Visual Noise at Work

Visual Noise at Work

It seems the idea of  “just right” office space is always evolving. When we designed our office, we carefully weighed the benefits of open space, closed offices and everything in between. In the end, we landed on our own unique hybrid. I’m glad we steered away from a completely open office, as I’m now hearing [Read More]

Insulating with Newspapers?

Insulating with Newspapers?

We are in the final stages of a multifamily project where our customer was rightly concerned about sound transmission, unit to unit. They asked that we investigate the use of Cellulose in the walls and floor/ceiling assemblies to reduce sound transmission, and for insulation. Cellulose isn’t exactly the new kid on the block. In fact, [Read More]

Stacked Multifamily Wood Frame

Stacked Multifamily Wood Frame

With the stacked multifamily projects we have built, we have either had a structural steel or a concrete podium and retail, office or parking below. The apartments start above the podium, and wood framing is used if the over-all building height is less than 75 feet. Regarding the wood framing, we have found it is [Read More]

Simple is Good

Simple is Good

  I cannot tell you how many times over the years we have been asked to do something intricate with sidewalks, only to come back in a few years and find them not as cool for any number of reasons–cracks having surfaced, outdated brick pavers or concrete that’s gone out of style. Perhaps the argument [Read More]

Taking Away the Punch Bowl?

Taking Away the Punch Bowl?

If one is not careful, it can be easy to get lost in your own bubble. While we are in the construction business–service providers–I make a conscious effort to look beyond securing new projects. After all, if there is no capital or product demand, it usually doesn’t matter how hard we work to get new [Read More]

A Diet For Roads?

A Diet For Roads?

I’m a co-chair of our ULI chapter for the state. In a recent meeting, James Fowler, who leads planning, design and construction for UAB, started talking about “Road Diets.” While I had never heard the term, it made a lot of sense after I heard him explain. The initiative is to make urban campuses more [Read More]

Geogrid

Geogrid

Last spring, I wrote about a great retail site with tough soils, and how we were approaching the job. Nature then turned this project into a case study in weather extremes, from the record-setting drought over the summer, to late fall monsoons. In case you are not familiar with Geogrid, it is basically a woven polymer [Read More]

CRE Update in a New York Minute

CRE Update in a New York Minute

I just returned from the ICSC National show, the 2nd largest retail show in the country. Optimism was fairly decent, but then again it’s a retail conference. A few things I heard on the floor and in the taxi lines: If investors are willing to risk secondary equity at 12%, we may be closer to [Read More]

Looking Ahead for Commercial Real Estate

Looking Ahead for Commercial Real Estate

I was recently invited to a dinner as a guest of Alan Fuller and my daughter Chappell, both of Alliance Real Estate, to hear Alliance’s thoughts on what is happening in the CRE world along with those of Suzanne Mulvee, Director of Research for Costar Group. It was nice that they chose the mountains of [Read More]

Overcoming a Traffic Taboo

Overcoming a Traffic Taboo

  A couple of weeks ago, I had a brush with death. Well, not really, but it felt that way for a few seconds. I was in Asheville, NC at the intersection of Airport Road and I-26, a “diverging diamond interchange.” This video shows you exactly how traffic flow works, where one is essentially crisscrossing [Read More]