Along the way we often have a brainstorm. OBI1
3/4"=1'-0' Portfolio Button Other Big Ideas

In almost every project our fee ends up being offset by cost-savings that we identify. Our backgrounds in engineering and architecture allow us to see projects from all angles and with a fresh perspective. We've worked with many talented, expert architects, contractors, and designers. Collaborating with them, we often find previously unidentified ways of saving our clients money. A few examples follow.
Maryland Science Center
Rendering of the Maryland Science Center “ The case of the disappearing ceiling.”
The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore's Inner Harbor underwent 82,000 s.f. worth of renovation and expansion. We helped. Along the way it was determined that the sprinkler system in the existing Science Center needed to be brought up to code. A drop ceiling was proposed so that the sprinkler system would require less water pressure and could operate off the existing water supply. However, the new addition required that a fire pump be installed. We discovered that the fire pump produced enough water pressure that the drop ceiling was no longer necessary. A savings of $70,000.
St. John's Episcopal Church
Photo of fountain outside of St. John's Epsicopal Church

Photo Of St. John's Episcopal Church

When less is more.
This project involved renovating two buildings and constructing two new wings, more than doubling the size of the complex. The existing Parish Hall/Auditorium was heated by a steam boiler and the existing Classroom Building was heated by a 40-year old hot water boiler. The original budget did not include replacing either boiler.

As construction was ready to commence, closer examination of the existing hot water boiler revealed that it had exceeded its useful life and would require replacement. In addition, unexplained loss of condensate from the steam system came to light and the high annual operating and maintenance costs raised questions about the long-term viability of this relatively new boiler.

Since the entire complex was scheduled to be air conditioned, a two pipe distribution system had been designed to tie the entire building complex together—all new and existing spaces were to be served by new air handling units. With new piping and heat exchangers already in the plans, Synthesis recommended that with a small increase in the size of the boilers for the new buildings, both of the existing boilers could be abandoned. The relatively small additional cost was much less than the $25,000 cost to replace the old boilers.

Result: Additional usable space, central energy management and control of the entire complex, lower operating and maintenance costs, and a reliable, all new, heating system.
Open Gates Health Center
Rendering of the Maryland Science Center

When a few feet can make all the difference.
This project was originally planned to be placed on a vacant inner city lot which had previously contained four row houses—each 12 feet wide. The architect was faced with the almost impossible challenge of arranging 10 exam rooms, a reception/waiting room, eight offices, support spaces and corridors on a lot only 48-feet wide.

Recognizing the possibility that a less than ideal floor plan may result, and noticing that a vacant house next door was for sale, Synthesis proposed to Open Gates that they acquire the property. Open Gates authorized Synthesis to negotiate a price for the adjacent property, and within 30 days the street frontage for the clinic had been increased to a more functional 60-feet, all for the nominal sum of $10,500.

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