As buildings age, they provide an aesthetic snapshot of the past for current and future community members. They also bring unique challenges that go beyond ongoing maintenance.
R.E. Dimond and Associates’ attention to detail—during on-site investigations and throughout the design process—allows us to design efficient and effective systems to modernize and preserve historic buildings. All with minimal impact on the historic fabric of the building and its place in history.
Our preservation portfolio includes schools, theaters, government buildings, museums, and commercial structures with many engineering solutions:
- Historic, technical, and materials research
- Condition surveys
- Restoration master plans
- MEPT contract documents for preservation
- Construction observation
The importance of historic preservation, buildings, and structures
Historic structures in need of renovation or innovative solutions are defined by three guiding principles:
- A building can be defined as historic formally—like by a state historical bureau, the National Register of Historic Buildings, or groups like the Indiana Landmarks Foundation;
- Structures can also be informally defined as historic places integral to a community by the community itself and;
- Historical buildings have technical and aesthetic needs. It’s rarely one or the other and consideration of both require experienced planning and engineering.
R.E. Dimond and Associates have decades of experience in historic preservation and restoration projects.
Our team of structural engineers, building consultants, and plumbing and electrical engineers, have spent more than thirty years understanding the challenges of historic preservation projects.
Recognized for Outstanding Renovation and Sympathetic Addition
In 2012, R.E. Dimond and Associates was honored to be a team member on two projects—the Lerner Theater in Elkhart and Charley Creek Inn in Wabash—that were awarded Indiana Landmarks’ coveted Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration in 2012. The Cook Cup is presented to building owners who adhere to the highest standards of restoration in projects that make a positive difference in the community.
Elkhart’s Lerner Theatre also picked up the acclaimed Palladio Award for Sympathetic Addition in 2013. The R.E. Dimond and Associates team worked with the Theater’s team to add new life to their historic structure. The Palladio Awards are the only national architectural competition honoring projects for excellence in traditional design. The award also recognizes the sensitivity and compatibility of a new addition to a historic structure.
New engineering solutions for historic structures
Building engineers focused on maintaining a historic building have to understand the history of the community and the building’s place within it. R.E. Dimond and Associates combines energy studies, surveying, observation analytical tools, and expertise to evaluate the condition of building systems.
Our MEPT engineers collaborated with building architects to install new heating and cooling systems at Normal Hall on Indiana State University’s campus. Originally built in the 1800s, Normal Hall’s project had challenges that went just beyond planning electrical and ductwork upgrades. We also had to contribute expertise for new classrooms and meeting space while maintaining the historic structure of the building.
Addressing deferred maintenance in historic buildings
Many historic buildings and their facility managers defer maintenance in hopes of preserving the building. Eventually, time catches up and repairing generations-old wiring or plumbing becomes impossible. R.E. Dimond and Associates provides scalable recommendations and practical solutions for wiring, plumbing, networking, heating and cooling, and new construction.
The Eagles Theatre in Wabash, Indiana trusted us for our expertise in a complete renovation of their building systems. Built in 1906, this project included replacing residential gas-fired furnaces and abandoned steam boilers with an updated and efficient HVAC system. Our team also helped the team retrofit the building’s lighting, electrical service, plumbing, fire alarm, and fire suppression systems.