Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

My name is Bob Pomeroy I am the vice
president and senior architect at FTC&H in Grand Rapids Michigan. My role with
the project was early in my career at a firm who were the original architects for the Frederik Meijer
Gardens. This structure is a 10,000 square foot conservatory which houses
tropical plants for the Meijer Gardens. One of several structures that house a
collection of plants of various types Galvanizing process probably took place
around 1995 and all the exposed steel structure for the entire conservatory as
well as the support greenhouses and specialty greenhouses was all completely
galvanized. Like all good stories there’s some serendipity involved in how
galvanizing was chosen. We were involved with West Michigan horticultural society. Bill Cox and David visited the American horticultural society
National Convention in New York City in early 90s the keynote speaker at that
event was director of the Kew Gardens which is a large gardens and
conservatory outside of London and as luck would have it following that
presentation Bill and Dave had a chance to kind of talk to him and really
quizzed him about the interior finishes of the steel and coatings. He had said
without a doubt he would not do anything other than galvanized steel. So I think
taking those two events and coming together reporting back to the broader
team the decision was really unanimous that we should go galvanized for this
deal. I’m Casey Mitchell director of facility
management here at Frederik Meijer Gardens in sculpture park I’ve been here
about 18 years. My crew and I have maintained the facilities you know a lot
of benefits for us has been the fact that we haven’t had to do any
maintenance to it to maintain it it’s held up well we did drill some weep
holes in the bottom of the columns that weren’t there originally I’m too loud
some condensate of moisture out. As far as that that’s been our only maintenance
from a sustainability standpoint the fact that we’re not spending labor
dollars on care and you know we’re not having to repaint we’re not introducing
new elements into the environment. It saves us a lot of time labor and
material to maintain. From a structural standpoint this is five stories home
we’ve had winds up to 90 miles an hour and we’ve not had any deflection at all
it’s held up well and we expected to be another hundred years.
I think as an architect when you come back to a facility it looks the same as
it did when it when it went up and without a doubt we’ve galvanized
something like this I think it’s a proven technology and when you see the
results 25 years later why would you not continue to use that same system

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