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maddog

architect dilemma.. your recs?

architect dilemma.. your recs?   

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Which would you pick?

    • a big dog like Dalkita. They would knock the distillery part out of the park I'm sure, but they are many, many states away and I'm afraid the local piece of it would not go well and/or we would be paying them lots of money to fly back and forth to our city hall meetings. We Texans like to look you in the eye when you are trying to convince us you aren't going to blow up our town
      0
    • a local architect with no distillery experience but lots of experience with the cumbersome downtown building restrictions and historic committee requirements. He plans to "consult" a TBD distiillery consultant (read: 20k more I'm guessing)
    • an architect who has done many breweries and one urban distillery (the only urban distillery) in this part of the state. He does not, however, know the key players nor have them on speed-dial in our notoriously difficult to deal with local govt. He has, however, successfully navigated the adjacent city, which is known to be an even bigger pain in the ass than our town


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We did a "none of the above"  We contracted with a local good name general contractor that had a good engineering staff.  They came up with all the right questions and were able to satisfy the fire marshal as well as the building inspector and the building code review inspector. 

Before you hire anyone you need to make sure that your difficult to deal with local government wants a distillery in their town.  If they don't want you, they will always find a way to keep you out.  I first went to the city, talked to the head of Community & Economic Development who took the idea to city council, then zoning and then planning to see if anyone had objections to a distillery.  Getting the fire marshal involved early is quite important so the he can review the fire codes and look smart if the other folks ask his opinion on the dangers of a distillery.  I actually called him and told him what we wanted to do so he would be prepared for any questions.  I wanted his opinion on whether or not he thought a distillery in our proposed location would be okay.

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2 minutes ago, Thatch said:

We did a "none of the above"  We contracted with a local good name general contractor that had a good engineering staff.  They came up with all the right questions and were able to satisfy the fire marshal as well as the building inspector and the building code review inspector. 

Before you hire anyone you need to make sure that your difficult to deal with local government wants a distillery in their town.  If they don't want you, they will always find a way to keep you out.  I first went to the city, talked to the head of Community & Economic Development who took the idea to city council, then zoning and then planning to see if anyone had objections to a distillery.  Getting the fire marshal involved early is quite important so the he can review the fire codes and look smart if the other folks ask his opinion on the dangers of a distillery.  I actually called him and told him what we wanted to do so he would be prepared for any questions.  I wanted his opinion on whether or not he thought a distillery in our proposed location would be okay.

Thatch,

Totally agree and this part is somewhat in place. We have buy-in from the city because they actually "chose" our proposal (request for proposal to buy city properties; ours was the one selected by city council vote); we had a pre-pre-application meeting prior to submission of the RFP and had already gone through the zoning "directors determination" to add micro-distilling to downtown zoning. HOWEVER...The fire safety folks and the downtown historical commission must "bless off" as well, and they are not the same people. It would look bad for the city to pick our proposal and not be able to get it moved through the minutia of the other roadblocks, but as this board has taught me, having the answers before the questions are asked makes the road a lot easier to navigate. I feel like the architect with those answers will inspire more warm fuzzies with the fire safety people; although the local guy will likely do so with the historical commission folks.  I guess I'm asking who I should be more afraid of.. my gut tells me it's the fire guy.

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maddog,

Wow, you have your act together.  One thing I didn't mention was in my initial meeting with the city I asked the building inspector what general contractors they felt comfortable with and those are the ones I got proposals from.  The guy who your city feels comfortable with is the one I would choose.  There is a lot of information on codes both on-line and on this forum that can short cut the consultants fee you are afraid of.  This paper from Dalkita that I found online was helpful to the engineers and would be helpful to your architect who has not done this previously.  http://www.americancraftspirits.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Safety-Code-Breaking-Barrels.pdf

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