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!

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!

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.

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!

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Wagner Place Groundbreaking

 

Wagner Place Ground Breaking Rick Snyder

Michigan Governor Celebrates the Wagner Place Ground Breaking in Dearborn

Abuzz in Dearborn

Today, I attended the ceremonial groundbreaking for Wagner Place. Wagner Place is a new urban environment offering new retail and office space. Everyone in attendance was abuzz about the new project, especially special guest Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder who spoke about the project with genuine enthusiasm. The renderings for the project displayed a ultra-modern urban collection of office and retail space. Any millennial would love to work at a campus like Wagner Place.

Ford is investing over $60 million dollars into the 150,000-sqaure-foot development. The Wagner Place Project is a part of transforming Ford’s workspaces into a modern corporate campus that will in return attract young professional talent to their company. The first floor of the development will be retail and restaurants, and the second floor will be office space to house about 600 Ford employees.

The City of Dearborn received $3 million in support from the Michigan Strategic Fund to construct a 373 spot parking structure near the development. Rich & Associates is proud to be chosen as the designer, architect and structural engineer for the Wagner Place Garage.

Breathing New Life Into Dearborn

At the groundbreaking, you could feel the energy that this kind of development brings a city. The City of Dearborn and Ford are taking major leaps to be a catalyst to breathe new life into the City of Dearborn. And it couldn’t be a better time to do that. With all the revitalization that is happening in Detroit, it’s a great time for other Metro Detroit cities to follow suit. Today I saw people determined to bring the people of Dearborn a city they can be excited about.

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We’re Rebranding!!

In preparation for our 55th Anniversary next year, we are excited to announce Rich & Associates is getting a new look! Don’t worry, we’re still the company you know and trust we just look cooler now.

Our rebranding journey started with the hiring of our new Marketing Coordinator Kellsey Poston. We wanted a new fresh look to echo our updated website and new digital marketing strategy. Since 1963, Rich & Associates has been one of the nation’s leading parking consultants, providing expert parking planning and design services to government agencies, medical and educational institutions, developers, architects, and contractors… And while our business plan has continued to adapt, our look has not. But that’s changing now.

Our New Logo

A logo is the most important visual element of a brand identity. The inspiration for the logo came from one of our parking structures. The signature glass staircase in the photo is recreated in the logo design. Since Rich & Associates is partly an architecture firm, the logo has sort of a sketched look as if an architect was drawing it. The ends of the logo never end as if to extend into the abyss.

 

If you need a new version of our logo please contact marketing at kposton@richassoc.com. 

 

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Precast Cement Field Trip

Have you ever been to a precast cement plant? Chances are you haven’t. Chances also are you wouldn’t believe me if I told you it was one of the more interesting places I have ever been. Precast cement is exactly what it sounds like… Cement that is poured into giant forms that then become pieces to a major puzzle like a parking structure. The pieces that hold a lot of weight are reinforced with steel than are erected to build the floors and walls of a cement structure.

Our friends at IPS were nice enough to give me a full tour of the impressive operation. During the tour I learned a lot about the way precast is formed and eventually made into structures that we drive on with full confidence. The end result of the concrete forms take a total team effort. There were many departments made up of workers with different specialty trades. One of the trades were the carpenters that build the forms. After the concrete is set, the giant forms get transported to the site via semi-truck. Seeing all the forms being made and prepared for shipping is nothing short of amazing.

Check out The Prestressed Group’s website for more info The Prestressed Group

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Wagner Place Parking Structure to Rise in Downtown West Dearborn

Detroit is named The Motor City for one reason.

It put the country on wheels. Today, Detroit still earns that name by having 4 major auto companies still call Michigan their home. Ford Motor Company (who’s corporate office is in Dearborn, Michigan) has decided to invest $60 million dollars in a mixed-use redevelopment of two blocks in Dearborn’s West Downtown.  In support of the major redevelopment, the City of Dearborn is building a 370 space multi-level parking structure. As design/build partners with Devon Industrial Group of Detroit, Rich & Associates is providing parking consulting, architecture and engineering design services for the project. We’re also working closely with Nuemann/Smith Architecture, the prime architects of the Ford Land’s Wagner Place redevelopment, and the creators of the original parking structure facade.

Check out this awesome video about the project:

Ford invests in downtown Dearborn

With support from the MEDC, Ford Motor Company plans to redevelop 12 parcels of property encompassing three city blocks in west downtown Dearborn. The mixed-use development could eventually provide workspace to up to 600 employees, and will help to attract top next-generation talent to Michigan.

Posted by Michigan Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday, December 20, 2016