For Milwaukee-based, Galbraith Carnahan Architects, (GCA) seeking the ideal project begins with identifying an ideal client. Nick Carnahan characterizes that as someone who is focused on the world outside of their building – or a business owner who cares about his/her staff.

On a recently completed project which entailed renovating a 1920s greenhouse complex to create an urban farm illustrates that perfect match of client to project to firm. A couple bought an abandoned greenhouse located in the center of a residential neighborhood of Dubuque Iowa. The property’s assets prior to the work of GCA included a greenhouse which had fallen into disrepair and other areas that needed some TLC. All the glass was gone, only a steel frame stood.

“These retirees wanted to do something significant with the next chapter of their lives to serve what is an economically challenged area of the city,” explained Carnahan. “Their goal was to create a legacy project that could benefit the community.”

And so, it will. Aside from being a primary residence for its owners, Dubuque residents will be able to take healthy cooking classes, learn how to grow their own food using traditional or aquaponics methods in the new greenhouse space. It will also serve as an event center to host events, weddings or conferences.

“Portions of the greenhouse presented a challenge in that we need to bring the heating and cooling up to modern standards. As we drew up the plans – including the existing building – ARCHICAD was helpful in documenting the intricate trusses and other aspects of the structure. Being able to go in and measure and build it out in 3D allowed us to visualize it clearly for our client.”

Renderings in ARCHICAD served the team at GCA well – providing a way for the clients and community to see the project’s potential.
Begun in the Spring of 2014, GCA migrated the project from ARCHICAD 18 through to more current versions as it progressed.

“We first worked on it as an ARCHICAD Solo project. As we added team members to it, we migrated it out of that version of the software and used TeamWork to manage it. We made good use of the renovation filters in ARCHCAD, being able to show the existing version what would be demolished and what would be added served to clarify what needed to be done. We thought the project out virtually using ARCHICAD – moving walls around, changing rooms.”

1 Comment

  1. Trey Blue

    Oh my word that is an amazing turnaround, good job all!


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