Dowdle Construction Overcomes Water Damage and Structural Challenges to Transform Old Lumber Mill Into Silo Studios – Dixie Contractor
Dixie Contractor interviewed Dowdle President and Principal Glynn Dowdle about the challenges the firm faced when transforming an old lumber mill into the 80,000-square-foot, mixed-use development Silo Studios.
The article breaks down each of the challenges in detail. Glynn notes that this wasn’t your ordinary engineering project, saying that the team “felt the structural engineering might be over-designed and maybe some mistakes were made that caused the project to be more costly. At our own risk, we engaged a second engineering firm to review the plans. They thought there could be significant savings if it were redesigned.” In the end, redesigning the structural engineering allowed the team to save the owner approximately $650,000.
Another big challenge on the project was the many years of water damage that the team discovered as they were working through the restoration and renovation. Glynn explains the extent of the rotting in the original wood and how much of it needed to be replaced. He also talks about the fact that the last company to own the building, before it was abandoned, made holes in the walls and roof to remove the large pieces of equipment that they wanted to take with them. These open, gaping holes only exacerbated the damage, according to Glynn.
The article also explains how the Dowdle team went about restoring the original tongue-and-groove flooring on the second floor. Glynn says that they ended up having just enough salvageable planks to cover the main entranceway.
Later in the article, the writer goes through some of the practical additions as well as design touches that Dowdle added to the building and surrounding property, including water drainage and bioretention systems, a large outdoor patio, a skylight opening for more natural light, a large steel staircase in the center of the building and more.
See more of Dowdle’s repurposing construction experience here.
Read the full feature in Dixie Contractor.