It is hard to know what the total impact of the pandemic will be on our economy here in Wisconsin, but there is some positive news that can help all of us. The recently-passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides a variety of assistance programs to businesses and homeowners. We have outlined the programs below that we think can provide the quickest and best help for you, your business and your employees.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, construction productivity has fallen by half since the 1960s. While there are many factors at play, one of the biggest threats to this labor-driven industry is the growing shortage of young, qualified workers. When the recession hit in 2008, nearly 600,000 workers left construction jobs never to return.
Faced with an endemic shortage of skilled laborers—coupled with the short construction window dictated by frigid Wisconsin winters—Friede has adopted an innovative approach: panelization. This method of manufacturing wall panels in an off-site factory and delivering them to the jobsite to be assembled has shaved months off projects, while allowing us to send smaller crews into the field to get the work done.
It’s February, which means it’s award season for Friede & Associates. Every year, we enter our most distinctive projects in the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin Projects of Distinction Awards. This year, we submitted seven projects for consideration. The award submissions are tedious to prepare and require a long list of documentation just to be eligible.
Ultimately, the most interesting and distinctive projects in Wisconsin were evaluated by 17 judges who put their architectural, engineering, and construction knowledge to work with a tough set of criteria. They award projects based on safety, craftsmanship, execution and coordination; budgeting; scheduling; difficult and unusual challenges; owner satisfaction; and overall distinctiveness.
When Matt and Kristin Boegner first contacted Friede & Associates to discuss their plans for a new multipurpose building, we never would have guessed that the project would result in Balanced Rock Winery, one of Wisconsin’s premier wineries, restaurants and event spaces. Located on the south side of Baraboo, Wisconsin on the doorstep of Devils Lake State Park, the new 6,000-square-foot building includes a beautiful tasting area, retail space, outdoor seating, grape crushing pad, and events stage.
Guests are invited to enjoy a beverage in their tasting room, bask in the sunshine on the outdoor patio, or enjoy local musicians performing throughout the year.
Father David Carrano of Sacred Heart Catholic Church was approached by a parishioner in 2018 who was moved to make a major donation to the church. This donation would provide a second worship space attached to the main church to create a closer, more intimate relationship with Jesus. Nearly 15 months later, the finished project was unveiled to both the parish and the community of Reedsburg, Wisconsin with the dedication of Our Lady of Refuge Adoration Chapel on September 22, 2019.
While Friede & Associates was busy constructing Vintage Brewing Company in Sauk City, Wisconsin in 2017, planning had already begun for a fourth location on Madison, Wisconsin’s near eastside. Vintage Brewing Company President Mark Kraemer disclosed to the Friede team in the Fall of 2016 that they were in negotiations to lease the first floor of a building that would be built at the corner of Livingston Street and the 800 block of East Washington Avenue.
“We’ll figure it out.” This is a phrase I say to clients fairly often but, until a recent conversation, I didn’t realize how much it crystallizes the holistic client service approach we take at Friede & Associates.
My conversation with our client, Josh, began with his calling me to discuss how we should incorporate and relay to his bank some cost variations for his project—specifically how it would affect his loan structure, and resulting ramifications.
Now, you might be asking yourself, “Why wouldn’t he just call the bank and ask them?” This is a valid question. After discussing the details, implications, and impacts of the decision I said, “I don’t foresee this as a significant issue. Let me just make some calls and do some digging and…we’ll figure it out.”
Josh’s response surprised me a bit...
When the Sauk County Parks Department (SCPD) chose to replace their failing park offices, they recognized the potential of building a community space—one that could host events and serve as a hub for park visitors. That’s when Friede & Associates was tapped to construct a new building for the SCPD at White Mound Park, the crown jewel of the Sauk County parks system.
The new, 3,000-square-foot conventionally-framed building designed by Galbraith Carnahan Architects of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, is located in Hillpoint, Wisconsin and replaces the original White Mound County Park building, a log structure constructed in the 1980s. Over time, the original building become a maintenance burden to the county due to significant insect infestation and log deterioration. This small, outdated space was cramped and did not adequately accommodate disabled park users.
Over the last decade, Friede & Associates has been fortunate to continue to grow exponentially, completing projects that we surely could not have handled 10 years ago. We have truly embodied our slogan “We Do Weird Well,” as we have embarked on some of the most creative, innovative and, at times, nearly impossible projects and brought them to life for our astonished clients.
Because of this, it becomes all too easy to conclude that if a project does not feature a four-story water slide, a swim-up bar, or a glass bridge constructed high above Northwoods trees and wildlife, then Friede & Associates would not be interested. On the contrary, a fair portion of our projects each year consist of simple tenant build-outs or office remodels. We are, however, equally as skilled with less complex work and are just as excited to make your dream restaurant, office or retail shop a reality as we are to take on our “weird” projects.