Posted in Architecture | Codes & Regulations | Current Events by Steven M. Beattie, RLA (Senior Project Manager) on May 16, 2013
Ever since I received classroom instruction at West Virginia University in the mid-1990s, accessibility has been a key component to my design process. Of course, back then we merely worried about the basics by providing ramps, curb cuts, and accessible parking spaces. Today, accessibility is a complicated, multi-level set of regulations and design guidelines that reach into every aspect of our society and daily lives – as they should. Over the years, I was guilty of questioning the regulatory guidance and why we needed to provide such a comprehensive approach which complicated design, sometimes limited the final design, and absolutely increased construction costs.
Today, I’m proud to say that I fully embrace accessibility, and make it the very first priority on any site design. In addition to the comprehensive checks and balances now in place to ensure accessibility that force compliance, I have witnessed over the years all types of people struggle in some of the same places I designed. Additionally, you can learn a lot when you have two young children and a stroller to push around. It was these experiences that have me now incorporating Universal Design Principles, as accessibility guidelines truly help all users, no matter your physical or cognitive ability.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Architecture | Blogging | Employees | Landscape Architecture | Professional Development by Jillian Ibbs (Marketing) on April 16, 2013
Designer – Landscape Architecture
At Larson Design Group, we believe that our employees are our greatest asset. In this feature, we profile some of the staff members who contribute to our success. This month the spotlight is on Emily Diehl, Designer with LDG’s Landscape Architecture group.
Where did your career take you before joining LDG?
I worked full-time while attending Penn State to get my bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. I worked a variety of retail jobs, managing employees and schedules, marketing, creating displays, stocking merchandise, and making sure my customers left happy. I am probably one of the few to say I truly loved working in retail. I loved being able to help so many people find things for their home, or that perfect shoe or tennis racquet. Yes, there is a lot of negativity surrounding the retail world, but I made it a goal to help people enjoy their shopping experience and in turn I enjoyed my job. I learned that you can’t make everyone happy; some customers will always find something to complain about. Also, the thought of leaving that comfortable work environment to come work in an office every day was very scary to me, but I did it and it turned out for the best. After 9 years, I still love being here.
Posted in Blogging | Client Service | Codes & Regulations | Communication | Education | Leadership | Social Media by Justin Keister, PE, LEED AP (Director of Site Engineering) on March 25, 2013
I recently had the privilege of spending a couple of hours with some local high school students who are members of the Building Leaders for the Susquehanna Valley program. This group was picked among some of the brightest local students and they meet on a monthly basis. Their February session included an exercise where they were given a hypothetical 200-acre property in “Bright Hope”, USA and divided into groups to propose a development on the tract. After a brainstorming session, each of the five groups unveiled their plans, which ranged from a hospital to a golf course to a power plant.
Over lunch, I joined professionals from the Central PA Chamber of Commerce, Union County Planning Department, Bucknell University Small Business Development Corporation, and Susquehanna Visitors Bureau to quiz a group on their ideas and to provide real-world insight to refine their proposal. After some tweaks (from coal-fired power to natural gas at my table), each group took turns giving a final presentation to the entire group.Comments (1) | Permalink |
Posted in Client Service | Information Technology | Innovative Solutions by Ryan Raplee (Web Designer) on March 13, 2013
Larson Design Group has been offering our clients added value through the delivery of the Bid Plan application since 2008. LDG Bid Plans provides an intuitive solution for the dissemination of all crucial project documents and information to a substantial pool of contractors.
The value proposition for Bid Plans includes:
- Reduction in paper and travel costs for clients
- Contractors avoid unnecessary print costs
- Contractors can view plans at their convenience and print only what they need
- Efficiency in staff time
- Gives clients an additional pool of contractors to review plans and bid on a project
- Provides automatic email alerts for project updates such as addendums and answers to questions
On March 2nd, 2013, Larson Design Group introduced version 3 of Bid Plans.
Version 3 of Bid Plans was completely redesigned and engineered to deliver a better user experience to our clients. We combine some of the latest trends and technologies in web development with an intuitive, user friendly, and clean design.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Employees | Housing | Innovative Solutions | Leadership | Structural Engineering by Stefanie JH English, PE (Structural Engineering) on March 11, 2013
LDG’s Stefanie English, PE, recently co-presented at the inaugural Residential Building Design & Construction Conference, hosted by Penn State’s Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC). The conference took place February 20-21, 2013 at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA. Read the presentation she developed in conjunction with Bill Brown, “An Introduction to Steel and Concrete Modular Construction”, below.
For many years, wood framed modular construction has been a useful and cost-effective solution in the residential market. While this type of construction has been a good solution for one- and two-family residential construction, it has been limited by factors such as available beam spans, lateral force resisting system requirements, and fire resistance, affecting its use in larger multi-story projects, such as hotels and dormitories. This presentation will explore the benefits of using steel-framed modules to achieve greater exterior opening distances, increased floor plan flexibility, LEED® certification, and non-combustible occupancies.