Category: News

Starting a Renovation Project

There are two separate forms used to initiate a renovation project, so how do you know which one is appropriate for your department’s needs?

Generally speaking, the Design Request Form (DRF) is for those smaller renovation projects and the Project Initiation Request (PIR) is for larger renovation projects.

Design Request Form

The DRF is used in-house by the Furnishings and Design staff to initiate a renovation project under $5,000.  It involves no more than two trades and does not significantly change the structure of the building.  Upholstery projects, selection of new furniture, and updating paint colors are just a few examples of projects you would start using a DRF.

Project Initiation Request

The PIR is for those larger, more complex renovation projects which are over $5,000 and/or involve three or more trades, and/or make significant changes to the structure of the building.  The PIR first goes to the Construction Administration department for review before making it to our office.

For more information on these forms, please visit the Forms page as well as the FAQ page on our website.

Extra Help for Upholstery Shop

Each month, the Upholstery Shop completes over a dozen projects. Some of these are simple fixes that only take an hour or two to finish, while others are a part of much larger projects that require hundreds of hours of work over many weeks. This keeps our two upholsterers very busy in order to meet the needs of our growing campus. We are happy to welcome a third upholsterer to our staff. Her name is Stephanie Lewis, and she comes to UA with nine years of experience.

Now that our available work hours have increased by over 50%, we expect our turnaround time to diminish greatly over the coming months. This will be especially beneficial as we head into the summer, which happens to be the Upholstery Shop’s busiest season. If your department has furniture in need of repair, please fill out a Design Request Form and we will be happy to work on your project!

What Happens to Your Extra Fabric?

The Upholstery Shop is a beehive of activity, with projects constantly rotating in and out of our facility. When a client requests an upholstery project to be done, a fabric is quoted, selected, and ordered. Our upholsterers carefully evaluate the project to determine the amount of fabric needed so as not to create waste and to keep the client from overspending on unnecessary material. However, excess fabric often remains at the completion of an upholstery project. Our department has a specific plan to manage this excess.

If less than two yards of a fabric remains after a project, we consider that to be scrap fabric as it is not enough material to use on any future projects. But, if over two yards remain, the client is notified and given two options:  the material can be tagged and stored for future use or the client can seek to move forward with another project using the remnant. We tag the excess fabric with the department’s information and store it for up to two years. The fabric is inventoried on a quarterly basis and any fabric stored for over two years is once again brought to the attention of the department. At that time, the department can choose to store the fabric in their space for future projects or choose to release the fabric for use on other University projects.

Summer Projects

Don’t let the chilly weather fool you – summer will be here before you know it! Summer is a busy time at the University.  We take advantage of the decreased student presence to complete projects that must be finished before classes begin in the fall. If your department needs furniture installed or pieces reupholstered during the summer months, please submit a Design Request Form to Furnishings and Design by Friday, May 1. Project requests received after May 1st will be handled as time permits but may not be completed by the start of fall semester classes. For new projects with furniture or upholstery needs, please email a Design Request Form to Leah McCool.

Residential vs. Commercial Furniture

When purchasing furniture for office spaces, it is important to understand the differences between commercial and residential furniture. Commercial furniture is more durable and can handle the wear and tear of constant usage, while residential furniture doesn’t have to be as tough because it simply does not experience the same traffic. Because of its longevity, professional appearance, and superior construction, commercial furniture is often more costly than residential furniture; however, commercial furniture can be customized in various ways to meet the needs of the end user. As such, commercial furniture is made to order and can take six to eight weeks to arrive.

Because of client customization, manufacturers often do not allow returns, and if they do, the return policies might include hefty return fees and return shipping costs. However, commercial furniture usually includes lengthy warranties to cover any manufacturer defect. Despite longer lead times and limited return policies, clients can expect exceptional quality accompanied by lengthy warranties from commercial furniture in their office spaces.

Furniture Warranties

Did you know that most office furniture purchased through the University’s furniture contracts come with warranties to cover manufacturer defects? If you have a piece of furniture that isn’t functioning properly, contact us, and we will work with the appropriate vendor to determine whether or not the problem is covered under warranty.  Please provide pictures of the furniture, identifying labels, and bar codes, along with any original order information available, such as quotes, purchase date, and vendor information.

We will contact the vendor, who will verify any warranty information with the manufacturer.  Once the vendor and manufacturer determine that a problem is covered under warranty, we will coordinate with the vendor and the end user to schedule the repair at no charge. In some instances, a problem might not be covered under warranty, but we can work with the vendor to provide a quote to have the end user’s department pay for the repair.

Ferguson Center Renovation

1410113_JH_Ferguson_Center This year has been a busy year for capital projects, and August saw the completion of the Ferguson Center renovation and expansion. Mary Kathryn Holt was the lead interior designer, who gave new life to an outdated student center originally completed in 1973. With Fresh Food moving to its own stand-alone building, the Ferguson Food court was substantially expanded. The food court now houses Wendy’s, Panda Express, Chick-fil-a, Topios, Union Market, Subway, and Auntie Anne’s pretzels along with a larger food court to accommodate a rising number of students.  Ferguson CenterA spacious lounge area with soaring ceilings and bright skylights invites students to sit by dual fireplaces in gorgeous lounge seating.
Several University departments also saw complete renovations and were given new space in the Ferg including The Career Center, The Center for Sustainable Service and Volunteerism, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Government Association, Student Involvement and Leadership, and University Programs. A total of 75,000 square feet were added in the expansion, and almost every aspect of the Ferguson interiors was upgraded including the Supe Store, dated staircases, and a new façade for the outside of the building giving it a traditional University of Alabama feel. Stop by the Ferguson Center to see what F&D has been up to this year!

 

 

Recent Projects

This year has been a busy year for capital projects, and August saw the completion of the Ferguson Center renovation and expansion. Mary Kathryn Holt was the lead interior designer, who gave new life to an outdated student center originally completed in 1973. With Fresh Food moving to its own stand-alone building, the Ferguson Food court was substantially expanded. The food court now houses Wendy’s, Panda Express, Chick-fil-a, Topios, Union Market, Subway, and Auntie Anne’s pretzels along with a larger food court to accommodate a rising number of students.  A spacious lounge area with soaring ceilings and bright skylights invites students to sit by dual fireplaces in gorgeous lounge seating.

Several University departments also saw complete renovations and were given new space in the Ferg including The Career Center, The Center for Sustainable Service and Volunteerism, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Government Association, Student Involvement and Leadership, and University Programs. A total of 75,000 square feet were added in the expansion, and almost every aspect of the Ferguson interiors was upgraded including the Supe Store, dated staircases, and a new façade for the outside of the building giving it a traditional University of Alabama feel. Stop by the Ferguson Center to see what F&D has been up to this year!

Chair Lab

In an effort to streamline the Chair Lab scheduling process, the Furnishings and Design Department has created a new Chair Lab Request Form. This form makes it easier and faster to get an appointment scheduled with Kristie Click, the Furnishings and Design Assistant, because it provides her with all relevant information needed prior to the appointment. The form requests basic information such as budget and physical requirements, so Kristie can help narrow down the wide variety of chair options to a select few that will specifically meet each client’s individual needs. Clients can go on the Furnishings and Design website to access the new form to request an appointment.

Completed forms should be sent via email to furnishings@fa.ua.edu or via fax to 348-5791.

New Chair Lap Appointment Form

In an effort to streamline the Chair Lab scheduling process, the Furnishings and Design Department has created a new Chair Lab Request Form. This form makes it easier and faster to get an appointment scheduled, because it provides all relevant information needed prior to the appointment. The form requests basic information such as budget and physical requirements, so we can help narrow down the wide variety of chair options to a select few that will specifically meet each client’s individual needs.