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BHM Architecture, Inc.
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Your Vision, Made Real
Your Vision, Made Real

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Spring is Bursting!
by +Deborah Rusnock

The new year has kept BHM on their toes as clients are moving forward with conceptual ideas and converting them to projects for 2017. To that point, we have added projects that include more retail work - car washes, Starbucks, retail centers, and fitness build-outs. A brewery is moving forward and conceptual work for a residential development, as well as design and construction documents for cottages in support of the City of Sanford are also well on their way.

So along with the projects currently on the books Cam, Jerry, Bob and Angela have been helping our clients move their new projects forward. These projects are part of the heart of Greater Orlando. Many of you will walk into, shop at, or conduct business in the fabric of the architecture in which BHM is currently engaged.

Again, it is exciting and gratifying that our clients come back to us for new projects. Here is some of the conceptual work.

BHM’s efforts continue with a new Parking Study/Retail study and a new tenant build-out opportunity in support of the VA.

Of one thing we are sure, smaller projects dovetail well with our larger efforts, keeping our team on the go. But most importantly, we wish to express our gratitude for those clients who continue to recognize the BHM team’s passion for the project - no matter what the size. We make each effort important.
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3/28/17
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A New Office Park Opportunity
by +Jerry Mills

When an International client purchased property near the town of Windermere, the site had already been approved by Orange County for the development of five, 3000sf professional office buildings. Although a water color rendering of the proposed buildings was included in the purchase package, the client decided they wanted something other than a Mediterranean Revival design concept.

The developer hired BHM with Jerry Mills taking the lead, signed an agreement for concept drawings for two elevations only, then left for Portugal and Spain for a two week business trip. During the concept design time that followed, Jerry delved into the possibilities. The first concept led to the second, then a third and forth. All were different styles of traditional Architecture, including Contemporary.

At the first meeting, upon their return, the clients were quite pleased with all four solutions. Two of the solutions were identified as possible candidates for the five building site. In the end, the decision was to develop the model called the “Deco.” So well liked was this solution, the Client decided to build all five with this one concept. BHM has completed Construction Documents and the project is in the Permitting phase at this time.

This excellent Client afforded BHM the opportunity to explore several concepts and in the end, when one of the solutions was selected, made no alterations whatsoever to the concept design. We certainly look forward to successful construction and ultimate leasing of all five buildings.
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1/25/17
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Hope for the Holidays
by +Camala Hogue
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Friday, October 21st
by +Deborah Rusnock

In the last 5 years BHM has had a few problems to solve with our virtual world - some with software and some with human adaptation to a different way of working. Our virtual office is definitely not the norm in the A & E industry.

The first real challenge to our virtual world at BHM confronted us approximately 9:45 AM Friday, October 21st when we noticed our syncing software icon go dark on our task bar. This software is the mechanism that takes the work on all of our individual hard drives and uploads it to the master in the cloud then downloads it to all of our individual hard drives in a matter of minutes - actually seconds. It is highly unusual for the icon to go dark on all the machines at the same time without some notice coming from the company who facilitates this system for us. That was our signal that this was bigger than any one single machine on the network or the work of the software company.

By now almost everyone knows that a major cyber attack was the root of the problem for many large companies. But at the time, we did not know what was going on. What we did know is that in the past, we have always been able to rebound if our syncing software had a minor glitch. This time was different and we were lucky on a lot of levels.

The attack came in three waves with our syncing software gaining intermittent connectivity to our systems throughout the day. Our systems individually were not affected, so people kept working. The only thing that was not transpiring was the syncing of files from system to system. Our hope was that once the syncing software was back on-line all would upload appropriately. That didn’t happen exactly.

When all the systems resynced on Monday, files from any work on Friday were lost completely from the cloud storage perspective. We are still not completely sure why, but given the attack was phased 3 different times and our syncing software provider and host was hit three different times, we believe that some of our syncing files got over written when all the systems came back on line - overwritten with the most recent previous files for those files affected.

Here is what saved us and it was quite by accident. Friday is our short day of the week. Most of our team works only half a day. One of our team members was out of the office that day. Two of our team members were planning to work on their lap tops over the weekend, so they made copies of all their working files and placed them on a thumb drive. Finally, those who were working, were concentrated on a few specific files and could regenerate their work easily. So after a flurry of activity and conversations on Monday, we were able to regenerate or replace those files affected by Friday’s loss.

Understand this, 99.9% of our files were, and are, just fine. The only affected files were those that were accessed on Friday, October 21st and the only part of those files would have been the changes that were made that day to those specific files. Otherwise all our files are intact.

Here is what we learned. When we notice that our syncing software goes dark, we will make copies of all the files we are actually working on before moving to other work. Those copies must be made and stored OFF the syncing system. Once the syncing system comes back on-line, we move those files back to the syncing folder to overwrite the stored files.

Sounds complicated but it is really no different than working on a network storage system. Ours just happens to be in the cloud and facilitated by a syncing software over the internet. The thing that keeps us confident in the system is that every PC in our company has a complete copy of our current and archived work on terabyte hard drives.

The good thing, we caught it as it was happening. We did the best we could with what we knew at the time and we were lucky this happened on a Friday.

BHM is adaptable and we learn quickly from things out of our control. We are ready for the next challenge.
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Preservation Hall: New Name with New Life
by +Jerry Mills

Really good restoration projects are not as common in Central Florida, as in some of the other, older parts of the country. When one comes along here, it is a joy to become involved. The 1902 Sanford High School is a perfect example. Also known as the Student Museum, Seminole County Public Schools decided to give up this wonderful Romanesque Revival complex and allow private ownership to repurpose the excellent brick structure for its next phase of life. Grammar School Holdings, LLC, AKA Romulus Holdings, has repurposed, moved, restored and revitalized residential and commercial historic buildings for years. Lisa Lessard, Interior Designer by education, has managed a wonderful niche in the area of restoration and has a strong desire and ability to save our inventory of historic buildings.

For years, BHM has tracked the progress of this school, volunteering to work on the Student Museum Restoration Committee, while the District came to grips with the reality of costs in keeping this site as a viable and safe place for education. Fifth graders were annually bussed to the school to view a restored early 20th century classroom, as well as many other early Florida exhibits constructed and set up within. Sanford’s creative Historic Preservation Officer, Christine Dalton, even managed to bring UCF into the mix. However, after two years, they decided not to engage in capital funding for the restoration and maintenance that had been postponed for many years.

Enter Lisa and Romulus Holdings, the winner of the open bidding for the site, in March. With Change-of-Use zoning now approved, and a buy-in by the surrounding residential Historic District, work has begun. BHM was contracted to prepare Selective Demolition drawings for permit. This phase of work is extremely important. Prior to preparing final Construction Documents for restoration and repurposing it allows the removal of later materials, walls and dropped ceilings to expose the non-creative incorporation of modernizing the buildings for air conditioning and other technological systems to meet today’s building codes. By incorporating the Selective Demolition phase first, Change Orders during the final restoration can be seriously minimized. So begins the birth of Preservation Hall.

The building will be a mixed-use development, for meetings, conferences, weddings, Preservation/ Restoration functions, offices and other miscellaneous community needs.

It is truly a pleasure for this Architect to see the original “bones” as the walls and ceilings are peeled away to offer up a look back to its origins. Equally exciting for BHM will be the creative process of designing the new functions and required systems, to make this facility not only successful, safe, and accessible, but also to minimize the visual intrusion of systems for comfort and our modern lifestyle requirements.

BHM salutes Lisa Lessard for taking on this extremely important repurposing for all of Sanford!
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9/29/16
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Shared Experience
by +Camala Hogue

One of our projects just starting construction is a unique business enterprise in Lake Mary. Two unlikely businesses have teamed together to build a studio for two different business entities. Both display grace, strength, stamina, and commitment. Both support the community with adult and youth programs. One is using the strength colors of red, black, and gray; while the other has chosen neutral tones with flourishes of color.

Championship Karate & Fitness and Focus Performing Arts Studio will have a new home by the end of this year.

Clients Jenny Clifton and Mike Friedman decided to take their two enterprises from separate rental spaces and combine their needs into one building.

Separate entrance lobbies to this 11,000 square foot facility provide unique identities to these two entities. Shared facilities such as a café and a large storage room and utility spaces provide economics in operation and construction. Raised wood dance floors and mirrored walls provide the latest technology in dance surfaces, while rubber athletic flooring offers the tried and true flooring for karate and kick boxing activities. Customized casework units fill specific display, retail and patron storage needs. A contemporary exposed treatment of the structure enhances the needs of both clients aesthetically and practically by accomplishing at minimum 12’-0” height for the studio spaces. Wide corridors and windows to the studios offer views for parents and colleagues without constructing specialized observation spaces and without compromising student attention to their training.

Focus Performing Arts Studio opened in 2003 and under Jenny’s expert guidance, she and her staff of 9 trained and experienced dancers teach classes from ballet to hip hop, tap to jazz, and everything in between. Mike has built his business from his own credentialed career as a 5th Degree Black Belt and certified instructor in various forms of martial arts. His programs include fitness for children and adults in kickboxing, martial arts, and women’s self-defense.

This new building will give these two entities a home and a place to showcase their winning championship teams and individuals as they groom new talents going forward. For more information about either enterprise visit their websites http://www.focuspas.com and http://www.championkaratefl.com.
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8/26/16
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Fast, Furious and Hot!
by +Camala Hogue 

It’s Hot! It’s Summer in Florida and the heat and humidity are bearing down on us once again.

While most of us associate summer with sun, water, and relaxation – a time when we move more slowly in an effort to beat the heat – the work continues and grows! Deadlines are coming faster and more furious than the movie franchise. All is very good.

The one thing about being a “generalist” when it comes to architecture is that, indeed, at any given time, we have some of the most eclectic types of projects in design and production.

A new client brought us a design exploration for an office park south of Orlando. Jerry produced several different concepts for a series of office “dark” shells. The park will feature several 3000 sf free-standing office buildings. We moved into production of the chosen design this month.

A parking structure is also in CD production and we just completed schematic design on another one. So along with the retail work that Bob is managing, he has two parking structures well on their way.

We have a unique opportunity for some housing that is going into design as this is written. And did I mention that we have two more car wash opportunities that are in production now?

The tenant buildout and retail opportunities continue to keep us busy with projects that have aggressive delivery schedules. With two new restoration opportunities, we are working old and new at the same time.

BHM is as vibrant as ever with projects as varied as can be.

So the gist of this e-blast is to take the time to remind ourselves and our friends that 4 years ago we took a risk. We moved out of the conventional office space and into the cloud. We barely skipped a beat in terms of design and production. Our projects and our clients keep us hopping – even in the heat. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
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2016-07-26
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Bird's Eye View
by +Deborah Rusnock

Recently DIY television showed some highlights from the 2016 CES convention in Las Vegas on the show “I Want That”. Incredible technology to make your head spin and repeat the phase,” I want that” quite often! One item which stood out was a homing drone personalized to your location. Honestly, it will probably go the way of the selfie stick at most vacation areas (banned), but the sales pitch was intriguing. No longer do you have to have a camera in your hand to enjoy your vacation as your personal drone with a camera follows you from above “linked” to a GPS device attached to your wrist. Recorded on your drone is your vacation with you actually enjoying it! When you want to call the drone home, you simply tap your wrist device and it comes to you, hovers above your hands, tap the wrist device again and it turns off and rests in your hands. Pretty cool!

Technology today has made the aerial photography of the past, easier and less expensive to do. Following a construction project by drone is so easy that most companies do it without a second thought. What was once a rather rare and unique opportunity is now expected with larger projects.

The psychology of watching major construction on YouTube brings the investment of the project, particularly for those funded by donations or public funds, into perspective. Watching the “birth” of a building builds excitement that is palpable for those who will inhabit the space.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Oviedo is in the construction phase of a new Family Life Center on its Campus. Drone photography has been allowing the congregation to get a bird’s eye view of the progress as the building has risen from the ground. This building is an investment for every member of that church with hopes of bringing together more families and future generations with fellowship and activities to strengthen the sense of community.

With the use of drone photography, families can watch the progress with anticipation to the day the doors will open wide to new opportunities.

This new construction at St. Luke’s includes a new 13,200 S.F. gymnasium for their existing school and a 9,500 Fellowship Hall that will include unique community space for youths and young adults, as well as classroom space for adult education. Key to the new developments on the property is the connectivity between the existing sanctuary and the growing campus as a whole. New outdoor recreational spaces will round out the 2016 improvements to St. Luke’s Lutheran Church and School, a pillar in the Oviedo and Central Florida Community.

Drone technology is in its infancy and every year CES showcases more and more enhancements and uses. In the building industry, it is now a common tool.
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Clients Make All the Difference!
by +Deborah Rusnock 

It is the end of May and we have not had a moment’s time to get out an e-blast! I guess we should be thankful - work is constant, challenging, and varied! We have retail, restoration, parking structures, interior build-outs, manufacturing, studio, residential, and educational work all in various states from design to construction. All in all, things are pretty good!

So, we thought we would give a “shout out” to our clients.

In our industry, there is this statistic that every firm wants to improve upon called Client Retention – clients who come back to you whenever they have a project. When we did the numbers this past month, we were astonished to see that 85% of our current clients have done work with us before. And over 45% of our current projects are Design/Build with two contractors with whom we have worked for years.

So how do we do it? Are we just lucky? Do we just seem to get good clients? I mean, seriously, why do clients keep coming back to us?

“We have always aspired to be part of a working team with our clients, getting to know each other well enough to understand each other's strengths and how those contribute to a successful experience,” noted Cam Hogue, BHM’s President. “A successful experience includes both process and project over the current short term and future long term. I think that time and experience have helped us become better listeners, observers, and evaluators of what constitutes an effective and committed joint effort that makes everyone’s experience worth repeating.”

We know how we feel, so we asked one of our clients, Matt Rhodes, President of Rhodes Building Company, to comment. “As a firm committed to Design-Build delivery, we realize that our services provided are only as good as the team we surround ourselves with,” offered Matt. “Our ability to manage a budget throughout design allows for a fluid delivery and a process that keeps our clients coming back. BHM has proven time and time again that they understand their role in the process and consistently deliver services that help our team meet our clients’ construction service needs.”

As for the lucky part, in my 25 years working for BHM, we have never had more respectful clients than we do now. It is the norm in our industry to wait up to 60 days or longer for payment of services, sometimes crippling cash flow in any firm. Our clients negotiate good contracts, honor the payment schedule, and keep our long term Accounts Receivable almost non-existent.

Today, May 31st, BHM found out that one of our Franchise clients has named us their “Recommended Architect for the State of Florida” in their Design Construction Vendor Reference Guide for the United States. That is just icing on the cake!
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2016-06-01
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Standing the Test of Time
by +Camala Hogue 

Relationships. That word is the fundamental link of all business activity. Some are short lived and others can last for years – try 27!

To establish a relationship with a General Contractor, an architect has to find the right mix of ability, communication, capability, and trust. And that has to be on both sides. To have that initial relationship become a marketable Design/Build team for 27 years takes something more.

In 1989, the core Architects and Project Manager of what is now BHM Architecture worked their very first project with Jack Jennings & Sons, an established and reputable General Contractor in Central Florida. That first project, a Parking Structure for ORMC, was the beginning.

What makes a Design/Build team work for so many years? “Teamwork is a collaboration of individuals that have skill sets that can compliment each other when a given task is required,“ offers Jeff Jennings, President of Jack Jennings & Sons. “The trust, commitment, and “can do” attitude that the BHM Architecture team has continued to demonstrate is why this 27 year relationship has worked so well!”

Over the years, our team has collaborated on projects of various size and cost. Some are iconic and very recognizable such as United Medical Corporation in Windermere, Florida or the quaint Morse Boulevard Medical Office Building in Winter Park completed in 1999.

And there is strength in some of our larger projects. Jefferson Street Parking Structure in downtown Orlando is one such project. The eight-story facility utilizes a cast-in-place, post tensioned concrete structural system, with architectural precast concrete panels for the exterior cladding. This selection of materials allowed greater articulation of the exterior skin, with a combination of punched and linear openings to emulate the surrounding buildings. The first floor houses a small amount of retail space facing Jefferson Street. This structure was unique, in that it was designed and constructed within 1-inch of the required setbacks on all four sides.

The confidence in the Jennings-BHM Team was ever present in the Orange County Courthouse Parking Structure expansion located in the heart of downtown Orlando. This parking structure was implemented to satisfy the ever-increasing needs of the complex. The challenge of this project was to create an addition to the existing facility that would not only blend visually, but also allow for smooth flow of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the busy setting. Architectural embellishments to the structure of brushed aluminum tube eyebrows, laser-cut metal panels, decorative metal grilles, and medallions designed into the structure, supported the City of Orlando's promotion of public art. The challenge was the construction to an active, governmental building in the heart of Orlando.

And there have also been those clients who have taken Design/Build and put it on steroids. The fast track needs of Qorvo in Apopka forced a fast-paced, results-oriented series of projects for a new FAB Room (Clean Room) Addition, loading dock, shipping and receiving area, and central utility building designed and constructed in just 8 months. All possible with a team who knows what to expect from one another and facilitates challenges as they arise.

In all, we have completed over 20 projects together. Sometimes the relationship starts and based upon evolving needs and in the best interests of the client, the team splits preserving the relationship for another opportunity. Today, we are currently marketing 3 Design/Build opportunities for the coming year. Each new opportunity builds upon our history together.

This relationship, Jack Jennings & Sons and BHM Architecture, has lasted because we genuinely respect each other's abilities, trust in our capabilities, and communicate clearly from marketing to final completion. It works!
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2016-04-26
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