We are specialists in both traditional and contemporary houses of worship

Salas O’Brien provides integrated engineering services for the sensitive needs of houses of worship. From quiet intimate sanctuaries to large celebratory auditoria, we get the details right. We are part of your design team from the visioning process to the first day the doors open and beyond.

Photo: Chuck Bennett

Project Spotlight

Technology transforms a sanctuary to support traditional and contemporary worship experiences

Supporting a rich tradition of choral, chamber, and organ music

St. Andrew Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, had a beautiful, traditionally-designed worship center created for choral and orchestral music. However, the church faced a unique challenge as its contemporary service began to outgrow its space in a different part of the campus. Rather than build a second sanctuary, the church wanted to bring the contemporary service into the main sanctuary without compromising the traditional service.

Modular digital elements create a virtual backdrop

In collaboration with GFF Architects, Salas O’Brien implemented environmental projection and LED lighting to transform the space while still highlighting the architecture. A modular LED wall that can be assembled and disassembled between services maintains the integrity of both worship experiences. Tightly controlled audio systems keep sound energy off of reflective surfaces so that amplified music is supported for the contemporary service while organ and choral music maintain the reverberant support required for an immersive unamplified experience.

Environmental projection transforms the space without compromising the traditional architecture

The church’s visual arts team creates on an immersive visual canvas each week designing experiences for worship. Technology allows the sanctuary to maintain the integrity of worship in a beautifully traditional space while fully supporting an immersive contemporary service. Most importantly, the church achieved their objective of worshipping together in the same space rather than building separate homes for traditional and contemporary services.

Photos: Dan Schoedel

What we can offer

Salas O’Brien provides a wide variety of engineering and technical services to meet the demands of this high-performance sector.


Salas O’Brien’s acoustics design team provides design for room acoustics, sound isolation, noise/vibration control, and environmental noise mitigation.

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Theatre consulting

Salas O’Brien provides theatre consulting including room design, seating and sightlines, circulation, stage design, theatrical rigging, lighting design, and code compliance.

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Salas O’Brien’s technology design team provides design for data infrastructure, security systems, and audio-video technology.

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Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection

Salas O’Brien’s mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection design team delivers common-sense, integrated design solutions that are cost-effective, reliable, and energy efficient.

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Salas O’Brien’s structural expertise extends from conceptual development and 3D modeling to surveys, investigative studies, and due diligence assessments.

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Building envelope consulting and testing

Salas O’Brien covers all aspects of building envelope consulting, from design collaboration for new construction to installation oversight during construction. On existing buildings, our expertise also includes in-depth forensic analysis to pinpoint envelope failures, then offering detailed repair and remediation guidance.

Our field-testing services use cutting-edge tools to assess air and water tightness, thermal efficiency, and structural soundness. We have an ISO 17025 accredited lab and are capable of conducting a variety of both lab and field testing procedures following FGIA/AAMA, ASTM and other industry standards. Our team also specializes in energy modeling to boost efficiency and hazardous material sampling for safety. Our comprehensive building envelope commissioning ensures optimal performance of your building’s envelope, enhancing the functionality of both new and existing structures.

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