11/01/2007

Building Basics that Extend Life-Cycle

What distinguishes a building for the long term?

By Linda Monroe

 

Linda Monroe

With my home base being in Cedar Rapids, IA, for the past 30 years, I consider myself fortunate in seeing this community of 150,000 people reinvent itself time and time again. I relocated here in the late 1970s to a flourishing downtown retail infrastructure within a less-than-attractive CBD architectural scheme. Over the years, as telemarketing firms, banks, law offices, and insurance businesses replaced the transplanted store spaces, renovated buildings were uncovered to reveal long-forgotten and surprising details. Vaulted windows, archways, setbacks, and other features resulted in a blended hybrid of architectural styles. Building by building, the revealed beauty of the past seemed to spur on business owners' enthusiasm and their commitment to the future. Today, downtown has become a virtual delight of textures, dimensions, hues, and loft-style spaces - intermixed with equally interesting modern structures - that house a combination of office, retail, entertainment, housing, and recreation uses.

It's truly a pleasure to enjoy such views on my drive to work each day ... which brings me to the point of this column and its correlation to this month's two stories on the care and maintenance of buildings: I've finally discovered the secret behind one of the structures I've often admired on my route that remains attractive, viable, and never-changing - a 6-story red-stone structure built in 1896 (home to an independent and locally owned bank) that I don't recall ever undergoing a major facelift or renovation during my time in Cedar Rapids. With the creative staff's recent relocation to downtown office spaces, I've also had to change my established route to and from work. Now, each morning, I see this building's caretaker either wash its exterior, windows, or sidewalk; buff up its bronze entryway; or pinpoint an area his keen eye has discerned that needs a bit of extra attention. My curiosity piqued: I actually parked my car and ventured into the building to learn that the same mindset applies to the bank's interior as well. The care and maintenance of this building is truly impressive, and the results speak for themselves.

The adage that "everything old is new again" is usually reserved to describe clothing trends or a particularly interesting structure once it has been successfully renovated. For the Guaranty Bank Building in Cedar Rapids, however, it is quite simply an everyday occurrence. 

 

 


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Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


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Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
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