Special Projects

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return to Winter 2009 - Design Studio Sessions

Food (Done)


We are trying to keep the initial design simple at the outset (think simple hospitality), and will incorporate more components as tenants determine the need. This will keep costs down (and thus help with lower rents for tenants) and better ensure that we have not overproduced the area with facilities that may not be required.

  • To provide people working at the GG and visitors with access to food and drink.
  • To make it easier for people to access healthy organic food and drink.
  • To provide some storage space for employees' food, drink, and condiments.
  • To minimize energy and water use through kitchen design and use.
  • To minimize waste in our food management system.
  • To provide a center for recycling, compost and garbage.
  • To design an education program for employees that will describe our food and waste philosophies and practices. Education program will be modified with input from tenants.
  • To minimize the effort that will be required to manage food and drink.
  • To connect with local restaurants and food vendors effectively.


  • Requirements for food at the GG to be discussed with the group at large and then passed on to Woody.
    • kitchenette with full-size refrigerator, counter, sink, microwave, coffeemaker, cupboards or shelves (and room for dishwasher if needed later)
    • another idea: locked cupboards (or divided cupboards) per business (14)
    • recycling center with 4 spots for garbage; plastics, glass and cans; paper; and returnable cans
    • place for compost bucket (can be on counter, in cupboard or on floor)
    • individual containers (like baskets) for 20 people to store their tea bags, sugar, etc
    • water filter at faucet
  • Kitchen sketch based on requirements by Woody.

Additional components of the food program

  • Water
    • available to all for free
    • plastic glasses or corn starch cups) available for visitors
    • tenants keep own glasses, and perhaps glasses for their own guests
  • Coffee
    • co-op plan (add to rent for those wishing to participate - either in or out)
    • employees have own mug
    • mugs available to visitors
    • bring own condiments (put in own cubby/basket)
    • if employees have guests, they add predetermined amount to coffee fund (Dan - factor price in)
    • need $ person to keep track of coffee funds and report monthly losses - group will determine solution
    • Dan - idea of someone owning coffee shop inside building (a tenant) - would bring more of the public in
  • Tea
    • hot water will be available either on coffeemaker or electric kettle
    • bring own bags or leaves
    • bring own condiments (put in own cubby/basket)
  • Other drink-related issues
    • coffee co-op members take turns making coffee and washing out pot - make note of supplies needed
    • visitors glasses/mugs washed out by relevant employee or tour guide
    • right now don't know what to do with dish towels
      • Peggy takes home every week
      • everyone brings their own
      • Dan - piggy back onto their linen service if laundromat not available
  • Food brought from home
    • bring only food required for day and take all back that night
    • encourage use of reuseable lunch boxes (bags) that can be kept at desk or in refrigerator
    • encourage reuse of food containers, which can be washed and dried after use (plastic bags taken back home)
    • encourage cloth napkins from home
    • if you need a plate, bowl, or silverware, bring these from home and take back
  • Food brought in from restaurants
    • encourage use of reuseable containers
      • how do we work with restaurants to use reuseable containers? Dan says they can sanitize containers that are brought in.
      • should we keep large bowls or round containers for pizza for people to use?
      • or could we keep containers that have already come from restaurants to be used again?
      • ask tenants to take containers home
      • Dan - packaging engineer as tenant? packaging think tank? Dan thinks that we could have a tenant manufacture a reuseable container(s) that we could use - try to get a group of restaurants participating.
  • Group events
    • either pot-luck or individual tenants take responsibility for own party (we could provide list of neighborhood restaurants/caterers)
    • educational workshop - pay fee and food/drink would be included
    • use composting plates, cups, silverware
    • pitchers for water
    • could encourage finger-food events
    • need to develop price list for coffee and tea for events
    • larger coffeemaker with hot water component
    • carafes for regular and decaf and hot water
    • might hire person to help with certain events
    • Matt Naimi sells green products
    • leftover food taken home by whoever ran the event or pot-luck participants
  • Handling visitors
    • water is free and tour guide washes glass
    • employee buys guest coffee

Transportation (Done)


To encourage the use of public transportation and pedestrian transport at the GG.


  • Scenarios (modes of operation)
    • someone alone in the building at night
    • special gatherings
    • person walking in off the street
    • someone doing business with a renter
    • setting up a new business


Specific plan to encourage people to use alternative transportation.
Google map showing locations of bus stops with pictures.

Modes of Transportation

  • public transportation
    • nearest bus stops
    • encouraging use of public transpotation
      • Google provides bus passses and As far as self-commuting (walking, bike, etc.) they 'check-in' every day on a site and get to donate money to the charity of their choice at the end of each quarter, based on the number of days they self-commute.
      • employee payroll deduction plan (tax free commuter benefit IRS tax code ssection 132(f))[1]
      • rent deduction
      • employee education program with personalized map route
  • walkers
  • bikers
    • location of bike racks in GG
    • facilities for showering and storage
    • support: bike pumps, repair
  • cars
    • available parking for individuals and groups
  • green taxi use

Ideas from Megan from TRU

  • Incentive programs
    • company can get federal tax deduction
    • employee can buy bus pass a pre-tax benefit
    • SMART's get a job, get a ride program
  • contact SMART for maps (Buell bldg)
  • DDOT's offices are on Warren E of 75
  • AA's Get Downtown program (Nancy Shore)
  • U of M's SMART program (Nancy Zielinski - 734-763-1190)
  • should set up 1 work station with video conferencing
  • set up education program on benefits of mass transit for clients
  • use GOOGLE Transit
  • can request bus stop - can adopt bus stop
  • likes the idea of Flex Car use
  • Detroit just approved non-motorized plan (Hub may know where it is)
  • develop seasonal transportation options - how this would be mapped on walls (i.e. winter carpooling - park n ride)
  • develop bus waiting plan (camera on roof and clients can wait in bldg for bus - see on monitor when it's coming)

Interview with Nancy Shore from getDowntown (734-214-0114) (4 Pm on Friday)

  • the program was developed to address congestion issues in AA.
  • big part of the program is the GoPass, a subsidized pass to encourage bus ridership (employers distribute passes to employees)
  • example of transportation plan: Ann Arbor Architects Collaborative
  • important to survey people to see what their needs are (What would make it easier for you to ride the bus more?)
  • new to program: Zip cars
  • can we offer car-sharing vehicle for people to use when downtown?
  • Car Sharing Challenge in May
  • would like to incentivise bike riding more - perhaps if you ride bike 3x a week, they'll provide voucher for bike shop tune-up
  • can get current commute info from census and might look at reducing the number of car commuters by 10%




  • People feel a basic level of safety.
  • People feel trusted.
  • Need a person responsible for public entering the front door.
  • Community-based security plan.



Cameras (recording after hours)

  • front outdoor
  • back outdoor
  • alley
  • parking lot
  • N annex wall (Ty's yard)
  • indoor, starting 6 pm (2 at least)


  • glass-break alarms (every window and front door)
  • smoke alarms
  • door alarms
  • panic button (receptionist)
  • individual panic alarms
  • door alarm for indoor/outdoor room (some security)
    • or camera on this area for receptionist
    • security co may know


  • indoor or outdoor shutters (winter considerations)
  • window design
    • small panes
    • placement of opening
  • window locks


  • front glass door: glass break alarm
  • dead bolts
  • key pads on alley door and parking lot door
  • welcome area sealed off by garden gates (wrought iron)


  • alley will be lit
  • backyard motion sensor lighting
  • entranceway lit at night
  • motion sensor lighting in parking lot

Building Features

  • locked desks
  • lockers
  • locked tool cages
  • indoor bike racks
  • each business has locked small space


  • person up front at all times
  • visitors escorted by clients
  • no one alone in building (?)
  • lock down procedure at night
  • security orientation


Ideas from Ty:

  • need one person up front at all times
  • need to seal off inside public perimeter
  • protect renters' property
  • visitors escorted by renter - receptionist phone renter
  • keypad entry
  • glass-break alarm
  • panic button (silent alarm) for receptionist
  • shutters on inside
  • video surveillance inside and outside w recording
    • after hours video recording starting at 6 pm
  • desks with locked storage
  • tool cage
  • bike storage inside
  • storage areas
  • lockers for bike people
  • gate on backyard - fully fenced 7 ft or higher
  • outdoor lighting: in back, motion sensors with timer or photo cell
  • general lighting around building
  • no one alone in building except for renters
  • indoor/outdoor room security - securing at building

Logo (Done)


Select logo for GG


Meet with Woody and Charles, give specifications, study work of students, have Charles design final logo, have approved by group.


New logo

Signage (DONE)


Determine uniform signing for GG: building sign, office signs, interior signage, garden signage.


Get logo settled. (DONE) Develop lettering for building. (DONE) Design office signs following building lettering. Design garden signs and choose material for signs.

Charles Morceri developed a folder of ideas. (FILE NAME?)

Historic Connection (CONTINUING)


Approval by Historic commission


  • get signage work done - sketches done
  • get window sketches done on all sides - done
  • met with Susan McBride on April 16th asking for any other ideas before we meet with Historic Commission (see blog post)
  • meeting coming in May - have to apply by April 27th


  • Susan McBride is contact
  • Go to Manning Bros in New Center area for historic photos
  • Michigan Historic Preservation Network has materials catalog
Notes from meeting with Susan McBride
  • historic tax credits
  • idea of rent-a-desk and you get a free Ghetto Blaster
  • Bob Davenport needs to come over about parking
    • Bob, Tom, Susan and John Paul all need to meet together soon
  • might want animal-friendly building
  • community workshop on community garden at Inn on Ferry Street
  • Susan wants to see our plan before it goes to the Historic Commission
  • UCCA area guide
  • see Leslie Horn about container housing project in Woodbridge
  • call DDOT about a bus shelter on 2nd
end of notes

Green Wall


To develop a green wall on the annex's western wall.


Learn about green walls, determine the purpose of this green wall, determine design, select plants.

On west wall, we're thinking about Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)with clematis (sweet autumn or virgin's bower) around the door (on arbor)

On north wall, we're thinking about climbing hydrangea


Michigan Native Plant Producers Association

Green Wall Panels

Green Living Technologies

A Living Greenwall in Vancouver

ELT Easy Green

Vertical gardens


Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)

Garden Guides - Riverbank Grape

Fence - Gate


To determine what type of fence and gate we want for the front of the building and find where to obtain it.


  • Determine area that will need to be fenced.
  • Research local fence companies.
  • Research used gating materials (no one has them, but San Marino uses all local resources and processes).
  • Make appointment with gating company to finalize measurements and materials needed (San Marino).
  • Received bid from San Marino on April 17- called for clarification


  • Reclaimed Wrought Iron
  • San Marino Iron New and used fence 313-526-9255 Matt
  • Smith Ornamental Iron (Carl Smith) 13070 Houston Whittier St Detroit, MI (313) 521-8908 New
  • Disenos Ornamental Iron Did fence at community garden.
  • American Fence Warren 248-545-7070 New
  • American Fence and Supply Oak Park 313-835-9000 New

Questions to ask

  • Do we have enough material to make a backyard fence?

Sustainable Material Management


  • Develop process for the efficient deconstruction, storage or removal, and delivery of materials for the reconstruction of the Green Garage.


  • Have sequence of deconstruction planned and available to all participants
  • Build (appropriate) mobile platforms for material to be place on at time of deconstruction.
    • Check in area for buildings that have gone through similar process. Find what their methods were and if they were effective.
    • Do those building (contractors) have material handling equipment now available?
    • Is appropriate material handling equipment available from business closed or idle in current economy?
  • Document Green Garage process and equipment to make it available for future projects.
  • Identify and quantify materials for reuse on site.
    • Quantities will help to figure needed storage area, or to predict what additional materials will be needed.
    • Identifying what the reuse is will help determine where and in what form to store materials. If new use is not the same as original use, when/can/should material be converted to new use?
    • If necessary, verify new reuse of material on site is allowable by code/ordinance, (i.e. can carpet be buried in truck well)?
    • Does architect have ideas for material reuse, and should it be identified on blueprint?
  • Identify and quantify materials to be used off site.
    • Hold Green Garage 'garage' sale. Advertise items, set finite sale period, and also use this time to educate public about GG.
    • Identify user/purchaser for mechanical/equipment. Have them on site at time of removal for immediate transport off site.
    • List items on Wiki or Twitter to generate interest in reuse.
  • Identify items for disposal.
    • Find paper drive to take cellulose batts. They will not be reusable on site.
    • Arrange for recycling bins to be on site, with scheduled pickup.

Information Center

  • Post the following on the wall entering the staging area:
    • List of building materials, quantified and sorted, from which they will be assigned to use in the remodel.
    • List of mechanical materials to be reused
    • 2 or more blown up copies of floor plan. Items to be reused will be identified and tagged at the location they will be used.

On Site Deconstruction

  • Use portable prep stations to 'pre-prep' materials to a safe condition before bringing to annex area.
  • Check two week bin dry erase boards and load needed materials here first.
  • Setup stockpile area, probably in old building if demo pace is too fast for workshop.
  • Perhaps do AM demo and PM prep- or plan

On Site Reuse

  • Set up two bins or areas- Week 1 and Week 2.
  • Keep dry erase boards at each location with needed materials listed on board.
  • Load these bins with deconstructed materials or reuse materials before loading storage areas in annex.
  • Load week 1 area with materials needed for the following week. Load week 2 area with materials projected for use two weeks in the future.
  • When week 1 bin is used(emptied), put new list on dry erase board and restock with materials projected for use 2 weeks in the future. Old week 2 bin is now week 1.
  • Repeat.

Inbound Off Site Reuse

  • Enter expected material arrival date on info wall calender.
  • Log in arriving materials on 'Unassigned Materials' board.
  • If needed, prep incoming materials for upcoming use.
  • Check need on dry erase board of weekly bins.
  • Store in appropriate material area.

Inbound New Materials

  • Try to schedule all new materials with 'just in time' delivery.
  • If just in in time schedule not feasible, arrange storage in area with least amount of handling or relocating required prior to final installation.

Outbound Recycling

  • Have recycling area close to truck well for easy transport.
  • Arrange for bin drop off and pickup with recycling center.

Outbound Reuse

  • Identify outbound reuse destination prior to deconstruction.
  • Have transport to final destination at site on day of deconstruction removal.