Hi, this is Sedgewick and Ferweda Architects. Let’s talk about repurposing old buildings in Michigan. what happens when you have an old building, in post industrial cities like Flint or Detroit clients call or
call us up and want to buy an old building and restore it. And, they often call us up and look for us to help them get through the permitting process. And what happens when they call architects in Michigan, is they, they think they have a, a real prize because the building is very affordable, to purchase from either a, the city land bank or a previous owner that is willing to sell the building at, at a loss or at a lower price. but what clients don’t know is that these buildings have, especially if they’ve been vacant for a very long, they, they have a lot of, born in or problems that have arisen over the years of vacancy. for example, depending on the age of the building, most commonly you’ll see that there’s leaking roofs. and if that roof has been leaking for a while, there could be a water damage inside the building. there could be mold issues. There could be other, sort of if there’s openings in the roof, then there’s a potential for animals or a transients or some form of, illicit behavior that could go on in the building. And there’s damage, looting, strip a scrappers looking for any kind of material that they can make, make some money on. And recycling metals, primarily copper, the wiring fixtures, furniture, things like that. that’s just sort of whatever state the building is in is what you’re going to see once you walk through it. And once a, after you’ve taken a look at the building, when you try and get it, get a sense of what is going on, with the structure of the building, the foundation, the walls, the roof framing. hopefully there’s not too much water damage on the roof rafters and, minimizing any repairs that need to occur. and these are the kinds of things that architects in Michigan look for when taking a look at an old building to repurpose. One of, one of the other things that is going to happen, that needs to happen is, understanding the, the title of the building and the occupancy use that is on file with the city. depending on the age of the building and the last time it was occupied, especially in cities like Flint or Detroit. if that’s been more than three years, five years, there could be a real hard time trying to understand what the previous use of that building was.
if you want to repurpose an old commercial building, in this, in, in the city of Flint or Detroit, you need to file a change of use application. And once you do that, there are, that would trigger a few things that the building owner needs to take a look at. one of those being a barrier free access or what we call handicap accessibility issues. most of these old buildings that client’s trying to repurpose have a lot of, they, they were designed without a barrier free access because they were built before the American with Disabilities Act, was instituted.
many of these old buildings that want to be repurposed were built before the Americans with disabilities act was instituted and therefore they do no longer comply with current building codes. And the few areas that, at minimum you would need to upgrade our bathrooms, doorways, hallways and entrances and exits to the building to make sure that they are compliant with, American with disabilities act requirements for, egress and accessibility. some of those things, many of these things are already piling up and, start to intimidate a new building owner that thought that they could simply a turn, brush up an old building and, and reopen the doors. , hiring architects in Michigan is a benefit to a client that we can help you walk through that process and, take it step by steps who understand all of the requirements. And what you’re getting into when trying to repurpose an old building.
Architects in Michigan, choose to build mostly new buildings and therefore shy away from anyone who requests to repurpose an old building. but because we are in a postindustrial, state, the state of Michigan has a, had a long history of, automotive construction or automotive car manufacturing. And a lot of these cities around the state of Michigan have a lot of old factories warehouse style buildings, a big open boxes of, strong concrete buildings that could use some TLC and be repurposed. instead of building on a Greenfield, which is a site that’s never been built on before, I think it is a smart idea to try and repurpose these old buildings. there is a market for a creative architecture solutions for these types of buildings. Sedgewick and Ferweda Architects has been around for 60 years.
in some cases we’ve designed these old buildings, originally and now that, they are seeking a new life, as a repurposed building to, enhance an old neighborhood that is struggling a little bit or is in, in seeking out, upgrade or a, a new focal point in an old neighborhood. , we can, we are definitely affirm that likes to, help clients repurpose existing buildings. And A, we have a lot of experience in taking, existing measurements, fucked photography, surveying the existing conditions, the structural capacity of the buildings. we do our best to get a sense of what condition the building is at this state and time. And we walk clients through the process of establishing a budget and walking them through the city and, attending meetings with building inspectors and zoning and code officials that the clients understand what it takes to take this old building from a dilapidated structure to a beautiful new, a newly refurbished building that can have an extended life and provide some new focal point to and neighborhood. what makes Sedgewick and Ferweda Architects stand out in Michigan, is that we are, we’ve been around city of Flint for 60 plus years. and we have a long track record of the buildings in Flint and in these post industrial cities. Architects in Michigan have a lot of old records of buildings that we’ve designed and other buildings in the city that we’ve, we’ve repurposed. we understand a lot of the very specific material issues, the code issues, how to do a very creative solution on a tight budget. A lot of times people think they hire architects and we’re going to, create a design that’s going to cost a lot of money. And that’s not our focus as at Sedgewick and Ferweda Architects. we are always looking for a solution that can be a built project and not something that becomes a burden to a client. And, some set of drawings that are beautiful but never get built because they sit on the shelf because they’re too expensive.
Sedgewick and Ferweda Architects are a standout as architects in Michigan that are budget conscious, but also a design conscious from that, try and make a client achieve the best possible solution with the budget they have in mind. it’s not always an easy task, but one that we’re always up for the challenge. we look forward to talking to anyone who is interested in repurposing old building. The sooner you get us involved, the easier your process will be. And we look forward to talking to you and anything, any questions that you may have, we will gladly answer and try and get you started on your path to repurposing your own building and enjoying a new space in an old space. Thank you.