What is Transit-Oriented Development?

With a pressing need for sustainable metropolitan and suburban growth, a trend toward transit-oriented development, or TOD, has become increasingly popular among planners and developers. Particularly in the United States, where most people are reliant on automobiles, TOD can help create more sustainable communities.

What is Transit-Oriented Development?

Transit-oriented development is a mixed-use development that includes commercial, residential, office, and entertainment properties. The development is also located near a transit station for easy access to transportation.

When successfully designed, TODs bring together people, activities, living space, and public space. Walking paths, cycling lanes, and easy access to transit services eliminates the need for daily vehicles and increases nearby resources for residents. 

Benefits of Transit-Oriented Development

TOD can positively impact lifestyle, the environment, and economic factors. Here are some of the benefits of transit-oriented development, according to the Transit-Oriented Development Institute

  • Reduce dependence on driving
  • Allow residents to live, work, and play in the same area
  • Reduce the area’s negative impact on the environment
  • Provide access to better life services
  • Stimulate the local economy
  • Provide better access between urban and suburban areas
  • Provide access to better entertainment and recreational services
  • Provide access to better jobs
  • Revitalize urban areas

Is Transit-Oriented Development only for large cities?

Trends toward TOD extend beyond the urban center. In cities, TOD can provide more affordable housing and connect people to resources in the area. In Springfield, Massachusetts, the Overland Lofts is a part of the revitalization efforts of the city, providing market-rate housing and commercial space downtown.

Development in suburban towns can play an integral role in building a more vibrant, safe, and sustainable community. The Residences at 66 High Street are located in the heart of Downtown Guilford and are only a half-mile from the Shoreline East Train Station. Residents love being a part of a larger community, the ability to walk to shops and restaurants, and easy access to the train station. 

What lifestyle factors are essential for your next move? Let us know in the comments!

 

Design-Build vs. Design-Bid-Build

You decided to build.

Do you know what type of build process you want to commit to?

Beyond choosing the right builder, you need to understand how the builder will complete the scope of work. Two methods are design-build and design-bid-build. We go over the differences between these two processes below. 

Design-Build

With design-build, the owner signs just one contract with the builder (or project manager).

Often, design-build companies have their own team to handle all aspects of the project, including design, construction, and all trades. With this type of construction process, the owner has one point of contact, making it easier to communicate. 

The contractor can also hire subcontractors for trades as needed, though they resume all responsibility for the finished project, cost, and schedule. 

Design-Bid-Build

Design-bid-build is the more traditional model in construction. Design and construction are handled by two different companies, with two separate contracts. 

Where does the bidding come in?

First, the design team works to complete a set of construction documents for the project. From there, various contractors can submit bids for the project. Usually, the work goes to the lowest bidder. This can help to ensure the cost of construction will stay low. When communication between all parties is strong, this process is effective. 

When completing new construction, it is most important to feel comfortable with who you are working with. From there, you can discuss the type of building process that best fits your needs. 

 

Signs your Commercial Space is ready for a Remodel

Your office sets the tone for your business. The physical space you work in each day can either add to productivity and climate or detract from it. Just like your home, an office needs to be well-maintained and updated throughout the years. Below are five signs that it’s time to remodel your commercial space. 

Employees are Distracted

Employees spend a large portion of their day inside the office. The work environment should cater to their comfort and productivity. Elements like green space, collaborative meeting areas, and an efficient floor plan can help set the tone for a dynamic office.

If employees are dealing with issues such as poor lighting or a leaky faucet in the bathroom, they will become distracted from the tasks at hand.  In short, the office should assist, rather than get in the way of employees’ work. Even seemingly small issues are a signal to consider remodeling. 

Outdated Technology

If the technology in the office is outdated, chances are everything is obsolete. Any technology being used by employees should keep up with the demands of their work. Determine what is proficient and upgrade the rest. 

No Space

Are you squeezing in more people and furniture into the same space your business started in? Businesses grow over the years. It can get quite uncomfortable working if you feel crowded. Take a look at the current floor plan to determine if you need to rearrange the space, expand, or move into a new office. 

Deterioration of Furniture

Depending on how many people use the furniture in the office will signal how long it will last. From couches to desks to chairs, make a note of the condition of the furniture. 

Meetings take place Outside of the Office

When you schedule meetings with prospective clients or employees, do you invite them to meet you in the office or a nearby coffee shop? If you are not proud to welcome people into your office, it’s time for some upgrades. 

Once you decide it is time for a remodel, the possibilities for a modern and productive work environment are endless. 

 

How Drones are Changing Construction Sites

Drones are becoming increasingly popular at construction sites. These small, easy-to-maneuver cameras are controlled from a remote on the ground. They are proving to be useful during every stage of construction, from mapping out a worksite to monitoring safety and timelines. 

Construction sites are large areas where a lot of people and machinery are coming in and out daily. Missing even one detail on the job could cause complications for weeks. Communication, attention to detail, and timeliness are essential to making sure a build happens correctly and on schedule. Drones are being used on construction sites to aid in the process. 

Design and Pre-Construction

When planning to build on a new site, it is necessary to survey the land and prepare plans for the build. Drones quickly and accurately survey the job site. This cuts out surveying tools and human error, which means drones can save both time and money in the initial stages on construction.

In addition to surveying, drone photography gives a clear birds-eye view of the land, which you can use to map out the site. Project managers can then use this real data and merge it with the virtual design of the project. This can help owners visualize the project, making it a useful tool when bidding on a project or explaining your vision to your client. 

During Construction

During construction, drones can collect data to see the progress of the build. Again, this can be useful when meeting with clients to discuss the phase of development. In addition, it helps the project manager to stay on track with the schedule. 

When equipped with streaming video, drones make it possible for the project manager to monitor the work site from another location. Management can instantly communicate needs based on video happening in real-time. This decreases delays that occur when workers need an answer, or a project manager notices an issue that needs to be resolved. Video streaming with drones also allows managers to track materials on the site and acts as a 24-hour surveillance system, keeping the worksite safer. 

Inspections

Rigorous inspections can be done almost instantly with drones. These small flying cameras can fit pretty much anywhere, without the need for workers to climb to the roof or below ground. Flying a drone to one of these hard-to-reach areas of the structure saves time, gives a close-up view, and eliminates safety concerns.

Project Completion

Once the project is complete, drone photography and video can show a timelapse of the build from start to finish (as long as the entire project was streamed). Giving your client aerial views of the full project can help with marketing and show the entire site in one photograph. 

Drones, along with other advanced technology, continues to change the construction industry, helping to make worksites safer and more efficient.

 

Access and Security in Commercial Buildings

Commercial buildings, especially those with multiple tenants, have people coming in and out all day long. Access needs to be convenient for clients and customers, while security needs to be a top priority for all involved.

With technology and multiple options, both access and security can be achieved in any commercial building.

Locks

Upgraded locks are essential for security for both small and large commercial spaces. This can consist of a regular key and lock, or a key fob, which allows access through a small hardware device. If you are in a building with a front entrance, find out what type of lock secures the front, as well as your specific office space. At 350 Goose Lane Office Park, the front entrance of the buildings require a key fob to get in the building after hours, and individual tenants have either a traditional key or key fob access to their own office.

Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras provide security when monitored correctly. By installing surveillance cameras to cover entry points, exits, and common areas, and monitoring the cameras regularly, tenants and those coming to the office will be getting an extra layer of security.

Security Guards

Depending on the size and use of the commercial development, security guards may be essential. This can come in the form of a security booth you check in at as you drive onto the property, guards circulating the grounds and buildings, or both.

Another option is utilizing virtual security guards with a remote video monitoring service. Virtual monitoring services can be set up at any location in or outside of your commercial building.  When a suspicious incident is identified, the monitoring service can take steps to determine if it is a false alarm and contact law enforcement when necessary.

Access Control

Access control systems can help you authorize who can enter your building. Smart cards or key fobs are used to allow access into a building or office suite. This also allows for tracking who is in the building at different times throughout the day.

Safety is at the top of the priority list for business owners. Always know your options when you sign a lease and implement necessary security measures when moving to a new office space.

 

The Benefits of Landscaping

Landscaping does more than just create beautiful curb appeal. Taking care of your property, whether a single-family residence, a condominium community, or a commercial development, has environmental, economic, and health benefits.

Environmental Benefits

Maintaining your lawn or property helps to protect you and the environment. Here are some of the ways landscaping helps the environment:

  • A lawn helps to control temperature extremes. In summer months, grass is cooler than pavement or cement, and trees that provide shade help cool down the property and home even more.
  • Grass helps to capture dust and pollutants and produces oxygen, keeping the air we breathe cleaner.
  • Pollutants and storm runoff are reduced when healthy lawns absorb water, which reduces local flooding and keeps polluted water out of larger bodies of water.

Economic Benefits

Along with helping the environment, a well-cared for property has economic benefits for homeowners and business owners alike:

  • Curb appeal is the first thing people notice when looking to buy a home. A beautiful property can increase the value of your home and reduce the time your property is on the market.
  • Residents of apartment complexes or condominiums are likely to pay more to live in a complex with grounds that are well cared for. HOA fees generally take care of landscaping, which means residents can enjoy the benefits of the property without having to care for it themselves.
  • In commercial spaces, green space encourages shoppers to spend more time at the development and increases property values.

Health Benefits

Landscaping also positively impacts health, both at home and work environments.

  • By filtering pollutants, landscaping helps to clean to the air.
  • In workplaces, landscaped areas help to decrease stress and increase positive mood, even if just looking out a window.
  • A well-planned property can provide privacy and a beautiful environment where you can spend time with loved ones.

With warmer weather approaching, now is the time to get started on your landscaping, so that you can enjoy the benefits of the outdoors for the next several months.

Office Space: Collaborative Conference Rooms

What do you envision when you think of conference rooms? Many people still picture a large room with empty walls and a large table with chairs. In today’s collaborative workplaces, meeting areas and conference rooms are taking on many different designs.

Determine Size Needs

If you are designing your office space, first determine the need you have for meetings. Smaller rooms can be utilized for more intimate meetings with two to six people. These spaces can also be used for brainstorming sessions, focus work, one-on-one sessions and phone or video conferencing.

Large conference rooms may still be needed for management sessions or company-wide meetings, but the layout doesn’t have to be traditional. Consider comfortable seating surrounding a central area. Being in a relaxed space can make people feel more at ease, and therefore more willing to share thoughts and ideas.

Of course, the traditional conference room still holds its purpose for larger and more formal corporations.

Purpose of Meeting Rooms

There’s a variety of reasons companies need meeting areas. Are you bringing outside clients into your office? Are you holding management sessions to make decisions for the company? Do employees need space to collaborate on projects?

The purpose of your meeting areas will help you determine the style layout of each space. Many offices that rely heavily on collaboration opt for meeting areas with glass walls. Collaborative areas may also need items such as a large whiteboard for brainstorming.

For larger, company-wide meetings, consider using the traditional table and chairs with a focal point for presentations. A horseshoe or teardrop shaped table allows everyone at the table to see more easily.

Smart Conference Rooms

Technology is essential in any meeting space. To make your meetings as functional and efficient as possible, investing in the technology your team needs can save everybody time.

A wireless presentation system, such as an Apple TV, allows you to display presentations, share a computer screen, and do video conferences easily, making it the most common piece of technology for meeting rooms. For a large company, utilizing meeting room scheduling software eliminates double booking. Companies that want to take the whiteboard to the next level, interactive boards, such as Google Jamboard, allows for multiple users and transferring the project to a computer or mobile device.

350 Goose Lane Office Park allows tenants to design their office layout. The Horton Group works to provide what your company or office needs to

 

Benefits of Glass Walls in Offices

Open office spaces were highly sought after a few years ago. Now, many offices want to blend the open office feel with some space for privacy or sound barriers. While nobody wants to go back to working in a cubicle, many people felt distracted in a completely open office.  

What is the compromise? Companies want their employees to be able to work efficiently and effectively – with time for collaboration and space to focus. To meet all of these needs, many offices are incorporating glass walls or partitions.

Glass walls can create private meeting areas, conference rooms, or a partition while still appearing open and inviting. This allows for collaboration while still allowing for private conference or phone call areas.

We have incorporated glass in many of our client’s offices at 350 Goose Lane Office Park. A doctor’s office has the traditional sliding glass to separate the waiting area from the receptionist office. Another space has a podcast room with a glass wall and door so others can see in while shows are being recorded. We have also built small offices and conference rooms with glass walls.

The benefits of using glass walls or partitions in office spaces include:

  • Communication. The glass allows for an open feel in an office space. People can see when you are available to collaborate and are more apt to ask a question or share a thought when others are visible.
  • Privacy. The flip side of collaboration is privacy – most offices have workers who need both. Glass offices or conference rooms allow for some privacy. By adding in curtains or blinds, these spaces feel even more private when needed. Another option is frosting the glass, so it is not as easy to see into a room.

  • Light. By replacing traditional walls with glass walls, light is able to stream through the entire office. Natural light is beneficial in improving mood and focus.

Many people wonder about how sound travels when using glass to separate spaces. There are types of glass that are more soundproof than others. You will also want to consider the ceiling. An open, industrial style ceiling will enable sound to travel and echo more, while a drop-down ceiling with soundproof ceiling tiles will help to keep sound in.

When deciding what type of layout you want in your office, speak with your contractor about what can be done, so your office is functional for your needs.

What is a change order?

During the construction process, it is important to address sensitive subjects to avoid future conflict. Contracts solidify expectations and help to ensure that contractors and customers understand expectations.

Once a contract is in place to specify a scope of work and the budget, change orders are essential for moving forward. A change order is a written document that records alterations made during construction and acknowledges any increase or decrease in the cost and timing of the project.

In short, change orders consist of:

  • Revisions made to the scope of work
  • Updated pricing for revisions made
  • Alterations to the existing contract to accommodate the new scope of work
  • The signatures of the contractor and the customer

For a more in-depth understanding of the subject, check out eSUB’s explanation.

The key to a successful change order is a clear, two-sided understanding of expectations between customer and contractor.

At The Residences at 66 High Street, building allowances provide a clear set of guidelines for both contractors and customers. In the event that a client goes under or over the total budget for the allowance, a change order would be necessary.

WordPress.com.

Up ↑