Abacus Architects

All posts by Abacus Architects

Outside-of-the-box interview with Connor Sbrocco

Connor Sbrocco | About myself: I’m currently a rising senior attending Washington University in St. Louis studying architecture with a minor in entrepreneurship. Many of my design interests lie within bettering communities around us through impactful architecture and planning, with an emphasis on strategizing outside-of-the-box approaches to change the cities we live in. I also have a passion for music and skiing and spend much of my free time making music for the various bands and projects I am in.
 
Chad Wleczyk, former Relational Development @Abacus Architects is a passionate connector of people, places, and spaces. Dedicated to making a transformative difference in the lives of others and in the built environment.
 
 
Check out Connor’s links below>
Archengage (Washu Club): https://www.facebook.com/archengagewashu/
 
Netflix Show: Abstract: The Art of Design https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6333098/
 

RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE

Designing buildings that connect with people and places. Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal. Connect with us today! Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog | #RelationalArchitecture  

Milwaukee X Charlotte | Your People + Neighborhoods Matter

People + neighborhoods matter to our team @ Abacus Architects. What matters to you in your neighborhood? I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to represent our team at Abacus Architects and invest time learning, building relationships and community together in Charlotte, North Carolina so we can better serve you and your vision!!!  I invite you to experience the moments over 3 days that made up the League of Creative Interventionists Convening and to do some exploring and discovery of your own> “From Macon, Akron, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Wichita, San Francisco...3 Days of leadership, laughter, learning, inspiration and love. Thank you Fellows, Mentors, Charlotteans, Artists, Changemakers, Family for making this such a special time together!” – Anne Koller, Artist and Peacemaker CELEBRATING CULTURE IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS “The Creative Interventionist Convening brought together creators and doers from around the country to share what they are discovering in their communities, to learn from each other, to amplify their work, and to create impactful projects. The Convening took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, a rapidly expanding city that has one of the lowest socioeconomic mobility stats in the country. Charlotte is discovering new ways to honor and preserve the stories of its neighborhoods while embracing this new growth.” “The Convening set the stage nationally for where this work is currently, actively focus on neighborhood level projects and impact, and developed tools to insert art and culture at the center of neighborhood development. We celebrated Charlotte’s neighborhoods and collaborated with local residents to discover ways to develop Charlotte authentically and compassionately. Participants at the Convening included League Fellows from around the country, artists, creators, makers and partners of the League of Creative Interventionists.”

Friday Night “BE CURIOUS”

The individuals below encouraged, challenged and inspired us with meaningful stories of impactful work to kickoff the weekend.
  • McColl Center for Art and Innovation
  • Hunter Franks, Founder League of Creative Interventionists "Why Are We Here"
  • Charles Thomas, Charlotte Program Director, Knight Foundation "Growing Neighborhoods Equitably"
  • Julie Eiselt, Mayor Pro Tem, Charlotte City Council "How Neighborhood Leaders Can Impact Their Cities"
  • Dan Parham, CEO, Neighborland "Everything Big Starts Small"
  • Stephanie Leonardi, Head of Build Corps, Akron "Educating and Employing Youth"
  • Anne Koller, "Coming Home to 53205"
  • Muneer Bahauddeen, Peace Post, Milwaukee "Our Time is Now: Artists as Necessary Leaders"

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Saturday “CO-CREATE AND ADAPT”

We had the rich opportunity to experience how relationships, community and projects are built and delivered for impact.

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Sunday “EXECUTE AND GENERATE”

Together we learned the value of tools and mentors necessary to execute projects in the following 5 categories: 1. Budget & Payment 2. Timeline & Milestones 3. Partnership & Engagement 4. Design & Measuring Impact 5. Communication [new_royalslider id="38"]

It's time to build TOGETHER>

Relationships. Community. Projects.     Blessings, - Chad Wleczyk, Relational Development #GoandGrow

RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE

Designing buildings that connect with people and places. Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal. Connect with us today! Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog | #RelationalArchitecture  

Abacus Architects promotes Eric Halbur

Abacus Architects is proud to announce that Eric Halbur is now officially an Owner of Abacus Architects, Inc. Eric’s leadership is displayed daily  as a Designer, Project Manager and Office Manager of our Milwaukee office . Eric represents the Abacus brand well, and will be an important part of the Abacus Team today and well into the future. Please join us in congratulating Eric on a job well done, and that we can now add “Principal” to his Business card!!!

ABOUT ERIC

Joining Abacus Architects in 2013, Eric has a strong affinity for design and creating something that doesn’t yet exist. Eric has also been a leader in implementing the firm’s software technology, which he utilizes extensively in his role as a project manager. His creative approach involves listening to the client’s wishes, then developing design options that both meet expectations and push beyond them. Exploration is critical to Eric for not missing a detail or a direction that might make a difference. Overall, Eric strives to make the process enjoyable for clients. He understands that they are making a significant investment in their new building; all the more reason for it to be a pleasurable experience.

RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE

Designing buildings that connect with people and places.

Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal.

Firm History

In 2003, three architects and a civil engineer got together to build on an idea: An architectural firm of employee owners vested in the company’s success. A firm inspired by client priorities, not architect egos. A firm where people come first, everything else second. A firm of equality, not hierarchy. A firm dedicated to serving the common good. Today, Abacus Architects, Inc. is a full-service firm deeply committed to enhancing human lives and enterprises through the practice of architecture. We apply our expertise in architecture, civil engineering, interior design, lean concepts and consulting, master planning, facility and site studies, and construction administration to help our clients maximize their success. Our offices are located in two of the oldest buildings in Sheboygan and Milwaukee, but our attitude is decidedly young. Offering large-firm resources with small-firm attention, we partner with clients to create projects that have meaning. Connect with us today! Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog | #RelationalArchitecture

“The Path We Follow” Johnsonville’s New Corporate Headquarters Addition | Delivery

We are finally to the fourth phase of the Abacus 4D Approach: Delivery. Our Delivery Phase is the integration of Project Construction Documents into actual construction of the facility. Up to this point, the development of the project (Discovery Phase through the Development Phase) was the responsibility of Abacus Architects, Johnsonville Sausage, IBC Engineering, Ambrose Engineering, Henricksen, Capital Food Service and Camera Corner. Let’s add another team member, Miron Construction Co., Inc., to the mix. Miron is no stranger to the construction industry. Their brand of “Building Excellence” reaches throughout Wisconsin, the Midwest, and even beyond to the national marketplace. Miron’s relationship with Johnsonville began well before the start of construction of the Global Headquarters Addition. Miron was already working with Johnsonville on another project on the Sheboygan Falls Campus. My discussions regarding Miron’s approach to teaming on the Global Headquarters project actually began months before breaking ground. With that said, please enjoy the next few months of posts, traveling with us through the final steps of our journey and ultimately to the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Before I go, what exactly is the definition of construction? 1. the act, process or art of constructing 2. the way in which a thing is constructed 3. something that is constructed 4. putting something together Construction is all of the above and more. It’s definitely a process, seemingly organized chaos at times. Above and beyond the task at hand, it requires a daily commitment to one’s brand. Abacus Architects, Inc. - “Relational Architecture” - and Miron Construction Co., Inc. - “Building Excellence” - share a common goal: the ultimate success of Johnsonville Sausage.  If you are now just joining us, we invite you to begin the Johnsonville “The Path We Follow” blog and social media series here > -Kurt Davis | Project Architect   From the team at Miron Construction Co., Inc. Miron Construction is extremely proud of the relationship we have built with Johnsonville Sausage, having completed numerous projects at different facilities on the Sheboygan Falls campus. We are thrilled at the opportunity to continue building upon our relationship and the success of Johnsonville to create a state-of-art global headquarters facility for its members. The Miron project team is excited to join Abacus Architects on this journey and eager to be a part of this opportunity. We look forward to the work ahead, delivering on our promise to not only meet, but exceed Johnsonville’s expectations. Pre-Construction Phase: Miron’s approach to pre-construction with Abacus and Johnsonville is a very collaborative one. Each team member must clearly understand Johnsonville’s goals and objectives and be able to effectively demonstrate how their solution impacts those goals. This concerted effort and approach to project planning balances scope, budget, quality, and schedule and proactively anticipates and resolves project challenges. Clearly understanding Johnsonville’s expectations regarding safety, quality, cost, and timelines for this specific project is a critical first step in our pre-construction process. Construction Phase:   It’s time for the shovel to hit the ground! After numerous conversations with the core project team and contractors/suppliers, we carefully sequenced all trades to develop the overall project schedule and establish key milestone dates. In doing so, Miron is committed to providing a safe and hazard-free workplace for Johnsonville members, employees, subcontractors, and visitors. Our Safety, Quality and Production (SQP) philosophy allows us to identify specific project needs, communicate expectations, and integrate production planning to ensure an efficient and safe construction plan. From the time we begin moving dirt to the time we spend hanging drywall, all contractors on site know and understand Johnsonville’s project drivers and follow the SQP approach to ensure overall project success. We would like to thank our dedicated team members for being a part of this project.   Dan Voss, Vice President of Food & Beverage In his role, Dan leads Miron’s efforts in all aspects of business development and client relations for the food and beverage market. He takes initiative for developing new business opportunities and maintaining key accounts while directing the development of strategic alliances with clients, business partners, and industry-specific associations. Joe Malchow, Project Executive Joe is responsible for design, planning, budgeting, scheduling, and construction of the project. He works closely with the design and construction teams to facilitate a seamless project delivery and provides overall project strategy, guidance, and management of project development to ensure successful project completion. His duties include oversight of construction management, design development, pricing, quality control, and client satisfaction. Tyle Treml, Project Manager Tyle assists the team throughout design, construction, and warranty periods. He manages all project activities including, but not limited to, preliminary planning, budget development, financial control, value engineering assessments, scheduling, coordination of construction activity, project closeout, and owner occupancy. Zach Bond, Project Superintendent Zach works directly with the project manager and construction team to manage all phases of construction activity. He directs all field personnel and coordinates all subcontractor activities while adhering to the construction schedule. First and foremost, he maintains a risk-free work environment and ensures the safety of everyone who accesses the site. Nikki Jones, Project Administrator Nikki assists with the planning, directing and coordinating of activities related to the project. She assists with project setup, requests for information, subcontractor contracts/supplier purchase orders, certified payroll submittals, insurance, the maintenance of project photos, punch-lists, closeout, advantage purchasing, and external site management. Construction Photos | November 2016  [new_royalslider id="35"] You can follow this story as it unfolds on our BlogTwitterFacebook, and Linkedin!

RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE

Designing buildings that connect with people and places.

Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal.

“The Path We Follow” Johnsonville’s New Corporate Headquarters Addition | Development

Sorry for the short break in our posts.  I have been busy working through items in the Delivery Phase of our 4D approach.  More on that later. Over the past few posts we have covered the Design Phase.  Today we kick off the third leg of the Abacus 4D Approach – “Development”.  The Development Phase is somewhat like a production line. The goal of this phase is to transfer the elements of the Design Phase into Construction Documents.   This requires the precise development of architectural plans and specifications with structural, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical engineering.  The Delivery Phase requires complete coordination and team work from numerous individuals.  Let’s meet those individuals that helped create this truly one of a kind project.    If you are now just joining us, we invite you to begin the Johnsonville “The Path We Follow” blog and social media series here > -Kurt Davis | Project Architect    

Meet the Abacus Architects Project Development Team

  Kyle Karstaedt | Specifications and Quality Control Derrek Lemahieu | Construction Document Coordinator Gavin Dorsch | Construction Document Coordinator Joel Van Ess | Project Civil Engineer

Meet the Collaborators

Ambrose Engineering www.ambroseengineering.com Ambrose Engineering, Inc. is a structural engineering design consulting firm headquartered in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. We have registered engineers serving all 50 states, and offer a diversified line of services to clients in a wide range of industries. Our approach focuses on building trusting, long-lasting relationships, and our success is apparent by the longevity of our client relationships, our repeat business, and our positive references. IBC Engineering Services www.ibcengineering.com   IBC Engineering Services was founded 20+ years ago on the idea of INTEGRATED BUILDING CONCEPTS, bringing together building form, function, performance and cost. Specializing in the design and commissioning of energy efficient and sustainable HVAC • ELECTRICAL • PLUMBING • FIRE PROTECTION systems, multiple disciplines work together from the onset of a project, often identifying design solutions that may not otherwise be considered. Specifically, our engineers can calculate energy use and cost early in the design, informing designers of the implications of plan configurations, mechanical systems and lighting options. Internally, Integrated Building Concepts means that all of our engineers not only have knowledge of specific mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, but that each also understands how they come together in a building as a whole. With this inter-disciplinary approach we often discover cost-effective solutions that don’t compromise quality, which translates into healthier buildings. Capital Foodservice Design www.capitalfsdesign.com  Capital Foodservice Design, LLC is committed to providing you with complete Foodservice and Laundry design services through all phases of planning and construction. From concept to completion and beyond, we approach every project with a focus on functionality, flexibility, cost, and client satisfaction. With over fifteen years of experience in the Foodservice and Laundry design industry, Capital Foodservice Design, LLC will provide you with the best possible design and service to meet the needs of your facility now and in the future. Each project is handled with unique perspective and integrity. Ingenuity and an eye for solutions make Capital Foodservice Design the obvious choice for your foodservice and laundry design services. Henricksen www.henricksen.com  We furnish high-performance spaces. Henricksen is an industry-leading contract furniture dealer with 250+ professionals who serve clients across North America. Enterprise Lighting www.enterpriselighting.com Lighting and Control It is the mission of Enterprise Lighting, LTD to be the leader in the state of Wisconsin in the sales of lighting, lighting controls, and energy efficient products. We strive to conduct our business in an honest and fair manner, providing superior customer service, satisfaction and personal service. We aim to grow by improving our product offering, services, and processes. We encourage creativity, long term thinking, teamwork, and mutual respect among our staff. To enhance the quality of life, we support social, cultural and economic programs in the communities in which we participate. Each employee is given equal opportunity to perform and grow within a dynamic organization. The strength of our company is our outstanding people, caring about the people we serve. Camera Corner Connecting Point www.cccp.com A Message from Rick Chernick, CEO Camera Corner Connecting Point started simply as Camera Corner back in 1953, when my Dad and his work partner decided to open a camera store in downtown Green Bay.  From a staff of 2 in 1953, our third-generation business has grown to a staff of over 120 employees and we mean much more than cameras! Along the way we have expanded our expertise into the technology that moves business and connect us to our jobs, to information and to each other. Camera Corner Connecting Point is the oldest technology store in Northeast Wisconsin. Our commitment is to provide our customers with quality products and services at the best value. We live up to our promises by hiring the most qualified people. I am proud of our staff and resources we provide our customers. All of us at Camera Corner Connecting Point will work hard to make your buying experience pleasurable. Whether you are buying a camera or a complete computer network, we will work with you as a team to provide the best possible solution. We are not the best because we are the oldest. We are the oldest because we are the best! Scathain www.scathain.com  DESIGN + BUILD We are designers. We are metal artists. We are furniture makers. From start to finish, we craft timeless, functional, and memorable pieces. You can follow this story as it unfolds on our BlogTwitterFacebook, and Linkedin!

RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE

Designing buildings that connect with people and places.

Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal.

Abacus Architects promotes Blanke

Abacus Architects is proud to announce that Anne Blanke has been promoted to owner and principal. Blanke, 37, of Glenbeulah, has a B.A. in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. in Interior Design from Mount Mary University.  She has played a very important role in making Abacus what it is today. She started nearly day one of Abacus, in January of 2004.   Anne Blanke | Interior Designer As a 10-year-old, Anne kept a sketchbook of floor plans, so her career choice was pretty much a foregone conclusion. She completed degrees in both architecture and interior design, which allows her to plan interior spaces that seamlessly integrate with the overall goals of a project. Whether designing a small aesthetic remodeling or a large corporate interior, Anne is passionate about finessing the details to make inside spaces inspiring places to be. The firm’s first employee after it was founded by the partners, Anne is also a certified LEED Accredited Professional to assist clients with energy and environmentally conscious design.  

RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE

Designing buildings that connect with people and places.

Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal.  

Firm History

In 2003, three architects and a civil engineer got together to build on an idea: An architectural firm of employee owners vested in the company’s success. A firm inspired by client priorities, not architect egos. A firm where people come first, everything else second. A firm of equality, not hierarchy. A firm dedicated to serving the common good. Today, Abacus Architects, Inc. is a full-service firm deeply committed to enhancing human lives and enterprises through the practice of architecture. We apply our expertise in architecture, civil engineering, interior design, lean concepts and consulting, master planning, facility and site studies, and construction administration to help our clients maximize their success. Our offices are located in two of the oldest buildings in Sheboygan and Milwaukee, but our attitude is decidedly young. Offering large-firm resources with small-firm attention, we partner with clients to create projects that have meaning. Connect with us today! Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog | #RelationalArchitecture

“The Path We Follow” Johnsonville’s New Corporate Headquarters Addition | Design

DESIGN

We are onto the second piece of the Abacus 4D Approach – DESIGN What is Design? “a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building before it is built” While this definition is simple and to the point, our definition of Design is more complex.  Design must tie together the look and functions of the building, while continually advancing the realities of construction and budget.  The design phase must not lose track of where we came from in our Discovery Phase.  In the next few weeks you will see the development of the building's design and personal testimonies from members of the Abacus team that were instrumental in the success of this phase of the project.  Enjoy.

If you are now just joining us, we invite you to begin the Johnsonville "Path We Follow" blog and social media series here >

-Kurt Davis Project Architect

 

Meet the Abacus Architects Project Team 

   Robert Heimerl | President Bob is genuinely committed to the practice of architecture as a means of helping people improve their lives and realize their dreams. One of the firm’s founders, he and the other partners formed Abacus to create a more client-centric firm where the ownership—and the vested interest—is shared with employees. Bob is a designer and problem-solver at heart who encourages clients in big-picture thinking and future planning. With every project he gives clients his all, and finds projects for clients that help other people especially gratifying. Kurt Davis |Project Architect As a project manager, Kurt is in the trenches with the client from the design stage of a project all the way through construction administration. He works to build a partnership with the client, emphasizing mutual trust and accountability. A founding partner of the firm, Kurt takes pride in mentoring young people at Abacus, and seeing them develop and advance their careers. He inspires the staff at Abacus to make every job their most important one, and to keep in mind the people for whom they’re ultimately building. Kurt knows from experience that thoroughly understanding the client’s business is the beginning point for helping the client do business better through the built form.   Joel Van Ess | Site Design Joel’s love of construction in high school led him to civil engineering, a profession he determined would allow him to remain involved with construction but also utilize his interests in math and science. After working at several engineering firms in Sheboygan following college, Joel joined with his good friend Paul Mentink to become one of the founders of Abacus Architects in 2003. In his role as an in-house civil engineer, Joel is able to give clients a determination about storm water requirements, setbacks and topography at the early, planning stage of a project, when site issues can best be managed. Joel’s leadership on these matters inspires clients with the confidence to move projects forward. Eric Halbur | Designer Joining Abacus Architects in 2013, Eric has a strong affinity for design and creating something that doesn’t yet exist. Eric has also been a leader in implementing the firm’s software technology, which he utilizes extensively in his role as a project manager. His creative approach involves listening to the client’s wishes, then developing design options that both meet expectations and push beyond them. Exploration is critical to Eric for not missing a detail or a direction that might make a difference. Overall, Eric strives to make the process enjoyable for clients. He understands that they are making a significant investment in their new building; all the more reason for it to be a pleasurable experience.   Anne Blanke | Interior Designer As a 10-year-old, Anne kept a sketchbook of floor plans, so her career choice was pretty much a foregone conclusion. She completed degrees in both architecture and interior design, which allows her to plan interior spaces that seamlessly integrate with the overall goals of a project. Whether designing a small aesthetic remodeling or a large corporate interior, Anne is passionate about finessing the details to make inside spaces inspiring places to be. The firm’s first employee after it was founded by the partners, Anne is also a certified LEED Accredited Professional to assist clients with energy and environmentally conscious design.

Millennial Advisors  

   Justin Marquis | Architectural Technician   Chad Wleczyk | Relational Development   [gallery royalslider="34" columns="4" ids="1174,1183,1088,1159,1160,1161,1162,1166,1165,1158,1164,1163,1173,1172,1169,1171,1170,1168,1167"]     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eINP5_0UDWs&feature=youtu.be You can follow this story as it unfolds on our BlogTwitterFacebook, and Linkedin!

RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE

Designing buildings that connect with people and places.

Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal.

Meet Sydney Thompson | 2017 Abacus Architects Education Scholarship Award Winner

Abacus Architects is excited to introduce to you, Sydney Thompson the 2017 Abacus Architects Education Scholarship Award Winner from Mercer High School. Join us in wishing Sydney the best on her journey ahead!

My Future

By Sydney Thompson As a graduate from Mercer High School, I plan to pursue my desire to develop innovative methods for creating materials to support future medical advances at Winona State University. For my entire life, I have always loved the math and science fields and at first I was very interested in Architecture and Actuarial Science, but since my recent adventure to Iceland I decided to major in Composite Materials Engineering. I have chosen the Composite Materials Engineering field because of my experience, interest, and exposure to the bio-medical field while I was at Reykjavik University in Reykjavik, Iceland. I witnessed scientists and bio-medical students from UW-Madison studying paraplegics’ brains to find out why paraplegics have ghost sensations. This was the catalyst which led to my decision to be an engineer. Watching the engineers study and design solutions to problems caught my eye as something I would like to do in the future. Engineering combines teamwork, innovative thinking, and design which encompasses all of my passions. The Composite Materials Engineering degree is very versatile because you can work in any engineering field from bio-medical, chemical, to industrial. Composite Materials Engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a range of products, from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and biomedical devices. It is my goal to integrate the expertise I gain from my post-secondary college and graduate degrees with a medical and design aspect to eventually study in the bio-medical field using my Composite Materials Engineering degree. By obtaining this degree in engineering, I am able to create materials using principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Constructing materials that help patients with lifelong disorders, or helping a country in need by participating in Engineering Ministries International, which is a program designed to produce engineering design solution for problem disaster sites, engineering is the future. I anxiously await my future and its endless achievability! I cannot wait to see what happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction completing my goals will bring to my life. RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE Designing buildings that connect with people and places. Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal. Connect with us today! Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog | #RelationalArchitecture  

A Special Space at the Salchert Residence

Monday, May 1st 2017 was a memorable day for the Salchert Family and our project team as we celebrated together the ground breaking of a special space in their Sheboygan home that will provide comfort for their young foster children in hospice care. Their humble and servant hearts are truly an inspiration to our project team. “Our intent in sharing our story is that compassion will become action on the part of others to care for foster kids everywhere. And most importantly, God will be glorified. We wouldn't know anything about love without Him.” – Cori Salchert Learn more about the Salchert family and their deeply moving care in the video and articles below! Today Video  Today Article   Sheboygan Press Article  -Paul Mentink, Registered Architect RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE Designing buildings that connect with people and places. Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal. Connect with us today! Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog | #RelationalArchitecture

“The Path We Follow” Johnsonville’s New Corporate Headquarters Addition | Discovery

Hope everyone enjoyed YPWeek. We are ready to begin the Abacus 4D Approach.  The first dimension of our approach is “Discovery”.  It is during this time that our Team helps our client establish the Vision of the project.  What are the stakeholder’s goals, objectives, parameters, budgets, dreams?  How do we tie #JVLWay and #RelationalArchitecture into a truly functional building plan?       Remember – It is not about the destination - it is all about the journey.  So as we start our journey in “Discovery” we should mention the important partners, at Johnsonville, that meant so much to the success of this phase. Ralph and Shelly          Johnsonville, LLC Nick                                Johnsonville, LLC Bill                                  Johnsonville, LLC Michael                         Johnsonville, LLC Jon                                 Johnsonville, LLC Tanya                            Johnsonville, LLC Leah                              Johnsonville, LLC   “The Millennials”  Luke                             Johnsonville, LLC Megan                         Johnsonville, LLC Kelly                             Johnsonville, LLC Christy                         Johnsonville, LLC Justin                           Johnsonville, LLC Brittany                       Johnsonville, LLC Steven                         Johnsonville, LLC Kumar                         Johnsonville, LLC Sydney                        Johnsonville, LLC Taylor                          Johnsonville, LLC Lisa                              Johnsonville, LLC   Johnsonville has been family owned since 1945.  Ralph F. and Alice B. Stayer bought a small butcher shop in the tiny town of Johnsonville, Wisconsin.  Alice once stated that “if they won’t come to us, we’ll go to them”.  Well this project just might bring them to Johnsonville.   You can follow this story as it unfolds on our BlogTwitterFacebook, and Linkedin!   Next week “The Millennials”

-Kurt Davis Project Architect

 

“The Path We Follow” Johnsonville’s New Corporate Headquarters Addition | The Architecture of Recruitment

Today we are thrilled to kickoff worldwide an in depth series “The Path We Follow” about Johnsonville's New Corporate Headquarters Addition.  I will be your narrator on this journey, and would be grateful for you to join us as this story unfolds. -Kurt Davis Project Architect

“Greatness is a Journey, Not a Destination” -Ralph  C. Stayer, Johnsonville Owner and Chairman
From Project Discovery to Delivery As you follow along we will introduce you to our 4D approach, more than a process, a difference. What does “The Path We Follow” mean to Johnsonville?
“Other companies use their people to build a business, but at Johnsonville we use our business to build our people.” And great people make a great company.” Ralph C. Stayer, Johnsonville Owner and Chairman  
  https://youtu.be/v7w2I2xR6fg “The Architecture of Recruitment”  “The Path We Follow” not only represents Johnsonville, but Abacus as well.
Relational Architecture is designing buildings that connect with people and places.
Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal. How did “The Path We Follow” influence and inspire the design? 1.  Focus on the Future 2. Celebration of Outdoors/ Indoors 3. Think of Future Additions 4. Recruitment 5. Lifestyle     YPWeek April 22-29 Statewide We invite you to explore the "Architecture of Recruitment" and why it matters to your business or organization during YPWeek and beyond! YPWeek is a week long platform for discovery, adventure and meaningful conversations about the issues that matter among young professionals in Wisconsin. YPWeek brings together key leaders in the community, at purposefully chosen locations that integrate the unique cultural assets with meaningful learning or social interaction. The activities engage the millennial workforce in experiences that are important to you as a YP while educating your employers on the important role these functions play in retaining you as their workforce. YPWeek Kickoff: Very BIG in Sheboygan April 22, 2017 at Blue Harbor Resort Recap Young people flock to Sheboygan YPWeek kickoff | Sheboygan Press   You can follow this story as it unfolds on our BlogTwitter, Facebook, and Linkedin!

RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE

Designing buildings that connect with people and places. Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal.  

Mercer School District Wins Grand Prize Scholarship at the 2017 Wisconsin State Education Convention!

Abacus Architects would like to thank you for sharing your 2017 Wisconsin State Education Convention time with us and engaging in meaningful conversations about the vital work you are involved with at your school and in your community. Congratulations to Mercer School District on winning the grand prize $1000 scholarship for a student in their district. Special mention goes to Mauston School District for placing 2nd and Plattville District,  3rd on the leader board .  We also would like to recognize the previous winners. Please contact us to share your story of how the scholarship impacted your education and career! 2016 Stevens Point Area School District Lauren Gerads 2015 School District of Omro Holly Wilmes 2014 Oconto School District Cody Zahm 2013 School District of Stratford Sam Guyer 2012 Burlington School District Jared Tenhagen 2011 Valders Area School District Taylor Korslin 2010 Bowler School District 2009 D.C. Everest School District Paul Bestul 2008 Randall Consolidated School School District of Monroe Reedsville School District Ryan Popp 2007 School District of Waukesha Paige Schultz Rosendale Brandon School District Allison Lemmenes Gillett School District Inga Kolderup 2006 School District of Oostburg Leah Hagen Nekoosa School District Our passionate team looks forward to serving your school and community in 2017, Abacus Architects Connect with us today! Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog | #Relational Architecture  

Drop by for Gallery Night on 10/21, you never know what could happen!  

  gallerynightfbcover A casual Gallery Night visit by Justin to an open house at the new Milwaukee office of Abacus Architects led to his joining the firm as an architectural intern. What could happen if you decide to drop by? We have been busy preparing for you to visit our new 4th floor office space in one of the Historic Third Ward’s oldest buildings, the Merchants’ Mills Building! At Abacus Architects we are pleased to introduce the new Johnsonville Global Headquarters, featuring the original work of Frank Stella on Gallery Night, Friday, October 21st 5PM-9PM  225 E. St. Paul Suite 404 Milwaukee, WI 53202! If you enjoy Legos, Cheese, Sausage, Art, and Architecture we invite you to drop by next Friday! Please RSVP here! Check out the other 49 Gallery Night and Day locations here! Which galleries are on your list to visit? Connect with us today! #RelationalArchitecture Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog |

Designing for senior living. Building communities.

https://youtu.be/aa1TpWaWvyQ Today's senior living must fulfill a long list of requirements, from enabling residents to feel truly at home, to meet owners' objectives, to providing wide-ranging and adaptable services. Since 2003 Abacus Architects has partnered with clients and senior living experts to create numerous successful and progressive -thinking projects. Applying our philosophy of Relational Architecture, we believe that the best environments for aging enhance and support the lifestyles of their residents as valued members of the whole community. Let us help you realize your vision for achieving person centered-care. View our recent senior living projects here! Connect with us today! #RelationalArchitecture Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog |  

Meet Lauren Gerads | 2016 Abacus Architects Education Scholarship Award Winner

Abacus Architects is excited to introduce to you, Lauren Gerads our 2016 Education Scholarship Award Winner from Stevens Point Area Senior High. Join us in wishing Lauren the best on her journey ahead to University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee's School of Architecture and Urban Planning! Senior Pic in Green Shirt           Award What do you want to be when you grow up? By Lauren Gerads Now a graduate from high school, I’ve heard this phrase more than my fair share. For a long time I struggled with finding an answer to this question, until I became acquainted with the field of architecture and urban planning. After researching the career path it seemed like an obvious choice. Since I was in grade school, I remember finding immense joy in walking the streets of our neighborhood “judging” or should I say critiquing homes and other commercial structures. I’ve always been in tune with my surrounding environment and the psychological effects it had on me as well as strangers. This was one particular piece I found appealing about architecture. Architects have the ability to affect so many aspects of our world, not only the quality of life, but also critical issues such as shelter, energy, money and natural resources. [caption id="attachment_810" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Habitat for Humanity Home "Here is one project we completed this year in Civil Engineering and Architecture. Our goal was to design a Habitat for Humanity home and follow the codes of creating this particular structure." -Lauren Gerads[/caption] This past summer I attended the Midwest Renewable Energy Association Fair that consisted of various seminars. One session on creating energy efficient homes caught my attention in particular. Understanding the principles of function and design that go into building an eco-friendly structure appealed to me because I could appreciate others efforts in a push for future, sustainable design. I realized that I too want to take part in this process. I see this being carried out in a career such as architecture in which I am able to develop and create something that is aesthetically pleasing, inspiring, and environmentally responsible. Constructing a world that harmonizes and protects our natural surroundings is my passion. Architects possess the ability to improve the world for future generations and make positive impacts on ALL people. I’m thrilled to pursue a profession in which I will be able to embrace ancient traditions while challenging future conventions. Connect with Abacus Architects today! Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog | #RelationalArchitecture  

Abacus Architects is hiring!

Abacus Architects is looking for talented Architects, Project Managers and Draftsman with proficient Revit experience to join our passionate team at our Sheboygan and Milwaukee offices. Please submit your resume to Bob Heimerl, President rheimerl@abacusarchitects.net today! RELATIONAL ARCHITECTURE Designing buildings that connect with people and places. Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal. Our History In 2003, three architects and a civil engineer got together to build on an idea: An architectural firm of employee owners vested in the company’s success. A firm inspired by client priorities, not architect egos. A firm where people come first, everything else second. A firm of equality, not hierarchy. A firm dedicated to serving the common good. Today, Abacus Architects, Inc. is a full-service firm deeply committed to enhancing human lives and enterprises through the practice of architecture. We apply our expertise in architecture, civil engineering, interior design, lean concepts and consulting, master planning, facility and site studies, and construction administration to help our clients maximize their success. Our offices are located in two of the oldest buildings in Sheboygan and Milwaukee, but our attitude is decidedly young. Offering large-firm resources with small-firm attention, we partner with clients to create projects that have meaning. Connect with us today! Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog | #RelationalArchitecture

Stevens Point School District wins grand prize scholarship at 95th Wisconsin State Education Convention!

2016WIEducationlConventioJustinandChewbacca Abacus Architects would like to thank you for sharing your 2016 Wisconsin State Education Convention time with us and engaging in meaningful conversations about the vital work you are involved with at your school and in your community. 2016WIEducationlConventionWinnerBoard Congratulations to Stevens Point School District on winning the grand prize $1000 scholarship for a student in their district, Mercer School District as the  2nd place  winner of a $25 Amazon gift card and Elk Mound School District as the 3rd place winner of a $25 gift card. We also would like to recognize the previous winners. Please contact us to share your story of how the scholarship impacted your education and career! 2006:  School District of Oostburg Nekoosa School District 2007:  School District of Waukesha Rosendale Brandon School District Gillett School District 2008:  Randall Consolidated School School District of Monroe Reedsville School District 2009:  D.C. Everest School District 2010:  Bowler School District 2011:  Valders Area School District 2012:  Burlington School District 2013:  School District of Stratford 2014:  Oconto School District 2015:  Omro School District Our passionate team looks forward to serving your school and community in 2016, Abacus Architects Connect with us today! Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog | #Relational Architecture 2016WIEducationlConventionKurtandJustin

Next Generation of Leaders and Designers

Join us in viewing and sharing selected inspiring work from the next generation of leaders and designers at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Peck School of Arts and School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

    20151210_193016 2015 UWM Design Entrepreneur Showcase  Artivity Center | Sheldon Noel  FooFit | Karaka Singh Halo | Jennifer Brockman Momentum | Dylan Annoyne 2015 UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning Thesis Day Monumental & Milwaukee by Shan Huang 20151215_12143720151215_121425   Stochasticity by Joseph Thrasher 20151215_121206 Greening Affordable Housing by Denis Pohlman 20151215_122119

A Grateful Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and friends!

We are grateful for you, our clients, friends and team. Without clients and friends like you we don’t exist. Our team enjoys passionately serving you from Sheboygan and Milwaukee to make your dreams a reality and in the process we get to live ours every day. These rich relationships and experiences we share with you represent our company core of Relational Architecture.

Designing buildings that connect with people and places. Creating places that inspire, enrich, or simply work well is vitally important to us. In fact, every project we pursue is based on our ability to advance our clients’ lives. At Abacus Architects, we design to build relationships. It’s only fundamental. Architecture should serve the people who inhabit the places we create, not the other way around. It’s architecture for all of us, building together to reach a common goal. 

View some of our featured projects we are thankful to have been a part of!

Enjoy this special time of year with your family and friends enjoying delicious food and watching the historic rivalry between the Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears in a primetime matchup!

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? We would love to hear from you! Please drop us a message in the comments below.

From your friends and team at Abacus!

A BIG THANKS TO BECKER DESIGN!

2015 has been a year of growth for Abacus Architects and we have the creative and authentic team at Becker Design to thank for their relentless dedication to providing us with a new platform and branding to serve you, our clients and friends with excellence. We asked Neil Becker, Principal of Becker Design to share the dialogue we engaged in together to fuel the collaborative process. ‘What, exactly, distinguishes Abacus Architects as a firm? Answering that question with conviction was the central task of the recent branding project for the firm conducted by Becker Design. The process included reviewing the competitive landscape, interviewing virtually all Abacus personnel and select clients, examining proposals and existing communications, and lots of brainstorming. One characteristic kept coming to the fore: an architectural firm that doesn’t just design buildings, but creates relationships through the practice of architecture. Many companies say they put people and clients first. Abacus truly walks the walk. From that essential truth about Abacus comes their branding statement: Relational Architecture. With every project they design, Abacus strives to build relationships with clients and communities, and enhance their success. All that the firm does quite naturally supports its brand. And everything Becker Design has created for Abacus Architects—from logo to website to proposal format to trade show displays—communicates it as well.” –Neil Becker, Principal of Becker Design
BeckerTeamPicture We look forward to showcasing your projects and stories in the future. Drop us a line anytime in the comments below! Have you connected with Abacus Architects on Facebook and Twitter?

Abacus Architects Opens 2nd Office

Sheboygan Press, Apr. 19, 2014 Abacus Architects, Inc. has opened a new office in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. The Milwaukee location, opening May 19th, will be an extension of its primary office in Sheboygan. The addition of the Milwaukee office is a commitment to their many Milwaukee-area clients. Abacus Architects, Inc. offers full architectural, interior design and civil engineering services. milwaukee-office

Lake Country Celebrates Building Addition

Sheboygan Press, Nov. 10, 2013 On Oct. 17, Lake Country Academy celebrated the groundbreaking for the new 10-classroom addition to its building, designed by Abacus Architects and to be constructed by Jos. Schmitt Bros. State Sen. Joe Leibham, State Representative Mike Endsley and many of the school's founders were present for the celebratory groundbreaking. Lake Country, which serves students in grades 4K through eight, was founded in 2001 and became a public charter school in 2008. In making the move from a private school to a public charter school, LCA purchased land and the building that houses the school from the Sheboygan Area School District this fall, alleviating the District of a $2.4 million debt. LCA then was able to secure funds independent of the district in order to move forward on the 10-classroom addition. The school has grown from 15 students to more than 300 students due, in large part, to its curriculum focusing on core knowledge and core virtues coupled with its direct instruction teaching method.

Fresh Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County in Wisconsin

Donna Boss, Contributing Editor; Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, October 2013 This new kitchen incorporates technology that is changing the way staff prepare meals for the homebound, disabled and elderly in this community and perhaps the country. [caption id="attachment_605" align="alignleft" width="300"]In the flexible area, volunteers gather and can watch as staff prepare meals in the kitchen. The kitchen is named after a generous donor, Jay Christopher. In the flexible area, volunteers gather and can watch as staff prepare meals in the kitchen. The kitchen is named after a generous donor, Jay Christopher.[/caption] Since 1970, Meals On Wheels Sheboygan County (MOW) has delivered nutritious meals to homebound, disabled and elderly in northeastern Wisconsin. For many of the food recipients these meals represent the main source of their sustenance. “Families who have a parent on Meals on Wheels quickly learn that we are more than just a hot, nutritious meal,” says Kelly Heyn, MOW’s executive director. “The safety check that a daily visit provides is a secondary benefit that comes into play for our most vulnerable meal recipients. It’s not just about ringing a doorbell and handing someone a meal. The caring social interaction that takes place every day helps to combat the isolation that affects so many of our clients.” Today the meal recipients and their families, which now total 400 daily, are even more appreciative than ever. Gone are the days of their meals consisting mostly of highly processed foods produced under contract by a local catering company. “We’ve moved away from institutional cooking and now produce fresh, nutritious meals from scratch,” says Scott Erdmann, MOW’s foodservice director. “In addition, we can expand the number of clients we serve without significantly increasing staffing.” To reflect these changes, the program updated its name to Fresh Meals On Wheels of Sheboygan County Inc. The program changes are possible due to a new kitchen that opened in November 2012. Housed in a former electronics retail store, the single-level, 12,000-square-foot facility has the ability to produce meals for up to 1,000 people daily and includes a large entrance area, offices, the meal pick-up area and what is called the “flexible area,” where volunteers can lounge while waiting for the completion of the packaging process and to observe kitchen activity through a wall of windows. “The planning process for our new facility and enhanced fresh meal service was grueling, but necessary,” Heyn says. “The main premise of the new system is that it allows us to safely access and utilize locally grown and donated produce, which benefits recipients because their meals are more nutritious and also the community because we’re accepting fruits and vegetables they grow and donate to us. But the board of directors had to spend several months with local government agencies and corporations before switching from the old model to a new one.” Once all the authorities agreed that a new system could work, MOW built the kitchen. Funding for the new kitchen came from private donations, and the program operates on private donations and minimal sales from meal recipients who can afford to pay. Manufacturers donated about one-third of the equipment. The MOW facility receives fresh produce from local farmers, most of them large commercial operations but some smaller gardeners also participate. MOW purchases packaged goods, meat, poultry and dairy items from a local grocery store right across from its new kitchen. Staff produce some meals for immediate delivery and consumption, while they prepackage and freeze other meals that will be delivered to clients along with their hot meals for weekend backup meals. [caption id="attachment_611" align="alignleft" width="300"]Staff assemble meals in an open area visible through windows. Staff assemble meals in an open area visible through windows.[/caption] “Meals On Wheels was doing a great job with what they had to work with, so it was our mission to make it better,” says Paul Mentink, vice president, Abacus Architects Inc. “We wanted to improve the quality of meals they were providing and make it more efficient so they had room to grow in the future. We also wanted to incorporate fresh produce into the meals, which was something that had not been done before. We live in a farming community so to have the means to accept large amounts of donated produce was important to the staff. To our knowledge no other program is doing this, and we knew that other programs will be watching.” Mentink credits foodservice consultants Michael Toska, owner of Lean Kitchen Solutions LLC, and Thomas D. Ligocki, owner of Lean System Solutions LLC and former owner of LKS, with doing “a great job of taking a very gray concept, one that was not well defined, and turning it into a state-of-the-art kitchen. The fact that Meals On Wheels could serve anywhere from 400 to 1,000 meals a day and could handle 0 to 5 trucks of donated produce delivered at any given time is hard to accommodate in a design.” “We use a process called Lean Design Methodology, which seeks out and chases continuous improvement,” says Ligocki. “Several Lean design elements incorporated into this project are convenience store ‘see-through’ doors on the walk-ins, induction cookers, combi ovens, a tracking and labeling system using computer screens, produce washer and a ventless dishmachine.” “Our mission was to create a meal production and packaging facility that works as a comprehensive system,” Toska says. “The facility needed to be capable of high volume delivery with a small crew, be flexible enough to incorporate foods from a variety of sources, and be consistent in production rates regardless of custom menu changes within the production cycle. It also had to insure proper nutritional content on a client specific basis, maintain top-level nutritional quality and food consistency through to the final delivery of meals.” In addition, Toska says the facility had to be energy efficient and provide a low-stress, user-friendly working environment for staff and volunteers. The space also needed to include an observation gallery. “The general flow of food coming in and then the staging, preparing, cooking and packaging is one continuous stream through the facility,” Toska says. “There is no backtracking, and there are no paths crossing to create congestion or bottlenecks. After production, packaged meals are placed into hot delivery boxes in a large, well-lit open area where volunteers can easily take their route information and meals and head out for delivery.” Processing Produce For produce, deliveries come to a segregated drop-off area. Once a receiver checks it in, produce is taken into a room where it is stored, cooled, washed in a produce washer that resembles a large dish tank, and sanitized in a grapefruit-based solution in order to eliminate cross contamination between unprocessed and processed produce. Produce may be processed with a peeling machine and vegetable cutter before entering the production kitchen area. [caption id="attachment_612" align="alignleft" width="300"]In the produce area, staff wash and process it so it does not contaminate other foods. In the produce area, staff wash and process it so it does not contaminate other foods.[/caption] Staff either immediately use cleaned and sanitized produce for the day’s menu preparation or freeze it in a blast chiller to reduce the risk of botulism and then vacuum pack it prior to storing in a freezer for future use. Biodegradable containers holding stored food can be reheated in a microwave oven. “One of the main challenges of the produce processing portion of the facility was being able to receive spontaneous deliveries of produce,” Toska says. “Someone may call Meals On Wheels saying, ‘There’s a truck on its way, it’ll be there in an hour,’ and the staff must respond to receive those vegetables. To solve this, we designed a small vestibule at the garage where produce can come through to be checked. From there the produce is placed in a staging cooler in the back garage. This way Meals On Wheels can receive and hold food during times when there is no one there to further handle it.” “Sanitation is a constant focus,” says Toska. “Another imperative is maintaining the food’s flavor, texture and nutritional qualities whether it is delivered immediately or frozen and held for later use.” “Varied and spontaneous produce donations require that MOW kitchen staff have a degree of freedom and creativity that is rare in most institutional settings,” Erdmann says. “For example, MOW baker Melissa Bauer used donated watermelons to create a homemade watermelon syrup for desserts and comes up with unique ways to use the near-ubiquitous supply of rhubarb. Hotline cook Angela Meyer makes already nutritious meals even better by incorporating everything from fresh zucchini and Swiss chard, as well as making distinctive mac and cheese using donated artisan cheese from a local company. Jane Nauschultz manages volunteer help and uses the produce to make healthy cold items such as fresh quinoa salads, kohlrabi and zucchini slaw, and tasty wraps. Clients have definitely noticed their efforts and client satisfaction has increased at a rapid rate since the donations started coming in.” Meal Production Areas A small footprint and the need to accommodate variable staffing levels presented challenges for the designers when developing the facility’s meal production component. “There couldn’t be any traffic or flow issues created even if Meals On Wheels decided to double its kitchen staff,” Toska says. “Meals On Wheels also wanted all of the kitchen activity to be visible through windows from the flexible area. So we created two straight-line production areas right next to each other.” [caption id="attachment_613" align="alignleft" width="300"]In the bakery, mixers, a proffer and convection ovens support staff in their production of cakes, cookies and other desserts. In the bakery, mixers, a proffer and convection ovens support staff in their production of cakes, cookies and other desserts.[/caption] On the far end, a small bakery contains a proofer holding cabinet, ingredient bins, 60-quart and 20-quart mixers, double-deck oven and a stacked convection oven. The bakery produces cookies and cakes. Staff frequently incorporate fruit and vegetables into baked goods. Adjacent to the bakery, a main cooking line includes a five-foot charbroiler for burgers and bratwursts, a Sheboygan-area favorite. The line also features six heavy-duty induction ranges for heating sauces such as rhubarb sauce for pork tenderloin and honey mustard for chicken, and preparing quinoa. “We incorporated induction ranges in order to reduce overall energy usage,” Toska says. “They are also far easier to clean than conventional rangetops, and they are safer to use.” The line also includes a combi oven stack for cooking poultry, meat, meatloaf, fish and pasta. Also in this area, staff steam vegetables such as potatoes and mashed them in the 60-quart mixer. The 30-gallon tilting skillet cooks casseroles, braises chicken, and occasionally sauces and soups. Separating these two cooking areas is a passage to the dishroom where dirty dishes are brought in directly from the production area. “Dirty dishes from the kitchen flow through to the dishroom to the far end where they exit clean and can be redistributed into the kitchens,” Toska says. Prep tables with double-sided access sit across from the cooking equipment. Walk-in coolers stand on the far side of the prep tables across from the cooking line. Both the walk-in refrigerator and the walk-in freezer feature floor-to-ceiling glass doors with lighted shelves behind them, which eliminate the need for additional reach-in refrigerators. “This arrangement also facilitates first-in, first-out stock rotation and ensures that kitchen staff are not walking in and out of the walk-ins,” Toska says. “This saves time, energy and creates a great lean visual for inventory control and ingredient placement of the daily menu.” A blast chiller sits near the line where staff package, label, cool and store meals for delivery on Fridays to recipients who need meals on weekends when there are no MOW deliveries. [caption id="attachment_614" align="alignleft" width="300"]The screens are part of a system to ensure meal recipients receive proper meals. The screens are part of a system to ensure meal recipients receive proper meals.[/caption] A modular, bar-coded meal labeling system allows MOW to include each client’s name and dietary needs on their meals. “In essence, each meal is custom packaged and labeled,” Toska says. Adding new clients to the program, a regular occurrence, is not a problem. “We offer seven different diets. This system allows us to accommodate different diets and allergies while reducing cross-contamination and eliminating the risk of a client getting the wrong meal,” Erdmann said. “Each day, staff make up to seven variations of the same menu.” Staff must assemble, package and label each meal according to route number and route position so volunteers can make their deliveries in a reasonable amount of time. In addition, staff must properly package all 400 meals in a 60-minute time frame. “To solve this we worked with a POS vendor, a software development team, and the Meals On Wheels staff,” Toska says. “Together, we took the existing client database and wrote a program around it so we could easily identify clients, their route positions and particular nutritional needs. We then loaded the software onto various touch-screen computers mounted on the packaging line and we mounted bar-code scanners at strategic locations on the packaging line.” As a result, the system prints bar-code stickers in order according to route and route position. Staff then place the stickers onto the bottom of the serving trays, keeping them in order. A server scans the bottom of the trays, and a specific meal displays. After filling the order, the next server scans the tray again at the end of the serving line and places it onto the packaging machine. The second scan cues the label printer on the packaging machine in order of the tray placement on the conveyor.” Sustainable by Design Sustainability features include a ventless dishwasher that collects steam and uses it to preheat the wash tank for the next washing cycle. “This saves us about $20,000 compared to having a traditional hood system,” Erdmann says. The garbage disposal system is also energy efficient. “It circulates water and anything water-soluble is washed down the drain and any solid objects, such as utensils or bones, get collected in a basket,” Erdmann says. “It’s a money saver because it reduces the amount of garbage as well as prevents the loss of kitchen utensils that would normally be destroyed in a traditional garbage disposal.” Solar tubes capture the sunlight and reduce the need for traditional lighting methods, which also helps reduce MOW’s carbon footprint. The Future “After touring and researching many meal delivery programs, we believe ours will become a model for others around the country,” says Erdmann. Architect Mentink echoes this hope. “If we get this right, it could be duplicated all over the country.” “FRESH Meals On Wheels kitchen has generated excitement in our food-savvy community and throughout the country,” Heyn says. “Although relatively small, this local nonprofit organization has focused innovation and practicality on a true need in the community and throughout the country. Independent Meals on Wheels programs deliver more than a million meals every day in the United States, and the need is growing along with the country’s aging demographic, creating opportunity for entrepreneurial organizations.” Facts of Note: Ownership: Meals On Wheels of Sheboygan County Inc., a 501(c)(3) Opened: November 2012 (the program was chartered in 1970) Numbers of Meals Served/Day: 400 Monday-Friday Scope of Project: Size: 12,000 sq. ft. Paying Clients Cost/Meal: $5.60 Total Annual Cost of the Meals: $750,000 Donations Received First Year: $1.65 million Menu Specialties: Dishes incorporating fresh, locally grown and donated produce. Client favorites include pork tenderloin with rhubarb sauce, honey mustard chicken with fresh asparagus, bratwurst, and baked goods with local fruits and vegetables. Hours of Operation: 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Staff: 12 FTEs, including 5 working in the kitchen Volunteers: 1,100 Total Project Cost: $3.2 million Equipment Investment: $309,161 purchased; $72,592 donated Website: www.sheboyganmealsonwheels.org Key Players Executive Director: Kelly Heyn Director of Foodservice: Scott Erdmann Registered Dietitian, Part-time: Carrie DeRocher Architects: Abacus Architects Inc., Sheboygan, Wis.; Paul Mentink, vice president Foodservice Consultants: Lean System Solutions, LLC, Sheboygan; Thomas D. Ligocki, LEI, MS, owner (formerly owner, Lean Kitchen Solutions, LLC); Michael A. Toska, owner, Lean Kitchen Solutions, LC, Sheboygan General Contractor: Jos. Schmitt Construction, Sheboygan; Steven J. Schmitt, president Foodservice Equipment Dealer: Streich Equipment Company, Wausau, Wis.

Business Profile: Abacus Architects Inc. Firm celebrates 10 years

Originally posted in Sheboygan Press, Sept. 14, 2013 Business Profile is a news feature of Sheboygan Press Media about new business or those celebrating significant milestones. Questions this week were answered by the partners of Abacus Architects Inc. Name of owners: Robert Heimerl, president; Kurt Davis, vice president-CFO; Joel Van Ess, vice president-civil engineering: Paul Mentink, vice president-architecture; Kyle Karstaedt, registered architect/quality control. Address: 1135A Michigan Ave., Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Website: www.abacusarchitects.net Other contact info: phone 920.452.4444 | fax 920.452.9198 When was your business founded? Aug. 4, 2003 What does your business do, what services do you provide or what do you make? Abacus Architects, Inc. creates innovative and cost-efficient solutions to meet its clients' facility needs. Abacus is a full-service architectural firm, as well as a civil engineering firm. We also offer interior design, LEED expertise and LEAN design solutions. We assist clients of many different types - civic, corporate, education, hospitality, municipal, religious, residential, retail, senior living. Past and current clients include Johnsonville, Sargento, Viking-Masek, Dutchland Plastics, Pine Haven Christian Communities, Landmark Square, Meals on Wheels, Just Kids Dentistry, Oostburg State Bank, Lakeshore Technical College, Lakeland College, Sheboygan Area School District, Oostburg School District, Cedar Grove-Belgium School District, The Highland House, 5 Pizza Ranch Franchises, Cherry Berry, Tower Car Wash and Cellcom/Glas. How many employees do you have? We started with four, are now at a team of 10, and looking to hire additional staff. Tell us the story of your business-how it came to be created and why? "I saw a lack of interest in our local market by the firm I was with," Heimerl said. "In addition, I was out of town many nights each week serving clients around the state, while my two young daughters were at home. I was compelled to make a concerted effort to serve our county. Working locally has been a blessing on two fronts, both personal and professional. Not only am I around more for my family, but I've also had the opportunity to form friendships with local leaders." What dreams do you have for your business? "To be sought after by local companies, organizations and establishments based on our reputation and to provide thoughtfully functional, yet beautiful, building projects," said Heimerl. "My dream would be to increase to around 14 to 15 employees and have a reputation that would allow us to have the ability to pick and choose our work. I would like to make enough profit every year to be able to reward our employees the way they deserve to be rewarded," Mentink said. "The dream that I would have is for the business to experience the success and reputation that would allow it to perpetuate well into the future, developing a body of work that would establish it as a staple in the community and profession," Karstaedt said. As a business owner, what do you enjoy most? "It seems our happiest clients are those who have worked with our competitors in the past. These clients appreciate our high level of service. Exceeding their expectations of us is very rewarding, for the entire team," Heimerl said. "I truly enjoy working with our clients-meeting new people and having the chance to make their visions and dreams become a reality. My biggest reward is following their project through to the end and attending their ribbon cuttings and grand openings," Mentink said. "I believe what I enjoy the most is developing solutions. Problem solving is a large part of what we do and achieving the appropriate answer to a question can be very satisfying," Karstaedt said. What is your greatest challenge? "To get potential clients to understand that our team can out-perform larger firms. We are not only capable of handling high-budget projects, but believe we can bring a level of personal service to our clients that they sometimes don't realize exists. Our goal is quality in every job we take on, not quantity in terms of the number of projects we do. We strive to give our clients the personal attention we believe they deserve and somehow need to find an effective way to translate this message." Heimerl said. "Day-to-day, making sure our drawings are always at the highest quality we can make them. With some tight deadlines, we need to be sure not to rush," said Mentink. "I believe one of the greatest challenges that exists for us is the pace at which things now move. The type of work that we do is not always conducive to quick delivery, yet the expectation for what is produced and the speed at which it is done is always increasing," Karstaedt said. As a business owner, what has been your proudest moment or achievement? Being entrusted to improve the facilities of the most prosperous local companies, Johnsonville and Sargento, for instance. I [Bob] hold successful business leaders, such as Lou Gentine, in the highest regard, on par with how others view sports heroes, such as Aaron Rodgers," Heimerl said. "I certainly have my favorite projects but being able to hit 10 years in business is probably our greatest achievement," Mentink said. "I've always felt that the greatest achievement that we can have is the satisfaction and appreciation that is communicated to us by a client. When a client is so delighted with the outcome of a project that it makes what that client does better, and they are excited to share it with others, knowing that it could not have been achieved without us, that is satisfaction. We are in the business of creating environments that enhance the lives of others. When that works out just right, that is where the greatest achievement is," Karstaedt said.

People on the Move: Eric Halbur

Posted in Milwaukee Business Journal, June 2013 Eric Halbur Date added: May 30, 2013 Submission Type: New Hire Current employer: Abacus Architects, Inc. Current title/position: Project Manager Position level: Manager Previous Employer: TWP Architecture Previous title/position: Project Designer Duties/responsibilities: Collaborate on Revit/BIM software, as well as assist with design and manage upcoming projects.

Kurt Davis Becomes NCARB Certified

Kurt Davis, Senior Vice President at Abacus Architects, Inc. received NCARB Certification–National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Certification–in November 2010. Obtaining NCARB credentials requires earning the NCARB Certificate and meeting the highest professional standards established by the registration boards responsible for protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public. Possession of an NCARB Certificate will make acquiring reciprocal registration in other state jurisdictions more viable for Abacus Architects, Inc. Nearly 50 percent of registration boards accept the NCARB Certificate as the primary method for reciprocal registration. Kurt is currently licensed in the States of Wisconsin and Iowa. Kurt holds a BSAS in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and Master degrees in both Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Kurt has been a principal at Abacus Architects, Inc. since helping form the company in 2003. Abacus Architects, Inc. offers full architectural and engineering services to a diverse client base in the public and private sectors, including schools; higher education; senior living; religious; financial; corporate; manufacturing; commercial/retail; and residential. For more information, contact Kurt Davis at Abacus Architects, Inc.; 1135A Michigan Ave., Sheboygan, WI 53081; 920-452-4444; www.abacusarchitects.net.

Blanke of Abacus Architects Becomes LEED® Accredited Professional

Anne Blanke, of Glenbeulah, WI, recently passed the United States Green Building Council’s LEED® for New Construction Exam, and is now a LEED® Accredited Professional. Anne has been working for Abacus Architects, Inc. since January of 2004. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2003 with a degree in Architecture, and from Mount Mary College in 2005 with a degree in Interior Design. Abacus Architects was established in 2003 and provides full architectural and civil engineering services, working as a team with clients and contractors. They are located at 1135A Michigan Avenue in Sheboygan.

Talk of the Town

The Oostburg School District recently gained public support for $9.85 million in upgrades to all of their school facilities with assistance by Abacus Architects and Jos. Schmitt Construction. The project will include roughly 36,000 square feet of building additions and roughly 30,000 square feet of remodeling. Abacus Architects was also recently awarded a 14,00- square-foot warehouse addition project for WAGO Innovative Connections in Germantown, WI.

Talk of the Town

Abacus Architects, Inc. recently awarded three $1000 scholarships for UW-Milwaukee to three school districts at the 2007 WASB Convention. The winning districts were Waukesha, Rosendale Brandon, and Gillett. These districts will get to choose the recipient of the scholarship. Also, Abacus is currently working with Quasius Construction on a remodeling project at Kewaskum High School, and was awarded a commercial development project in Elkhorn, WI.

Abacus Architects Wins Award for Tower Wash

On May 11, 2006, Abacus Architects will receive an award for winning the Wisconsin Concrete Masonry Association 18th Annual “Excellence in Masonry” Design Competition. The winning project is Tower Car Wash, located in Sheboygan. All entries were judged on creativity, design excellence, and concrete masonry’s relationship to the overall structure. Abacus Architects was established in 2003 and provides full architectural and civil engineering services, working as a team with clients and contractors. They are located at 1135A Michigan Avenue in Sheboygan.