueprint to the ribbon-cutting, your aspirations and your designs are being crafted for the real world. If you have big plans for your bank design concept, it can be nerve-wracking to piece together a draft that is focused and ready for your architect to start shaping blueprints. If you’re thinking about coming up with a bank design concept, stay on track with these three tips:
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