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  • Writer's pictureSteve Baker PhD AIA

Faith and Technology and the Role of Technology in Sacred Architecture

Two things you probably don’t think about in the same context are faith and technology. In many aspects, the two seem to conflict in irreconcilable ways, and even when they seem to be on the same page, it can seem unimportant to bring the two together. 


However, there’s plenty of room for tech and faith to come together in a variety of ways. Both in enhancing the faith-teaching experience and in building the physical church to standards that have never been possible before. 


Today, we’re going to explore the role of digital tools in churches and how they can enhance communication, engagement, and overall church operations.


Let’s get started!


1: Designing Churches that Bring Glory to God 


Digital tools play a significant role in the design phase of the church-building process


Traditionally, churches are made just like any other building. Blueprints are drafted after a general idea is developed, and those blueprints guide the construction process. At most, developers might make a miniature scale model of the finished church. 


The problem with that approach is that it’s extremely limited and difficult to change throughout the design phase. You can only lay out so many details with blueprints, there’s plenty of room for costly human errors, and even scale models can only show so much of the vision you’re trying to bring to life.

The role of digital tools in churches - design software.

Digital design tools completely reinvent how designers approach this early phase in the construction process. 


With scanning technology and digital software, designers can create a 1:1 digital model of the entire church plan.


This can be easily manipulated in real-time, you get to see in and out of the church, and it allows for a virtual walkthrough of a precise recreation of what the design will look like when it’s completed. 


This not only speeds up the process, but it also gives you a more true-to-life model to look at, tweak, and overall, work more closely with the designer to perfect in every aspect imaginable. 


This simply isn’t possible with traditional methods, and it’s a revolutionary advancement in the design world. 


This is even more crucial when constructing a church because you need to implement complex faith-based imagery and architectural details that aren’t as straightforward as, let’s say, building a standard cookie-cutter home. 


2: Precise Architectural Planning


The precision that makes digital tools valuable to designers in churches is even more crucial for architects, significantly impacting various aspects of the project.


With digital tools, an architect can create blueprints that are accurate up to 1 millimeter. That’s unheard of with traditional hand-drawn blueprints. 


That accuracy ensures that the vision you and the designer work on throughout the design phase is brought to life exactly how you planned it.


The only way it can be different or things might not add up properly is if the construction team doesn’t follow the plan properly. You don’t have to worry about that with a professional team. 


It also dramatically lowers project costs


Churches, especially Catholic churches, are some of the most expensive construction projects you can undertake beyond extremely niche structures.


Being able to cut costs without sacrificing quality is often essential to ensure the church stays within its budget and still gets an appropriate place of worship. 


This price-lowering capability stems from the fact that digital tools are so precise they dramatically reduce waste.


Architects can determine exactly how much of any given material is needed to complete the project, experiment with different materials within the digital space to see if there are any negative drawbacks of using cost-effective materials, and more. 


Waste is minimized, the right materials can be used in the right places, and more money stays in the church’s funding account to go toward other things.


3: It’s Easier to Guide Construction and Design Teams Through Faith-Based Building


It’s unfortunate, but not everyone is extremely knowledgeable about the various faith-based concepts and symbols that must be implemented in a church. Especially in Catholic churches where symbolism is extremely important in practically every design feature. 


The on-the-fly design tweaking allowed by digital tools in churches ensures that you, as a knowledgeable person of faith, can quickly notice flaws that must be rectified, and the team can easily adjust the plan to match the project’s requirements.


There isn’t a chance of completing the project just to realize that a serious point of symbolism is missing or inappropriately implemented. 


4: Enhanced Faith Teaching


Not every digital tool is based on the building process for the church. The church can benefit greatly by leveraging technology in the everyday practices of the church.


One area where this is already extremely common is audio. Church audio systems provide unmatched control over audio quality, the distribution of sound, the use of music, and more.


This is especially necessary in large cathedrals where a priest can’t ensure everyone can hear clearly throughout the entirety of mass, but it’s also useful for music, extracurricular church activities, and more.

The role of church audio system as a digital tool in churches.

The use of video technology and digital presentations has also enhanced the teaching capabilities of the church.


Digital tools can be used to visually bring the events of the Bible to life before the church’s eyes, highlight key points and takeaways from sermons, ensure everyone has a reference to look at when studying passages, and more.


That’s not to mention all the extracurricular activities that can be enhanced such as Bible school for younger children, youth group activities recreational get-together events, and more.


Gain Access to the Finest Digital Tools for Your Choice with Baker AIA


While digital tools in churches can blend exceptionally well when leveraged correctly, it’s still something many churches aren’t used to, and there aren’t many specialized services available that truly understand what a church requires. 


Baker Architects is your go-to source if you’re building a Catholic church and want these benefits.


We not only have a team of the finest designers and church architects, but we are also deeply engaged with the church and understand what it takes to make a truly mesmerizing church beyond technological advantages. 


Contact Baker Architects today.

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