Tag: Minnesota (10)

Drones in Architecture

ELK RIVER WATER TOWER Problem: How do you field measure a water tower in the middle of a Minnesota winter? A.     Risk your life to climb an icy freezing slippery ladder and use a tape measure and laser pointer to get an approximation of size. B.    Fly a drone and take pictures and use these images to create a point cloud and Revit family with exact dimensions. Answer:   B: Fly a drone.   Working with the City of Elk River and CAD Technology Center (CTC), an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV aka Drone) was flown the morning of February 8, 2018.  The drone set-up and flight only took a few hours and the flight created a photo scan of the water tower by taking hundreds of digital photos.  CTC processes the data and created a point cloud file in Revit.  From this file, a Revit family component was created that is a full sized three-dimensional digital representation of the water tower After Kodet received the Revit model, some detail had to be added to the model, but the basic dimensions, size, shape, and heights were a part of the model created from the photo scan. Kodet used this model to create drawings for contractors to estimate renovation costs to repaint the historical water tower. Countless hours were saved in field time and modeling time. In the end, a much more accurate set of drawings were created because of the use of the drone. The documentation process to get contractors to be able to bid the project became very simple and cost effective. The client was also pleased with the results and accuracy of the drawings that were created by the UAV Scan. Our office looks forward to using this highly advanced technology, which is constantly changing on future projects. Flying […]

Twin Cities Academy | Innovation + Environmental Responsibility

TECHNICAL INNOVATION It was imperative to transform and remediate the site into a healthy landscape with athletic fields for a dynamic school program. The innovation to correct the former industrial site is one of the best examples in the Metro Area. The Cemstone plant had inhabited the site for nearly 90 years, and within the site were a collection of dilapidated structures in need of demolition as well as remediation. Paramount to this process was to mine clean soil from the site, which was used in environmentally sensitive areas around the school to adhere to the MPCA guidelines. To minimize the impact on budget, the Kodet Team conducted feasibility and cost saving benefits due to hazardous items discovered on site to minimize impact on budget, while at the time satisfying MPCA requirements. In developing a more sustainable site we coordinated the site layout of the building, parking lot, and infiltration ponds to have the least amount of impact on the environment. ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY Sustainability was at the forefront of the design process with an aim to design a building that is not only energy and resource efficient, but also provides a healthy learning and working environment. The building itself is actually about 8,000 square feet smaller than the previous home of TCA; however, the efficient floor plan allowed for a smaller building footprint to accommodate improved functionality along with an increased number of students and staff. The project incorporated a variety of sustainable concepts such as the following: Efficient LED Lighting Healthy Indoor Air-Quality Energy Efficient Glazing to provide natural light for students + staff Acoustics in each room to maximize comfort + learning potential Materials with Low VOC content Recycled Materials and utilizing crushed concrete Remediating a brownfield site to create a healthy and safe environment to build a […]

Twin Cities Academy | Merit Awards

TWIN CITIES ACADEMY | AIA-Minnesota Merit Awards Kodet Architectural Group was presented with the AIA-Minneapolis, Merit Award for Twin Cities Academy. The Merit Awards are unique in their approach to creating a jury, the award encompass the views of business professionals, real estate developers, community advocates, and academic leaders, as well as architects. The award is bestowed to projects by AIA-Minneapolis architects, which tell a story of excellence beyond design, reflecting the variety of forces that shape a building. Projects are evaluated based on how they respond to the following criteria: Architectural Solution Technical Innovation Environmental Responsibility Budget + Business Success Community Impact Client + Team Satisfaction Part of the philosophy of this award is the focus on the story of the project and Twin Cities Academy not only embodies these criteria but also illustrated by a compelling story. The story depicts the positive transformation of a once desolate site, which stands as a beaming reflection of Twin Cities Academy’s dedication to academic excellence and adds energy to the site and a permanent positive presence to the neighborhood. Twin Cities Academy is a tuition free public charter school in St. Paul and one of the top-rated charter schools in the country. After occupying a multitude of venues since 1999 and most recently rending an old outdated elementary school, TCA was in need of a change. In relocating their facility it would promote their vision of empowering and inspiring young adults to make a difference. In the fall of 2016, the new Twin Cities Academy provided the school a permanent home and established presence in the St. Paul neighborhood, which echoes their motto and commitment to “A Higher Standard of Academic Excellence”.

Search for Shelter

SEARCH FOR SHELTER Last weekend, Kyle and I enjoyed participating in the Search for Shelter Charrette.  Search for Shelter is an AIA sponsored even for non-profit organizations in need of ideas to help further their missions and goals. Design professional volunteer for a single weekend charrette, using design to solve a problem. This particular design weekend has been active for 31 years. Non-profits across the state of Minnesota submit projects for 7 or so volunteer teams to take on. We drove over to the University of Minnesota after work to join one of 7 teams for collaborative design.  Saturday morning we each visited our non-profit’s site and immersed ourselves in the challenges we had been asked to address.  We spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday morning creating what you see below: This year my team explored potential projects for the Midtown Greenway. This 5.5 mile bike path sits in a former railroad trench. We were asked to look at one of the 46 bridges and create a transit and affordable housing connection along the Greenway.  17 neighborhoods participate in the Greenway Coalition.  They desire people and developments to see the Greenway as the “front porch” and orient their businesses to this unique bike trail.  This adds a level of perceived security and safety. We presented renderings of our design to the Midtown Greenway Coalition on Sunday. The affordable housing included a sub-level that opened up to a patio at the Greenway level. Paths and patios were designed to activate the space below one of the 46 bridges along this well known bike path. Kyle’s team explored options to develop affordable housing near a vacant industrial space, part of the Upper Harbor Terminal revitalization by the City of Minneapolis. The non-profit asked the team to seamlessly integrate sustainability into the […]

Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue

LONG-TERM FACILITIES MAINTENANCE REVENUE Long-Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue, (LTFM) program was established in the 2015 Education Act.  Intended for school districts, intermediate districts, other cooperatives, and charter schools. New legislation was passed during a special session in July 2015 that provides revenue increases for school districts not currently eligible to participate in the Alternative Facilities Bonding and Levy program. Legislation requires that districts develop a 10 Year Facilities Maintenance Plan adopted by its board.  The program funds deferred maintenance expenditures for projects which are attached to or part of a building and replaced on an equal exchange basis. PHASED  Long-Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue includes a three year phased approach beginning in FY 2017 FY 2017 Districts will receive up to $193/pupil FY 2018 Districts will receive up to $292/pupil FY 2019 Districts will receive up to $380/pupil Figures are prorated for districts with an average building age of 35 years or less. This program replaces the former Health and Safety and Deferred Maintenance revenue programs and associated funding. The LTFM Revenue is an equalized levy, which means the State of Minnesota will pay for a portion of the revenue depending on the district’s property value.  The equalizing factor is set at 123% of the State average Adjusted Net Tax capacities. KEY ELEMENTS Equalizing Factor high enough that a significant number of districts qualify for aid. Set as a % of state average ANTC/pupil. If property value increases statewide the equalizing factor will also increase. Agricultural Land in a district is not counted when calculating district’s value/pupil. ALLOWED USES Deferred Capital Expenditures and maintenance projects necessary to prevent further erosion of facilities. Increasing accessibility of school facilities. Health + Safety Projects under MN Statues (123B.57) NOT ALLOWED USES  Construction of New Facilities, Remodeling Existing Facilities or the Purchase of Portable Classrooms […]

Little Free Library

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY Recently, the City of Lakes Rotary Club collaborated with the team here at Kodet to create a unique Little Free Library for a Project for Pride in Living site. The Little Free Library has gained worldwide attention as it aims to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide. Members of the Project for Pride in Living collected and delivered hundreds of books to start off their two new Little Free Library Sites.  Their goal to build a sense of community rang true as the Kodet team and Rotary Group put their heads to create their own Little Free Library. The team was comprised of Sean Leintz, Mandi Tauferner, Kelly Martinez, and Ken Stone. Early on in the process, each member of the team created sketches as to each would approach the project. After reviewing the creative sketches the team decided on a colorful library with a unique roof. Originally the design sought to have 2-levels, with sliding shelves moved with a “rotary” wheel incorporating the City of Lakes Rotary Club. In the end, the team collaborated to create a library which features a creative curved roof with pops of acrylic colored panels for windows. As you open the colored panels to grab a book the user is able to move the shelf back and forth to grab the book of his or her choice. Below are some images which depict the process the team went through in sketching and creating detailed plans for the project. Sketch by Sean Figuring out the specs! Materials + Details created by Mandi Rendering of the Final Product by Mandi! The team constructing the Little Free Library We would like to thank the Little Free Library organization and Project for Pride in Living the opportunity to work […]

Top Projects Crystal Public Works

  Finance & Commerce recently named their Top Projects of 2015. The 26 projects were selected by an independent panel of judges looking at degree of difficulty, creativity in design, innovative construction techniques, cooperation among contractors and management, and sustainability efforts.  Kodet Architectural Group is honored to have the City of Crystal, Public Works Facility selected to this list. The new Crystal Public Works Facility stands as a collaborative reflection of the City of Crystal’s community; it’s vibrancy, and its people. An outdated existing public works building and an under-sized site paired with an ever-developing community called for the need of a facility capable of upholding a growing community’s vitality. The new Public Works Facility moved the City’s operations to a larger, more efficient site on West Broadway Avenue. This greatly enhanced the function of Public Works as it houses their entire vehicle fleet in heated covered storage and provides a state-of-the-art maintenance garage and shop area. The building unifies separate operations into one building, including Streets, Parks, Utilities, and Maintenance 2015 Finance + Commerce Article Through a comprehensive approach throughout the design process and engaging the community, staff, and stakeholders we’re able to communicate specific needs and vision for the facility. The exterior design is a physical representation of the city’s pride and strengthens the sense of community, which will stand for years to come. Increased building, site, and design allows safer and more efficient circulation by Crystal Public Works vehicles and includes indoor storage for most if not all equipment. Prior facility had no space for maneuvering within the building and much equipment had to be stored outside or in a separate “cold storage” facility. The new facility is centrally located in Crystal, providing for greater cooperation and collaboration. New building layouts is more efficient for Crystal Staff use […]