Pat Thompson is vice president and general manager of San Diego-based TV Magic, a company that offers consulting and audio-visual integration services to houses of worship. Thompson has grappled for some time with helping church owners look at the whole system of a building, including audio-visual and lighting components, early on to ensure the best planning, the best price and, in the end, the best new or renovated facility.
When questioned about Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and its future potential for helping build creative houses of worship at a time and cost savings, Thompson’s enthusiasm quickly surfaces. “We’re always struggling to make everybody understand why the audio-visual integrator should be there at the beginning of the design process; we’re typically brought in later and then the church has to fit what is wanted into what was already built,” he explains. “It often costs churches more to make changes to get the audio-visual integration to work well.”
From the perspective of a builder, Charlotte, N.C.-based Edifice Inc.’s Wiley Brown, director of marketing for the company’s Cornerstone Group that works specifically with faith-based organizations, says, “The very nature of [the IPD] system fosters early discovery in the areas that would likely be problematic to the success of a project if revealed later in the process. Early discovery and communication generally equal savings.”
Aside from offering money savings at the front of the project through proper planning, Thompson says IPD also has great potential to help church facility managers and technical directors in their day-to-day work.
Thompson reports that the 3D model of a facility that’s generated with Building Information Modeling (BIM) software will give church facility managers and tech directors crucial information to care for a building and its components over time. For example, if a facility manager needs to change a light bulb, the make, model and size of the bulb will be recorded in the 3D model. Similarly, if tech directors need to replace projectors and lights mounted on the ceiling, a BIM model will show them both how to access the ceiling-mounted equipment, what tools they’ll need to make repairs, and particulars such as lamp and bulb sizes.