The Gaines Group
depot windows

Chesapeake Western Depot project Update

Chesapeake Western Depot project Update

Lots of progress since the last post about this exciting project. The spaces are starting to look finished and we are excited to see the progress each time we visit.  In order to tell the story of this historic building there was a lot of work done to preserve original parts. Unfortunately, years of water leaking into the space destroyed a lot of the original wood. The floors especially suffered rot. Here you can see the new floor and old floor coming back together.

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The floors are not the only interior woodwork. Jim Herr’s office is coming back to life as the original wood panels are finished and reinstalled. It looks incredible and it is not finished.

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The trim carpenters are also taking great care to recreate missing trim and the paint crew is staining it so that it is easy to tell what is old and what is new.

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The kitchen upstairs is starting to take shape.

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The wall colors being added brought new life to the spaces. Jim Monger said the green we selected for our office was bright enough to wake us up in the mornings. What do you think?

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Work has not been limited to the inside of the building. First the old chain link fence was torn down and all the weeds removed which did wonders for the building site. Then the new fence was installed.

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Depot fence

The landscape installation certainly has brought a finished look to the exterior of the building.

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The big achievement over the last few weeks has been the window installation. These things are huge, energy-efficient, and beautiful!

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Chesapeake Western Depot

Chesapeake Western Depot project updates

Chesapeake Western Depot project updates

Over the last few week there has been an amazing amount of progress at the Depot job site. The electricians have almost finished wiring the entire building. The drywall crew has done an amazing job putting the building back together and repairing the plaster. The insulators have made the building more efficient than it has been in 103 years. The painters are bringing color back into the spaces. The HVAC crew from Excel have installed an efficient comfort system in all the spaces. Maust Excavating has cleaned up the site and installed the sidewalks. Bryan Nesselrodt Construction has most of the framing complete.  Our move in date is still not set, but we are getting closer to the finish line. 

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Want to see more, check out these posts HERE,HEREHEREHEREHERE,HEREHEREHERE, HERE, and HERE.

Dairy Queen Harmony Square

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – possibly the greenest DQ in the country

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – possibly the greenest DQ in the country

Harmony Square Dairy Queen

A fast food restaurant is not often thought of as a “green” building. However, when Jane and Michael Blackburn approached their future Harmony Square Dairy Queen that is exactly what they asked for from us. Mike said “this is a locally owned business, we care about our community, and we want to impact the community and the environment in a positive way.” This Harmony Square Dairy Queen, is in its second generation of ownership. The store is run by Jane Blackburn who grew up in the business with her late mother Josephine Musser. Jane’s goals were simple, “make a store that will be energy-efficient and durable – we have lots of loyal clients and we want them to love this new store and for them to know that we love them.” Working with a standard Core 72 Dairy Queen design we had to convert the design package to reflect local code and also boost the efficiency. This is a delicate balance that would have to meet local standards and also be approved at the state and national corporate levels of the chain.

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Jane and Mike have now created a Dairy Queen that is very energy-efficient.

After only one month of data, opening in early January 2016 the loyal customers have shown their appreciation for the efforts. With a 46% increase in business over the same month last year, a larger store footprint, two additional cake freezers, three additional reach in freezers, a chain broiler, site lighting, and additional exterior signage, in other words a lot more energy demand, the store is trending at 50% of the national average for energy usage per square foot for a fast food chain store. The energy-efficient features used at the store are:

  • high performance air tight insulation package to reduce wasted energy and increase occupant comfort
  • Energy-Efficient LED lights
  • Skylight tubes to provide natural daylight deep into the space
  • 5 Kw Solar Photovoltaic Array on the roof
  • On demand water heating
  • Low flow water fixtures
  • High efficiency heating and cooling system

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Using innovative building science systems they have created a store that is very likely the greenest Dairy Queen in the state if not the country.

harrisonburg aging-in-place house

Classic design for aging-in-place

We are working on designing a house for a couple in Harrisonburg that have plans to stay in their new home forever. Using aging-in-place strategies we are designing a home that can adapt over time to the needs of our clients. From the open floor plan to wide doorways the home can accommodate people of all abilities.

harrisonburg aging-in-place house

Making the home energy-efficient and comfortable keeps the house usable for a long time and affordable to heat and cool. Reducing long-term expenses due to conditioning the home provides payback every month.

harrisonburg aging-in-place house

Using durable materials will make the house long lasting and easy to maintain. Again reducing long-term costs associated with maintenance of the home.

harrisonburg aging-in-place house

 We are including a roll-in shower, sitting space in the kitchen, no-step entry, and doors with lever handles to make the house flexible for changing needs.

harrisonburg aging-in-place house

There is no way of knowing what will happen in the future, but making the home as affordable as possible and adaptable will increase the possibility of making this a home for a lifetime.

dairy queen

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Project Update part 5

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Project Update part 5

Read part 1 HERE and 2 HERE and 3 HERE and 4 HERE.

The Harmony Square Dairy Queen in now open. Stop in and check out the space. The store offers a great breakfast – I have tried it and it is worth the trip. Of course, my favorite remains the blizzards made by the sun. To top it off, this may be the greenest Dairy Queen in the country. The space features high performance insulation, tube skylights, solar panels, on-demand water heating, and LED lights. Here is a look back at photos from the final days of construction.

Signs Installed

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Spoons on the doors.

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Interior signage done.

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Furniture put together.

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On-demand water heating system for low energy bills.

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Stormwater management system to filter first flush pollutants.

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Before signage, final clean up.

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Kitchen installation

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Exterior signs at drive-thru.

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Patio looking more like a patio.

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Chesapeake Western Depot

Chesapeake Western Depot – Update

Work continues on the Chesapeake Western Depot in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The demolition and framing are done. The electricians have finally started rough-in. The plumbing fixtures are all ordered. Things are about to start moving quickly.

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Our sign is out front and gravel is down in the front lot. The windows have temporary plastic protection allowing work to continue inside while we wait on window installation. The wood paneling in the Herr & Co. office has been removed to be refinished.

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With each step along the way we are working on finalizing interior finishes to make sure we get things just right. Our goal is to preserve the original intent of the design while implementing the appropriate HVAC and lighting systems. On the lower level things are tricky, we are attempting to hide needed wiring while maintaining the exposed wood ceilings and lattice-work.

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Want to see more, check out these posts HERE, HEREHEREHERE and HERE.

Preston Lake Townhouse

Parkside Townhome Collection at Preston Lake – Project Update

Parkside Townhome Collection at Preston Lake – Project Update

Preston Lake Townhouse

We were fortunate this past year to work on a variety of projects from warehouse, custom homes, to townhouses. Parkside Townhome Collection at Preston Lake is the most recent to break ground.

Preston Lake Townhouse

The classic craftsman inspired units feature a raised roofline, fiber-cement siding, and a first floor garage. The units have spacious open floorplans with full finished basement recreation rooms. There are hardwood floors in the living spaces, carpet in the bedrooms, and low VOC paints on the walls. The units have energy-efficient HVAC systems, quick recovery hot water heaters, CFL bulbs, energy star bath fans, programmable thermostats, mastic sealed ductwork, and air sealing in all the walls.

Preston Lake TownhousePreston Lake Townhouse

Harrisonburg Sustainable Farmhouse

Harrisonburg Sustainable Farmhouse Project Update

Harrisonburg Sustainable Farmhouse Project Update

Another new project is under construction and enjoying this mild winter weather. The Harrisonburg sustainable farmhouse is located just north of Harrisonburg city limits with some amazing views. The 3-bedroom home features an open floor plan that provides a living room, dining room, and kitchen space the brings family together. The master-bedroom suite has plenty of closet space and a luxurious master bath. The family room located on the main living level will provide a gathering space for many hours of fun and togetherness. The second floor has two bedrooms, a study, and a reading loft that opens into the living room on the first floor. The unfinished basement provides plenty of storage and future expansion space.

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Chesapeake Western Depot Harrisonburg

Chesapeake Western Depot Project – Framing Update

Chesapeake Western Depot Project – Framing Update

Chesapeake Western Depot Harrisonburg Chesapeake Western Depot Harrisonburg

Chesapeake Western Depot Harrisonburg

The progress on the Depot continues with this nice weather. The framing crew has been hard at work to get the second floor secure (lots of water damaged materials have been replaced). There are only a few new walls that are being added to allow for restrooms and a first floor conference room. Skyline roofing has also been on site finishing up the new roof on the office portion of the building. The building is now safe to walk around on the second floor (mostly).

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Some of the unique details of the building are emerging as things are cleaned up and damaged portions of the building are removed. The original integrity of the design is being maintained. It continues to amaze me that this structure built in 1913 is still functional and beautiful. I am looking forward to seeing it come back to life and shine.

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Some additional historic photos were located to verify the original design. We still have not found any interior photos of the structure. If you have any, let us know.

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Design on the exterior signage is in the works with Eddie Edwards Signs. What do you think?

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Progress on the interior design continues. Here are some more selections that have been made for the restrooms and the break room. Our goal is to show a variety of styles around the building to act as a showroom for future projects.

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Want to see more, check out these posts HERE, HEREHERE, and HERE.

Chesapeake Western Railroad Depot

Chesapeake Western Depot Project Update

Chesapeake Western Depot Project Update

We have been so fortunate this year to have so many incredible projects. However, the Chesapeake Western Depot in Harrisonburg may be my favorite. I had a chance to do historical research and get to know the building prior to construction. The building owners were gracious enough to let me be one of the building tenants once construction is complete (Harrisonburg Architect has a permanent home). Finally, it is always very fun to work on bringing an old building back to life – fun and difficult may be the same thing here.

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Work continues and really ramped up this week. The framer is making the building whole again after many many years of water leaks and wood rot. It is still not completely safe to walk around, but it is getting there. The roofer is on site to make sure the water leaks are stopped and the skylights are delivered. We are still waiting on a few things to finish all the details, but when you are doing tax credit projects – you are not completely in control of the schedule.

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Interior selections are coming around, we have done our preliminary selections for tile, lighting, and paint colors. I certainly like the direction we are going – what do you think?

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Want to see more, check out these posts HERE, HERE, and HERE.

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