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E-Bits

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

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  • Brad Bollman

What are Wetlands? Wetlands are described as “areas where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the growing season.” We have done several projects recently that have had the dreaded wetlands involved. It seems like a daunting situation when a client calls and tells you that they want to add onto their existing facility, but they have wetlands somewhere in the area of the proposed addition. We at PDMi are not wetland experts by any means, but we know how to navigate the delineation and mitigation process.


There are two general categories of wetland: Coastal and Inland. Here in the Midwest, we deal with the inland variety and all of the governmental regulations that surround them. Wetlands can certainly be a cause for headache when involved in a building project, but certainly should not be viewed as a reason to run away from a building project. There are many specialists in the field of wetland delineation and mitigation. These specialists understand all the environmental regulations that come with wetlands and what can and can’t be done in and around them. It is always best to get a specialist involved early in the process to ensure that your specific wetlands don’t shut the project down before it starts.


Wetlands on your property can be a concern, but many times they can be worked around or removed entirely. We believe that as solution providers, PDMi has the knowledge to work alongside the proper specialists that will help keep your project moving forward despite the headache of wetlands on your property. Give us a call, we’d love to jump in and be of assistance.

  • Brad Bollman

With the myriad of state & local regulations, it can be a frustrating and expensive process to re-purpose a historic structure so it can be used again. PDMi has had the privilege of helping guide several clients through such a journey for the interior & exterior renovation of older buildings in downtown areas. Together with our clients we have solved…

  • Building Code issues for Changes of Use.

  • Limitations of existing structural systems.

  • How to create new interior layouts incorporating existing constraints.

  • Bringing tired facades back to life.

By providing design, engineering and code consulting, we have been able to deliver innovative and cost effective solutions to the construction process and construction code compliance challenges that typically plague this type of project.


We believe that if at all possible, these great older buildings should be saved and put to good productive use once again. However, the current regulatory climate of our society can make re-use very difficult at best, and sometimes not economically feasible. Let PDMi meet your next project’s unique challenges with innovative wisdom to guide you through this maze. We look forward to your call.

  • Brad Bollman

We have a client that we have done several projects with over the years. They started out as our neighbors in one of the office buildings that we leased years ago and we have gotten to know them over the years. When they decided to move out of that building several years ago and buy a building of their own, they hired us to do the interior renovation of the new building. At the time, the building that they purchased was a bit smaller than they wanted, but they knew they could make it work for a period of time. About 6 months ago, they called us and said that they had truly outgrown the existing building and wanted to build an addition that would meet all of their needs with room for growth. We did a preliminary schematic design of an addition that was approx. 7,500 s.f. consisting of open office space, ample conference rooms and private offices, all connected to their existing building.


Two weeks ago, the client called us and said that an existing building in their office park had come up for sale and they would like us to walk through it with them, so of course we met up with them and walked through the building. The building is approx. 5,800 s.f. and has a layout that would NOT be considered “open concept”. In talking with the client after the meeting, they knew they would need to make some minor modifications to the interior flow, but felt that it was move in ready and could work for them. Purchasing the existing building would cost about 60% of what they would have in new construction. The lower price as well as immediate availability were the main factors that prompted them to even consider purchasing another existing building that didn’t fully meet their needs.


We talk a lot here at PDMi about compromise, or give & take, when it comes to our projects. This is a prime example of compromising on a building that is not your dream solution, but in the end it may be a “good enough” fit for the time being. The money saved on purchasing a smaller existing building rather than the nice big new construction may be better used in growing their business so that they are further ahead at the end of the day.


Give & take is not always a bad situation to be in, you just have to be aware of what you are giving and what you are taking. PDMi can help you work through the pros and cons of your next expansion or building purchase. Give us a call, we’d love to help.

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