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Schultz Design + Drafting Blog

Schultz Design + Drafting Blog:Residential Architect

Making the Modern Office: Design Trends in Today’s Workplaces

by Jon Schultz on 06/26/17

The modern office space is all about promoting collaboration and working with other employees, while also providing comfort to clients, patients or visitors. If you’re renovating your business or medical office or thinking of moving to a whole new space, the furniture and design themes you choose will have a big impact on your office’s vibe. Here are some hot trends in today’s workplace décor that you might like to incorporate into your own space.

Brand-Centric

New office designs are shying away from two-toned neutrals and mundane structures, and instead focusing on reinforcing the company’s brand and personality. If you have an ophthalmology office, for example, and your first focus is your customers and their comfort, you’ll want to create a space that is welcoming, soothing and promotes your brand at the same time. You can also incorporate subtle design or décor options, like mini-eyecharts along the trim or detailed features as certain distances from your seating that you can use to help test a person’s visual acuity.

If you’re a financial institution, and want to impress your customers with your stature and portfolio, we might create a more impressive space with wooden flourishes and ornate designs. Even a long-standing organization can incorporate branded design elements like old-fashioned touches from an earlier era when the company was founded or even decorative or structural elements from the business’ first location from years ago.

Flexibility

PCG says that with more and more millennials taking managerial roles in the workforce, office design has trended towards flexibility. That means if you’re designing a new office space for employees or retrofitting an existing workspace, you should aim to include capabilities and features that cater to this modern workflow. That means putting a focus on fostering space for co-working, with areas that are more open to encourage brainstorming. This can include meeting areas with white boards or digital monitors can be wirelessly connected to laptops or tablets, or central lounge areas with more inward-facing seating to encourage group collaboration.

For waiting rooms in medical offices or other types of private practices, you should also work to accommodate your clients. Many of these individuals who are coming to an appointment are taking time off from work to see you. Make it easy for them to still keep in touch and be productive by providing some small private workspaces or available seating at tables along with conveniences like free Wi-Fi and available power outlets or USB charging stations.

Comfort

We’re not suggesting that you outfit your waiting area or office space with only couches and ottomans, but your patients’ and clients’ comfort is important. Today’s offices are taking the employee and client comfort level to the forefront, focusing on creating inviting workspaces and waiting rooms that promote calm energy and boost productivity. Work Design reports on a drive toward incorporating blended use of natural materials with modern to create spaces that are still efficient, but more warm and welcoming. These subtle touches can make an office more positive for both guests and workers.

There are tons of different options and approaches to consider when planning a new office design or a major renovation. Let Schultz Architecture help with your office project. We have worked with countless clients in a variety of industries and business needs to create new structures and spaces that suit their needs perfectly. Let us show you what well-planned architecture and design can provide. Call us today at 269-350-6709.

Smart Home Design: Building with Connectivity in Mind

by Jon Schultz on 04/13/17

As recently as just 10 or 15 years ago, the average homeowner wasn’t all that concerned about how “smart” their house was. There were some people who wanted to install things like intercom systems and central vacuum cleaners that required some preplanning on the part of homebuilders and designers, but there usually wasn’t a lot of consideration given to seamlessly incorporating many gadgets throughout a new home or addition. Homeowners could add them later if they chose to do it.

But things are much different these days. More and more homeowners want their houses to be “smart,” meaning builders and designers need to work hand in hand to accommodate them. The desire for smart homes or connected homes is one of the biggest drivers in home comfort and innovation today. Some people want to have in-wall speakers placed throughout a home that are capable of connecting to their electronic devices wirelessly, while others want to incorporate variable zone thermostats that allow homeowners to control the temperature in different parts of their house from their smartphones, even when they’re not actually home. There are also lights and shades that can be controlled through apps or automation systems, and, in some cases, homeowners can even control these things with the sounds of their voices if microphones and connected systems are preplanned into the design of the home and its wiring, walls and fixtures.

It’s pretty amazing to see how far we have come and how much “smarter” our homes are now than they were in the 1990s and 2000s. There is an endless supply of gadgets that can be incorporated into smart home design when building a new home or putting on an addition. To make the process go as smoothly as possible, though, you need to work with a company that specializes in design and has experience creating smart homes.

Schultz Architecture can keep you and your family connected and help you find innovative ways to get all of your smart devices on the same page. If you are building a new home or plan on adding an addition to your home and you want to find out more about the concept of smart home design, call us at 269-615-2597 today and see how we can help you create the perfect smart space.

What’s in a Glass? Picking the Right Glass for Your Home

by Jon Schultz on 03/07/17

Having a window in your home that overlooks a lake or another beautiful part of nature is truly a blessing. It can transform the entire feel of your home and give you and your guests something to stare at when you’re unwinding after a long day or just enjoying some peace and quiet. But did you know that there’s a lot to consider when picking the type of glass to use in your home’s windows? Check out some of the options that you will have if you decide to install new glass today.

Gas-Filled Windows

If the view outside of your window looks great, then you might not spend much time thinking about how the window glass performs against the elements. But you should obviously spend some time considering it since it will affect your heating and cooling costs. Gas-filled window glass comes with a space between two panes of glass that is filled with an inert gas like argon or krypton. According to the Department of Energy, this gas layer works as insulation to help keep temperatures more moderate. These inert gases have a higher resistance to heat flow, making it more difficult for heat and cold to transfer through windows, minimizing heat loss through your window glass.

Insulated

Insulated windows are another option for homeowners who are concerned about how much air can pass through their windows. Insulated windows contain two or more glass panes that are hermetically sealed, leaving an insulating space of air between them. Like gas-filled windows, these sealed air spaces serve to improve the ability of windows to keep heat inside and also resist heating from sunlight.

Heat-Absorbing Tints

Do you have a ton of natural light that comes flowing through your windows at certain times of the day? You might enjoy it, but that light can fade your flooring, furniture and even artwork. The light could also become to become too much if your home faces directly toward the rising or setting sun. If this is the case, you can use heat-absorbing tints can also change the color of the glass to help reduce the amount of brightness coming into your home as well, making lighting more muted and less overbearing.

There are many other types of windows that can also be used, depending on the design of your home. If you’re looking to build a new home or replace windows in your lakeside property, Schultz Architecture can help. When designing an addition or new home, our team can work to create a beautiful window installation that gives you a wonderful view of the surroundings of your home or include energy-efficient windows to help make your home more ecofriendly and sustainable. We specialize in working with those who own lakeside vacation properties, and we can make the most of the gorgeous view that you have from inside your home while also helping you make the most of your energy. Get started with your new design or installation today by calling us at 269-615-2597 to schedule a consultation.

Planning for Snow: Adapting Plans for Local Conditions

by Jon Schultz on 12/30/16

When you are building a new home, there are probably some factors that you don’t take the time to consider. For example, you know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want in the home, but do you know how you’re going to structure the roof of the home so that it can withstand the weight of the snow that will fall in the wintertime? Chances are that thought hasn’t crossed your mind, which is why you need to work with a trusted architectural firm that knows how to build your home so that it meets all of the local building codes and regulations when it comes to the roof and other aspects of the home.

There are a lot of calculations that need to be done to determine how to build a roof for a home that will sustain winter weather. For starters, an architect will take a look at the average snowfall in a given year for your location and then figure out how much snow could end up on your roof during the winter season. By crunching some numbers and using some simple formulas, the firm will be able to design a roof that works for the local climate, according to Popular Mechanics.

The firm will also need to take a look at nearby trees and structures to see how they could affect the snow on your roof. They could block snow from falling on your roof, but they could also prevent it from blowing away or melting. This may mean that you’ll need extra reinforcement for your roof, above and beyond what standard code requirements call for. The thermal factor for your roof will need to be calculated as well since that will play a role in how the roof should be built. As you can see, there are plenty of preparations that go into adapting the plans for a home based on the local conditions.

Before you start building a home based on whatever plans you have come up with, you should consider calling Schultz Architecture to talk about some of the factors discussed here. The last thing you want to do is work with a company that fails to think about the steps that must be taken before a roof is built on top of a home. Reach out to us at 269-615-2597 today to learn more how we can help take your existing plans and adapt them for life in Michigan or add in any additional features or design aspects to make your house a true home.

Planning an Addition: More than Just Adding Space

by Jon Schultz on 11/03/16

So you want to add some extra space to your home. You probably think it is as simple as just calling a contractor, telling them your idea and watching it come to fruition, but in reality, there are actually many considerations that must go into your home addition, and they are crucial to success in this major endeavor. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Selecting the Right Place to Build

Have you given full considerations to how exactly you want your addition to look? Are you planning on building out by maybe adding some extra space to your kitchen or adding a new closet off the bedroom? Maybe you want to build up instead, adding a whole new floor to your home.

Whatever you’re considering, it all starts with planning. For example, you want to build out, you have to ensure that there’s enough space is available and check any local zoning laws to make sure that you are allowed to build out in the first place. Sometimes there are restrictions on construction that would place the home within a certain distance of a sidewalk or road, and you’ll want to be aware of this before you build. If you want to build up, you also need to have an inspection completed to ensure that your foundation can support the extra weight.

Don’t Forget Utilities

If you are adding a significant addition to your home, the chances are that you are going to want to have lighting, plumbing or both added to this new portion of your home. If you don’t plan out this properly in advance, you may find yourself tearing up work to add in these utilities.

But it is more than just knowing that you want HVAC utilities installed; it is making sure that these systems can be installed. Know that if you are adding a lot of additional space, that you need to ensure that your heating and cooling systems will be sufficient or that your electrical service can handle additional load. You also need to leave space in your construction plan to include duct work, pipes and electrical cabling that may be needed.

If you are serious about your construction project, then trust Schultz Architecture to get you there. Our drafting and design expertise is top notch, and we can help to turn your dream into a reality. We have worked on many residential and commercial projects throughout the Kalamazoo region, and we can do the same for your home or business. Call us at 269-615-2597 today to schedule an estimate.