If you drive down the highway, you’re sure to pass many of our client’s sites. Some may be located in your local mall or shopping center, some will be standalone buildings. If you stop by the Zoe’s Kitchen in Chandler, AZ on your next business trip, it will probably be similar to the Zoe’s in Short Pump, VA that just opened this past week. It is JL Architects expertise that is able to provide that familiarity. For the most part, these buildings were specially designed for the functions and services our clients have to offer, but location can drastically change their design.
Earlier this year we designed a store for Hobby Lobby in the Auburn, Maine. As the project currently nears completion, we have started on the design of another in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. With both of these stores residing in the northeastern United States you may believe the design parameters would the same, but that is not the case. The Auburn store needed to account for those constantly white winters Maine has a reputation for. This amount of snowfall nearly tripled some of the structural loads. With snowy winters, comes freezing temperatures. These freezing temperatures create a frost line, which is the depth of soil in which groundwater is expected to freeze. In Maine, the frost depth required over 20% more concrete in the buildings foundation.
At the other end of the east coast in Florida, where we designed a Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant; snow does not exist, but one thing that does occur every year is the hurricane season. From June 1 to November 30 the Atlantic hurricane season is in full swing. Since hurricanes are a concern in this state, the building codes include special requirements to accommodate for this. As an example the glazing we proposed for the Joe’s Crab Shack site needed to meet the Miami-Dade County Product Control Division (the organization that developed hurricane safety regulations for the county) requirements. Organizations such as these test products annually to ensure safety parameters are met for their community.
So far, all of the design changes we have discussed were determined by the building code and weather that occurs in that region, but another variable that can greatly change your design is the local government. We are currently in the process of designing a place of business for Palm Beach Tan in Dallas, Texas. In 2013 the city of Dallas began phase two of their comprehensive green building standards for both new residential and commercial construction. These standards were implemented to incorporate sustainability through energy efficiency, water conservation, and resource reuse and reduction. Since sustainability practices were already being implemented by the city, it made this site feasible for national recognition of a LEED certified building. Check our blog in the upcoming months to see what level of certification this site receives and how they achieved this goal.
Some design factors that have significant influence because of client’s site location are not always mandated by the area’s climate, or government. As an architect, it is our duty to maintain the public’s health, and safety. With that said, some design elements need to be incorporated when not mandated. As an example a client proposed to build a restaurant in the southwest region, in the hot dry climate of Arizona. The design criteria called for a dining Patio, but in this climate the space could become uncomfortable for an activity as dining. To resolve this obstacle, we suggested integrating a mister system. The mister releases moisture into the dry atmosphere on a timer to maintain a level of comfort while dining.
As you can see, as you cross the country, a branded restaurant or retail site’s familiarity is maintained through design elements, but as for the structure, and its surrounding environment, familiarity is rarely the case. JL Architects will be happy to help you achieve these same goals, in the environment of your choice.