Top 6 Things to Know when Considering Adaptive Reuse

We have all heard the real estate mantra “Location, location, location!” However, great location does not also lead to perfect buildings. In fact, oftentimes the least perfect building is situated right on the site you want. And while some may consider a total demolition and rebuild as the only option, there are oftentimes a lot of arguments for adaptive reuse. Buildings that have been neglected, abandoned, or modified over the years are all great candidates for this type of project. Through adaptive reuse, older historic buildings can be restored – bringing back their charm and unique characteristics through careful planning and strategic design.

St. Joseph Brewery & Public House - Prior to Renovation

St. Joseph Brewery & Public House – Prior to Renovation

St. Joseph Brewery & Public House - After

St. Joseph Brewery & Public House – After

If you’re considering adaptive reuse for your next project, here are the top six things you need to know:

  1. Land Availability. When land in the area you want is hard to come by, adaptive reuse is a great option. Rather than contributing to urban sprawl, or moving to a less than desirable location, revitalizing a building in need allows you to conserve space. This type of project is one of the best ways to keep our cities and towns walkable and vibrant.
  2. Environmental Conservation. While the easy solution often appears to be building from scratch, the truth is this type of thinking can cause a lot of complications down the road, including added cost. Remember in elementary school when they taught us “reduce, reuse and recycle”? The first step in reducing our environmental footprint is to reduce our use of materials. Adaptive reuse is a choice to care for the buildings that have already been built and to help us get out of the mindset of constantly consuming. If there’s one thing we will never get more of, it’s land.
  3. Historic Consideration. One of the beauties of working with historic buildings is that you constantly discover hidden treasures. From unique features to hard-to-come-by materials, many historic buildings are proof we really “don’t build ‘em like we used to.” Adaptive reuse not only allows us to preserve a part of history, but it also allows projects to take advantage of these ‘trademarks’ of historic buildings, showcasing them now and into the future. In some cases, adaptive reuse is the only option, especially when you are dealing with buildings that are preserved and protected by organizations, such as historical societies.
  4. Reimagining Function. Although adaptive reuse strives to preserve many of the architectural features of buildings, there is a great deal of reimagining that can take place throughout the project. Buildings built for a certain prior use do not need to continue that use to be successful. Old chapels can become inns, water towers can be converted into apartments, and industrial buildings transformed to residential homes. When the location is right, and you mix in a little creativity – anything is possible.
  5. Future Accommodation. Needs are constantly changing, which is something adaptive reuse understands. Just because older buildings – even ones only a few decades old – may no longer meet the standards or desires of today’s businesses and property owners, doesn’t mean they should be written off. Adaptive reuse allows for change, while still being mindful of what already exists. Adaptive reuse protects the future, ensuring resources, including land, aren’t wasted or taken for granted.
  6. Intelligent Reconciliation. When done well, adaptive reuse is the bridge that connects past to present, history to future. Adaptive reuse projects can bring the best of modern-day technologies and innovations to beautiful, historic buildings in prime locations. This type of holistic approach ensures existing buildings and materials are honored without sacrificing today’s needs and styles. Intelligent reconciliation also happens when architectural firms work on behalf of clients to communicate plans with the community, getting the proper permissions and permits to move forward with the project.

Adaptive reuse isn’t always the best solution, but more and more often we believe it’s an option that should be seriously considered. A smart way to conserve materials, protect the environment, and preserve the past, adaptive reuse can be the solution you’re looking for, especially when you’re sold on a building’s location or charm.

 

Multipurpose Facilities (MPF’s)

Multipurpose Facilities (MPF’s) exist in many forms. As we consider the transformation of existing facilities into part-time athletic venues – ad hoc “field houses” – a plethora of sports can reasonably be considered. Indoor track and field, cheerleading, dance, and gymnastics, indoor soccer, baseball batting cages, tennis, and competition court activities (e.g. volleyball, basketball, and handball) should all be considered.

While each sport has its own unique requirements, there are 4 critical considerations shared by all:

1. Dimensions

  • Column Grid
  • Structural Height

2. Materials

  • Flooring

3. Lighting

  • Natural
  • Artificial

4. Amenities/Support

  • Restrooms/Locker Rooms
  • Food/Vending/Ticketing
  • Spectator Viewing
  • Parking

Multipurpose Facilities graphic

 

Dimensions

The structural grid, both layout and height, is the primary driver of sport appropriateness in existing facilities. Strictly governed court sizes, including overrun areas and required clearances, will likely determine both how many and what kind of courts can fit into any given building efficiently.

Material

Most purpose-built Multipurpose Facilities have multiple courts with a mix of both wood and synthetic floors. Wood floors are more preferred for sports like basketball and volleyball while synthetic floors are best for activities such as baseball, tennis, or even flag core. Soccer players, on the other hand, prefer natural grass, with turf as a distant second best. In an existing facility that will be a “sometimes” sporting venue, the selected sport will determine the surface. Whatever surface(s) is(are) selected, each appropriate surface needs to be easy to install in a foolproof fashion – so athletes are not injured. In addition, storage for each surface must be accommodated.

Light

Competitive sports all require consistent high-quality lighting, ideally with no glare, shadow, or hot spots. To that end, while natural light makes things nicer for spectators, it is often highly problematic to athletes. Solar studies of existing buildings can help discover lighting trouble spots.

Amenities/Support

Storage and some form of changing space or locker rooms is a necessary component of a successful MPF for the athletes. In addition, accommodations for spectators and the public is critical. This starts with parking, a ticketed entry, and some form of lobby space. Easy access to restrooms and concessions becomes almost as important as spectator viewing areas.

 

Ultimately, most large event facilities are capable of supporting athletics. Evaluation using the critical considerations above, can help determine what fits easily and what may require more extensive and expensive modifications. Of note, considerations for new facilities are very similar to those above, however they have the benefit of preplanning. With a new facility, flexibility can be enhanced by being purpose-built to accommodate the desired athletic functions from day one.

Why Live in Indy?

Naptown is officially awake. If you have ever visited, worked in, or lived in Indianapolis, you know how much pride there is for our little/big city. Whether it be the Hoosier hospitality, the “just right” size of the downtown, or the copious amount of entertainment destinations, there is something appealing to Indy for a wide variety of people. Just check out Visit Indy’s website, and you’ll see what we mean.

We wanted to share some of our Indy love, coming from staff members who aren’t from here originally.

Sarah Hempstead
Originally from Springfield, Ohio
Lived in Indianapolis for 19 years

“I love several things about Indy: how easy it is to be involved and make a meaningful difference here, the wonderful -caring-energetic- creative people, how accessible everything (and everyone is), my amazing neighborhood (Meridian and Kessler), and our awesome, active, walkable downtown.”

 

Andrew Eckrich
Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana
Lived in Indianapolis for 3 months

“Lots of post-grads moving to the area and it makes for a fun time in Broad Ripple, on Mass Ave, and Fountain Square.  And all of those areas are connected by bike paths.  I usually call Indianapolis the “Denver of the Midwest” because of the way it’s growing and attracting so many young people.

Folks on the coasts might not understand it, but there’s just something about living in the Midwest.  For example: the ‘thank you’ wave on the road simply doesn’t exist in New York City.”

 

Jessica Seale
Originally from Centerville, Ohio
Lived in Indianapolis for 7 years

“I love that there is always a lot going on downtown or in the neighborhoods adjacent to downtown,  the walkability/bike trails, the affordability, the size of the city (Chicago is a little too big for me, but home is too small)!”

 

Megan Scott
Originally from Chicago suburbs
Lived in Indianapolis for 11 years

“I love the livability. The cost of living is really low, making home ownership affordable. As a small city, we still have ample professional sports, theater, concerts, and other cultural events. And I have yet to find a city with nearly as strong of a food and beverage scene. We have tons of great, local restaurants, along with lots of local breweries and now distilleries are starting to open up.”

 

Eric Graul
Originally from Kansas City, Missouri
Lived in Indianapolis for 6 years

“It’s a long list, but they all stand out compared to other cites I’ve lived in or visited. Very affordable housing, lots of parks, trails, and bicycle friendly roads, wide variety of dining options that would meet the demands of nearly any foodie, wide variety of pro and semi-pro sports in the area, low traffic for a city this size, strong push for community development/redevelopment/revival in many neighborhoods that had previously been depressed.”

 

Morgan Sizemore
Originally from Connersville, IN
Lived in Indianapolis for 7 years

“I fell in love with this city and all it has to offer while attending Butler University. Coming from a small town, I appreciate how Indy offers a completely different culture, a refreshing atmosphere, and a breadth of opportunity. With so many different types of events constantly going on and any type of restaurant/bar you could think of, I’ve yet to feel bored!” 

 

The Phan
Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lived in Indianapolis for almost a year (worked here for four)

“Indy is trying to create a new identity, and it is fun to see and be a part of the development.”

 

Jennifer Bremer
Originally from Connecticut
Lived in Indianapolis for 15 years

Indy is centrally located to easily travel back east or any other direction (the Crossroads of America!); very affordable, but lots to do – arts, festivals, concerts, dining, shopping; easy commute from west side downtown. Specifically also enjoy Speedway too, lots of growth and development on our Main Street and other areas!”

 

Eddie Layton
Originally from Southern Virginia
Lived in Indianapolis for 1 year

“The city is very manageable and not overwhelming, there’s a lot of things to do within close travelling.”

Let us know what you think should be added to our list!

 

A Perspective on Pools

At Schmidt Associates, we know pools are community assets—no matter their location. Today’s generation is able to experience pools built for specific purposes to maximize the experience and benefit. There are four basic categories of pools: competition and diving, instructional, recreational, and therapy pools.

  1. Competition and diving pools are designed and constructed to meet strict state and national guidelines that regulate the length of swimming lanes, the depth of the water, the height of the diving boards and starting blocks, the illumination levels, the air quality, and the temperature and chemical composition of the water. Competition pool and diving pools are either in the same pool tank with different depths of water, or as separate tanks in the same facility.
  2. Instructional pools are usually part of an overall aquatics program that feeds into a competition swimming program. This type of pool can be adapted from a competition pool to maximize investment. Typically, a “shallow” entry point to accommodate instruction can be located in the middle of the pool. Depths associated with racing dives from the “ends” of the competition pool are suggested at seven feet. If there is sufficient room around the pool, there could also be an adjacent entry pool that is outside of the defined swimming lanes.

    munster1

    Munster High School Competitive and Instructional Pool

  3. Recreational pools place the emphasis on “fun”. In these facilities, competition components are not primary functions. Though some may have lap pool components—water slides, spray features, and lazy rivers are the primary features. Also different from competition and instructional facilities, recreational pools are warmer environments. A higher rate of water filtration and air circulation are also found in recreational pools.
  4. Therapy pools have very specific applications for physical or occupational therapies. Assisted access and water jets are key components, as well as in-pool windows for observation. This allows therapists standing outside of the pool to monitor patients as necessary. Water temperatures are usually the highest in these types of facilities.

Any of these pool types could be indoor or outdoor—but in Indiana’s climate, an indoor facility is the only year-round option. Schmidt Associates delivers responsive, aquatic environments to meet the most demanding aquatic challenges—no matter the type of pool. From the fastest, smoothest, most competitive water, to the relaxing swish of a lazy river, Schmidt Associates has 40 years of experience in exceeding expectations, creating environments to break records and stretch smiles, and providing the backgrounds for the memories that last a lifetime.


Take a look at all of our aquatics experience:

 

 

 

Impacts of Growing your Business Beyond 50 People

Great news! Your business is booming, and it is time for you to find a new location that serves the needs of your business and growing staff. You have possibly gotten by with renting a small space, maybe just a few rooms in an office building or a co-working space. But now you need a space of your own, and you don’t know what to do. If your business is still relatively small you can probably work with a local interior designer and get what you need for your new space. However, if your business is pushing or has passed the 50-person mark, I suggest you hire an architect specializing in workplace design.

Indiana uses the International Building Code and there are many additional code implications, mostly relating to egress, that need to be addressed when you are designing spaces for over 49 people. Your local architect is going to know and have experience working within these requirements to help you design a space that not only serves the needs of your business, but also keeps your employees and visitors safe. Let me tell you a little story about why this is so important.

I attended a meeting at a recently renovated office of a local Indianapolis business the other day and was very impressed with the space, until it was time to leave. When preparing to walk out the main door to the space, I noticed a deadbolt *gasp* right over the door handle! I quickly thought to myself that this new office space could easily support over 50 people. I look up. Sure enough, there is an exit sign over the door. Oh no!

Why does any of this matter you ask?

Architects are tasked with protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Making buildings and spaces safe environments for people is at the forefront of what we do. Making them look and function fabulously comes in at close second.

Being a licensed architect, I often find myself looking and noticing things that most people would never see. When I go through a space that has basic code infractions, my hackles go up a bit. Now, there was an attempt at correction made by a small sign affixed over the deadbolt saying something along the lines of “This door to remain unlocked during business hours”. But what about after hour functions, or if someone makes a mistake and forgets?

Or what if there is an emergency? As everyone is attempting to evacuate the space, what happens when they head for the door only to find it locked? People then pile up against each other pushing and shoving trying to get the heck out, but because of an inappropriate locking mechanism and high levels of panic, no one thinks of flipping the deadbolt. Not good. Properly designed, this door should be equipped with panic hardware – meaning you can push on it in a panic and the door will ALWAYS open. An exit sign should always mean “Go this way to safety and easily get out of this space”.

This is just one example of how an architect is needed to make sure you are getting a safe and functional space for your needs. So when you are ready to expand your business, give us a call. We can help you think through your options and determine if hiring an architect is the correct next step.

 

 

Synthetic Turf Fields 101

It always pays to know the advantages and disadvantages before making a big change for your facility. Deciding to switch from natural to synthetic turf is a good example of that. Synthetic turf fields are gaining popularity among sporting and recreational venues because of the lower maintenance costs and the perk of year-round use. However, natural turf is still here to compete with it’s lower upfront costs. So which is right for your facility?

Kyle Miller, Principal, Project Manager, and our expert on the topic, breaks it all down for you.

Also, check out our infographic comparing synthetic and natural turf

 

Improving your Business Through Office Design

Have you ever noticed that walking into some office spaces fills you with a sense of energy and excitement while others make you want to curl up and take a nap?

Good design can help engage employees and create an environment that makes them more excited to come to work every day.

Studies show that adjusting certain design elements can have a direct impact on improving your business through the effects it has on employees. Thinking through how you develop your office space can help create an environment that allows for happier and more productive employees, reduce turnover, and increase your bottom line.

Take a look at how we’ve designed for productivity, collaboration, and innovation – using Regenstrief Institute Headquarters as our project example.

Getting Real About Value Engineering

“Value engineering” is perhaps the most overused and under-realized term in the design/construction industry today. It has become the catch bucket for any exercise that involves reducing costs.

By definition, value is the ratio of function to cost. Value is increased by improving function or reducing cost. A great example: the benefit analysis of solar shading provided by extending the overhang of a roof. Using Building Information Modeling (BIM) and special software programs, we can determine the optimum energy savings obtained from shading by applying the most cost-effective roof extension (the ratio of function to cost). Our analysis identifies the point of diminishing return – the point when the increased cost of the roof begins to yield lower shading benefit. This is value engineering.

In contrast, most references to a “value-engineering exercise” are in reality a “cost-reduction exercise.” It involves compiling a list of items (or functions) to eliminate from the project, thereby reducing cost. This is not necessarily a bad thing to do. In fact, it is often an unavoidable part of any project since needs and wants are almost always greater than budgets. However, calling it “value engineering” is a misnomer because the function is eliminated along with the cost.

It is important to recognize that value can be lost with the cost reduction. This often occurs when a function that yields a long-term benefit (reduced energy or operational cost) is eliminated to provide an initial cost reduction. A clear understanding of the difference between “value engineering” and “cost reduction” helps avoid decisions with unintended consequences or “de-value engineering.”

Give it a Shot

Did you know Schmidt Associates has developed an expertise in the niche field of outdoor Shooting Ranges? With about 55 million Americans owning a gun, the need for safe and secure ranges has increased. Flip through our Issuu publication on shooting ranges, and learn about best design practices on these projects:

 

 

 

 

The Heart of the Placemaking Process

Every place evokes feelings for people. A great place feels welcoming, exciting, curious, comforting—and maybe even inspiring. Your designated place always has the opportunity to evoke vastly different feelings than it does now. In downtown places, reinvestment from all parties is evident and necessary—and generates a lot of interest and excitement. A Placemaking Plan does just that—it defines an area within the community as a place of significance and puts a plan in place to reflect that vision. The process includes cultivating new ideas and generating partnerships that share in the investment and creativity of the place.
Placemaking-Process

1. Gain Input

  • Community Workshop: The targeted audience for the workshop is neighboring residents, business, and property owners. Serves as the community’s foundation for discovering and sharing:
    • Placemaking best practices nation-wide
    • Real-time information
    • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
    • Initial programming thoughts and priorities
    • Conceptual design ideas
  • Small-Group Stakeholder Meetings: The purpose of these types of meetings is gathering stakeholders in a casual environment to share their interest and influence for the project. We brainstorm their ideas to continue building momentum and support for a civic place. Typical targeted attendees would be specific property/business owners, university and city representatives, chamber of commerce officials, and convention and visitors bureau representatives.
  • Community Empowerment: The transformation of places is intentional so the community will feel a sense of ownership about its recreation as a vibrant public space. This step is crucial. Begin educating and generating ideas at the community workshop and stakeholder workshop. To create community empowerment, Schmidt Associates has found that allowing physical and deliberate interaction with the space is essential.

2. Visualize Ideas
Just like places evoke emotions, so do illustrations. Understand the importance of vivid sketches and renderings. The right image can help raise support, funding, and excitement for any project.

3. Plan For Action
Planning to make action has to be intentional. In all of Schmidt Associates’ planning work, we detail a roadmap for leadership to take action.