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  Pipe Fitters Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Service, No. 636 U.A., Page 64Pipe Fitters Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Service, No. 636 U.A.
Allen & Laux Incorporated 
422 West Congress, #400, Detroit, MI 48226

Farmington Hills, Michigan
Total Square Feet: 10,213
Construction Period: Sept 1999 to Nov 1999

Construction Team
Construction Manager: Allen & Laux Incorporated - 422 West Congress, #400, Detroit, MI 48226
Structural Engineer: Dynamic Consultants Inc. - 44808 Gregory Ln., Plymouth, MI 48170
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Dynamic Consultants Inc. - 44808 Gregory Ln., Plymouth, MI 48170
Landscape Architect: M.J. Dul & Associates Inc. - 212 Dianes St., Birmingham, MI 48009
Cost Estimator: Allen & Laux Incorporated - 422 West Congress, #400, Detroit, MI 48226

Local 636 moved into their new building October 2000 which houses the Union's administrative offices, conference rooms and meeting rooms.

In July of 1993, the property was the subject of a consent judgement, which allowed a commercial structure to be constructed on a property that was zoned for residential use. The consent judgement identified specific set back and height limitations for the structure and parking areas.

The architect and owner worked together to explore options and assess the union's needs. Although the design evolved from a two story structure, then a one story structure, and finally a one story structure with a half basement, key design elements were maintained since the very beginning: positioning the building at the corner of the site with its length parallel to Northwestern Highway to provide a strong presence to the community; incorporating a glass curtainwall to fill the rooms with natural light; including a sunscreen to provide a playful pattern of the shadow and light on the exterior while shielding the direct sun from the interior; and articulating the corners of the building with a solid mass to highlight special activities within. Through the composition of these forms, Allen & Laux created a departure from the traditional image of a Union Hall.

Early in the design process, sketches of the building and site layout, and samples of the building materials were presented to the surrounding neighborhood and the City of Farmington Hills to gain consensus for developing the parcel. Great care was taken to retain as much of the natural topography and plant material as possible to provide an adequate buffer between the commercial structure and the residential neighborhood. For example, a 71,000-gallon underground storage tank was constructed to meet storm water detention requirements rather than disturbing the landscape by creating a separate retention basin. Over 70 trees were planted to replace the 43 trees removed for construction.

Many of the exterior wall features were incorporated into the interior design including the patinated copper shingles used to accent the corners of the building. The burnished block, a cement block that is ground so the stone is visible, was used at the base of the exterior of the structure as well as the finished wall material in the seminar room. The corrugated metal siding that clads the remainder of the exterior walls is reflected in the exposed metal deck ceiling inside. These "industrial" materials were then complemented with more traditional interior materials such as custom stained wood cabinets with granite counter-tops.

As the construction manager for the project, Allen & Laux managed the individual contractor's work, providing efficient and clear communication between the contractors, architect and owner. That direct relationship between owner, architect and construction trades fostered an overall team approach to the construction process.

Exterior Walls - Entrances & Storefronts, Curtainwall & Metal Windows: Kawneer; Metal Siding: Berridge Mfg. Co.
Roof - EPDM: Firestone; Copper Shingles: Revere; Skylights: Naturalite.
Floors - Carpet: Monsanto.
Interior Walls - Acoustical Treatment: Armstrong; Wood & Plastic Doors: Marshfield DoorSystems; Lighting: Lithonia Lighting Company.

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