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Posts from the ‘Civic’ Category

TLCD’s Carl Servais Takes on Winter in DC for AIA Grassroots Conference

As the 2015 President of the AIA Redwood Empire Chapter (AIARE), I recently had the privilege of traveling to Washington DC for the annual AIA Grassroots Conference. Over 600 architects and administrative staff gathered together to advocate important legislative issues with our representatives on Capital Hill, to receive leadership training, and to network and collaborate with each other to find ways of better serving the AIA membership. I met with AIA leaders from chapters all around the country, from coastal Louisiana to northern Minnesota. Many of the folks I spoke with had issues similar to what our local chapter faces: how to best serve a diverse set of professionals from a vast geographic area with limited resources and how to motivate and inspire the emerging professionals who will carry the leadership torch of our future. There are no simple or easy answers to these questions, but I met lots of inspiring colleagues and I returned with a renewed sense of focus and energy, and with a handful of ideas that I will bring to my fellow directors on the AIARE Board.

Here are three of the highlights of my trip:

As an architect, of course the first thing I had to do after arriving was to walk the Mall. What I hadn’t realized is how beautifully the many historical buildings and monuments are lit up at night. I grew up in Wisconsin, so the cold winter night was no problem for me.

On the first day of the conference, my schedule didn’t start until the afternoon, so I took advantage of the free time by waiting in line to see oral arguments of the so-called “Obamacare” law at the Supreme Court. I waited for about 2-1/2 hours to get in, and I only got to sit for about 3 minutes in the courtroom, but it was well worth the wait to see the court in action. Fortunately, there were about 200 protestors providing entertainment for everyone waiting in line.

Finally, Wendy Young, the AIARE Executive Director, set up meetings for us to meet with 5th District Congressman Mike Thompson, and 2nd District Congressman Jared Huffman. After receiving training from the AIA federal advocacy team about the important legislative issues that were on the table, I was prepared to discuss the following:

1. Protect and enhance the Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC).

2. Cosponsor the Safe Building Code Incentive Act, which encourages states to voluntarily adopt and enforce nationally recognized model building codes for residential and commercial structures in order to qualify for additional post-disaster FEMA grants.

3. Cosponsor the National Design Services Act, which extends to architecture graduates student debt relief in exchange for work in underserved communities.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature intervened and dumped 6 inches of snow the day of my meeting, thereby effectively shutting the government down for the day. We still made the trek up to Capital Hill and had the opportunity to meet with Scott Rasmussen, Congressman Huffman’s Legislative Assistant. I think I made a good, confident presentation of the legislation we were there to promote and I went away feeling great about having advocated for our profession.

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Transit Facility in Chico

Butte County Association of Governments, Butte Regional Transit Operations Center, Chico, CA, TLCD Architecture, Groundbreaking

Ceremonial Golden Shovel

At a formal ceremony earlier in October, ground was broken for the new Butte Regional Transit Operations Center In Chico, California. The new 10-acre, 41,000 square foot facility, designed by TLCD Architecture, replaces the current, outdated and undersized 3-acre bus operations and maintenance facility.

Butte County Association of Governments, Butte Regional Transit Operations Center, Chico, CA, TLCD Architecture, Groundbreaking Jon Clark Executive Director

Jon Clark, Executive Director BCAG

Butte County Association of Governments, Butte Regional Transit Operations Center, Chico, CA, TLCD Architecture, Groundbreaking

Officials at Groundbreaking Ceremony

BCAG is an association of all the local governments within Butte County. It is responsible for development of federal and state transportation plans and programs that secure transportation funding for the region’s highways, transit, streets and roads, pedestrian and other transportation system improvements. BCAG is also the administrative and policymaking agency for the region’s public transit “B-Line” bus service.

The 10-acre Butte Regional Transit Operations Center will provide administrative, operations, maintenance, as well as bus wash and fueling. An orchard-like grid of trees responds to the extensive orchards that surround the city of Chico, and firmly place the project in its regional context. This “orchard” provides shade to parking lots and areas around buildings. It extends to the street in lieu of street trees.

Butte County Association of Governments, Butte Regional Transit Operations Center, Chico, CA, TLCD Architecture Rendering, Groundbreaking

TLCD Architecture Rendering

Large shade canopies are covered by a photovoltaic array capable of meeting most or all of the facility’s electrical needs, while providing shade for a significant portion of the bus fleet. The photovoltaic array is one of many sustainable design features of the project, which is targeting LEED certification at the Silver level.

To view a real time webcam of the project, click the Kitchell link below…

http://oxblue.com/open/kitchell/butteopcenter

Mike Hauser Algebra Academy: Mentoring Students in Math and Technology

mike Hauser algebra academy, Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, TLCD Architecture, Student thank you

For the past 3 mornings, TLCD Architecture has hosted 30 freshman high school students attending the Mike Hauser Algebra Academy, now entering it’s 7th year. This is a tutoring program organized by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce to assist students in becoming proficient in algebra to meet graduation requirements. TLCD joined other local businesses – Agilent Technologies, Medtronic Cardiovascular, JDSU, PG&E and the City of Santa Rosa Utilities Department in providing classroom space within their companies. One of the primary goals of the MHAA program is to show the students the connection between math and technology and how it’s used in the real world work place.

Mike Hauser Algebra Academy, City of Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, TLCD Architecture demonstrationMike Hauser Algebra Academy, City of Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, TLCD Architecture models

Between instructional sessions, TLCD staff offered insights into the architectural profession with presentations on recent local projects, architectural rendering techniques, and 3D design and drafting with a laser cutter demonstration that created a personalized name plaque for each student. A previous MHAA session was held at the City of Santa Rosa’s Utilities Field Office, designed by TLCD and it provided an opportunity for staff to present the design and drafting efforts required to construct a physical space recently used by the students.

The MHAA instructor, Math and Science teacher Aaron Prysock called TLCD’s presentation “spot on” and hopes he can return with next year’s academy classes.

Savannah: America’s First Planned City

Savannah, Georgia, State Capital, Don Tomasi, Oglethorpe PlanDon 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.

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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.

 

Dey Laboratories new site for County of Napa Health Services

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TLCD Architecture began working with the County of Napa over two years ago on the master planning of their current site on Old Sonoma Road in Napa. The County ultimately selected the existing Dey Laboratories site at Napa Valley Corporate Drive as its base of operations for county health services. TLCD will be working with the County of Napa on renovations/tenant improvements for Phase I of the project.

Read full article in North Bay Business Journal

Mendocino Transit Authority Takes Advantage of Solar Purchasing Cooperative

Final Exterior 1

TLCD Architecture’s award-winning Maintenance Facility for the Mendocino Transit Authority was designed with a “sawtooth” roof with high, north-facing windows that allow a substantial amount of daylight into the interior, while providing the ideal orientation for photovoltaic (solar) panels.  In addition to the photovoltaic panels on the roof of the building, panels were installed on shade canopies at the complex.

Gaia Energy Systems installed 18 kilowattes of SolarWorld solar panels at the complex. Mendocino Transit Authority’s 18-kW installation of SolarWorld solar panels is the first in the nation to take advantage of a new local-government solar-purchasing cooperative. The program, Helping Governments across the Country Buy (HGACBuy), allows participating local governments to reduce the cost of going solar by sharing procurement contracts, pooling technical expertise and leveraging economies of scale.

“We appreciate having access to quality American-made solar panels at attractive prices. We thought the application process was straight-forward and reasonably fast,” said Dan Baxter, general manager for MTA.

Redwood Empire Food Bank Board Service Rewarding

REFB Farewell_croppedSix years ago my brother-in-law approached me and said “You should consider joining the board of the Redwood Empire Food Bank. They really need an architect”. I had no idea what those six years would entail when I said yes. This was my first real service on a non-profit board and it came at a time of great change for the organization.

I served the best way I could by helping them conceptualize, fund, and build out a new building to support their growing mission. The Redwood Empire Food Bank serves almost one in six residents of Sonoma County and the regions north. The issue in Northern California is not starving people but food insecurity. It means that the elderly and low wage earners run out of money for food three weeks into the month. It means that thousands of school children come to school hungry and do not have good diets. I means that poor diets are resulting in health problems such as diabetes and obesity that tend to compound the initial problems.

I’ve helped create a lot of buildings in my career but rarely has a project resulted in such immediate and profound results. With their new facility on Brickway Boulevard, more freezer space means that programs such as Range to Table will have a place to store meat products to add much needed protein to the selection of available foods. The newly opened Value Marketplace, the first of its kind in the nation, is a non-profit market serving the food bank’s clients with healthy food in a dignified and helpful environment. These are just a few of many possibilities now available with their new facility.

Yesterday I received my blue plate award for six years of service on the board of the Redwood Empire Food Bank, including two terms as President.  It has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and I’m grateful TLCD Architecture has given me the time to dedicate to this effort. I urge all of you to consider how your skills might benefit a non-profit organization like the Food Bank. It has changed the way I look at the world.  I know it has already helped many people and will continue to do so.

DeTurk Round Barn Raising in Retrofit Magazine!

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The DeTurk Round Barn is back in the press, this time in a article in the May/June issue of Retrofit Magazine. Under the category of transformation, the article entitled “Barn Raising” looks at the meticulous renovation of this historic round barn by TLCD Architecture for the City of Santa Rosa.

Read the full article in the online version of Retrofit…

TLCD Architecture Partners with Chico High School Students

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For the past two school years TLCD Architecture has partnered with the ROP program at Chico High School in an evolving collaboration between students and design professionals. The “iTech” program teaches students about design and construction, and in particular how to use Revit, a Building Information Modeling (BIM) program that TLCD helped pioneer beginning in 2000.

When TLCD was selected to design the new 10-acre Butte Regional Transit Operations Center in Chico, we were given this unique opportunity to involve iTech students in the project in a meaningful way. Since that time the students have been actively involved in the project including participation in design workshops, developing solar shading studies, producing models with their 3-D printers, creating a Revit model, and video “fly throughs” of the project.

The link below takes you to one of these fly throughs, as well as the students’ final 3D model. TLCD Architecture used the iTech model when it presented the project to the Chico Architectural Review Board last week. Way to go students!

Chico High School Fly Through

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TLCD’s DeTurk Round Barn Featured in GreenSource Magazine

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GreenSource, the Magazine of Sustainable Design has featured the DeTurk Round Barn in the March issue. The project, which is rich in history and included many sustainable features, was renovated by TLCD Architecture for the City of Santa Rosa.

Read full article from Green Source Magazine

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