Merit Award: Dynamic Warehouse

This remodel transforms a generic warehouse into a dynamic headquarters for a residential remodeler/custom home builder.

The corporate office and warehouse of Boardwalk Builders, this 5,250-square-foot metal industrial building is "fabulous," said one judge.

The existing space was a car repair shop. "They must have had 40 cars on it when they sold it to me," says Boardwalk Builders owner Patty McDaniel. "I knew we could make it into something." She sent a photo to architect Mark McInturff, and "within an hour" he had cooked up a basic design concept: a refined mahogany box inserted into the generic warehouse shape.

Energy-efficiency was a key goal of the building. Skylights, interior windows, and through-floor openings pull daylight into the core. In conjuction with spray-foam insulation, a front canopy, and efficient HVAC systems, these features lowered Boardwalk Builders' operating costs below what they were in its previous, much smaller office.

The remodeled building contains a conference room, a training room for field staff, offices for six full-time and one part-time office staff, and warehouse space for equipment and material storage. Special colors were used to highlight exposed structural elements.

The stair treads are meant to evoke boardwalk slats. They're made from glu-lam beams and cost about 1/10 as much as laminated treads. The existing concrete slab remained exposed as the finish floor, speaking to both the building's prior industrial use and to the improvements that were made.

Because metal buildings are engineered for maximum structural efficiency, it was necessary to add structural supports -- footings, steel reinforcements, new footings -- to accomodate the additional loads.

The warm color of the mahogany skin was slected to represent Boardwalk Builders' relationship-building approach to business. "Clients love the space," McDaniel says. "They see it as fitting with our brand -- quality and originality and attention to detail. It would have been easy to do a cottagey kind of place, but we wanted something that was distinctive and talked about."

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