Adventures in Construction!
We are getting a new headquarters! To clarify, we bought an old building (almost 100 years old) and are rehabbing it to suit our current and future workspace needs. At FireBoard, we use our space in multiple ways: manufacturing, assembly, warehouse, and finished office space. Our project manager is documenting the progress with frequent video updates — check out this one below:
A couple of years ago we decided to bring our main board manufacturing in house (read about it here). This meant going beyond traditional office space and moving towards light industrial space. Although we found a nice home for the last three years, we’ve been on a mission to find a better solution that would allow us to design the space more around our day to day business.
The building we found was actually built in 1925. According to an Architectural / Historic Inventory Survey Form, part of the Landmarks Commission of Kansas City, the building was first home to a Missouri battery works company (not sure of exact name). In 1947, Hires Root Beer was located here. Then in 1986, Trieb Sheet Metal moved in. In about 2001, KC Screenprint purchased the building until they sold it last year to us. With such an interesting history, we hope to keep the building in great shape as we transform it for its next adventure.
To manage this project, I turned towards a friend who had experience in building and construction, Byron Funk. Check out his YouTube channel here, which highlights our project as well as other projects he is involved with. Byron has taken the leadership role of managing the 501 Charlotte project while at the same time still being a resource for us at FireBoard.
As far as commercial construction projects go, most projects are managed by general contractors who manage most of the day to day details including subcontractors, scheduling and payments. In normal FireBoard style, we decided to take this on ourselves and manage the project internally. On one hand, this simplifies the logistical coordination and reduces cost; on the other, we take on more responsibility and commit more time towards the project. Our simple hope is we get more and pay less!
We’ve included a screenshot of our main floor design plan which shows our split space between manufacturing / office / warehouse. Our electronics assembly line will have a better flow in this space as the boards flow from the automated lines into the areas where physical assembly takes place. We will also have substantially more office space which allows our customer service, engineering, marketing and design staff to interact more professionally.
For any FireBoard fans visiting Kansas City, feel free to stop by and say hello when we move in later this year (hopefully by September). Those with questions about our building progress or how (or why) we decided to tackle this project, feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until then, stay tuned for more building and construction updates – and follow Byron’s blog for the latest updates. He is doing a great job managing the project while also capturing interesting content of our building going through this transformation!