- Sep 4, 2014
- Professional Status
- Certified General Appraiser
There is a lot of creativity in structures, they don't all have to be boxes. I don't have a problem with the Federal Style but it's not going to look great everywhere. Maybe the Feds don't need to have a building last that long. Maybe they could retrofit an old mall or movie theater. I am a fan of life cycle cost analysis though. If you think there's a good chance the building will be in continued use 150 years from now than you can justify higher quality materials. From personal experience, mandates can get expensive.What is "creative" about box structures? The advantage is cost. My alma mater built a bunch of dorms. The oldest two were still in use when I left - pre WWII. The newest two were 11 years old when one was repurposed as a custodial building, the second was torn down. They had been built as an experiment to provide cheap housing. They were a constant headache with damaged walls, fixtures, etc. Both are gone today. My dorm is gone...about 35 years. Brick and block dreariness. narrow halls, no elevator, etc. But at least brick and concrete block.
But if a building lasts 100-150 years vs one that lasts 40 - 50 years, it seems an advantage. Remodeling is normally cheaper than rebuilding every few decades. When we gauge the quality of a dwelling, we don't necessarily concentrate upon the garish features, the lick and stick stone, 5 types of exterior siding (I hate those the worst), 14 different roof pitches, or remotely operated ceiling fans. Remember the built in 8 track sound systems? Stone is stone, wood has to grow back. I really hate glass walls on tall buildings. But if we are going to build a cheap box building without character or with some garish dated look, we might as well hire Morton to build us some metal barns and call them public buildings.