Welcome to the Congregation Or Hadash building web page! This is the place for news, information, photos and discussions about our new home. Together, we are building our first permanent home. Comments are welcome, leave yours today!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What’s Happening With Our New Building?

Many of you met our architects Brian Bell and David Yocum (http://www.bldgs.org/) at the community meeting last October. Since then, they’ve been very busy completing several preliminary, but critical tasks. In addition to measuring and documenting the existing conditions of the building and grounds at our Trowbridge Road site, they have compiled a Program Document and developed the Schematic Design. This article will describe these architectural terms more fully and bring you up-to-date with what’s happening on our new building.

One of Brian and David’s first jobs included coordinating with several project consultants - structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers, the landscape architect, and an acoustical engineer.  The input of the acoustical engineer was especially important because North Springs High School football games will overlap with Friday night services about 6 times each year. Our new home must be designed to temper that outside noise as well as provide the acoustics needed for the music in our sanctuary.

In addition to documenting current conditions and coordinating with consultants, our architects began gathering information about synagogues. They met with Or Hadash members, committees and staff and reviewed the 113 responses to the Fall 2010 Congregation Or Hadash New Building Survey. They also toured area synagogues, studied synagogue design, and discussed synagogue security with Federation officials.

Using the gathered information, Brian and David established a Space Program. A Space Program is a list of all required and desired spaces and the size and specific requirements for each of those spaces. Parameters used to define a synagogue building’s space requirements include finishes, lighting, ritual uses, and building code implications. Combining both the preliminary information with the Space Program, Brian and David developed a 200-page Program Document, a comprehensive written definition of the scope of the building project. This document was reviewed and approved by the COH Board.

Once this preliminary work was completed, Brian and David began Schematic Design. It is during this exciting phase that a building really starts to take shape. Schematic Design involves creating floor plans and elevations, and more fully developing each of the areas or sections within the building. During this phase the architects begin to identify what materials will be used in the different rooms and spaces, and provide details about the heating and air-conditioning systems, the lighting for various areas, acoustics, and landscaping.  As you can see in the preliminary sketch below, the design for our new building includes an interior courtyard.    

As part of the Schematic Design phase, Brian and David are creating a series of both virtual and 3-D building models. They are meeting regularly with the Building Committee and will make presentations to the Board at appropriate intervals. Brian and David will present their design to the congregation at a town hall meeting on Sunday, February 27, 9:30 AM.
As many of you know, our new synagogue building will be what is called an adaptive re-use of an existing building. Future articles will explain the challenges and opportunities of using an adaptive re-use building and current plans to make our new synagogue home sustainable and eco-friendly. We will also discuss such details and concepts as interior design, selection of furniture, fixtures and ritual objects, cost-estimating, landscaping, etc. If you have questions, thoughts, feedback, or other ideas for columns, please let us know.

We look forward to sharing with you,

The Building Committee
January 20, 2011