We closed out 2017 with a photo shoot and party at one of our new facilities!Continue
Every December, BRS gathers to eat, drink, be merry and celebrate our successes and reflect on another year in the books. This year we kicked open the doors of the renovated event space at Moorhead Recreation Center just down the road from us in Aurora, Colorado.
The freshly minted facility was the perfect venue for our community recreation designers to get together and see our designs operating in real life.
With almost twenty entries, the first ever BRS Bake-Off was a hit! The people voted, and John Simon was crowned ‘star baker’ for his stunning bread pudding.
After lunch and too much desert some speeches from leadership, we presented our partners with some well-deserved gifts for keeping us on the path all year long.
And then we took group jumping photos!!!
To everyone at BRS, our clients and consultant partners - CHEERS to another year of award-winning community recreation design!
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Posted by Neil Arends on January 25, 2018 at 04:28pm
Part of the challenge in designing new community recreation centers is deciding what to do with existing recreation facilities. While some buildings may not warrant the cost to repair and renovate, others can be repurposed to take on a second life in the community.
When planning for the Montrose Community Recreation Center, BRS was tasked with breathing life back into the existing natatorium. The premanufactured building had been exposed to years of heat and humidity on the inside and large swings in temperature from the outside. Coupled with an underperforming mechanical system, the stresses of maintaining an indoor aquatic environment had taken its toll on the skylights and steel of the building.
The corroded steel structure was threatening to fail and the new community center was about to replace the aquatics programming, so BRS worked with the community to determine the best use for the aging facility. The input from the community led to the idea of converting the old pool into a field house fit for team sports and other community activities.
With a plan in hand, the team set to work creating the space. Filling up the pool, adding a new turf field, renovating locker rooms and adding room and amenities for spectators was the easy part. Taking care of the structure required close attention to prevent future deterioration. The structural steel was thoroughly cleaned, damaged areas were reinforced or replaced with care, and the old skylights were replaced with new polycarbonate material to let more of the Colorado sunshine fill the space.
After a fresh coat of paint and lines on the turf, the facility was ready to play and opened to the public shortly after the new community center opened its doors. The community came out to celebrate the grand opening with us, and after filling the field with soccer balls, our team took a turn bouncing around the field.
With a new community center and a former aquatic center with a new lease on life, the City of Montrose now has ample space and programs to meet all the recreation and sports programming needs of the community for years to come.
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Posted by Neil Arends on December 21, 2017 at 10:31am
This year BRS headed to Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA for a camp-themed office retreat in the Rockies!Continue
Every year, we gather up our team for an all-office retreat to celebrate, strategize, and have a teambuilding adventure. This year we flew our Dallas team members in from Texas and started a caravan up into the Rockies for two days of some old-fashioned camp-style fun.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch Tour
On our way to camp on Thursday, we stopped for a walk down memory lane with a tour of Devil’s Thumb Ranch, a BRS project that was completed nearly a decade ago.
To kick off Camp BRS, members of our Culture Committee greeted our team with personalized sashes (hand-sewn by the talented Christine Harwood) and instructions on how to earn merit badges at the retreat. Badges were earned for engaging in various camp activities, showing your BRS spirit, exhibiting superior “adulting” skills, or happening to get lost. Everyone was found with badges intact before we left.
Retro Camp Roller Skating
The first badges went to BRS campers who donned their favorite era’s uniform for retro roller skating night. Throwback fashion from the 1960’s to the 2000’s came out in full force as everyone realized roller skating is not just like riding a bike.
Lego Team Building Activity
Since no BRS event is complete without some form of competition, our Quality Assurance Leader, Zach Bisek, came up with a lego-building team activity to put all of our skills to the test. Teams were created with specific roles for team members so that everyone needed to plan and work together to build different types of lego structures. Watch a time-lapse of one of our teams in action here.
After some hearty competition, we took to the outdoors for some fresh air and outdoor activities. In addition to the nearly 300-foot summer tubing hill, campers tried their hands at archery, crafting, high ropes, and disc golf while some took a hike in the mountains or made a detour to check out Principal Dave Hammel’s tiny house nearby.
Following some invigorating activities, we gathered round to hear updates from leadership about the direction of the firm and talk about our plans for 2018. We continued strategizing into the night with board game competitions and skill challenges.
After a fun-filled 48 hours together, we headed home recharged and refreshed and ready to take on another year of challenges and make BRS the best we can be!
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Posted by Neil Arends on October 3, 2017 at 09:57am
Being partial to our canine friends, BRS was honored to be selected to participate in the Sustainable BARKitecture Dog House Competition held by Denver International Airport in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The competition tasked local architecture firms with designing a sustainable dog house for a current member of the Canine Animal Therapy Squad, or CATS program.
The volunteer dogs in CATS interact with passengers at the airport to help relieve the anxiety of travel, and teams were tasked with tailoring the design of the dog house to a specific CATS member’s size, personality and preferences. BRS was paired with Butler, an adorable Shepherd mix who doesn’t like baths - perfect for reducing water consumption.
We challenged ourselves to build a sustainable dog house on half of the allowed budget that incorporated a solar panel donated by Panasonic and also catered to Butler’s needs and interests. Following a kick-off meeting and design charrette, our team developed 3 defining guidelines for the design:
- Reduce environmental impact with a smaller building footprint with reduced energy consumption and water usage
- Reuse materials to lower embodied carbon usage to help prolong our current resources and protect future canine generations
- And to create a retreat for Butler by incorporating stimulating yet tranquil design features that allow him to recharge and continue to help others
After some quick sketching and modeling, the team settled on a simple solution that offered indoor/outdoor space to protect Butler from the elements, and a high contrast façade to create visual interest and provide some privacy. Our schematic design was approved by our own in-house quality assurance and control team.
Led by our BARKitecture committee leader, Christine Harwood, the team volunteered some late nights to gather the reclaimed materials and construct Butler’s retreat.
The completed dog house stores energy captured from the solar panel to charge a battery that can power up to 10 hours of automatic ball retrieval for Butler, and just happens to be right-sized for our team leader.
The dog houses will be on display at DIA through October 9th, and will be auctioned off to benefit the Dumb Friends League and their mission to end pet homelessness and animal suffering. Cast your vote for People’s Choice Award (13 and older) or Kid’s Choice Award (12 and under) today or put in your bid in the online auction to take home one of these amazing dog houses!Hide Full Post
Posted by Neil Arends on September 21, 2017 at 01:31pm
Edition 1.0 of the relaunch of BRS arts and crafts night.Continue
The BRS Culture Committee is putting a fresh coat of paint on an old tradition. To keep our creativity flowing in all directions, we have relaunched our in-house art program with an ongoing series of Maker Nights.
Each night will feature a different guest curator from one of our talented staff who is responsible for choosing the medium and providing artistic direction and inspiration [wine and beer].
The relaunch of the program was curated by Jen Jursnick, who brought all the tools for participants to explore form and color with the creation of custom stamps and patterns.
Our designers took some time to ‘ditch the digital’ and put the rubber to the fabric to put their sketches in living color.
The museum-worthy results will remain on display in our dedicated exhibit space [the refrigerator] until the next Maker Night when Mick Massey takes us to the easel with watercolors!Hide Full Post
Posted by Neil Arends on June 7, 2017 at 02:57pm
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- Andy Stein, LEED AP
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- Melissa Ford, AIA
- Mick Massey, RLA
- Neil Arends
- Rebecca Lavezzary
- Sue Maguire
- Zach Bisek, AIA, LEED AP
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