The 10 Church Architecture Terms You Should Know

As you prepare to search for a professional architecture about your church construction project, it can be difficult to sift through the jargon and get to the core of what is being said. Familiarizing yourself with “architecture language” can give you the advantage in the conversation. Here are the 10 architecture terms:


This is a common term in commercial architecture, often referring to an architecture firm that pairs with a construction company for specific projects. Here at Vanman it refers to a team-based approach, from start to finish, that brings savings and an elevated final product to the client.


At Vanman, we believe in combining all necessary and desired functions in one cohesive design. This creates a final product that is both in-sync and beautiful.

In-House Advantage

The in-house advantage refers to the benefit that comes to the client from having architecture and construction working side by side throughout the entirety of the project. When both parties come together, it leads to more coherence throughout the project.

General Contracting

General contracting is the act of providing or coordinating all necessary material, labor, and services required throughout a building project.

3rd Space or Community Fellowship

No matter which term we call it, the community fellowship area is an inviting, adaptable space that provides a multi-purpose opportunity for both the community and the congregation. Its intention is to encourage worship in a welcoming environment.

In-Budget Design

The in-budget design term is what we use to describe Vanman’s dedication to include a project manager and estimator throughout design to ensure a build-able project.

Commercial Architecture and Construction

We use this term to describe the process of commercially designing and constructing a building intended for public use.

Sustainable Design

When it comes to green design, Vanman has been doing it in their commercial architecture and commercial construction since 1957 – we call it stewardship.

Schematic Design

Our preliminary design process provides drawings and “character sketches” that you can use to drum up excitement in your congregation. These are also sufficient enough to obtain your conditional-use permit, which 90% of churches require.

Technology Integration

At Vanman, we consider sound, lighting, and gadget design at the beginning of each project. We want your church architectural project to feel cohesive in all of it’s pieces.