The Sweet Side of Beekeeping

Now that we are all ‘resident experts’ with beekeeping, we sat down with Mark Manship to learn a little bit about the honey. Albeit, what most of would consider the best part of beekeeping!

But maybe you haven’t heard the buzz about our bees yet – check out this blog first to catch up.

Bees

How long does it take before a hive starts producing honey?

A hive starts to produce honey within a couple of weeks. But it is minimal storage, and they need some honey to feed on. Especially during the winter. It can be a full year before there is honey to harvest.

How much honey does a single hive produce?

Each bee only produces a 1/12th of a teaspoon in its lifetime and travels up to 3 miles to obtain the nectar and pollen it needs. But there are thousands of bees in a hive, and they reproduce quickly. Depending on the hive, you end up with 20 to 60 pounds of honey. Honey is sold by weight, not volume, because of water content.

What are the benefits of honey bee hives?

For the beekeeper, it’s the honey. For hobbyists, it’s not a profitable situation. You also have wax, which we provide to a friend who makes soap, lip balm, and other beauty products. You can also make candles and other wax products. The pollen can also be harvested to be used for boosting immune systems against allergies. Pollen, by weight, is a similar value to gold! With the honey that isn’t high enough quality to sell, we use it to make mead.

The pollination helps flowers, fruit trees, and many other plants reproduce. For commercial beekeeping, the pollination is required for successful agriculture. This is the biggest need since we are an agricultural dependent society. Mass farming production needs bee hives at fruit and vegetable farms for the pollination, or the fruit and vegetables won’t be successful. For example, almonds, oranges, pumpkins, tomatoes, apples, etc. This is 60-70% of the food we consume.

In this area, the only natural pollinators are carpenter and bumble bees. And a very limited variety of honey bees. All others were imported from Europe or East Asia.

Want to know more about our bees? Follow us on social to keep up with the hive!

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What’s that buzz? It’s Schmidt Associates’ New Bee Hive on our Green Roof!

In case you haven’t heard the buzz, Schmidt Associates is now an urban beekeeper with a honeybee hive on our roof.

Luckily, Mark Manship, one of our construction administrators, maintains two beehives at home and has become the keeper of our hives.  Since many of us are curious about what this means, we decided to sit down and ask him about being a beekeeper.  Check back for future blogs with more information and check out our social media sites. We’ll regularly have pictures posted with captions about the bees’ progress.


How did you get into this?
About five years ago my wife and I moved to a property with 3.5 acres of land. My wife wanted to get chickens, and I said “no” (I had them as a child and didn’t want them again.)  She mentioned bees, and I said sure. We got a nucleus hive (or nuke), a starter hive with 5 full frames of bees. Unfortunately, they didn’t last the winter, and we started over with a couple of new varieties of honey bees. We had some success, and they were thriving. Someone my wife knew wanted to retire and needed to find someone to take his bees. We reached out to some friends who were also interested in beekeeping, and together we purchased all his hives and equipment. After splitting this among our friends, we were at our peak capacity of 12 hives of various breeds of honeybees from all over the world on our property.

Though it began as my wife’s hobby, I helped a lot. With a background in carpentry, I made the hive stands and helped with transportation. Not long after we started, I had a swarm of honeybees land on a tree by my old office, and we wanted to capture the swarm to move them. We contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) about regulations to capture swarms. We were encouraged to contact a beekeeper or capture them ourselves. That’s when I got hooked. Saving the bees.

We are now listed on the IDNR swarm list for East Central Indiana. When someone finds a swarm of bees, they typically call pest control. Pest control refers them to the IDNR swarm list to have someone come catch them.

Mark Manship moving a bee swarm

I bought three new packages of bees this spring, one for our homestead, one for an offsite location, and one for the green roof at Schmidt Associates.

Schmidt Associates’ Green Roof with a New Bee Hive!What goes into maintaining a hive?
Once the hive is established, about once a week you open the hive to look for brood cells to make sure they are multiplying. You also look for honey stores and check the general health of the bees. You check for signs of pest intrusion and adjust accordingly. Another part is looking for additional queen cells, or an abundance of bees which may indicate they are ready to split or swarm and create another hive.

You need to make sure they are healthy, but if they get overly healthy, the hive needs expansion or needs to be split. I’m still learning and taking over the hive keeping at home. We’ve been doing this for about four years, but it was mainly my wife. Now the apprentice is the beekeeper. And I get to do it at the office too, which is great!

Check back in a few weeks for more information about honey production and the benefits of bees!

What are the Roles of a Design/Build Team?

Typically there are three primary team members on a design/build project. They include the Owner, the criteria developer, and the design/build (D/B) contractor. Each one is explained in more detail below:

1. Owner

•  Work with criteria developer to capture needs and desires in criteria documents/contract documents
•  Implement a process to select D/B contractor
•  Work with D/B contractor to finalize design and construction (sometimes through criteria developer/project manager)
•  Communicate changing needs to D/B contractor
•  Participate in punch list process
•  Move in and enjoy the new facility

2. Criteria Developer

•  Work with Owner personnel and stakeholders to draft criteria documents/contract documents
•  Sometimes hired to represent the Owner throughout construction and review design/construction/completion activities
•  May review pay applications and change orders and assist Owner in the punch list process
•  Advise Owner on contractual matters and D/B contractor compliance with contract
•  Assist Owner to maintain budget integrity

3. Design/Build Contractor 

•  Provide qualifications proposal and initial renderings to demonstrate their vision of compliance with the criteria documents
•  Confirm pricing with subcontractors that meets design criteria
•  Provide scope compliance information and agree on cost with Owner
•  Design the project using qualified design professionals and obtain Owner approval of code- compliant design that meets the criteria documents
•  Design team maintains engagement in project throughout construction
•  Construct the project, draft changes, punch out and complete the facility
•  Maintain budget and schedule throughout the duration of the project
•  Provide clear and regular communication with Owner on project status and any changes
•  Obtain good reference from satisfied Owner

So, why should an Owner select design/build?

  1. Single source of accountability – this goes for design and construction
  2. Budget management – discussing budget throughout the duration of design
  3. Enhanced communication – early and ongoing communications between Owner, design contractor, and subcontractor(s)
  4. Faster project completion – can shorten overall schedule since construction starts while design is being completed

If you have more questions or want to get started on your next project with us, reach out!

 

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.