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At F&D International, our professionals enjoy sharing knowledge. Below are some of our recent articles and industry tip sheets. Our goal is to assist you to make informed decisions for your capital construction projects.

Facility Condition Assessments and Capital Planning

Facility Condition Assessments and Capital Planning

With the start of a new year it just might be time to take a serious look at starting the process of assessing your buildings and putting a Long Range Facility Plan in place. As infrastructure across the county continues to age and deteriorate, many organizations and agencies are faced with an inventory of older buildings with deferred maintenance, ADA compliance issues and an assortment of other problems. Many of these organizations do not have a funding model in place to address all of their needs and stakeholders may disagree on priorities. Whether you have one building, several buildings, or an entire campus of buildings and auxiliary structures, a formal Facility Inspection is the first step to solving infrastructure issues, effectively planning for program expansions, ensure efficient use of existing space and will also ensure that money is spent wisely.

Analysis of Current Building Conditions

An inspection of your buildings will provide you with a thorough and cost-effective analysis of conditions, identify deferred maintenance issues, provide an ADA compliance survey, assist in prioritizing renovation and construction projects and develop a successful capital expense plan. The approach usually includes: • Pre-assessment meetings • Field assessment of the structure(s) • Estimates of probable costs to correct deficiencies • Recommendations of renovations and/or new construction • Development of capital funding plan • Development of a Facility Master Plan • Presentation of Findings & Final Report A facility condition report will provide you with a “Baseline Condition” Report for each building that will provide you with accurate information going forward and will also serve to set the standards for programming, maintenance, and design of future renovations and new construction as part of your capital construction plan.

Facility Master Plan

A detailed facility master plan will provide you with an evolving, long-term planning document. It will establish the framework for future facility-related decisions that will support your organizations strategic plan and mission for your facilities. The master plan will be developed based upon the findings in the facility assessment report and will reflect a clear vision and be created in an open process involving your staff as well as solicit community input. It will set a logical course for capital improvements and facility management initiatives over the next 5, 10 and 20 years. A facility master plan is considered a “living document” that will be re-examined and updated on a 2 year review cycle. The master plan can also identify funding sources and strategies, establish a schedule; i.e., which elements should come first and decisions needed to move forward, lastly, the master plan will establish guidelines for the consultants and designers needed to draw up specific plans for each phase of the proposed projects. The F&D International team has provided facility assessments for millions of square feet across the entire Rocky Mountain Region for governmental, commercial and educational clients. Our inspections will allow you to assess, monitor and determine current and future condition, and capital funding needs.
Growing Gardens Pollinator Garden Installation

Growing Gardens Pollinator Garden Installation

The F&D team was honored to provide engineering and construction services for the installation of the new Pollinator Garden in Boulder, Colorado! Our entire team turned out to work alongside community volunteers to layout, and add topsoil, compost, gravel sidewalks and set up the irrigation system for this new area. The pollinator garden seemed a natural addition to the Children’s Peace Garden and the community garden plots as ¾ of the world’s plants depend on pollinators!

Growing Gardens is a non-profit organization that was established in 1998 with a mission to support and enrich the community through sustainable urban agriculture. With more than 500 individual garden plots in 12 locations across Boulder County, they have been making their vision a reality ever since. They offer classes for any level of green thumb in addition to beekeeping, after-school garden clubs, summer camps, and field trips.

First Porous Asphalt Street at a High Elevation in Colorado!

First Porous Asphalt Street at a High Elevation in Colorado!

F&D International is pleased to announce the completion of the design and installation of porous asphalt streets in the Town of Nederland last week. This is the first high altitude installation of porous asphalt in Colorado; at an elevation of 8,300 feet, Porous Asphalt the F&D Engineering team had to develop a solution incorporating leading sustainable transportation design and construction techniques never before used in such an extreme climate and high altitude location.

With the primary element of the project focusing on reducing imperviousness and increasing infiltration, our engineers designed every portion of the project to achieve zero surface runoff. Previous surfaces were introduced throughout the project to accommodate all stormwater surface runoff with zero direct discharge into North Beaver Creek. Porous asphalt was placed on Second Street and is the capstone of the project; the pavement section is first of its kind at 8,300 feet and designed withstand extreme weather conditions with 100% infiltration and zero direct discharge to the adjacent creek or classic stormwater infrastructure systems.

Workplace Comfort

Workplace Comfort

Workplace comfort is getting more attention and rightly so. It is the place where we spend most of our time. New studies show that a well-designed physical work environment provides a heightened awareness and increased productivity. A well designed office may cost a little more, but it is cheaper than a poorly designed one. A non-functioning office is uncomfortable, wastes time and caused frustration.

Natural Light and Access to the Outdoors
American workers spend roughly 90 percent of their waking hours indoors, many of them at computer workstations far away from windows and fresh air. Lack of natural light and access to the outdoors can have impacts on mood and productivity, so it is clear that they would benefit greatly from more exposure. Natural light offers a much wider color spectrum making it easier for us to see details and perform basic tasks, it also reduces eye fatigue and headaches.

To bring more light into your workplace create an open environment by tearing down interior walls, using glass walls for private offices and conference rooms and open desk areas instead of cubicles. The installation of skylights is another option.

Optimal Space
Give employs enough space. It is not only important to give staff correctly sized desks, but you must also consider storage space and circulation areas between desks. There are established size standards for work areas, but keep in mind that these are usually the minimum standards and might not be appropriate for the individual tasks being completed by your staff members.

Open Work Stations, Bench Desking, Modified Cubicles
Open work stations have been a controversial matter in the design world as of late. Though cost effective, employees often complain that open work stations are hostile to productivity and creativity, and communicate low social status through the lack of privacy. However, when applied to temporary work areas (i.e. breakout spaces), open work stations can be extremely useful for initiating collaboration and problem solving. Defining distinct areas for personal space, as well as collaborative space, is an important design factor in workplace comfort.

If open work areas are necessary in your office design, bench desking and modified cubicles can be the happy medium between enclosed offices and open work stations. These options are less segregating, and allow easy communication with colleagues while retaining a sense of individuality and privacy for workers.

Keeping things tidy is important, especially in small offices where everything may be out in the open. It is imperative to provide your staff with individual private storage areas as well as well-organized book shelves and closed shelving for office clutter and supplies. When you plan your office, make sure you incorporate a storage audit. There are a lot of great storage solutions available in the market, half-height cabinets on wheels (roller racking) are great and can be easily moved around.

Many workers spend the majority of their time sitting, and their chair should be the best one you can afford. Don’t skimp on chairs, a cheap chair can cause back pain and contribute to the overall poor performance and discomfort. Another item not to overlook is your IT infrastructure, invest in a good moveable monitor arm to put screens at optimum heights and reduce neck strain. A good desk system should also keep the cables organized and out of the way.

Workstations should offer enough work surfaces to allow staff to spread out their work as needed and allow flexibility in the arrangement of screens and accessories in the work area.

Breakout Spaces
If you have room, these are great areas to consider. They create a dynamic place where several people can meet, go over ideas and thoughts or even just work on a laptop for a break from their desk. They can also provide an area for a short break to rest and recharge. Furnish these areas with comfortable club chairs and small sofas arranged for interaction.

Physical Appearance and Branding
The physical appearance of your office should lay the foundation of your corporate culture. When designing your office spaces you should incorporate logos, and the color pallet that defines your image. Carry this theme throughout the space to tie it all together.