Discovery

A place to share our ideas, expertise, and lessons learned.

Creating a Living Laboratory on Your Campus

More colleges and universities are discovering the benefits of planning and implementing campus landscapes that are more than function and aesthetics but are transforming the campus into a “living laboratory.” These integrated learning environments are fostering strategic use of the exterior environment, connecting students to real-world applications, establishing new multipurpose spaces, and will continue to evolve as education demands change.…

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Public Art is Realizing Potential, Connecting Communities and Building Vitality

The community of Waukee is bringing public art and infrastructure together to realize the full potential of the tri-county Raccoon River Valley Trail and its exceptional 72-mile trail loop. The newly dedicated “Waukee Railroad Pergola: In the Shadow of the Rails” is a dynamic integration of public-art and infrastructure based on the history of the railroad in the development of the City of Waukee.…

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Building Structure Investigations with Drones

Modern technology gives Architects access to places ladders can not reach, saving time and money.

When RDG investigated window and stone conditions at the Iowa State Capitol building over 20 years ago, invasive and expensive tower cranes were brought on site to deliver the architects face to face with the building, over the course of a full week.…

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Transforming Downtown Winterset

Communities are searching for ways to improve their local economies, enhance their quality of life and revitalize their neighborhoods while still preserving their own cultural and natural heritage. Historic preservation and heritage tourism are two prominent economic and community development strategies to accomplish these objectives.…

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Design for their Eyes: Keeping residents with dementia safe and engaged

In a recent interview with I Advance Senior Care, interior designer Kelley Hoffman and architect Mitchell Elliott discussed ideas on the use of good design principles to create safe spaces for residents with dementia, allowing them to move about confidently, enjoy a sense of independence, and stay safe.…

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Trends in Aquatic Centers

From zip-lines to climbing walls to spa and saunas, the trends that make your aquatic center stand out are always evolving. It can be hard to keep track of the current trends in aquatic design, let alone look forward to the future.…

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Evolution of Campus Rec Facilities

Conversations About Campus Rec Trends and Predictions for the Future.

Building a facility specifically for recreation was a novel concept when St. Louis University’s campus recreation center was named an Athletic Business Facility of Merit® in 1982. In the 35 years since, the definition of “recreation” and its place in the college landscape has changed dramatically, as evidenced in AB’s collective roster of Facilities of Merit.…

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Saved from the Endangered List

Once listed on Preservation Iowa’s list of Most Endangered building, the Beyer Building, located in Grinnell, Iowa has been saved, restored, and is back in circulation for business and commerce.

The original Beyer Block was built in 1883-1884, and was designed by the well-known Cedar Rapids architecture firm of Josselyn & Taylor.…

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Outdoor Adventure Programs Gain Traction on College Campuses

The surge in environmental awareness at colleges and universities nationwide corresponds with increased interest in outdoor adventures programs. On the whole, though, outdoor programs exist in found space on most campuses, and not much of it — 3,000 square feet tucked into the lower level of the recreation center, perhaps, with lack of visibility and storage being ongoing issues.…

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The Missing Middle Housing in the Midwest

Affordable housing has always been a concern across the country, but multiple factors over the past decade have raised more specific concerns for housing our workforce. The discussion in recent months has expanded to include not just the need for housing, but the type of housing units these particular households need, including rowhouses, duplexes, apartment courts, townhomes, live/work units, and smaller midsized houses.…

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