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Centers of worship—no matter the faith, no matter the size—require unique contractors. These facilities often feature unique aesthetics that reflect each religious group’s values, teachings, geography, and history. And the needs of the congregation vary widely: some are small and intimate, and only need to function for two or three weekly services. Others are massive, holding multiple services a day. These buildings are places where communities come together, they are places where babies are brought into the community, places were we say our final goodbyes to loved ones. Communities often have group meals in these spaces and some function as venues for cultural events. Places of worship, in other words, are often the living heart of a community.
And the unique needs don’t end with the physical infrastructure. Most congregations rely heavily on donations and other fund-raising methods. Most contractors that cater to the needs of these congregations have to be able to work with the complex leadership group that leads that specific community and need to be able to get the most out of tight budgets and specific demands.
Firms on this list were researched and ranked based on their experience and ability to handle these special, significant, and important projects. The work histories, portfolios, and abilities of each firm were carefully reviewed to produce these specific rankings. But give each firm a close look, as the firm that best fits your community’s needs might be different than the congregation down the street, and every one of these contractors has built buildings that are deeply important to the people who use them.
If you are thinking about building a temple, we recommend checking each contractor’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.
Website | 847-258-5046 | 1229 E Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights, IL 60005
General contractor and construction management firm Sachi Contractors has only been in business for about two decades, and it has already achieved so much in the industry. The company serves the country in ten states from California to New Jersey. Sachi offers a variety of construction services but the firm has a strong collection of religious projects. Sachi has completed projects for a variety of religious groups, including Hinduism to Jainism. This scope of expertise is uncommon even among higher-ranking firms.
One Sachi project that stands out is the Jain Center Stone Temple in Chicago. This Hindu temple is the first of its kind outside of India. The stones and other materials used for the project were sourced from India, and the firm rose to the challenge of constructing an intricate, beautiful project with unfamiliar materials.
Website | 617-926-9300 | 63 Pleasant St., Suite #300 Watertown, MA 02472
RSE Associates is a group of engineers, architects, and artisans with experience in completing projects across North America, Europe, and Asia. The company is led by Jennifer McClain, an alumnus of MIT and Tufts. Her leadership guided the firm to prominence in the field of structural engineering and restoration. McClain’s guidance has also brought the company major awards in restoration and structural work, such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Merit Award in Architecture for Rehabilitation, Restoration or Preservation for a university chapel in 2018, and the Engineering News-Record (ENR) New England’s Best Project Best Renovation/Restoration Project for the same project in 2017.
Needless to say, the firm is experienced in delicate renovation and contracting. Below you’ll see where RSE provided the structural groundwork and rehabilitative services for the Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester. This century-old synagogue was damaged by fire and needed a major overhaul. With the aid of Maryann Thompson Architects, the temple was rebuilt with the local community in mind. The new layout of the temple reorients worship toward the East and made the floor plan more compact.
Hill & Wilkinson
Website | 214-299-4300 | 2703 Telecom Pkwy., Suite #120, Richardson, TX 75082
With over 50 years of operations, Hill & Wilkinson is one of Texas’s highest-earning contractors. The company earned over $450 million in 2018, maintaining a diverse portfolio that ranges from commercial to educational facilities and includes religious projects as well.
In the religious field, the company ranked 12th in the Top 45 Religious Sector Contractor list in 2018 by Building Design + Construction Magazine. Among these projects is Temple Shalom, a Jewish temple in Dallas. In this project, the company completed a 3,723 square-foot addition and then a subsequent 27,000 square-foot renovation. The project had to be completed in several phases, each demanding its own permit. The project demonstrates the company’s ability to complete complex projects, including the complex documentation that is necessary for the project’s completion.
Website | 636-928-4444 | 550 Turner Blvd., Saint Peters, MS 63376
Since 1970, Blanton Construction has been providing full-scale general construction services to multiple states on the East Coast. With the integration of the design-build approach and construction management process, the company builds a wide range of projects that include religious facilities.
Blanton considers religious and non-profit construction projects an integral part of its business. The San Francisco Temple in St. Louis, Missouri is a good example of the firm’s expertise This congregation’s size qualifies it as a megachurch. Blanton rose to the challenge when it came to the scale of construction required by the unique demands of this large community.
Website | 480-545-7272 | 1285 N Fiesta Blvd., Gilbert, AZ 85233
For over 75 years, Porter Brothers have been serving Arizona and neighboring states with a full-scale construction service. The family business is now managed by Gary and Dennis Porter, second generation builders. Porter employs value engineering methods to make sure that even the tightest of budgets will produce meaningful, beautiful results.
Porter has completed several temples for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in its 40-year work history. This temple in Phoenix is the 144th facility of the Latter-day Saints, built to redistribute the attendees on the Mesa Temple. This project measures 54,000 square feet in floor area and stands on a nine-acre lot. The project encountered various design revisions due to local building and zoning codes. Porter handled these late revisions and idiosyncratic requirements beautifully.
Wyatt General Contractor
Website | 205-541-2664 | 4527 Southlake Pkwy., Birmingham, AL 35244
Wyatt General Contractor has been around for over 40 years. Those four decades include the riveting story of President and CEO Mary Wyatt, daughter-in-law of founder Gary Wyatt. Gary’s expertise in the construction business found continuity through his son, John. After John’s untimely passing, Mary, his wife, continued the family business in honor of her husband’s legacy. Mary’s success has been remarkable. She won the Future Leader in Construction award from the Associated Builders & Contractors of Alabama, and she was named on Birmingham Business Journal’s Fast Track 30.
When it comes to religious structures, the company has completed a variety of projects, including the Latter-day Saints temple in Birmingham and the Temple Beth-El, a Jewish synagogue. The congregation that the synagogue houses serves as the focal point of the local Jewish community, rendering the project equal parts challenging and rewarding.
Website | 248-334-2470 | 966 Livernois, Troy, MI 48083
O’Brien is a general contractor that has been in business for over 55 years. The company gained local prominence through a versatile portfolio that includes historic preservations, academic buildings, and worship facilities. The firm’s projects have garnered several awards such as the AGC Build Michigan Award and the Phoenix Award for National Community Impact. The firm was also named one of the Largest General Contractors by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2013.
The firm has constructed several religious projects, some of which are tied to academic institutions. For example, the company constructed the Salvation Army Temple Corps. This 17,000 square-foot facility includes a 100-seat chapel, a multipurpose room for fellowship activities, educational facilities, an indoor basketball court, and a full-service center. This construction and renovation project shows O’Brien’s ability to complete a construction project on this scale.
Website | 801-374-6085 | 1411 W 1250 South. Suite #200, Orem, UT 84058
Westland Construction, Inc. is a Utah-based Construction Manager with reach across the US as well as Canada, Africa, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the Caribbean. With over 900+ projects completed in 27 years, it’s a profound understatement to say the firm is experienced.
Westland has completed over 50+ projects for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including numerous Temple projects. Some of these include new facilities in Kinshasa, DR Congo Africa, Port-Au-Prince Haiti, with projects in progress in Hamilton & Auckland, New Zealand, and Praia, Cabo Verde off the coast of Western Africa. Historical Temples are also on their resume, including the Manti and St. George Utah Temple renovation, both structures dating from the late 1800’s. Westland has managed very remote Church projects with harsh conditions, building material shortages and political unrest, and still managed to complete these projects on-time.
The largest completed Temple project is the extensive renovation of one of the Church’s busiest Temple facilities, the Jordan River Utah Temple. Westland completed an extensive renovation and seismic upgrade to the 150,000 sf facility, upgrading all interior finishes, lighting, electrical, mechanical, and space reconfiguration.
Website | 860-953-1477 | 225 Newfield Ave., Hartford, CT 06106
Newfield Construction is a full-service construction firm that has been in business since 1969. Damien Davis serves as the company’s CEO. Being a part of the company since 1977, Davis knows the ins and outs of the company from every managerial standpoint. He strongly believes in keeping the company focused on the value it is providing to the client.
Newfield has won a number of construction awards including the Distinguished Merit Award by the Architecture Construction Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program of Connecticut. The firm was also named the Largest Commercial Contractor by Hartford Business Journal in 2016.
The company has completed major projects for a number of congregations. The Kol Haverim Synagogue in Glastonbury is an excellent example. The company constructed a 9,000 square-foot retrofit addition to the temple to provide expanded educational facilities.
Website | 651-633-5050 | 2737 Fairview Ave., N Saint Paul, MN 55113
For over six generations McGough Construction has been serving Minnesota, Indiana, North Dakota, and Texas. McGough has major construction awards such as ENR Southwest’s Best Project of 2017 Award of Merit and the St. John University’s Colman J. Barry Award for distinguished contributions to religion and society.
The firm has a full range of services extending from pre-construction planning to turnover services. This range of construction services is offered in multiple sectors that span from corporate to healthcare to faith-based.
Minneapolis’s Temple Israel is an impressive example of McGough’s capability to complete religious projects. This 59,000-square-foot addition includes both technical and aesthetic upgrades.
Website | 540-342-6758 | 3825 Blue Ridge Dr., Roanoke, VA 24018
Since 1912 MB Contractors has been offering complete construction services to Virginia and North Carolina. MB specializes in various industries including academic, healthcare, hospitality, and faith-based. The firm offers Construction Manager at Risk, design-build, and pre-engineered options. MB is a member of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.
MB has completed a number of synagogues, institutions which often require specific materials. The Temple Emanuel, for example, is built with materials from Jerusalem. The project thus presented a challenge: the required materials had to match the stones of the already existing structure. The temple also had an active schedule of religious observances that could not be canceled during construction. To their credit, MB pulled off this highly complicated renovation without shutting down the daily operations of the temple.
Website | 773-374-1000 | 8410 S Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60617
Family-owned Berglund Construction is a contractor with a strong background in historical restorations of architecturally significant buildings. Ferd Berglund—the third generation heir of the family business—now serves as the president. He leads the team in its operations in Illinois, Florida, Ohio, and Indiana.
The firm won the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) award for restoring a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed unity temple. Considered to be a national landmark designed by a beloved American icon, the temple was a high stakes project. This $23 million project successfully restored the hundred-year-old property, which was once named one of America’s 11 most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
AIC General Contractor
Website | 505-881-4242 | 2703-g Broadbent Pkwy., NE Albuquerque, NM 87107
David Shaffer’s firm, AIC General Contractor, is the physical extension of his wide-ranging experience in the construction business. Shaffer has a 20-year career history in construction, sales, administration, and customer service. Shaffer’s prominence has put him in board positions for the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), the Commercial Association of Realtors New Mexico (CARNM), the NAIOP, and the Uptown Progress team. Shaffer is also the District 7 representative for impact fees on the City Council.
AIC refers to the Analyze-Innovate-Construct method which is the core of the company’s construction solutions. This progressive approach puts an emphasis on understanding all angles of every project from the planning to the actual construction process. This setup earned the company multiple NAIOP awards and an Award of Merit Interiors/Tenant Improvement from ENR in 2014. Among the long list of NAIOP-prized projects are the Wat Buddhasothorn-Vides Buddhist Temple and the Kadampa Meditation Center. These two Buddhist temples presented special challenges. As the Wat Buddhasothorn-Vides Temple was funded through in-kind donations, several rounds of value engineering were necessary. Similar work was necessary for the Kadampa Meditation Center, and that attention to detail ended up saving $150,000 on the cost of the project.
Website | 847-783-3000 | 5200 Prairie Stone Pkwy., Hoffman Estates, IL 60192
With more than 500 industry awards, eight Contractor of the Year awards, five Project of the Year awards, and 10 safety awards, Leopardo is a highly-esteemed contractor that serves a number of major construction sectors in Illinois. Its namesake, founder and CEO Mike Leopardo, has over 30 years of industry experience and is a member of the Midwest Real Estate News Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame.
In the temple-building sector, Leopardo has constructed the Scottish Rite Headquarters which serves as an integrated Masonic temple and administrative office. This 66,000 square-foot Chicago building has a Masonic lodge hall, offices, and additional amenities filled with traditional Masonic iconography, artwork, and relics.
In the 157,000 total man hours of the project’s duration no injuries occurred. The firm also managed to meet the occupancy date despite Chicago weather doing its best—in the form of snow and rain—to delay the project. This project won the Best of the Best Award by the International Interior Design Association.
Website | 801-486-0144 | 1978 S West Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84115
For over a hundred years, Okland Construction has been serving Arizona, Utah, and Idaho with various contracting services and delivery methods, pre-construction analyses, self-performed work, and other major construction needs. While Okland takes great pride in its construction management, the company has thorough expertise in multiple construction methods. The firm has built facilities in various construction setups such as the Construction Manager at Risk, design-build, general contracting.
Okland has gained distinction in Utah through a century of service, but recent features by publications like Utah Construction & Design have further augmented the firm’s reputation. As a firm based in Utah, it has completed a number of prominent LDS temples in Utah, California, New York, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, and Maryland.
Website | 410-822-6000 | 400 Maryland Ave., Easton, MD 21601
Willow Construction is one of the Delmarva (Delaware-Maryland-Virginia) region’s most acclaimed contractors. Willow is currently managed by co-owner Mike Hiner who has been with the company for over 40 years. Hiner graduated from the University of Maryland University College Business Administration program. He is close to the local Easton community, including the Talbot Country Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Easton. He also provides assistance to local non-profit organizations like the Talbot Mentors.
The firm is responsible for the beautiful Temple B’nai Israel, a synagogue in Easton. The building serves a number of nearby Jewish communities and seats up to 280 people. This house of worship employs complex technology and progressive design. Automated lighting systems, matched with acoustical ceilings, complement the beauty of the synagogue’s services.
Website | 214-303-6200 | 1807 Ross Ave., Suite #500 Dallas, TX 75201
Since 1912, the Beck Group is known as a leading institution in the construction industry. The company has completed landmark projects in a number of sectors including the arts, aviation, healthcare, education, public works, and commercial, and it’s done that work across the planet.
Beck group is hailed as 8th on the Top 40 religious facility construction firms list produced in Building Design+Construction’s 2016 Giants Report. Beck completed an overhaul of the Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, bringing a modern look to this 55-year old institution.
JE Dunn Construction
Website | 816-474-8600 | 1001 Locust St., Kansas City, MO 64106
For over 95 years, JE Dunn Construction has been serving the nation with award-winning construction services that range from conducting feasibility studies to construction document-processing and everything in between. The firm also provides a number of value-added services such as green technology, digitalized management, and accident prevention.
The firm has won several awards in multiple states including the Build Georgia Award by the Associated General Contractors of Georgia, the Architectural Merit Award by the American Institute of Architects of Kansas City, and the Midwest Contractor of the Year by ENR.
The company constructed this 32,000 square-foot temple in Kansas City for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This temple is made with a unique combination of rare materials including Anigre hardwood from Africa, gold leafing from India, and marbles imported from Mexico and Spain.
Website | 717-299-2500 | 548 Steel Way, Lancaster, PA 17601
Wohlsen Construction is a full-service contractor in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Having won 17 national awards, 243 regional awards that include three projects of the year awards, Wohlsen is an absolute powerhouse. The firm is presently led by J. Gary Langmuir, Lancaster Chamber Exemplar Awardee.
Wohlsen has a lot of experience in various fields across senior living, corporate, civil, and religious. In religious projects, the company has completed notable works including the Temple Adath Israel. This project includes a 69,000 square-foot demolition and renovation of a synagogue sanctuary and a hall. The renovation won the Award of Merit from the Eastern PA Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.
Website | 562-903-2277 | 9814 Norwalk Blvd., Suite #100 Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Despite being one of the younger firms on this list, MATT Construction has taken on groundbreaking projects like the Google Spruce Goose office in Playa Vista, Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Beverly Hills, and the Wilshire Boulevard Temple. MATT was founded by Steve Matt, a Civil Engineering alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley, and he still leads the firm.
The Wilshire Boulevard Temple is Los Angeles’s oldest Jewish temple. The restoration was difficult because of the historical significance of the building itself, as well as the artifacts and murals within. MATT restored the temple’s iconic rose window that has 125 cast stone elements, averaging more than 200 pounds each. The firm also handled the structure of the building itself. MATT serves as the contractor for the adjacent temple building, designed by Pritzker award-winning architect Rem Koolhaas.
Website | 650-474-1450 | 1450 Veterans Blvd., Redwood City, CA 94063
Doug Woods, Peter Nosler, and Ron Davidowski’s DPR Construction was borne out of their desire to create a company that prioritizes employees. Upon learning that he could no longer move up the corporate ladder to lead the company he served for 15 years, Woods and two coworkers started DPR and developed it into the construction firm it is today. The country ranked 15th in ENR’s Top 400, and 32nd in BD+C Giants 300. The firm was featured in major publications such as Fortune Magazine, ENR, some business journals, and city newspapers.
DPR has completed projects in the US, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Singapore. In terms of religious projects, the company built the Jodo Shinshu Center of the Buddhist Churches of America. This facility includes a Buddhist ministerial college, a temple, and other related facilities. One of the challenging opportunities the project presented was coordinating woodworkers and installers from Kyoto, Japan.
Website | 602-840-8655 | 2355 E Camelback Rd., Suite #800 Phoenix, AZ 85016
With eleven permanent offices across the country’s coasts, Layton stands to be one of this list’s most established construction firms. The company has won major awards for its expertise and its portfolio. Layton garnered the Certified Commercial Investment Member Utah’s Excellence Awards, Lincoln Logistics’ Industrial Project of the Year, the Awards of Excellence by AGC Utah, and other awards. Layton was also named the General Contractor of the Year by the Arizona Department of Real Estate’s Real Estate & Development (RED) Awards. These list of awards prove the company’s expertise in different states.
Layton has constructed major temples for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, building the prominent Provo Utah Temple as well as the Jordan River Utah Temple. These two temples are among the church’s most historically significant temples and testify to Layton’s capacity to complete high caliber projects.
Website | 508-473-2580 | 72 Sumner St., Milford, MA 01757
Founded in 1905, Consigli is one of the oldest firms on this list. Serving the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic regions, the firm has built projects in different types including academic, corporate, civil, healthcare, and everything in between. The firm has garnered more than 160 project awards in the last decade, including ENR awards in green construction and a Merit Award in the Renovation/Restoration category. The firm also ranked 7th on the largest religious sector contractor list distributed by BDC Network in 2018.
In doing religious projects, Consigli has built monumental ones. In the featured project, the company constructed a $60 million Buddhist temple in the small town of Raynham. The Wat Nawamintararachutis Thai Temple and Meditation Center is the largest Thai Buddhist temple outside Thailand. This temple was built to honor King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand who was born in Cambridge while his father was attending Harvard Medical School. This temple includes residential facilities for Buddhist Monks, a worship space for 700 people, and a museum dedicated to the late king. The temple itself spans 110,000 square feet and the materials of the temple were sourced from Israel, Italy, and Thailand.
Website | 801-973-0500 | 3131 W 2210 South Salt Lake City, UT 84119
Jacobsen Construction is one of Utah’s most celebrated construction companies. With over 95 years of operations, Jacobsen has a great understanding of the industry. The company offers everything that can be found in any contractor on this scale from Construction Manager at Risk to design-build options. Doug Welling currently serves as President and CEO of the company.
He also serves as the Chairman of the Associated General Contractors of Utah, and a Member Trustee of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. Welling’s leadership delivered various awards to the company including four consecutive Best of State awards, several ENR project awards, and a merit award for the Latter-day Saints temple project in Meridian, Idaho.
Website | 212-481-6100 | 330 W 34th St., New York, NY 10001
With over $5 Billion in annual construction volume and offices in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland, Structure Tone is among the largest construction firms on this list. Hailed as the largest religious sector contractor by Building Design + Construction’s 2018 Giants Report, the company dominated the list with a $105 million annual revenue, three times as much as the firm that placed second.
In constructing centers of worship, Structure Tone has built major temples for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the company’s stand-out projects is the Philadelphia LDS temple. With over 243,500 square feet of space and over $100 million in the estimated budget, the temple is among the most significant contemporary LDS temples. This temple was built in collaboration with the global architecture powerhouse Perkins and Will. An architectural critic from The Philadelphia Inquirer called the temple “The most radical work of architecture built in Philadelphia in a half-century.” The temple also garnered the Excellence in Craftsmanship award from the General Building Contractors Association.
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