Built of Living Stones 215-216: The Choice of Building Materials

Building a church? Build it to last:

§ 215 § A church building is a lasting expression of a faith community’s life. Because the church building is destined to endure, parishes and the professionals who assist them should ensure that the components of the building, especially the building materials, are sturdy and substantial enough to stand the test of time. While traditional building materials have served the Church well in the past, more recently developed materials and building techniques might better serve a contemporary structure. In all instances, the building that is designed for an extended life will need fine, durable materials. The use of materials available locally and of designs that are expressive of local culture can be an advantage to parishes.

And keeping in mind that parishes should be building for decades to a few centuries, so some of these considerations that follow may be expensive, but in the long term, may be cost-effective in addition to being responsible stewardship:

§ 216 § Faithful stewardship of the earth’s resources demands that the Church be a partner in the development of a sustainable architecture. Materials, construction methods, and procedures that are toxic to the environment or that are wasteful of the earth’s resources should be avoided. Providing heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and lighting systems that are energy-efficient is financially sound practice and, at the same time, environmentally responsible. It is an exercise in parish stewardship.

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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