Where have we been the past couple years? The answer is simple and yet quite complicated.
As we're all aware the past couple of years have been trying on many levels, not the least of which is a global pandemic affecting life at the simplest levels. Covid-19 has turned everyone's reality upside down for one reason or another. And just when you think you're coming closer to an end, you find out it's just another bend in the winding road to recovery.
AEDA has had it's share of interesting tales over the past 2 years. Our staff spent a good portion of 2020 working from home, communicating in Zoom chats and trying our best to make the best of a bad situation. We weathered the storm as best as we could and managed to continue serving the region despite our remote work environments.
And here we are in 2022! The time just slipped away. We had grand designs for the past couple of years that sadly did not roll out the way we'd hoped.
The biggest change was of course our rebranding, which we'd hoped to make a much bigger deal out of than we ended up being able to. As bumpy as the road appeared internally, the transition was actually very smooth, even if it didn't happen with the level of fanfare that we'd hoped. Let's talk about what actually occurred.
The office began thinking about new logos in 2020 as the company created an in-house marketing team to talk about what our goals were for expanding our regional exposure, increasing our customer base, and crafting a brand identity to stand out. We embarked on a 6+ month journey of trial, error, discovery and enlightenment. Over the months we tested and played with hundreds of designs, logos, and text options. We talked fonts, verbiage, color and symbolism. We labored over styles, curvatures, hidden meaning and even the name of the company itself. Would we remain AEDA or make a shift? Everything was up for grabs. We knew that there were important considerations that had to be addressed including the issue of legibility of the logo at distances, the need to convey the sense of continuity between what came before and what is to come, and the desire to become more than just a name or collection of letters.
In the end we came to the conclusion that we required more than just a new logo but that our name and history were an important bridge from the past into the new future. We also realized the need to create a symbol that encapsulated what we do and offer to the community which needed to sit front and center in our identity.
So what does it all mean? At face value we've retained some of the important features. Most importantly we decided that our name was as much a part of our identity as anything we could create moving forward and we understood that we could easily hurt our business is we tried to shorten or modify our name. So we're still happily AEDA. Second we maintained a few of the important pieces of our old branding. Color for example has remained. Our traditional green has stayed with a slight freshening. And likewise we've retained an emphasis on DESIGN, which led us to the creation of a symbol "D" taking center stage.
The idea of creating a "symbol" rose out of our desire to keep the emphasis on the "DESIGN" aspect of what our company offers and its emphasis in our logo. We don't just draw blueprints. We want to create something that is unique and catered specifically to our customers' needs. We are creators and innovators for our customers' visions. We DESIGN.
The second part of the "symbol" is how it encapsulates who we are and what we do. AEDA is a full service Architectural and Engineering firm. We practice architecture, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, structural engineering, and civil engineering. This is most simply captured in the idea of the built structure for most of our work, with the notable exception of Civil Engineering, which although services the building in many aspects, is not specifically represented in the built form. And so we thought about the simple representations of what civil engineering can encapsulate...and landed on the symbol of the road. Road design is a significant part of what civil design represents but it's also a path. You might already see where this is going...
So we had to find a way to combine our focus on DESIGN with the Building and the Road/Path. And through the discovery of what we are and what we represent, AEDA created our symbol. The "D" in AEDA becomes the road that leads to the building, abstractly represented in the letter itself. The path to Design represented in journey and destination.
It is our hope that our symbol will come to represent on its own, but we also recognized a transition period bridging the old to the new was important.
The significance of the symbol also allows us to play a bit as we move forward. In fact AEDA Engineering & Surveying, PLLC also utilizes our new logo, with variation.
As you can see this leads to interesting options for the future. And we are already seeing the benefits. We've unified our corporate image. This design change is universal across all of our company, from business cards, to letter head, to clothing and marketing efforts.
And coinciding with the logo changes we also discussed our informal slogan.
"We Draw Buildings that Draw Business"
A great play on words that has served us well, but that has come to represent only a fraction of what it is that we do. We recognize that a home owner isn't interested per say in drawing business...
So what do people really want out of good design? Certainly design needs to fulfill the desire of the end user, but it also stands as a testament to the combined vision of the customer and our efforts. Our goal is to design, so as to focus the eye to the detail and beauty that all good architecture and engineering should provide.
And once again, our history and vision for the future, unified.
"We Draw Buildings That Draw Attention"
It's an important distinction. We want people to be proud of the end product that AEDA begins with them. DESIGN taking center stage once again. The full circle of our company's philosophy.
We've been busy this year. The office has seen a lot of great new projects develop and quite a few buildings go up around the area. We're proud to be a part of the Plattsburgh community and we are grateful for the trust that our project partners put in us to create lasting projects for them.
Earlier this year the new Glens Fall National Bank branch office was completed. It will now serve the community with a great new location near the Champlain Centre Mall on Smithfield Boulevard.
Speaking of the Champlain Centre Mall, AEDA was proud to partner with the mall in helping to prepare for the New Kohls store by designing and re-configuring the existing building. Not only did we draw up the demolition plans for the remaining unused portion of the former Sears as well as a good size portion of the end of the mall, but we also designed a new entrance and entrance corridor. We were humbled to participate in the project and grateful for the opportunity. Here's a great evening shot of the new entrance!
Another wonderful project that is beginning to take shape is the redesign for Eastern Insuring on the Military Turnpike across from Tractor Supply. The original building is merely a converted home, but the new redesign will radically change the exterior to give it a sleek and modern design, as well as better serve its customers with a new accessible entrance and more convenient parking. The building is currently in construction and hopefully will be finished within a month or two.
And finally, AEDA has been hired by the city to assist in subdividing a piece of property on the former Air Force Base. We're pleased to continue helping to develop the former base with this latest project and we're proud of our past partnerships which have created some wonderful additions to the community. You can read more about this latest project on the Press Republican website (click the link below to read all about it!).
As always, we're here to help the community as well as the larger region and the great state of NY with architectural and engineering projects of any size and scope and we would love to partner with you! Please feel free to contact us and set up a meeting with us for your first, next or continuing projects. Our continued success is the result of our great project partners.
From all of us here at Architectural & Engineering Design Associates, P.C. to all of you, we want to wish the very best in the coming year. May you have a prosperous and fulfilling 2019. We would love to hear from you, so don't hesitate to contact us, even if it's just to say hello.
Architectural & Engineering Design Associates, P.C. is now proud to provide investigative services in the area.
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Here at Architectural & Engineering Design Associates we're always striving to improve. This means new hardware, new software, training and even a recent addition to the office building. These are all great ways to improve our service to our customers and the community. But they pale in comparison to the addition of people. Over the past year we have gained some valuable new associates who not only assist in creating new work, but also bring fresh eyes and perspective to our company.
Over the next few days I will be updating the website to add new content from end to end. A bit of that content will include two new additions to our production staff. We are proud to welcome Jake Spear and Alyssa Walker to the architectural department. Jake joined us recently and has integrated into the staff seamlessly. Alyssa had been interning with us while attending college and is now a full-time staff member. Both have contributed much already and we look forward to them growing along with us.
Growth requires energy and I'd like to take a few seconds to talk about some of our project partners that have helped us to grow. Over the past 5 years AEDA has been lucky enough to secure several term contracts around the area, in addition to the many wonderful customers we serve. We are proud to serve as Term Contract partners with both Clinton County and Essex County. Additionally, we've been blessed with contracts with ORDA, Franklin County IDA and Harrietstown Housing Authority. These term contracts have enriched our production with various projects and is proof that we are capable of delivering great projects and cost-effective design solutions. We are thankful that these groups have placed their faith in our abilities and we will continue to strive to improve for ALL of our customers. Thank you for a stellar 2018 and thank you for a great outlook for 2019.
Our production staff has grown and we are pleased to welcome new faces into the office.
As I mentioned back in May, Rachel Lamica has joined the architectural department as an full-time staff member and we are pleased to have her aboard! She is already contributing so much to the team and has become an integral part of our production crew.
We are also pleased to welcome two new staff members to AEDA.
First, Rob Armstrong has joined the company as a project manager. He, with Joseph Krupka, will be responsible for project estimating, project specifications, project bidding, conducting pre-construction meetings and project progress meetings, submittal reviews, and Construction Oversight for us and we're thrilled to have him aboard! A graduate of Clarkson University (Jim and Andy's Alma Mater) we're certain he will be a great addition to the office and a great asset to us and our customers!
Overall the company is making strides continue to be the best firm in Northern NY as we want to serve our customers with the highest quality people and production. And we hope to continue growing into the future! Stay tuned for more updates as the summer progresses!
P.S. The office addition is complete! (see below)
Big Changes are happening at Architectural & Engineering Design Associates. 2018 is bringing about many changes for our business and our office. We move forward with a positive mindset and confident outlook for a bright future for the company.
First, it is with a note of sadness that we must announce the imminent departure of Paul Sherman. He has accepted a position outside the company and is moving forward with his career along a different path. We, as a company, and as his friends, wish him nothing but continued success and good fortune as he enters the next phase of his career. His time here at AEDA has helped to propel the company forward and his absence will be sorely felt by all. His knowledge, his wit and his charm has been a huge part of the office and we know he will be a positive asset in his future job. Thank you Paul for all you've done for us!
In the interim, Joseph Krupka will be stepping up to fill the void as a project manager for AEDA and we know he'll do a great job! His history with the company and his extensive knowledge will keep the company moving smoothly through this transition.
Rachel Lamica, our former intern, has graduated from Keene State College with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and has accepted a full-time position with AEDA. We are thrilled to have her as an associate and look forward to all she has to offer the company. She's been a valuable asset for us as an intern and we know she will continue to be as an employee! Welcome aboard Rachel!
In addition to the staffing changes, we're also in the middle of some exciting construction here at the office. We are building new offices downstairs and moving our conference room up to the main level in order to better serve the office and our customers. In addition (no pun intended), a new addition is being constructed at the rear of the office which will expand our production space. More exciting news to come on that as the year progresses!
As always, we strive as a company to stay at the forefront of technology. Recently, the company purchased (and is now using) a mobile scanner to measure existing interior spaces. This tool will give us hyper-accurate dimensions for spaces, which we can use for remodeling and renovation projects. We are excited to have this tool in our arsenal! If you have a project that could benefit from this technology, we would love to hear from you!
Architectural & Engineering Design Associates, P.C. is growing our design family. Recently James "Jamie" Hammaker joined the architectural department as an intern architect. He has over 15 years of experience in architecture and design and we know he'll be a great team member. Head over to our staff page and take a look!
Additionally, AEDA is being joined for the summer by two interns. Helping to educate the next generation of design professionals is important and we feel that giving opportunities to students is a great way to give back to our community's future architects and engineers. Providing a professional environment where students can learn about architecture and engineering helps to better prepare them for the real world and helps give them an advantage in job seeking after college. We're very excited to welcome Keene State College Senior, Rachel Lamica, who is completing her Bachelor of Science in Architecture. Rachel is already contributing to projects in Revit and we look forward to seeing all she's capable of. AEDA also welcomes back Schulyer Gratto who is attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for Civil Engineering. Schuyler came to AEDA as a high school senior to intern and we're glad to have him back at the office. Both Rachel and Schuyler will be interning with us for the summer and we hope to provide a rich learning experience for both of them, and hopefully they can teach us a few things as well.
Overall 2017 is proceeding nicely for AEDA. We have some really dynamic and groundbreaking projects that are developing which we will be sharing in the near future. These projects will begin to really define the ways in which our company is moving up to the next level into high-profile and world-class design projects. Stay tuned for more as the summer progresses!
Last December the Architectural Staff here at AEDA began using Autodesk Revit as our primary tool for architectural design and construction documents. It was a dynamic shift from the mostly two-dimensional work we had been doing with Autocad. Gradually over the course of the year we have discovered new techniques and methods for creating exciting and complete buildings.
2016 has brought the company a lot of residential work, which in retrospect has been beneficial to our learning of Revit. Smaller projects have allowed us to focus on the details of designing in Revit. It has also given us the opportunity to present both interior and exterior spaces in ways we have not been able to achieve using our old programs, Revit lets us create buildings and construction documents at the same time. We are very excited about what this allows us to do for our customers. We can now fairly easily present 3D models of the outside of the home that have a level of realism that used to be a very time-consuming process. Interior renderings are nearly as easy and the results are stunning.
As you can see, the level of realism is quite striking. Our customers can now easily visualize their future home to a level that we could not easily provide 12 months ago. Both natural and artificial light sources play off surfaces and create depth and shadow.
These new abilities are great, and we love what they provide our customers. The real question then is; how does Revit operate in creating construction documents? The answer simply is: Revit allows design professionals the abiltity to easily create construction douments directly from the building model. Plans, sections, elevations, and schedules can easily be created and modified with little effort. Details require very little and overall the program keeps track of every small piece of data. From thermal values and finishes, to the number of doors and windows, Revit files track every pertinent piece of information that a design professional might require. It even tracks a lot of data that our office may never use.
As an architectural designer I don't ever imagine myself going back to Autocad full-time. I think that Revit overall does everything I could want better than older programs. From a business/marketing standpoint I think that Revit has given the company a valuable new tool to promote our work and bring in new business. Revit still has some areas in which improvements can be made, but overall AEDA made the correct decision to shift our architectural staff over to Revit. I can't wait to see where we'll be in another 12 months.
Achitectural & Engineering Design Associates, P.C. received some very notable (albeit, a bit misplaced) praise this past Friday and we would like to extend our gratitude to all of the people who thought so highly of us.
The Press-Republican ("The hometown newspaper of Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties") published its annual "Reader's Choice" issue on July 8 and in the "Best People" category our firm was honored to have AEDA and Andrew Abdallah listed as "Best Architect" for the region.
Even though Andrew is ACTUALLY a Professional Engineer, the company does have a licensed Architect on staff (Shane E. Chatelle, R.A.) and we do provide complete, licensed architectural services to the North Country and beyond.
Andrew and company had a good laugh over the misconception but recognize that despite the technical inaccuracy of the title this is still a very humbling and unexpected honor. We are thrilled to be considered by the people of the tri-county area to be the best firm to provide architectural services and we will continue to make every effort to provide quality architectural AND engineering services.
Congratulations to all of the other winners and thank you again to all who voted and to the Press-Republican.