We’ve come a long way since our groundbreaking ceremony back in 2009. From a run-down, vacant grocery store, we are now excited to say the project completion is near, with over 80% of the building renovations done! Once it is complete, the Green & Main mixed-use building will house a women’s wellness center on the […]
Because spirit and intention matter. It matters to Chaden and I. It matters to the Willowsong Midwifery team providing theCare. It matters to the artisans of Silent Rivers. It matters to the community we serve. And this spirit, this intention, has the ability to set the path for a more connected, sustainable, safer future for our planet. Or NOT. […]
If you’ve ever planted a garden, or even one pumpkin seed, you know the excitement of seeing those first sprouts emerge. So imagine thousands of plants and flowers surfacing, expertly orchestrated to grow and bloom spring through fall to bring function and beauty to the Green & Main site. The Green & Main Pilot Project landscaping was installed this past October, so you can count on a burst of fresh greenery and flowers to greet spring.
Frost has settled into the soil at the Green & Main pilot project and layered clothing has become the norm on site. Cold weather slows everything when it arrives, even our perceptions of time. Transitioning from fall, our project processes shift and schedules expand as the conventions of construction industry adjust to the freezing temperatures that turn work trucks into rolling coolers.
October is typically a month of extremes, when temperatures and temperaments often span the whole spectrum. Anticipation of the first freeze, the first measurable snowfall and bitter northern rains can easily dampen schedules and moods. We were blessed, however, with incredible weather, and my gratitude extends to the many people who stretched themselves to meet the pilot project deadlines.
What is LEED? LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a multi-tiered voluntary rating system for the construction, renovation and/or rehabilitation of buildings. Administered by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council), LEED classification reflects the spectrum of the environmental performance of a building. The Council is comprised of engineers, architects, designers and building officials, who, through committee and in adherence to USGBC policy and procedure, develop and guide the rating systems.
Renovating a historic 1930’s brick building presents many challenges. Renovating that same building to exceptionally high energy standards adds further layers of complexity to the project. Fortunately, for a vacant 5,000-square foot brick storefront in Des Moines’ Sherman Hill neighborhood, developer Chaden Halfhill has not shied away from these challenges.
The construction crew at the Green & Main site enjoyed an extended summer, with temperatures in early October ranging into the 80’s with clear skies. This was an unexpected and much appreciated delay to our typical Iowa autumn. Soon it will be time to batten down the hatches and get ready for sub-zero temperatures when the crew will focus on the interior of the building.
Here’s what they’ve been up to…
Geothermal Energy is heat (thermal) that comes from the earth (geo). The layers of the earth are heated in different gradients, originating from the 4,000-mile deep core, which has a temperature similar to that of the sun of around 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit (F). The heat gradually lessens as it reaches the surface of the earth, where the temperature of the top soil more accurately represents the temperature of the atmosphere. Just ten feet below the surface of the ground, the temperature of the earth maintains a constant temperature of 50-60 degrees F in all seasons. Geothermal heat pumps make use of the earth’s constant temperature as a natural source for heating and cooling.
In the heat of August on the construction site, our attention turned to cold temperatures.
With temperatures pushing three digits, keeping the soils dry and dusty, we felt mounting pressure from pending grant deadlines and the looming shifts in weather patterns – yes, I am talking about evening temperatures that drop below 45 degrees at night and constant concern about the early freeze that limits fall planting.
A single wall can make a statement – a strong statement!
Yes, a single wall can outline the intent of a whole building. The plane of this wall can define an entire room – its surface and the raw material capturing the emotion of atmosphere and anticipation. This statement is especially true during construction, when architectural form comes to life in anticipation of the future, foreshadowing the beauty of the space and the celebration of its use.
It just could not stop raining in June. We’re not talking the standard ½-inch flush that cleans city streets while households sleep, leaving the air smelling fresh in the morning. No, we’re boasting serious downpours that dump upwards of five inches of rain in twenty-four hour cycles and repeatedly interrupt our planned work days, while also putting officials and drivers on the alert for early morning street closings.
Monday, while the heat index was slated to reach 114 degrees, the concrete basement in the Green & Main building at 800 19th Street was poured by Rick Hogan Construction. The construction team brought in the concrete boom truck and positioned it to allow best access to the basement.
The old school in Cambria, Iowa was in need of a new gym floor at the same time Green & Main was looking for salvaged maple flooring. It was a match. Repurposing the old flooring for the Green & Main first floor was a perfect fit for not only aesthetic needs but for our sustainability goals as well.
Not long ago the construction crew of Green & Main started their day with the objective of laying pipe from the Pilot Project building to the existing sewer line on 19th Street. However, renovation of the building’s basement made this project more than a simple connection into an existing sewer main.
Even when your construction crew involves earth surgeons who can shave dirt from an existing foundation better than most guys clean their face with a sharp razor, you have to remain ready to deviate from plans to overcome unexpected hurdles. Here is how we overcame one recent hurdle that required an orchestration between our crews and Des Moines City Works Department.
Nothing is more exhilarating than stepping into the unknown, marching forward with something you have never done before. On January 4th, 2011, we did just that!
Green & Main has “broken ground” in both the physical sense and the conceptual. The Green & Main team is working diligently to integrate sustainable building practices, environmental air quality considerations and recycling strategies into the everyday work pattern. These ideas and practices are most often seen on larger commercial construction projects, but rarely on […]