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Park Crossing High School Featured in the National Building Museum

Designing for Disaster exhibit highlights Alabama as the only state requiring schools to have storm shelters

WASHINGTON, D.C. — From earthquakes and hurricanes, to flooding and rising sea levels, natural disasters can strike anywhere and at any time. No region of the country is immune from the impacts and rising costs of disaster damage. In light of this stark reality, the National Building Museum (NBM) opened the multimedia exhibition titled Designing for DisastDesigning for Disaster at the National Building Museum. Photo by Allan Sprecher, courtesy of the National Building Museum (64)er, a call-to-action for citizen preparedness—from design professionals and local decision-makers to homeowners and school kids. The exhibition explores strategies local leaders are currently pursuing to reduce their risks and build more disaster-resilient communities.

 A portion of the exhibition focusing on state building codes recognizes Alabama as the only state to require tornado safe rooms in new schools and features Montgomery, Ala.’s brand new Park Crossing High School to demonstrate how these storm shelters are being integrated.

Designed by architects from Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc. (GMC), Park Crossing High boasts seven safe rooms within its multi-building, 165,390 square-foot campus. The storm-safe areas are integrated into classrooms and music/band rehearsal spaces throughout the school, which is safer than one large space and ensures everyone can reach a safe area in the shortest amount of time.

The rooms span two stories and are enclosed by rebar-reinforced concrete walls designed to meet the state-mandated Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters (ICC 500-2008). Heavy, steel shutters within the classrooms can be locked during severe weather events to keep debris and broken glass from flying inward, but also function as bulletin boards during regular class days. Overall, Park Crossing has enough safe areas to protect 1,200 people from 250-mph winds.

GMC architects also designed Central High School of Clay County and Selma Public High School, the first schools in Alabama built to comply with the state-mandated ICC-500 Storm Shelter Standards that took effect in July 2010.

About the National Building Museum

The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, online content, and publications, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves.

2014 Schedule Progress???

The Little Black BIM Book

Revit 2014 has some “new features” concerning schedules that people have been stumbling across that I though I’d share, because if you’re not careful, they could cause you some serious headaches.

First, in previous releases, “Edit Schedule” view was graphically not tied how a schedule looks on a sheet as far as column width goes.  A push or pull here and there in “Edit Schedule” view had no impact on what was going on with the schedule that lives on your sheet.  THIS IS NO MORE!  The Revit programmers decided like with model elements, what happens in one view carries through to ALL views.  That means, what your schedule looks like in edit mode is what it will look like on the sheet as well.  Bear this in mind!

Secondly, schedule headers no longer freeze in edit mode.  So if you have a schedule that’s a mile long, as…

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Auburn University South Donahue Residence Hall

Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood is completing a new residence hall, dining hall, and parking deck for Auburn University on the previous site of the old Sewell Hall which lies at the intersection of S. Donahue Drive and W. Samford Ave.  This building began as a major renovation to the existing Sewell Hall dorms, known as the old “athletic dorms”, but after studying the condition of the existing building it became clear that it would have to be replaced with a completely new facility. The video shows the three major components to the project: the residence hall, dining hall and parking deck.

Click here to view the animation video of the Auburn University projects by GMC

The residence hall is between 4 and 6 stories on a sloped site with over 400 beds. Rooms on the north side have views of the baseball and football stadiums. inteior facing rooms will have a view of landscaped courtyards. The new dining hall which is nearing completion for Fall of 2014 will offer personalized, healthy, dining choices, and an allergy free kitchen. It will be a modern concept where students will be able to select their fresh ingredients and then have them cooked to order.  As with all college campuses parking is an issue so there is a new parking deck constructed across from the dorms, and wellness kitchen which can accomodate 550 cars on 3 levels with the ability to add a fourth level in the future.

Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood completed the Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Geotech, Surveying, Civil and Environmental Engineering. The rest of the project team includes Harbert Construction as Construction Manager, Tucker Jones for structural engineering, Hays Cheatwood Cornelius electrical engineer and CHB Mechanical for HVAC and plumbing design.

For more information on Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood visit


New dorms constructed on South Donahue.

New dorms constructed on South Donahue.




Re: Building Community in an Empty Tire Shop

Reblogged from The Atlantic Cities – Building Community in an Empty Tire Shop

How many places have you been where there is an abandoned building like this? Traveling across the southeast, there are numerous abandoned or underutilized buildings that could benefit from some creative thinking. This is just one great example of how creative thinking can affect the community, converting an old tire shop into a collaborative community space. What can you do in your community?


Here’s what our partners are saying…

Richard Becker, Director of Chrysalis Experiential Academy talks about Can Do Good.

Building Character

Recently, I was invited to the Design Marion II Town Hall Meeting in Marion, Alabama.  The community  is undergoing an update to their planning efforts from the initial Design Marion Small Town Design Initiative completed by the Auburn University Urban Studio.  During the town hall, it was a thrill to see the progress the community made since the first Design Marion process as they talked about their assets and help set their goals for the future.

Prior to the town hall though, it was important to spend a few minutes around town to experience the community.  One aspect that caught my attention immediately in Marion was their signage, really two of them in particular.  The first sign that piqued my interest was located at one of their designated gateways along AL Highway-5.  The community constructed a series of the these signs at their gateways along major routes into Marion, and in doing so emphasized they understand of the importance of creating a sense of place and character.  Instead of a gas stations or fast food restaurants that are so ubiquitous at gateways, they chose to construct these signs which draw people into the community and give them an idea of what the community is about.

“The College City” is a tribute to the history of Marion as they are the current home to Judson College and Marion Military Institute, but also the birthplace of Alabama State University and Samford University.

The second sign, or mural, I came across was a recreated advertisement painted along side of a building at the intersection of Washington Street and Green Street.  In the act of recreating this previous advertisement along a blank wall, the community adds another texture and layer to the character that exists downtown. A simple act like this shows pride in the community and helps to liven an otherwise large expanse of brick.  In Marion’s case as well it also helps to bring back a piece of history from the community.

While J.A. Hendrix Dry Goods is no longer, Dozier Hardware can still be found in Thomasville, Jackson and Demoplis.

Simple projects like these any community can implement, yet they can have a big impact on the sense of place, character and identity. Having the experience of working and traveling across the state it is always great to see the variety of small projects and ideas that can be carried to other communities.  Consider how projects like these might affect your community.

Revit 2013

Exciting news for GMC Architecture!  We will be deploying Revit 2013 over the next few days.  To get a sneak preview as to how this is going to improve your Revit productivity take a look here

GMC and YourTown, Alabama

Image Courtesy: Alabama Engine

During the final week of May, three members of the Landscape Architecture and Planning Department had the chance to facilitate and participate in the YourTown, Alabama program. The YourTown, Alabama program is an intensive three-day workshop held annually to help community leaders and elected officials understand many of the critical issues that they face today. The workshop focuses on an important aspect of community spirit and community integrity: the process of design. Specifically, participants are introduced to small town and rural technical assistance providers and decision makers to the role of design in community planning.

As an introduction to the process of design, participants are divided into a series of five different teams who are all given identical information on a fictitious community. The purpose of this is to give the participants a chance to emerse themselves in the community and then develop a vision, a series of goals and address design related scenarios. Larry Watts, FAICP and Brandon Bias, AICP were able to facilitate two different of these YourTown teams. Our teams where composed of a mixture of civic officials, graduate students, economic developers and engaged locals citizens. This combination of participants allows for a range of dialogue to occur within the groups and give participants the chance to hear alternate points of view.

Final presentations at the end of the YourTown workshop. Teams present what they discussed and decided to a “Town Council” composed of other facilitators and presenters.

Goodwyn | Mills | Cawood has been proudly engaged with YourTown over the past several years, provide facilitators and participants. This year, we were able to send Jason Crunk, a Landscape Architect with the firm, as a participant to understand the program. We feel strongly the program is a great way to introduce citizens and civic officials to the importance of the process and help mold future community leaders. Look for more information on YourTown in the future from GMC.


Image Courtesy: YourTown, Alabama


Welcome to Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood’s new blog.

We are a multidisciplinary architecture, engineering and environmental firm located in offices across the Southeastern United States. You can check out the link to our website for a broader view of what we do and who we are, but the best way to get to know us and the expertise of our diverse staff of over 270 employees is to contact us directly. There are so many things that we do, so many great examples of our work, and our clients’ needs are so unique, it’s difficult to show everything on one website. At the bottom of our home page you’ll see links to some other ways to get to know us, including our Facebook page, where we post quick updates, and our Flickr albums, which literally have thousands of our best images from hundreds of projects and events.

Our blog will be a space where our best resources for information—our own in house experts, can post directly in detail about specific topics that are important to their clients. They’ll provide case study examples from some of our current work, links to helpful information that’s important to our clients and why it might be important to your next project, as well as examples of best practices and lessons that we’ve seen have a direct impact on creating successful projects. Unlike our webpage which is our formal introduction to GMC, or our Facebook page which is short and to the point, our blog is a resource written directly by architects and engineers with years of experience and know-how. Here they share their thoughts with you about a variety of topics in more depth than we can provide in any other social media venue. Plus, you’ll get to know our experts directly by asking questions and commenting on their posts.

The panel is comprised of certified planners, civil engineers, environmental engineers, interior designers, and architects in healthcare and education design. The nice part about our blog is that you’ll be able to look at all posts, or only posts for a specific topic or from a specific expert. That way you can keep up with what’s important to you. So follow our blog, use the RSS feed button, and like us on Facebook, because we’ll be sharing the links on our wall as new posts are added, too.

Let’s start blogging!