Better Living Millshop is an LEED Certified Industrial building located in Zion Crossroads. This project features rainwater collection systems and a transpired solar collector. This was the first LEED Certified industrial building in Central Virginia.
Tight on space inside their existing building and tight on space to add anything additional, Lori from the Speech and Language Center presented us with a design challenge. How can you economically grow the footprint of your building when you can only add a few feet to two sides of an existing modular building? The big idea was to leave the existing basement and first floor structure and build a new building overtop of what was there. So the challenge was presented and accepted. Working with Bryan Nesselrodt as the builder, we came up with a strategy to enlarge the functional space as much as possible so Lori’s business could continue to grow. The rear wall height was increased and a new front wall was added so that a new roof simply spanned over the old roof – you can open the closet in the upstairs office and see the old shingle roof inside the structure. The simple lines worked well for the contemporary style our client wanted for the building as well as kept the construction as economical as possible. The tall windows in the entry vestibule make for an inviting space for all of their guests and the extra attic space provided needed storage and a bonus office space. The results of teamwork through the design process delivered the right solution for this business to continue to grow and thrive in the same location.
Red Wing Stage is a collaboration of community leaders working towards the benefit of the Red Wing Music Festival at Natural Chimneys. The existing permanent stage was built by the Parks service and was not geared towards live concerts. The ceiling was too low and the stage was not large enough. Our task was to work with a group of volunteers to “raise the roof” and enlarge the stage while adding a sound stage. We worked hand-in-hand with Red Wing Music Festival promoters to understand their design goals. The contractors were available for pricing and buildability strategy meetings. Through the process we believe the new stage will be beautiful, functional, and durable.
Dairy Queen Harmony Square is a 3,200 sf one-story restaurant located in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Dairy Queen International provides a standard base design for operators to use for their franchise drawings that need to be adapted to local conditions. The owners of Dairy Queen Harmony Square added a requirement of making their facility as energy-efficient as possible. We worked through the design process to adapt the original documents to fit our local climate and the client’s budget. We also worked hard to find the right environmentally sensitive design solutions to incorporate into the structure.
Strategies we incorporated include a 5 kW solar photovoltaic array on the roof and LED lighting to reduce annual energy usage. We also added solatubes for natural light. These worked to not only reduce energy usage but to increase the interior comfort level bringing in more natural light to the space. The high-efficiency HVAC system and on-demand water heaters further reduced energy consumption while low-flow water fixtures reduced overall water consumption. All of these environmentally sensitive design strategies were selected to reduce the impact of this building on the environment while saving the building owners money.
White’s Travel Center, Petro, is the largest truck stop on the East Coast and our goal for this project was to expand their retail sales area. This project is an example of our design-build projects as we were actually working for the builder and not the truck stop as our client. So our task for a project of this type is to attend design meetings with all the other design professionals (mechanical, plumbing, electrical, interior design, structural, civil) that are all working for other people and coordinate our work with their work. It can be a bit of a herding cat situation and the most important thing is no ego allowed. The client for all of us at the end of the day is the truck stop and we all want to make sure we meet the goals for the mercantile space and we all want to make sure we are making it as easy as possible to build the space, meet the aesthetic goals, maximize the profitability of the space, and not impede any truck traffic on the site while doing so. We love doing design-build work with an integrated team like this one. It is this spirit of collaboration that makes for a great project. We were able to find the right solution in the right place on the site, design the right construction wall solution (tilt-up concrete) for speed and durability of construction, and deliver effective drawings for our client, the contractor, to execute the work in an efficient and timely manner. Coordinating our work with all the other designers resulted in a beautiful and well executed mercantile space that features 20,000 sf of retail options for those truck drivers that are keeping shelves full at the stores we all shop in daily.