Building Design Guidelines
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Note: While these
guidelines are presented for general information, they do not replace the
Each grade schooler should have 25 square feet per child. Many times a larger classroom for daycare can be split into two of these classrooms with an operable partition.
Each middle / high schooler should have 15 square feet per person. It is also good to have a room for group assembly. This room may also serve as a small recreational area.
Adult education should be 12 square feet per person. Again, operable partitions can be used to allow a greater versatility of the meeting room sizes. We recommend a minimum room size of 200 square feet, or 16 adults.
Smaller assembly areas need from 15 to 20 square feet per person. All rooms with more than 50 people require two remote exits. When the capacity reaches 300, three or more exits are required. Building codes calculate occupancy at 7 square feet per person. However, rarely does real occupancy reach half of code capacity.
OFFICES / SUPPORT AREAS:
Staff offices should be 150 to 200 square feet each. While it is common to use an open plan with offices and workroom in a large area, the financial secretary should have a lockable office. Try to accommodate one more office than is needed at the present time, to allow for future staff.
Choir practice areas should be 15 square feet per person. The practice room should match the size and arrangement of the sanctuary choir as much as possible. Music support spaces such as robing and music storage should be another 6 square feet per person.
A Library should be 2 square feet per person of the sanctuary capacity.
Fellowship Hall should hold half the capacity of the Sanctuary and one person per 15 square feet for dining at round tables. The Kitchen should be about 3 square feet per person in the fellowship hall.
Mechanical / Restrooms / and corridors are 20 to 30 percent of the building space, after all spaces are accounted for.
A minimum of 15 square feet per person for compact seating arrangements. It may be lower in large sanctuaries and higher in smaller sanctuaries.
Pulpit should be a 8' minimum depth from the first choir row. However 12' or more will allow a greater flexibility in worship styles. Many churches are now eliminating the old style modesty screens to allow for maximum flexibility of the pulpit area.
Choir should hold 10 percent of the capacity of the main seating area, with rows that are 3' deep. A larger percentage may be needed in churches with large choir participation. 15 square feet per instrument should be allowed, larger for the piano. Walls and floors should be hard surfaces to assist in reflecting sound.
Pew spacing is 36 inches minimum from back to back. Pews should not exceed 21 feet in length. Chair spacing is 22 inches in width and 36 inches from back to back. Rows with more than 15 chairs should be avoided. Aisles should be at least 6 feet wide in the centers and 3 feet 6 inches wide on the sides. Codes may require wider aisles based on capacity and length of travel to exits.
Vestibules should be 2 square feet per seat in the sanctuary. The vestibule should not be made too small since it is the main point of weekly fellowship for many of the congregation. Consider it a gathering space.
Steeples should be at least as high above the roof as is the distance from the roof peak to the ground.