Some of the latest construction technology is at work at the TLCD Architecture designed American AgCredit project in Santa Rosa. Final grading of the site is being accomplished using automation in combination with satellite guidance. It is commonly called Automated Machine Guidance and here’s how it works…
First, using advanced BIM software the civil engineer develops a highly accurate, digital 3D model of the site. After receiving a copy of this model, the grading subcontractor loads a variant of it directly into the onboard computer of GPS-equipped bulldozers. Using GPS and on-site laser-based positioning systems, the equipment operator compares their constantly moving, real-time location with the current site model and scrapes, grades, cuts, and fills – either automatically or with guidance from the onboard system – to unprecedented levels of accuracy.
The civil engineer for American AgCredit is Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers. The General Contractor is Jim Murphy and Associates, and the grading subcontractor is Northwest General Engineering. All firms are located in Santa Rosa.
This process virtually eliminates the need for staking and makes operating equipment easier. It offers the potential to achieve designed grades on the first pass, saving time and expense, and minimizes fuel consumption and associated pollution.
How cool is that?
Views to Taylor Mountain from 5th Floor of Museum on the Square
This morning the upper floors of Museum on the Square were flooded with light as the first exterior concrete panels were removed. Saws with blades as large as 36 inches in diameter sliced through concrete panels weighing upwards of 22,000 pounds each. A large crane then gently lifted the panels to the ground where they will be broken apart and recycled.
A total of 9 concrete panels were removed today, about one third of the total panels that will be removed during the course of construction on this project designed by TLCD Architecture.
Exterior demolition continues on the opposite, Courthouse Square side of the building where exterior precast panels are being removed by jackhammer prior to the removal of the structural concrete walls. On the interior, portions of the concrete floor slabs are being removed to accommodate new elevators and stairs.
The changes to the interior space are going to be dramatic as natural daylight visits this building for the first time!
TLCD Architecture is thrilled once again to have been voted “BEST” Architectural firm in the 25th annual Northbay Biz Readers Poll. This year there were 55,000 total votes in 40 different categories that span business entertainment, business services, community organizations and leaders. Principal, Don Tomasi accepted the award on behalf of TLCD and acknowledged the clients and projects we are privileged to be part of in the North Bay. With the “BEST” food, wine and representatives from all the winning companies, it was a great party!
Crews saw through concrete on 3rd Street side of Museum on the Square
This week heavy-duty concrete saws began cutting through walls as thick as 15 inches at Museum on the Square. This existing 5-story building, formerly a nuclear blast resistant telephone switching building, was constructed without windows. The building is now being converted to retail, office and museum use, necessitating the removal of large portions of the concrete walls.
The saws are mounted to rails that are attached to the building walls. Blades as large as 3 feet in diameter slice through the concrete. A very small length of the total perimeter of each new window opening is left uncut. Once all of the new window openings have been cut in this manner a large crane will be brought in, the final cuts will be make in order to free the panels from the building structure, and the panels will be lowered to the ground to be demolished, then removed.
Currently concrete sawing is occurring on the south face of the building. On the more visible north side – from Courthouse Square, there are two layers of concrete. The outer, precast concrete panels are being removed by jackhammer before the structural concrete can be removed. Concrete is also being removed on the interior of the building to accommodate new elevators and stairways. Interior demolition of walls, ceilings and equipment is nearly complete.
Check back for further updates!
Approximately 200 people turned out yesterday for the formal Groundbreaking Ceremony for American AgCredit’s new 120,000 square foot headquarters building in the Airport Business Center, just north of Santa Rosa.
Designed by TLCD Architecture, the iconic zinc-clad structure will feature three floors of office space wrapping around an enclosed outdoor courtyard, two roof decks, and three “sky bridges”.
Several executives and board members from American AgCredit, along with Sonoma County 4th District Supervisor Mike McGuire spoke about the project, American AgCredit’s recommitment to keeping its headquarters in Sonoma County and how the project will allow the organization to accommodate projected growth. Then Supervisor McGuire along with representatives of American AgCredit, TLCD Architecture, and JMA Construction dug the ceremonial first shovelfuls of dirt. Following the ceremony, guests and dignitaries enjoyed snacks and beverages under a agent on what proved to be the hottest day of the year to date!
Construction will last approximately 18 months, with completion scheduled for November of 2015.
Don Tomasi, AIA
Last week my wife and I had the opportunity to visit Savannah, Georgia. I have been interested in visiting Savannah since first hearing about it in an architectural history class more than 30 years ago!
Savannah was established in 1733 and was the first colonial and state capital of Georgia. It was Georgia’s largest city until 1880 when it was surpassed in size by Atlanta. The City is steeped in history, and in many respects is the quintessential southern city. But my interest in visiting Savannah is primarily due to the city’s unique urban design; Savannah is known as America’s first planned city, and is a National Historic Landmark District visited by millions every year.
Savannah’s plan, know as the Oglethorpe plan, consists of a series of wards surrounding 22 central squares, with trust lots on the east and west sides of each square for public buildings and churches. I found that the experience of walking through the town to be truly unique. The 22 squares are richly landscaped, with large arching trees that create an abundance of shade. From almost any given point in the historic district one can see at least two other squares, which are spaced only 2 blocks apart to the north, south, west and east. Standing in the middle of any given square offers views of 4 adjacent squares.
The effect of the urban grid is of a small-scaled community in which vehicular traffic is subordinate to the pedestrian environment. Though designed more than a hundred years before the advent of the motor vehicle, the network of squares easily accommodates traffic, while providing an integral traffic “calming” system. As a result, wandering through the historic district is a unique and truly pleasurable experience, enriched by historic buildings at every turn, and numerous points of historic interest.
Construction activity moved outside this week as crews from Richmond-based C. Hammond Construction began taking down some of the exterior facade on the former AT&T Building in downtown Santa Rosa. On the 3rd Street side of the building, another crew put up a maze of scaffolding in preparation for the removal of the precast concrete panels.
Located at the crossroads of Santa Rosa Avenue and and 3rd Street, this highly visible project will be a literal buzz of activity over the coming weeks and months. Teams from TLCD Architecture will be seen in and about the building throughout construction as we begin the transformation to the new Museum on the Square mixed-use project.
Stay tuned for more updates!