Places of Worship
BIA has extensive experience in all aspects of the development, design, and maintenance of places of worship. Our experience includes: the evaluation and planning of new sites; additions to existing facilities; the design of new buildings on existing grounds; and the renovation of existing buildings.
Our projects have involved various denominations, with designs ranging from chapels to synagogues.
Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship Church, Allentown, PA
Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship has a dynamic and growing congregation. Even by scheduling multiple Sunday morning worship services, the existing sanctuary was inadequate to allow the congregation to worship in its entirety. BIA provided the structural engineering design for the addition of an octagonal steel rigid frame sanctuary (pictured to the right) with a cantilevered balcony to create a place of worship that could comfortably seat 600.
Beth Israel Synagogue Eagle, Chester County, PA
BIA provided the plumbing design for a new house of worship that includes a sanctuary that seats 250, a full kosher kitchen, dining facilities, religious education rooms, meeting rooms, toilet rooms, and administrative offices.
Christ Hamilton Lutheran Church, Hamilton Township, Monroe County, PA
This historic church was founded in 1755. The original stone house of worship dates to 1829. BIA provided structural design services for a new addition that includes 10 Sunday School classrooms, a choir room, a kitchen, and a fellowship hall. The addition is connected to the original church by a breezeway.
First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, Bethlehem, PA
BIA provided structural design services for a two-story classroom addition (pictured to the right) that included a gymnasium.
St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Catholic Church, Bethlehem, PA
BIA provided the structural engineering design in the replacement of the building’s “onion domes” that can be seen in the picture to the left.
New Life Presbyterian Church of Dresher, Upper Dublin, PA
In the design and construction of a new two-story church of about 36,000 square feet, BIA provided design, drawings, and specifications of the building’s plumbing systems.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Egg Harbor, NJ
BIA provided the design of the structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems of a single story 35,000 square foot addition to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Egg Harbor, NJ.
The new space included classrooms for daycare, offices, a reception hall, a gymnasium, (which can double as a reception hall) and a catering kitchen.
St. Simon and Jude Church, West Chester, PA
In the fall of 2002, BIA provided civil engineering services in an expansion project for a growing congregation. The original church was designed for 1,000 parishioners; church membership now numbers over 9,000. The expansion includes the construction of a new church and the retrofitting of the original building to accommodate parish school functions, such as a cafeteria, science, art and music rooms, a library expansion, meeting rooms, and special education classrooms. Groundbreaking took place in the summer of 2004; the project was completed in the fall of 2005. BIA’s services include surveying, site development, zoning changes, obtaining a highway occupancy permit, and construction phase support.
Neffs E.C., Church, Neffs, PA
BIA designed the structural framing for a new church, which has a 596-seat sanctuary.
Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship Church, Allentown, PA
Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship has a dynamic and growing congregation. Even by scheduling multiple Sunday morning worship services, the existing sanctuary was inadequate to allow the congregation to worship in its entirety. BIA provided the structural engineering design for the addition of an octagonal steel rigid frame sanctuary with a cantilevered balcony to create a place of worship that could comfortably seat 600.
St. Martin of Tours, New Hope, PA
BIA provided structural engineering, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical engineering, fire protection design, and lighting design for a new complex, which includes a church, a school, and a rectory. Design began in the summer of 1998. Construction was complete for the Christmas service of 2000. BIA’s services included design, drawings, specifications, and construction administration.
The new two-story, 42,000 SF school features a gymnasium/multi-purpose room, classrooms, offices, and a kitchen. The 3,300 SF rectory includes four bedrooms and three baths. The 15,500 SF church includes meeting rooms, offices, and a sanctuary. While rectangular in shape, the church building is set on the diagonal, creating a sanctuary of dramatic depth. Two 6-foot deep glulam roof beams run parallel above the main aisle to provide the central support for the sanctuary. Smaller beams run perpendicularly between the main beams and to the outside walls.
St Isadore’s R.C. Church, Milford Township, PA
St. Isadore’s is a church with a long, proud history in downtown Quakertown. To accommodate the church’s growth, the congregation wished to move to a suburban location. During the spring and summer of 2003, BIA, as a consultant to an architect, assisted the congregation with obtaining municipal and regulatory approval for a new church on a triangular 20-acre site on W. Pumping Station Road in Milford Township, Bucks County. BIA was involved with the preparation of a boundary and topographic survey used as the basis for the design and securing approvals for site layout and grading, storm water and erosion control measures, parking, and site access for the new church that will seat 900 worshipers. BIA was successful in obtaining a number of zoning variances to accommodate the building design, which has a 52-foot high roof line and a 63-foot tall belfry topped by a 10-foot tall cross.
Holy Savior R.C. Church, Norristown, PA
This center city church required additional parking. The church owned a nearby parcel of land that was a steep hillside. At the top of the embankment was a high-rise apartment building for senior citizens, which was not owned by the church.
Barry Isett & Associates, Inc. (BIA) created a plan that used extensive cut and fill to create a level parking lot while designing a retaining wall to support the embankment upon which the high-rise was built. The project also required the design of a storm sewer system to convey storm water four blocks where it was discharged into an existing stream, crossing a number of borough streets in the process. This necessitated extensive coordination with local municipal officials.
BIA’s scope of services included:
- Topographic and property survey to determine locations of existing features and utilities
- Preparation of a site development plan
- Procuring land development permits from the municipality
- Preparation of specifications and bidding documents; coordination of the bidding process
- Construction consultation
St. John’s United Church of Christ, Slatington, PA
As a consultant to an architectural firm, BIA provided the structural design and drafting of a three story addition to the church to accommodate a new elevator, a lobby, storage rooms, and other small rooms. The project included the renovation of an existing three-story stair tower and the addition of an exterior concrete ramp to promote accessibility. BIA also provided the boundary and topographic survey of the expansion site.
Temple Bethel, South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, PA
BIA was the site/civil engineer in the design of the new spiritual home of the Temple Beth El congregation. The new building incorporated the stained glass windows, main dome of the sanctuary, ark doors and the marble Ten Commandments from the original synagogue which had been an Allentown, PA landmark. The 33,500 SF building includes a sanctuary, chapel, social hall, classrooms for religious education, and a memorial hall. BIA’s scope of services included providing boundary and topographic surveys, landscape design and conducting a traffic impact study.
Calvary Bible Fellowship Church, Coopersburg, Lehigh County, PA
BIA provided surveying, environmental, and civil engineering services for the building addition project of Calvary Bible Fellowship Church in Coopersburg, Lehigh County, in association with an architectural firm. The 5,650-square foot addition was designed to enhance social and fellowship functions at the church. The 4.8-acre site upon which the church sits is within the Saucon Creek Watershed; the creek itself runs through a rear portion of the parcel. BIA’s scope of services included: Topographic survey of a one-acre portion of the site, including existing buildings and facilities; Preparation of a base map of the site; wetland identification and delineation; Site engineering and land development plans for the building addition; and municipal review & approvals