The project? A 25,000-square-foot office expansion/renovation project for Ramaker & Associates, an architectural and engineering services company in Sauk City, Wisconsin that happens to be one of Friede's design-build partners. The task? Renovate an existing 20,000-square-foot building and add 5,000 square feet to meet Ramaker's growing space needs. The result? Completion of a $1.8 million project on budget and one month early.
We are proud of accomplishments like these. Not only because we love to please our clients and are excited when a client can occupy earlier than expected, but because we had a chance to work with one of our design partners on their own project.
“We’re delighted, of course, when some of our own project partners choose us to help them expand or renovate," notes Roger Friede, Friede's President. “The Ramaker project provided yet another opportunity for us to work collaboratively with one of our architectural/engineering partners to find creative and cost effective solutions to building needs.”
About The Project
Ramaker needed more space because it had grown from about 60 employees in 2007 to nearly 100 today, outgrowing its Dallas Street headquarters. That growth led the firm to purchase an existing 20,000-square-foot building located just a few blocks away with plans to expand it to meet its needs.
As Ramaker's CEO Jamie Skowronski said at the time, "We've turned every office conference room and open space into places to put desks and people."
An initial plan was developed to add 10,000 square feet to the building to meet the needs of the company well into the future. Ultimately, Ramaker redesigned the interior layout of the building to meet the budget targets and settled on a 5,000-square-foot addition.
One challenge? Finding a creative way to add a new entry feature to better serve Ramaker employees and guests. With the addition and the new floor plan that was being developed for Ramaker's use, the project team decided that a more pronounced entry on the east side of the building would best meet their needs and would allow for an expansion of the parking lot to handle the increased number of employees that would be working at this facility. Ultimately, an angular, EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finish System) coated structure with an extended roof was constructed to act as the new gateway to the building.
Working with Kirby Building Solutions, the original metal building supplier, Friede was also able to match both the color and profile of the metal panels that were present on the existing building. Additionally, the project team utilized stained split faced block to create a look on the addition that was a near perfect match to what already existed.
New landscaping and the relocation of a number of existing windows produced an end product that looks as if it had been constructed all at one time—much to the satisfaction of the Ramaker project team.
In addition to the building addition, Friede & Associates also completed extensive electrical and lighting upgrades, installed new acoustical ceilings and attractive cloud features, constructed a new entry feature, and completely renovated all interior finishes.
While the exterior was a major focus of attention, the interior also offered some unique challenges with selective demolition and creative ceiling solutions to meet both the look and function that Ramaker was trying to achieve. In the end, existing acoustical ceilings were removed and new acoustical ceilings at different elevations were installed. Acoustical cloud features were added in the large open space work areas for visual interest as well as improved acoustics.
Mechanicals make a difference, too. Our suggestion to mount the HVAC units on the ground outside of the structure and switch to flexible HVAC ductwork reduced the sound level of the building’s HVAC distribution system. Additionally, new building insulation boosted the building’s energy efficiency.
Because energy efficiency is something we strive to achieve, we installed LED lighting throughout the building as part of the renovation to provide better quality lighting and significantly reduce energy use. The existing generator was also reconfigured to backup critical building functions.
Friede & Associates was pleased to help Ramaker & Associates gear up for continued success. And, we are pleased they are part of our design-build team for several current projects: Lodi Veterinary Care, Vintage Brewing Company, and Boy Scouts of America as well as water park projects in this area and around the country.
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