Saturday, February 10, 2018

Celebrating our twelfth anniversary of our business.  

We've come a ways since February 6, 2006!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 2016 Newsletter - Inaugural Edition of Outside The Box

Welcome to the new Berneche2 Monthly Newsletter!
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Monday, January 25, 2016

21st Century Drafting Dots for Trash or Bumwad

This post is for the fellow architects and designers primarily, those of us who still know how to break out a roll of "trash" and sketch up some concepts anyway.

Trash is the term we used at Ball State for tracing paper rolls.  It is a great tool for quickly sketching over a plan or drawing to quickly sketch and develop concepts.  Other common terms are bumwad, and onion skin.  It comes in white and yellow and while the yellow looks really cool I use white as I often scan these into PDFs.

For the schematic design phase of work to existing structures, I will plot a set of the as-built drawings in red (in most cases we have to field measure and create our own) and then trace over them with a black felt tip.  Then when I scan all can see the contrast between new and existing.

To hold the trace/trash in place, traditional methods are to use drafting tape, which is a lighter stick masking tape.  Cellophane tape with the end folder over to create a removable end works okay as well.  A product called Drafting Dots was more popular for holding down drawing sheets in the days of hand drafting, and I had a box of leftover ones I tried for a while to hold down tracings.  The adhesive on them was pretty intense and damaging when removed.

My accountant uses "sign here" Scotch Flags on tax forms.  I started saving them thinking I might reuse them for documents I send to others, but it eventually occurred to me that these would be perfect for holding small drawings down, and particularly the trace that goes them.  It has just enough adhesive on them to keep them in place, yet not too much to tear off any of the paper.  They also sell plain unmarked ones which I typically use.  They are available at most office supply stores.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Warped Sense of Humor

So we are architect of record for a restaurant project called “Double Gallows” in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago.  It is a small neighborhood bar type establishment, and we inherited the project from another architect to help the client get a building permit.

The interior will be an exposed structure ceiling common in many restaurants nowadays.  There is a small vestibule at the front entrance and the interior designer wanted the tile to come up to eight feet but was uncertain how to terminate it.  It was discussed to put in a drywall ceiling but we would have to rework a mechanical duct to work with the new ceiling. 

So I thought of the name – Double Gallows.  Just how far might the client want to take this concept?  I decided to find out.  I proposed to the interior designer that we put wood trim at the top of the tile, raise the height enough and have a couple of faux trap doors with hinges on either side of the opening.  Then hang two nooses from the underside of the roof deck.  

Voila…double gallows!   Okay, so they didn’t want to take the theme THAT far.

But the interior designer thought it might be cool to do the trim and drape string ropes across the underside of the roof deck to allude to the ropes.  Showing that being a smart arse can lead to unusual but creative solutions.  It also shows that enjoying The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes wasn't for naught.

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Winter Condition

The Blue Book Facebook page had a good question today: What's the coldest job site you've ever been on?  It reminded me not of the coldest site I've been on, but some of the effects doing construction in cold weather can have on a project.

We were fortunate to do a financial planner's office in the South Bend, Indiana area.  It was a new 3,800 square foot office building for two financial planners.  We had six round columns as part of the design.  Rather than create them with a column wrap, we decided to use sandblasted cast-in-place concrete columns.  Four columns were part of the main entrance vestibule and two flanked the reception counter.  We also took advantage of them to use as part of the building structure..  

Construction began in the fall of 2008, and the columns were poured into their Sonnotube forms the last week of December, and wrapped with warming blankets.   A few days later, the Lake Michigan lake effect smow machine kicked in dumping fifteen inches of snow on the area along and bringing a straight month of subzero temperatures.  The site could not be accessed until six weeks after the columns were poured.  

The contractor stripped off the cardboard forms, exposing the raised spiral rings which we planned to remove with sandblasting.  However the concrete became tempered to a point where the rings could not be blasted off.  We discussed options such as adding a skim coat of plaster to them to create a smooth surface.  In the end we decided to leave the columns as they were to keep the exposed aggregate, and used the rationale of "architectural honesty" to justify leaving the rings.

We find the rings to be fine and we're proud of the result.