New Construction - Creating an AVL Technology Budget

Posted on Nov 10, 2022 4:15:07 PM

Your church is undertaking a New Construction Project and you’re looking to establish an AVL Budget. WIth more than 20 years of professional installation experience, MediaMerge has tracked a number of trends that can help you during the initial planning phases.

New Construction Render

How much does AVL (Audio, Video, Lighting) usually cost in a New Construction project?

To answer this question as specifically as possible, we break down the costs into 3 Scenarios.

  1. Modern Auditoriums utilize technology features throughout the service. Think black wall stages, full Band, theatrical lights and video iMag. In this scenario, there’s a large amount of equipment and gear involved, which means a large amount of installation and configuration.
  2. Blended Worship Centers integrate supplemental technology into their services. Think choir section, worship team (perhaps with woodwinds or brass instruments interspersed), and a mix of contemporary worship and hymns. In these instances, technology is used as an extension to the service, but it does not serve as a focal point. This is probably the most cost-effective budget scenario - a smaller amount of gear and ease-of-access for labor decrease the overall costs.
  3. Traditional Sanctuaries take a utilitarian approach to tech and use it as sparingly as possible. Think arched wooden ceilings, robed choir accompanied by an organ and full orchestra, and stained glass windows throughout. Architecture and Aesthetics take priority over Technology, which means the amount of tech equipment is more limited than the previous examples. However, because of the nature of hiding or color-matching the equipment, conduit and rigging, plus the amount of extra labor required to gain access in elevated ceilings, it often ends up costing more than you may originally expect.

How is the cost split between Audio, Video and Lighting?

Since Audio, Video and Lighting are all separate systems, we’ve also broken down general percentages and subsequent costs that we find most commonly using the examples above.

***The numbers below are intended to be reference points, and are not exact quotes. While this information is based on years of experience and dozens of project trends, it is meant to serve exclusively as a conversational starting point.

Modern AuditoriumBlended Worship CenterTraditional Sanctuary

  • Construction Budget = This is the expected New Construction cost for the building. We use this as a budgetary starting point..
  • Tech Infrastructure = Structural, Electrical, Conduit, and HVAC, etc. work that will need to be completed by other trades. This infrastructure cost will be shared between a variety of trades.
  • AVL Integrator Budget = The general cost of AVL Systems and Installation when compared to Construction costs.

Details for the Spreadsheet Gurus

The Audio Budget Portion would include purchase and installation of Speaker System, Audio Console, DSP/Amplification, Stage Monitoring/IEM, Microphones, Floorboxes for Inputs and Outputs. ***Instrumentation, Drum Enclosure, Staging/Risers not included.

Buyer's Note: Increased Audio Budget generally = provides a mix of increased Quantity and Quality. IE, higher tier speakers and/or audio console, additional + better wireless microphones, IEM receivers/mixers.

Cost could decrease if existing Microphones or Audio Consoles are repurposed. Generally, speaker systems are designed for use in specific rooms, so these would generally need to be purchased specifically for this room instead of being repurposed.

Cost could increase if you need additional mix positions for Broadcast Audio, need extensive wireless IEM, or have large distributed audio systems throughout the rest of the building.


The Video Budget Portion would include purchase and installation of Video Display (Screens/Projectors) for Lyric, Scripture and Video presentation. Computer System for Lyrics/Graphic Presentations. Base camera system with video switcher and live streaming computer or hardware encoder. (Camera Quality scaled according to budget.) Multiview TV to monitor video Inputs and Outputs. Confidence Monitor TV or Projector that can be seen from Stage. Limited number of distributed TVs in a nearby Lobby/Common area.

Buyer's Note: Increased Video Budget usually = increased Quality. For video hardware, that often means a better quality camera, projector and streaming encoder instead of more individual units.

Cost could decrease if existing Computers or Cameras are able to be repurposed. Screen sizes are determined by dimensions of the room itself, so screens, projectors and TVs are usually purchased specifically to fit into this space correctly.

Cost could increase if you need a specific item to be large or specifically high quality. If you need/want an LED Wall instead of Projection, this will increase the cost considerably. If you need multiple TVs throughout the Lobby/Common areas or need top tier cameras, then this would also increase the cost.


The Lighting Budget Portion would include the purchase and installation of Lighting Console / Control Interface, LED Front Wash fixtures, LED Back Light fixtures, moderate amount of LED Scenic Fixtures, and all piping and safety cables required to construct the Lighting Grid.

***House Lighting is generally included in the Electrician’s bid package. If the AVL Integrator needs to incorporate House Lighting and/or add RGB functionality into their scope, this will increase the cost significantly.

Buyer's Note: Additional Lighting Budget generally = increased Quantity and Quality. More fixtures gives you more flexibility. Adding in higher tier Movable Fixtures or designating static fixtures to certain tasks like Floor Wash, Baptismal, etc allows the rest of the lights in the system to focus on their role.

Cost could decrease if you already have a Lighting Console or Control system; however, fixtures are generally purchased with specific brightnesses and lenses 

Cost could increase if Ceilings/Angles are low and distances are short. This may require additional fixtures to cover the area. If large numbers of scenic or movable fixtures are required, this will also increase the cost.


The Shared Portion includes items like equipment racks, cable trays, floor boxes, and networking gear that are shared among AVL components.



The type and scope of project ultimately drives the cost. Each project is different, but MediaMerge's extensive portfolio and experience provides a solid foundation to understand the needs and costs associated with your project.

To discuss your New Construction Project in-depth with our team:

Connect with MediaMerge

Topics:Worship AVL TechnologyAV specialistsChurch Sound SystemsBudgetingBuyer's GuideConstruction


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