Hard work, and a break

Some updates from this past week:

First, we met with the City of Detroit’s Board of Zoning Appeals on July 21st to receive a parking variance, and it was approved. This was a source of concern for us, because for a business the size of ours, we’ll need 25 parking spaces, and we currently have 5. Parking is always a concern in a big city, so we had done some investigating, and found a lot that Wayne State was willing to rent to us, close to the Canfield Lofts and most importantly, within the required 300 feet of our building. The BZA accepted our plan, so we are good to go. Whew!

In the meantime, we’ve been busy with the really tough work of this project….the nitty gritty details. For example, this week we worked out the details of the new SIP roof (white structural insulated panels which will be placed over our current roof), held a symposium on our HVAC system (heating, ventilating and air conditioning), and worked a second week on our electrical design. It’s important that this work be done as thoroughly as possible, so with the results we can order the proper amounts of parts and equipment.

We did take a break on Monday and went to Greenfield Village to learn more about how people designed buildings to take advantage of natural daylighting and ventilation in the days prior to central heating and air conditioning. We got a lot of good ideas. Buildings were often designed with tall windows directly across from each other, as in the picture below.

Daylighting

Work spaces for detail work were placed up against windows.

Work-space

Windows could pivot to allow as much air in as possible.

Pivot-window

And higher desks allowed for both sitting and standing.

High-desk

Some of these ideas we’re already using (i.e. we’re putting in tall windows to allow more light into our building). Others could be incorporated later. For now, though, it was great to take a field trip and think about something else for a while!

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