In the early 2000s, pastor Paul Foslien had his hands full. His congregation at the Living Word Family Church in Naples, Fla., was growing. He already was providing three services each Sunday to a congregation of 500. The 7,000-square-foot church near the waterfront was landlocked and the only option to accommodate its increasing popularity was to move to a new building. Nearly 75 percent of the congregation came from new housing communities 15 miles away, so Living Word purchased land next to the flourishing residential area. By 2008, the church was ready to break ground on a 28,200-square-foot facility.
With four times the space of the original building, the church now houses a 580-seat sanctuary, as well as children’s classrooms, a nursery, youth sanctuary, and an extensive lobby complete with a café and bookstore. Budget was a primary consideration and a creative approach was needed to construct such a large facility. “We had to find the best fit to get the space we needed,” Foslien recalls. “Since we live in a hurricane-prone state, durability was another important factor. A metal building met our budget, would hold up under harsh weather, and allowed us to accomplish our vision,” he says.
Daniels & Daniels Construction of Broken Arrow, Okla., built the facility. The firm began with a pre-engineered, rigid frame metal building. Thanks to the inexpensive base structure, the church cost only $8 million. That includes stadium seating in the sanctuaries and state-of-the-art sound, video, and lighting. The pre-engineered metal building also facilitated interior programming by providing clear spans in the building for the huge foyer and sanctuary.
The team chose galvalume, which consists of steel sheets coated with an aluminum-zinc alloy, for the main framing structure because of its resistance to rust. Next, they covered the metal structure with lightweight EIFS (exterior insulation finishing system) cladding. “We ordered the complete building system and specified reversed-R panels on the side walls so we could mount the EIFS to it on the exterior,” says Steve Owens, senior project manager at Daniels & Daniels. “Our EIFS system gave the project design flexibility. You can’t tell it’s a metal building.”
Architecture firm Crafton Tull in Tulsa, Okla. (formerly Crafton Tull Sparks) designed the project, which was subject to Collier County’s design review. The county’s design review committee would not approve a large single box structure, so the church is broken into three main buildings at varying elevations. The sanctuary is the tallest building because it needs to accommodate stadium seating. Three towers and a trellis that runs the entire length of church front and around part of the building sides give the facility the appearance of a villa.
“We wanted to emulate the Key West style,” Foslien says. “Neighboring homes have metal roofs, so we thought a metal roof on the building would blend in well and enhance the old South-Florida look. We are incorporating touches like wrought iron and metal roofs on the other buildings in our master plan. When the next phases are done, the site will look like a community.”
The team anchor-bolted the metal warehouse-style building and separate towers into a concrete foundation, and built the EIFS cladding system in the field. Team members then erected scaffolding to fasten 4- by 8-foot sheets of dense glass to all of the galvanized rib panels. A backing board of 2-inch-thick Styrofoam with 3- and 4-inch-thick sections for building accents was glued and fastened to the glass. Once in place, the crew scored the Styrofoam according to the design drawings to create architectural features and building accents. The architects had worked with varying lines at the planes where doors and windows intersect to obtain the desired effect. The scoring carries these lines all the way around the building for consistency. The Styrofoam forms were protected with a layer of coarse netting, and sealed with grout and a base coat as preparation for the final layer. The final surface is a textured compound that looks like stucco when dry.
Colors were added into the compound, which will result in lower maintenance with normal building wear and tear. The architects used color to further delineate the façade. Scoring at the top of the building separates a darker color above from a lighter color below to create the illusion of a shadow.
According to Owens, proper flashing was a challenge. “We performed the flashing within the EIFS. We added metal flashing behind the galvanized panel and dense glass around all doors and windows and left enough room for the Styrofoam layer to prevent leaks and ensure water would be conveyed away from the building. Then, we applied a base coat once the Styrofoam was in place,” he says.
The other construction challenge dealt with the arched windows called for in the architect’s design. A metal stud in the semicircular openings only was rated to withstand a 105-mile-per-hour wind load, but the project is close to the ocean and the stud has to hold up under 128-mile-per-hour hurricane wind conditions. Daniels & Daniels manufactured the arches in place out of ¼-inch steel to withstand the potentially powerful wind forces. The crew placed the arches on each side of the 8 5/8-inch-thick opening and welded the steel structure into the top arch of the window for maxium durability.
The roofline had a very low pitch, and the team selected metal standing-seam roofing painted a colonial red for its aesthetic value and proven performance on low slopes. A combination of two different roof profiles, SSR and SLR, were selected for the various portions of the building and towers.
The crew treated each of the three towers as individual buildings that attached to the larger structure. The central tower holds a steeple with a cross in its center, and the side towers straddle an open-air arcade. On the exterior of the buildings, a 4-foot-high split-base concrete block wainscot matches the trellis columns. Rising out of the concrete base, the trellis is composed of metal posts and fire-treated wood.
Inside, the crew attached 2 ½-inch metal studs to the metal walls, followed by 4-inch vinyl-back insulation. They left 8 ½ inches of empty space to provide a thermal break before installing the sheetrock layer. Inside the roof, the team added 6-inch vinyl-backed reinforced insulation.
The roof insulation was painted black so that it would fade into the background. In the lobby, white sound panels suspended from the ceiling seem to float in the space. Owens says the panels buffer sound and reduce echoes, but also add an interesting design element that sets the tone for the space. An interior trellis around the lobby’s café recalls the exterior detailing.
Completed in spring of 2010, the facility now serves a congregation of 1,500. Foslien already is offering a third Sunday morning service and campus additions are under way.
KJ Fields writes about architecture and sustainability from Portland, Ore.