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DCD Design Cost Data

2434 Property

Principle Design Engineering PLLC

Posted: January 5, 2022 | Projects

A vision and some metal panels combined to revitalize a car dealership from a bygone era into office and retail space, piquing the curiosity of passersby in Norwich, New York.  

Photo Courtesy of Principle Design Engineering PLLC

Brothers Mike and Dan O’Reilly, owners of Principle Design  Engineering PLLC, of Norwich, New York, were searching for  new office space, and they weren’t afraid to take on a major  overhaul. A vacant factory building at East Main and Midland Avenue in Norwich checked all the boxes.  

“We were looking for a building for our offices,” says Mike  O’Reilly, PE, managing partner. “This building was originally built as a car dealership back in the 1940s. For the last 20  years, it was used as a factory, and it had lost all its charm.”  

O’Reilly says when the car dealership closed, the new owners converted the building into a manufacturing facility and renovated the exterior … removing the overhead doors  and windows and replacing them with block. The membrane roof fed into gutters that were four feet deep and wide. They were a nightmare, according to O’Reilly.  

Principle Design Engineering, a small energetic group of young professionals, worked on the design, hoping to rediscover that lost charm. The 6,500-square-foot building  was large enough to house the Principle Design Engineering offices as well as three retail shops.  

When the design was complete, the brothers got their hands dirty, executing the renovation and serving as their own contractors, including installing the metal roofing and  the metal wall panels.  

ABC’s 29-gauge Perma-Clad® metal roofing panels in Coal Black (6,500 square feet) were installed first on the backside of the bowed roof. The roofing panels installed on the front  overlapped the backside panels by about six feet, to hide the lap from street view. The large gutters were over-framed to accommodate the 36-inch-wide exposed fastener panels, with a rib height of 5/8 of an inch.  

“We briefly considered another membrane roof, but decided to go with metal,” O’Reilly says. “We talked about a standing seam roof, but didn’t think it would work as well over the bowed  roof. The Perma-Clad panel easily curved over the ridge.”  

“We chose to re-adapt and reimagine what this building  could be for our office,” Mike O’Reilly says. “Holding true to its roots — and for our automotive passion — from East Main,  it looks like a 1950s dealership, with a modern twist. From the Midland Drive side, it looks like a building possibly built in 2021.  It invokes thoughts of history, feelings of interest and change, and passion for a renewed future.”  

The designer panels were adorned with neon lighting  reminiscent of car dealerships from another era. “I’m a car guy, so this was the perfect building for us,” Mike O’Reilly  confides. “We use a lot of metal and metal was the obvious choice because it was cost-effective and it gave us the modern  aesthetic we were looking for. Our business has increased since  we moved into this building. People, strangers, are always  stopping in to ask questions. It’s a great home for our business.”    

Engineer & Architect  
Principle Design Engineering PLLC  
116 East Main Street, Norwich, NY 13815 

Principle Design Engineering PLLC  
116 East Main Street, Norwich, NY 13815    

General Contractor & Cost Estimator  
Principle Design Engineering PLLC  
116 East Main Street, Norwich, NY 13815      

Date Bid: May 2019  
Construction Period: Jun 2019 to Jan 2020  
Total Square Feet: 5,956  
Building Sizes: First floor, 5,956; total, 5,956 square feet.  
Building Height: First floor, 16'; total, 16'.  
Number of Buildings: One.  
Basic Construction Type: Renovation.  
Foundation: Cast-in-place.  
Exterior Walls: CMU.  
Roof: Metal.  
Floors: Concrete.  
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall, wood stud drywall.    

Click here to view the full cost details for this project in the January/February 2022 issue of DCD