2011 Year in Review and Looking Forward

By: Mike Lease The beginning of each New Year brings hope, renewed commitment, and resolution. The Structures and Interiors team is committed and resolved to our mission of providing the highest quality healthcare design build construction services for the healthcare industry available anywhere in Texas. The design build process is the most cost effective and time saving method available to the owner or developer. The design build construction method is a true partnership between the client and the design build professional. By first determining the scope of the project and program for the design we can then develop with the…Continue Reading

Leasing Obstacles

By: Stephen Lease and Brian Hale The design and construction of your practice will undoubtedly be met with obstacles. Whether your facility is a tenant finish out or a new building, making the right initial decisions can help keep small issues from becoming large headaches. The severity of these hurdles can be mitigated by taking the right steps in the right order. Leasable area, Site selection and lease negotiations are often completed before a contractor has been brought in to your team of professionals. One common obstacle we see when our interior design staff is brought on board to help create or complete the project plans is that the leasable square footage is based on incorrect assumptions. Leasable…Continue Reading

Preventing Frozen Water Lines

By: Grady Herzog It seems like yesterday when we sent out our newsletter for December 2010. As we look back on the early months of 2011 it is very apparent that the coldest weather of the year will soon be upon us. With the lower temperatures once again comes the need to review the precautions necessary to help prevent frozen water lines. Below are several items which can easily be overlooked and the damage and resulting repairs can be very expensive. Fire sprinkler systems can cause serious damage if not properly maintained. Auxiliary heat sources should be checked so they…Continue Reading

Smart Windows

By: Dave Hartman Windows are a great way to allow natural light and fresh air into your building; they can even be used as a design element, enhancing the building’s curb appeal. Access to natural light has even been shown to improve employee health and morale. Unfortunately, in terms of energy loss, windows are basically a big hole in the wall; you might think about it like leaving the refrigerator door open. Fortunately, technological advances have allowed us to manufacture ever larger expanses of windows while at the same time reducing the energy loss through that glass. Examples of window…Continue Reading

“Green” Roofs

By: Aaron Schrag How can you save money on your building cooling costs and protect the environment? The answer is as simple as a white roof. Traditional roofs are dark colored and absorb the visible light energy of the sun. The heat energy is transferred through the building materials into your conditioned space, driving up your cooling costs. White roofs reflect most of the radiant energy, reducing building cooling loads and the urban heat island effect. A traditional dark colored roof can increase in temperature as much as 122 °F above ambient air temperature, while a white roof typically only increases…Continue Reading

Water Conservation

Go “green” with Your Green Best Practices for Water Conservation By: Dave Hartman In Texas about 25 percent of the water supply is used for landscape and garden watering. Much of this water is used to maintain traditionally high water-demanding landscapes, or it is simply applied inefficiently. One popular strategy for water reduction is Xeriscaping. Xeriscaping refers to a method of landscape design that minimizes water use. Other commonly used phrases are drought-tolerant, zeroscaping and smartscaping. Some cities have mandated the use drought-tolerant plants. Check to see if your city has such a mandate. According to the Texas Agricultural Extension…Continue Reading

Saving Money on Maintenance

By: Grady Herzog Along with the summer heat, we experience higher electric and water bills. There are several steps that can be taken to help manage these costs and the ever shrinking pocket book.  First I would look at the construction of your building. If there is not the equivalent to an R-30 insulation in the attic, I would add insulation. Look at the attic ventilation to make sure there is sufficient air flow so excessive heat is not being retained. If there is not a radiant barrier then look at the possibility of having one installed. The windows on…Continue Reading

Spring Maintenance

By: Grady Herzog After a brutal bout of cold weather, the warm days are here and now it’s time to begin the spring chores. If you haven’t already begun, now is the time to assess the damage to your trees and bushes caused by the prolonged cold spell. Spring is the time to plant to insure that a good root hold is established before we reach the dog days of summer. It is also the time to clean out the flower beds and trim back old growth on trees and bushes to allow for new growth to begin. New plantings…Continue Reading

Landscape Maintenance

By: Grady Herzog With the drought and wildfires being discussed in the news almost daily, the topics of landscape maintenance and irrigation is becoming a daily issue as well. Watering restrictions are in place as well as burn bans across the state. Many lawns and trees are showing signs of stress and are very difficult to maintain in a healthy state. As I commute around the area I have noticed many trees that have succumbed to the drought. There are many trees and shrubs that are already dead and many more that are stressed. Accordingly, many plants will continue to…Continue Reading

New Year Maintenance

By: Grady Herzog The Christmas and New Year celebrations are behind and I hope everyone had an opportunity to enjoy them. That being said, the coldest days of winter will soon be upon us and there are several precautions that need to be taken. Listed below are several items which can easily be overlooked and the resulting repairs very expensive. Fire sprinkler systems can cause serious damage if not properly maintained. Auxiliary heat sources should be checked so they are working properly to keep a wet pipe system from freezing.  The addition of heat tape to piping that is over…Continue Reading