2014 Solomon Awards

Design & Construction

Cape Cod Church - New Church Building

Opening in April 2014, the new Cape Cod Church in Falmouth, Mass. has seen weekly attendance grow to 1,000, which is 75 percent increase over previous attendance.


WFM Staff  ·  August 1, 2014

In 2010, Cape Cod Church was running three Sunday morning services in a cramped facility when Senior Pastor Ben Feldott articulated a vision for a new church. He envisioned a “city on a hill,” with the primary goal of attracting people who do not otherwise attend church. In the four months since the new building has opened, the church has attracted more than 1,500 new visitors. Weekly attendance has increased by 75 percent to 1,000. Of the new regular attendees who filled out a recent survey, over half say they had never or only infrequently attended church prior to coming to Cape Cod Church.

Visible from a major roadway, the church entry features an inviting 40-foot high glass wall in front of an indoor plaza. Day and evening, the activities of the church can been seen by passersby. A café and indoor playground are prominently visible. In that recent survey, the No. 1 reason cited by new attendees for their first attendance was the fact that they “noticed the building.”

Designed by Glenn Knowles and Associates of Boston, the new 40,000-square-foot building offers a 1,000-seat auditorium, a two-story entry plaza/lobby, children’s and teen assembly and classroom areas, teen café, nursery and toddler area, indoor playground, administrative suite and general café. The facility is built into an embankment, responding to the natural topography and creating two levels of convenient parking and access.

The building was thoughtfully designed to accommodate future expansion. The sanctuary can double its capacity, and the education wing can expand without affecting parking or triggering building code restrictions.

New Building (Cape Cod Church)

East Falmouth, Massachusetts
Project Size: 801-2000 seats
Completion Date: April 6, 2014
Architect: Glenn Knowles & Associates

The new Cape Cod Church was built in 18 months and opened in April 2014. Hard construction costs were $5.25 million (or $132 per square foot), which is significantly below average building costs in New England. Before construction started, the building team went through several iterations of “value engineering” and rebidding from major subcontractors to reduce costs. Importantly, the church benefitted from a selfless army of over 200 volunteers, including the construction site supervisor, electrical subcontractor and many others who performed work. The bank assessed the value of volunteer contribution at $1.6 million.

Cape Cod Church incorporated two major energy-efficiency initiatives for the new building. First, the church met the “Advanced Buildings” core performance standard, which has specific requirements for insulation, HVAC efficiency, lighting, water usage, etc. For example, the HVAC units have a 93 percent efficiency rating, and over 95 percent of building lighting is LED technology. By meeting the standard, the church received a $64,000 cash incentive through a regional energy efficiency organization and benefits from lower ongoing utility costs. Second, a third party installed a “no-cost” 100KW photovoltaic array on the roof, which supplies about 90 percent of the building’s electricity demand. The church pays less than half the current commercial rate for electricity and projected savings in electricity costs are $120,000 over the life of the system.

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