Fifty Plus (50+) - Looking for suggestions
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07-29-09, 04:05 PM
My college is getting a new building and I've been invited to sit in with the architects next week to offer suggestions for making it both "cycling friendly" and "green."
I'd also like to add features that would encourage faculty and staff fitness and health. And it seems to me that encouraging bicycle commuting is pretty "green." So here are some of the ideas I've already come up with:
a safe place inside for storing bikes (or even better, a place right outside your office door for storing bikes)
a weight room (no kidding)
Any other suggestions I could pass along?
I'm cross-posting this in both 50+ and commuting. Thanks!
07-29-09, 05:52 PM
My wife says:
Lots of light from windows
Entry and exit ways into green patio-type areas, with connecting trails
Bicycles you can just jump on - community bikes
Places to stop for conversation, and "stuff."
Great waterfall showers,
privacy in the locker room
07-30-09, 03:32 PM
Not certain about the Inside bike storage- but Bike Racks with overhead protection would be cheaper. Bike security would still be a problem- but if the area was Semi- secure with only one entrance covered by CCTV- it would give some confidence that bikes would not be borrowed.
07-30-09, 07:35 PM
If this is meant to be a "green" building then there is sure to be a discussion of LEED certification. I believe that the LEED criteria already include some bike friendly stuff but in truth I can't remember any details.
cranky old dude
07-30-09, 08:09 PM
If indoor secure bike parking isn't designed into the structure, let's face it...the additional square footage is expensive, then outdoor security can be enhanced by providing bike lockers.
Is this a Faculty/Staff useage bldg. only? Provide enough bike parking for visiters to the bldg.
A small secure indoor space to perform emergency repairs would be nice, though not necessary. A common repair area could reap many rewards by providing the opportunity to teach lesser mechanically skilled riders basic maintainance skills after work or during lunch breaks thus decreasing their bike's "Down times". Better put a coffee pot in there. Keep it locked and slowly build up a tool kit through donations.
07-31-09, 07:51 AM
Thanks, y'all. These are good suggestions. I especially like the idea of a space with tools for repairing bikes. And DnvrFox--thank your wife; that's a good list. I hadn't thought of a hairdryer...I kind of doubt they'll let us have on-staff masseuses, though. Ha!
07-31-09, 09:08 AM
I've seen bike lockers somewhere but my feeble memory just does not remember where. I guess the fact is - they exist. I just did a Google search for bike lockers and had a number of results that look promising.
While some of these ideas are great, I suspect given todays economic environment things like indoor storage areas will not be received very well. Stapfam's suggestion of a covered area is superb though. Now add the bike lockers under the protected area and you have something that is reasonably priced and extremely beneficial I would think.
07-31-09, 09:23 AM
Coming from a career of building public spaces and buildings now is the time for stakeholder input to the designers for a successful project. Keep in mind that the administration most likely has a total cost for the facility which they don't want to exceed. At some point there was discussion about a budget or fundraising which was held with a board of trustees or senior administration. Exceeding the cost threshold will mean someone will have to go back to the "higher ups" to get more money. They will tell you that everything is "on the table" but will be making decisions along the way with the total cost in mind. Sometimes green initiatives will get passed over due to the added cost of construction which will take away from some of their preconceived programmatic goals. Geothermal heating and cooling cost a lot to build but will pay for themselves overtime in reduced utility cost. Some utilities and equipment vendors will offer incentives to steer the design away from long term economy by offering upfront discounts to construction. Now is the time to push for energy efficient heating, cooling, windows, awnings, doors and reflective roofing materials. All those will add cost to the project which will take away from square footage in the building or, to the dismay of the designer, eliminating "artistic materials and design". My advice is not to get caught up in flash and awe and petition for long term economy, durability and future facility uses as trends and interest change over time.
Another green initiative could be the use of solar power or wind generated power. There may be some stimulus money or other state and local grant money available to assist in contributing additional funding. Someone needs to do some homework and bring the idea with a contact, or cite a successful example to the meeting.
Keep in mind that any "indoor storage" is at great cost and needs to be utilized efficiently or the space will be taken by a more needy cause once the building is constructed and occupied. Building some sort of secure outdoor bike garage is an economy and has a more realistic chance of being included in the final design. Commuting by bike is beneficial and should be encouraged. One thing to consider for the comuting rider is riding access to the facility. Make sure the walkways leading to the building are wide enough for pedestrians and riders or there will be conflicts.
07-31-09, 04:47 PM
AJ is right about Geothermal Heating and cooling. I built a new house 2 years ago and put in a Geothermal system for heating and cooling. It is the only way to go as long as you have the real-estate to accommodate it.
The system I put in cost me roughly 28% more than a comparable traditional central heating and cooling system but I estimate my pay back in going to be about 5 to 6 years. Add a 10 year warranty to it and it really makes sense.
Most states do have tax incentives aimed at making the building more energy efficient. I would assume it applies to public building also.
It looks like you are in a fairly hot area of the country so prepare now. Do things like reflective roofing materials as mentioned earlier, make the exterior walls thicker to accommodate more insulation. Make liberal use of porch roofs on the east and west sides of the building to block the sun from the exterior walls during the hottest part of the day. If possible, minimize windows on the north side.
Also as mentioned above - make bike specific paths. There will always be conflict on a shared path.
Let us know how it goes.
07-31-09, 05:15 PM
Seems like they want your opinion from a cyclists point of view.
As was stated, showers (more than one stall) with lockers for personal items. Bike racks outside - covered would be nice but not neccessary for commuters with an entrance near the showers.
IMHO - thats all that is really needed.
07-31-09, 08:16 PM
Here are outdoor bike lockers used by RTD Denver.
They work well and are secure and dry.
Check with the local utility for Energy Efficiency incentives.
If bike storage cannot be accomplished inside, at least have covered storage outside??
Make it easy to "ride up to the entrance to the building"??
07-31-09, 10:34 PM
How about some Bike Lids outside for storing bikes out of the elements?
07-31-09, 11:01 PM
Air pressure hose (with presta adaptor).
Keycard lock to enter indoor/outdoor bike storage.
08-01-09, 01:29 AM
weather covered seating in the bike lockup area (prolly outside), so riders can remove shoes and whatever before entering a building. if you;re wet from the ride in, taking the wet outer layer off is a lot better than sloshing thru hallways.
hooks on the bike racks so you can hang bags and other stuff while tending to loading or bike stowing.
indoor 'wet' area with 'hotel' lingerie hangers (hangers with strap loops on the shoulders set to hang via rod loops), where wet and damp clothes/helmets can be hung to drip dry (i like to run a ski cable lock thru sleeves, leg holes and helmet loops to discourage pilferage). smelly wet gear kept in the 'work' area is no fun for anyone.
08-01-09, 08:48 AM
Do a count of bicyclist on campus. Some campuses have a lot of cyclist and others don't. That one new building is just part of a bigger thing. Viewed this way, your entire plan for that one building may change. Univ of Calif Santa Barbara and U.C. Davis has a lot of cyclists. UCLA has less.
Be sure that whatever bike rack chosen isn't just a token gesture toward being bicycle-friendly and green. We have a new "green" building at work with bike racks that hardly look like bike racks -- there's a front post through which to put a wheel, but it doesn't look like enough to stabilize the rest of the bike. It looks "cool" and "modern" and "green" and all that stuff -- but I'm not sure how useful they are.
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