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The Multi-Faceted Benefits of Metal

The Multi-Faceted Benefits of Metal

Churches nationwide are gravitating toward metal buildings, with measurable success

The Multi-Faceted Benefits of Metal

While the economy suffers and people everywhere cut back, churches and congregations are feeling the impact, just like the rest of us. Money is tight and spending is being curtailed. When organizations do spend money, they want to make sure they get the most return for their money. That is just as true when building new facilities or adding to the current facility as it is for any other expenditure.

For those churches that need to construct new facilities or expand current ones, it is more important than ever to spend money wisely and efficiently. Metal building systems have provided building solutions for churches and worship facilities for decades, and they continue to be a practical option for a wide variety of church campus buildings.

Economical, Whatever the Size
Metal building systems are cost effective for buildings of just about any size. The ability to construct efficiently for many different sizes and uses is something that many churches can use to their advantage as they look for new facilities. They can construct the right sized building for current needs, while planning for expansion when the time is right.

The Love and Truth Church in Jackson, Tenn., is an ideal example of getting the right building for the right price. The congregation for this young church was meeting at a storefront and growing past 125 members when they embarked on a new building program. They needed a building, but with a small congregation they couldn’t afford anything extraordinary. What they were pleased to find was a 12,648-square-foot building that serves a variety of church and civic functions quickly and inexpensively.

The new Love and Truth Church is a metal building system with 26-gauge R-panel roof and wall systems. It is finished in an attractive khaki color with a durable Khynar finish and can seat 400 for services with removable seating. It also has classrooms, a nursery and a large foyer. This building is an example of how far a limited budget can stretch, but it certainly is not the only such example.

Metal buildings can also provide the finishing touch for congregations that have been growing and expanding over the years. Beacon Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., needed a new auditorium to complete its campus, and the members of the church had some very specific needs. The building had to fit into a tight spot between existing facilities, it had to have an auditorium that seated upwards of 1,600 congregants, and it also had to have classrooms and offices. A metal building with a standing seam metal roof was able to fit all their needs and it provides an inspirational focal point for the church and community.

Reaching Out
Churches are constantly looking at ways to reach out to more people. Often, doing so means constructing additional facilities, such as classrooms, fellowship halls and recreational facilities. Those congregations that want to expand—and particularly those that want to reach out to younger people—can learn about state-of-the-art facilities from Bridge Ministries in Joplin, Mo. Founded in 1999, the Bridge seeks to provide a place for teens to have fun in a wholesome atmosphere, and a place where people of faith can connect with them and each other. It has become so popular that it recently had to expand into a new facility.

Today, the Bridge is a complex of three linked structures: the Autumn Ramp Park, the Bridge building, and the Foundry, a concert venue. The entire 61,694-square-foot facility cost $5.25 million and offers teens a safe place to meet, socialize and have fun in a faith-based atmosphere. The ramp park is an indoor skateboard and BMX facility with an equipment and apparel shop. The mezzanine is used as an alternative school for at-risk teens. The Bridge links the other two facilities and has a basketball court, rock climbing wall, arcade and Internet café, as well as concessions. All three structures were designed to be easily expandable for future needs.

Timely Construction
Metal buildings can be constructed in very tight timeframes and under most conditions. The Bridge was constructed on a 25-acre site during one of the rainiest periods in years, over a period of 15 months—a remarkable accomplishment for such a large facility.

Many parts of metal buildings are engineered and formed off-site; so when it is time to put the building together, it doesn’t take a lot of time or ideal weather conditions. Smaller and simpler projects than the Bridge can take much less time to complete. The Truth and Love Church was constructed over a period of five months, allowing the congregation to move into its new and spacious facilities very quickly. Another church, the Greenway Baptist Church in Stephens City, Va., was started in February and completed in November of the same year.

The ability to construct in a variety of conditions and meet tight time schedules means that the buildings will cost less in the long run and a congregation can use its new facilities faster.

Economical and Sustainable
Congregations and organizations that use metal buildings can save costs in other ways as well. These buildings are very economical to operate and they typically don’t need a lot of maintenance. Steel buildings are also very sustainable, as the steel is 100% recyclable. Steel is the most recycled building material, meaning it can be used over and over.

Another environmentally friendly aspect of metal buildings that can help save money is the ability to insulate them to a high degree. It is typical to insulate metal walls and roofs so that the buildings will operate efficiently and require less heating and cooling. The Bridge has eight inches of insulation underneath the standing seam roof and the walls have four inches of insulation. The well-insulated building envelope helps to keep energy costs down, which is no small feat for such a large facility.

In addition to traditional insulation, a popular choice today is to use pre-insulated wall panels. This type of wall panel is constructed at the manufacturer’s plant and is built to a specified R-value of insulation. Then, it is bolted to the framing, and the finished building is very air tight and energy efficient.

When looking at all the benefits a metal building can provide, it is not surprising that many churches, congregations and ministries choose them for their new facilities. From efficient construction to low operating costs, metal can help get a high-quality/low-maintenance worship facility ready to serve its constituents in record time.

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