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PDMi is committed to providing pithy information through our E-bits blog and we hope you find these articles useful.


We recently finished the design of a new outdoor pavilion for a local church here in Fort Wayne. The church has been fundraising for several months and just recently decided it was time to make it happen and get the pavilion construction started. It will give them added outdoor space for lots of things such as Vacation Bible School, outdoor events and a new fellowship area. As you can envision, the pavilion is a simple open air structure with a roof and concrete slab. It will function wonderfully for the church and I am excited to see it completed and used on a regular basis during the warm summer months here in Northern Indiana.


We encountered one strange thing during the design phase of this project. Since the pavilion is an “assembly” occupancy, it requires two points of exit. This means that we were required to design the pavilion with two specific exit paths, which may seem normal until you realize that there are no walls on the pavilion! This is one of those instances that the building code is pretty black and white on how they interpret a specific space. The reasonable person would know that in the event of an emergency, you could exit the pavilion anywhere you want, but the state building code required us to specify two exit paths, both with concrete sidewalks leading to and from the pavilion. 


We here at PDMi pride ourselves on having a very good working knowledge of the building codes, whether they are logical or not. When you are ready to build your next building (even it doesn’t have walls), give us a call and we can help you navigate all aspects of the building process.

As many of you know, Dan Gagen retired earlier this year, well deserved I might add! With that came a void left by Dan on many fronts, but most specifically is the building code analysis that we perform on nearly all of our projects. Dan had an extraordinary knowledge of building codes and a love for studying and interpreting them. The team at PDMi continues to have the ability to interpret building codes, but not to the extent to which Dan possessed that skill. We now find ourselves in a spot where we need help on some of the more in depth and intricate code studies. There are high level code consultants in the industry and we plan to team up with them to continue to provide high level building code analysis to our clients. As the famous saying goes “teamwork makes the dream work”.


The teamwork aspect of getting projects planned, designed and implemented got me thinking about sports (to be honest I probably think about sports too much, but that’s just me). I am the assistant coach on my daughter’s youth softball team. On any given day, it’s quite obvious from the beginning of any game as to whether the team is going to have a successful game or not – it all depends on how well they work together as a team. There are 9 girls on the field, each relying on one another to be sure that outs are being recorded on defense and that runs are being scored on offense. When each girl buys into the “teamwork makes the dream work” motto, great things tend to happen!


Here at PDMi, teamwork is very important to us. Whether it’s teaming up with outside consultants that provide high levels of expertise or simply the people here in our office working together on a daily basis, teamwork always leads to a successful outcome. If teamwork sounds like a good solution to you, give us a call as we’d love to deploy the entire team to help you achieve success on your next project.

  • Writer's pictureBrad Bollman

We are currently working with a repeat client located in the Detroit area. This client specializes in manufacturing of metal products and galvanizing. They have been a great client for many years and are very in tune with their products and their process. We met with the V.P. of Operations earlier this week to look at a building addition to house a new galvanization process line. They know that they need to relocate the existing line into the new addition, but since timing is critical, they cannot afford to have the existing process line out of order for long. This is a very “normal” problem that we come across often in the manufacturing world. The real money maker for every manufacturing plant is the process and the product. The building that houses that process is secondary.


This instance created a unique problem. The location of the building addition is adjacent to two different roof slopes of the building and thus created a challenge for us regarding adding onto the building. The client needs a certain clear height inside the addition for a few tanks, so we could not simply add onto the building below the existing roof line. However, if we added a taller building, it would create additional roof load on the existing roof(s). Our solution was to add a small pit inside the addition that the tall tanks would sit down in, therefore allowing the remainder of the new building addition to be lower than the existing building without adding load to any of the existing structure. By coming up with this rather simple solution, we can now construct the new addition while the existing process line stays operational and they can then limit the down time needed to move the existing process line to the new addition once it is constructed.  


If Timing is Critical on your next project, give us a call as we’d love to help you find a solution.

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