Not Parking
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Rich & Associates Volunteer at Life Remodeled Detroit

I think I would be hard pressed to find someone at my firm who said they have lots of time on their hands… or find someone that would say work just wasn’t that challenging right now. The truth is, we’re busy. And it’s easy to get swept up into the hustle of everyday work life and forget there are bigger things than your work and ultimately yourself. I was reminded of this last week when I volunteered with AIA-Detroit during the Life Remodeled 6-Day Project in Detroit.

Every year AIA-Detroit promotes the 6-Day Project event to their AIA members and architecture firms around Detroit to get volunteers to roll up their sleeves and give back. Life Remodeled is a Detroit-based nonprofit that continuously works on bettering Detroit neighborhoods. Every year Life Remodeled invests approximately 5 million in cash, labor, and materials into a Detroit neighborhood. This was the biggest 6-Day Project to date.

How We Helped

The AIA-Detroit group was bused to a block in Detroit near the old Central High School (the first high school ever built in Detroit and opened in 1863). Our job was to clear the over grown brush and tree branches that covered the sidewalks and abandoned houses so members of the community would feel safe to walk the streets to get to school, or perhaps to go to the new community innovation center that is currently being created from the old elementary school a few blocks away. (click here to donate for their renovation efforts. Just $10 gets your name on the gym floor which I thought was a pretty cool idea.)

I cannot say I am a fan of yard work or noisy landscaping tools… But you would’ve thought our group of architects, engineers (and marketing professionals like yours truly) were professional landscapers. We all jumped for weed-whippers, lawnmowers, and hedge trimmers. It wasn’t exactly fun work but at the same time, I was having fun. Everyone at the event was truly working their butts off to give this block the face-lift it needed to be safe for the community. It was especially rewarding when a car stopped by and invited everyone to a block party later to thank us for our work (true story).

 

My Takeaways from the Event

Driving around the surrounding neighborhoods was a true eye-opener that the everyday annoyances I encounter from people not returning my emails, or missed deadlines are a very small speckle compared to the problems that communities like this face every day. While many of us consider ourselves to be “busy” we need to make sure we fit in community-enriching things too. Life is much bigger than bottom-lines and deadlines. Giving back when we can really needs to be more of a priority for us all.

If you’d like to learn more about Life Remodeled or donate to their amazing efforts – Click here!

Infograpic
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Infographic: Keys To Community Engagement

Keeping your community and stakeholders involved in your planning process is a critical part of a successful parking plan. The fieldwork data is only going to get you so far. You need to understand the ins and outs of your parking system to come up with a parking plan that is going to make the most sense for your constituents. And while all the community engagement is necessary, it’s definitely not easy information to get. Planning a successful community engagement meeting with stakeholders is key to getting the right information.

So… lucky for you I consulted our parking planning professionals to get some insight into their experience on planning a great community evolvement session. (hint: they said to always bring snacks).

Enjoy!

keys for community engagment

 

Project Spotlight
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Rich To The Rescue

At Rich & Associates, I can assure you parking is not an after thought. We understand it is one of the most important factors of any successful large development project. But we also understand parking is definitely not the most glamorous part of a development. Therefore, it is not surprising that sometimes parking is overlooked. While not all architects hire a parking consultant, we have a firm belief that all should!

We recently helped a lead architect get his project back on the right track! Facing construction budget challenges, the lead architect on a 400 space parking structure turned to Rich & Associates for help.

Rich & Associates’ expert parking designers took the architect’s schematic design drawings and made significant improvements in the efficiency of the precast concrete superstructure. Our designers were able to reduce the overall square footage of construction while at same time yield more parking spaces. The infographic below illustrates the Rich Difference.

 

 

By reorganizing the structural framing, Rich & Associates’ plan also resulted in the elimination of column rows equating to 13 fewer columns and the associated foundations. Rich’s parking designers also recognized the opportunity to reduce the number of stair towers by two. The Rich Difference resulted in substantial cost savings. We are proud to be able to use our skills as parking consultants to improve complicated parking problems like this one. Although parking isn’t the first thought of an exciting new development…

We like to look at ourselves as the silent hero that saves the day while everyone is asleep. Only for them to wake up to a perfectly planned project.

Need us to help you rescue your parking project?

Call us today!

Project Spotlight
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Critical Milestone Reached in the Construction of Henry Street West Garage

Henry West Rendering

 

Critical milestone reached in the construction of the Henry Street West Garage

The final piece of precast was recently erected on a new parking structure at Henry and Park in Detroit, Michigan. The structure is a first-class building which will support the residential and retail developments within The District Detroit, a transformational 50-block development between Midtown and downtown Detroit. The centerpiece of The District is the Little Caesars Arena, the new home of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons. The new arena will be surrounded by an exciting mix of retail, restaurants, office and residential developments creating an energized walkable destination for people to live, work and play.

The new 530 car structure features an articulated precast concrete façade and a mixed-use eight-story liner building. The liner building, also constructed of precast concrete, will include ground level retail and restaurants and seven levels of loft-style residential units and a rooftop sky deck offering views of the city, One Eleven West.

Working closely with Olympia Development of Michigan, Street-Works Studio, Colasanti-MIG JV (construction managers) and architects for the residential liner building, Rich & Associates served as prime design firm providing parking consulting, architectural and structural engineering design. We are looking forward to its grand opening in time for the Red Wings home opener. 

 

Infographics/History of Parking
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Infographics: Marketing Your Parking

What’s the point of having parking if no one can find it?

Marketing your parking is just as important as having it! That’s why we’re here to give you some tips from our parking pros on how to marketing your city’s parking effectively. From branding to position of your signage, our planning team knows how to help your city maximize it’s parking potential!

 

History of Parking
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The Evolution of Parking

 

It’s Friday night, you’re elated. Because it’s your first MLB game of the summer and you have great seats right along the first base line. You get off the exit and follow the signs to the parking structure that conveniently sits beside the stadium. You park your car on the 4th floor and take the elevator down to the main floor. It’s a short walk to the stadium, and you make it in time for the first pitch. Have you ever stopped to realize how parking structures make attending major events so convenient? Probably not. But you have the parking consultants, engineers, and designers from the past and present to thank for their years of innovation for your convenient trip to the ball game.

The history of vehicle parking, of course, starts with the invention of the automobile. But while the Model-T was first produced in 1908, it wasn’t until 1912 (when Detroit Henry Ford’s innovative assembly line made cars widely available in the United States) that the need for vehicle parking was even considered. By the 1920’s, there was a major demand for vehicle parking, and some very creative thinkers were devising ways to meet that demand. Twenty-five years ago Rich & Associates gathered copies of many historical parking related patents that illustrate some of the creativity in parking back then.

Below is a patent from 1932 for a combination tenement and storage building. While it was conceived to be applicable to many uses, this image illustrates a combined parking garage and another occupancy use. 

Although the implementation of a mixed-use parking structure is not a necessarily a new concept, mixed- use garage design is extremely popular today. Many of today’s structures are combined with other uses including commercial, retail, transit functions, athletic fields on roof level, bowling alleys, medical clinics, etc. With the investment and development of autonomous vehicles, the future of the parking industry faces an unknown. Will the innovation of autonomous vehicles result in a decrease in the demand for parking?  Some people predict that the demand for parking will cease to exist. It may, but the timing is difficult to predict. 

With uncertainty about the future of parking looming, the evolution of the parking structure is in next-use programming and design. Rich & Associates’ team of engineers and designers are working on solutions to the unknown future, developing design solutions to accommodate a change in use of the structure in the future to residential or office space. This provides the owner with the resources needed to meet today’s parking demand and the ability to repurpose all or portions of the parking structure to another use should the predicted reduction in parking demand be realized.

Infographics
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Infographic: 7 Tips to Becoming a Successful Project Manager

The Art of Project Management

Project Managers Matt Jobin and Rick Kinnell have over 50 years combined experience at Rich & Associates Parking Consultants. During their time as PM’s they’ve seen A LOT of curve balls (which I’m told is an understatement). Big fires and little fires are definitely going to happen over the course of a project, and you must figure out how to put them out (all you can hope for is these fires are metaphorical ones…). Matt and Rick’s ability to roll with the punches, and meet deadlines is what makes them successful project managers.

There’s More than One way to Skin a Cat…

One of the most interesting things about Matt and Rick is that their management styles are completely different from one another. There is no manual to being a project manager and Matt and Rick are proof of that. Matt tends to have a more hands-on style, while Rick relies on his big picture management skills to run a successful project. Figuring out what techniques work and what doesn’t, is part of becoming a successful PM. But… No one has time for that! We need results now! So I sat down with Rick and Matt to get YOU 7 tips for becoming a successful project manager… ENJOY!

 

 

Project Spotlight
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Ford Motor Company’s Major Investment in Their Future

The First Parking Deck is on the rise in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ford has been a leader in the automobile industry since Henry Ford built the first Model T in 1908. They were innovators then, and still continue to hold that reputation with their 10-year plan to totally redesign their corporate campus into a modern, green and high-tech campus. Saying that we’re excited to be a part of such a massive project would be an understatement.

As design/build consultants to Devon Industrial Group of Detroit (DIG), Rich & Associates is providing parking consulting, architectural and structural engineering design services for the first parking deck now under construction. “It’s been great working with the Ford team and the DIG team over the past several months on this project and it is equally exciting to see the project rise out of the ground”, said Richard Kinnell, AIA, Vice President and project principal on the project for Rich & Associates, Inc.

Parking Deck Conceptual Design and Rendering by SmithGroupJJR

Not Parking
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You’re Tying Your Shoes Wrong.

Yes! It’s true. There is a very good chance after all these years of bunny ears and loopdy loops, you’re doing it wrong. It turns out there are two forms of the knot that we can use to tie our shoes… The two forms of the knot are a false, or granny knot, while the strong one is a square or reef knot. The trick to tying the strong knot is going the opposite way around the bunny ear!

Check out the TED talk below to learn how to properly tie your shoes by expert speaker Terry Moore.

So besides having to spend less time tying your shoes… Why would I put this in Feed The Meter this month?? It’s to remind us all “That’s the way things have always been done” is never a good answer to life. We work and live in an ever-changing world where innovation is rewarded. Be inspired to try to do things a new way or push the envelope even if it’s not the way it’s always been done. Innovation is rewarded, my friends! So let’s all make an effort to think outside the box and maybe one of use will have a TED Talk one day!

 

To learn here how to tie a shoe properly…

Not Parking
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Rich & Associates’ New Architectural Technician — Luke Pesci

Spring is in full bloom so bring out the shorts, sandals and for some of you… the antihistamines. Spring tends to bring us a fresh outlook and it’s a great time for new beginnings! One exciting new beginning at R&A is the fresh face that is now a part of our architecture department — Luke Pesci.

I met with Luke to get a little insight into his personality and to see what it’s like to be a 21-year-old Lawrence Tech student working at Rich & Associates.

I met with Luke to get a little insight into his personality and to see what it’s like to be a 21-year-old Lawrence Tech student working at Rich & Associates. Luke started with R&A in January and serves as an architectural technician. He will graduate from Lawrence tech with a BS in Architecture in about 1-2 years. His least favorite thing about college is the time commitment it takes. He told me that his design classes are the most time-consuming. Instead, he’d much rather be outside playing pick-up soccer with some of his friends or dabbling in photography.

Growing up having been home schooled, his favorite thing about college is the social aspect of it. Although Luke had always been interested in design, it was when he turned 15 that he decided he wanted to be an architect. He even took architecture classes at Oakland Community College to be sure that architecture was the right fit for him. His favorite architect is Renzo Piano because of his ability blend architecture and engineering with interesting patterns. Not surprisingly, after being hired at Rich & Associates Luke was shocked to find out just how big of an impact that parking has on our society and even in architecture. He said he always found urban planning interesting, but never considered the effect that parking has on it. Right now Luke mostly works on production drawings at Rich & Associates but has also worked on 3-D models for R&A. Excited to see what Luke can bring Rich & Associates now and into the future!