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

  • Writer's pictureBrad 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.

  • Writer's pictureBrad Bollman

I was recently standing inside a gymnasium at one of our local schools. I looked up and saw a pair of doors about 12 feet above the floor. This is not uncommon when maximizing tall space, such as a second story room above the locker rooms and concession stand area adjacent to a gymnasium with very tall ceilings. The part that made me take a second look was the “unique” cutout at the top of the door. As you can see in the picture, someone decided to install a hoist inside the gym and figured it would be easy to simply cut a large hole in the existing door to run the wiring and hoist beam through. It is a very practical solution, even if it is not very aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Here at PDMi, we work on all kinds of projects from large distribution facilities, to office buildings to interior renovation projects (and everything in between). Those of us in the architectural design world like to keep things aesthetically pleasing to the eye when many times the most practical solution is right in front of you. In this particular instance, the most practical and cost effective solution was to use the area that already had a big hole in the masonry wall to run the power and hoist beam to the new unit that was being installed years after the construction of the building was complete.

Although I wouldn’t always suggest this particular detail, it certainly gets the job done and was likely the most practical, and cost effective, solution for this specific application. PDMi can help you come up with a practical solution on your next renovation project. Give us a call, we’d love to help.

  • Writer's pictureBrad Bollman

Well summer is just about “officially” over! I know Labor Day has normally been the unofficial end of summer activities, but let’s face it, as soon as school starts summer is pretty much behind us. Years ago, school did not start until after Labor Day, so Labor Day typically marked that transition from summer to fall. AND let’s face it, college football starts September 1st which definitely marks the beginning of fall.

The end of summer means that lots of our outdoor activities start to slow down. My kids always seem to have strong opinions on what activities we do during the summer months and their opinions do not always line up with each other. This creates a situation where deciding who to listen to can be a challenge.

I was thinking that this is a lot like many of our projects that have multiple bosses. The question is: How do you manage to keep everyone moving in the same direction, on the same schedule and with the same goals? We have found using the 3C’s (Collaboration, Compromise and Communication) is an effective process to keep a project moving to a successful completion.

  • Collaboration: Find the things you agree on and then agree on them!

  • Compromise: Identify the things you do not agree on; roll up your sleeves and go to work to find a compromise you all can live with.

  • Communication: Develop a process to keep all the stakeholders in the loop; be diligent to use the process and always be respectful of other ideas.

Having multiple bosses on a project is not a bad thing. But having multiple bosses going two different directions can make a building project much more difficult. By collaborating, compromising and communicating, your next project can be a success. If we can be of help, give us a call.

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