Park View Mennonite Church Renovation – Part 2

Church Renovation Design Process, part 2

Part 1 of the church renovation story here.

At this point, my volunteer work was becoming more than what I could give for a church renovation. I switched roles a bit and was hired as an architect to build a team of professionals to coordinate the design for our church renovation. We were given the air and surface test report which told us that almost all the duct work and heating / cooling units in the building had been compromised. Our team of designers started documenting all the leaks around the building. We not only had water coming in from the roof, but also leaking boiler pipes and water infiltrating the basement walls. We added Suter Engineering and Excel HVAC to our team to provide a solution to replace 100% of the heating and cooling systems. This solution would be a major expense, but the only method of treatment for mold that the EPA endorses is a full removal of the impacted equipment. We wanted to do all we could to solve this indoor environmental quality problem and it was a complicated solution. Suter and Excel were able to put together a plan and a budget to fix the mechanical systems in the building. They were also able to convert all heating / cooling systems to electric eliminating the need for natural gas for anything other than stove and water heating. This will allow our solar PV to supply most of our energy needs and for us to reduce our environmental footprint. While the mechanical system is the biggest part of the work that needed to be done, that is not the entire story for this church renovation.

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Through the design process we were able to document almost all of the leaks and the causes. There were roof, flashing, and grade leaks / issues. There were gutter leaks and downspouts clogged. There were leaking boiler pipes and carbon filters. There were leaking drains and plumbing issues. From all the water issues in the building we also found drywall and insulation that needed to be replaced. One of the biggest, literally, problems we needed a solution for was our steeple was leaking. I presented the idea of removing it and adding a more traditional roof in place and to my surprise the congregation agreed to it. More on this decision later. The indoor fabric surfaces were impacted by mold growth and needed to be cleaned or replaced. This was also a good chance to update the warming kitchen and to add a needed family restroom. We added Herr and Co. to our design team. Bringing a contractor into the design phase is a good option to maximize the effectiveness of your team. They are able to guide and direct based on best practices in the field and to price the project as it is designed. They also offer a different perspective on solutions. This led to our ability to save the steeple!

More on this project tomorrow.