IVEP Program Assists Organizations in Capital Planning
07 Dec 2017
POSTED BY: Admin | Comments: 0


By: Nicole Linzmeyer, Communications Officer

Before undertaking a capital project, the first place to start is looking at your building drawings, which are required for getting a building permit. Many nonprofit organizations may not have updated drawings or have any at all. Thanks to the International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP) that aodbt architecture participates in, the first step can be looked after free of charge.

Every September, aodbt brings in a new international volunteer through IVEP who works in their “pro bono” department for the next 10 months. The IVEP volunteer works with nonprofit organizations to convert their original paper copy blueprints into digital drawings. This is a great way for the volunteers to gain experience and meet people in Canada as well as provide nonprofit organizations with a great place to start with the capital planning process.

Organizations that are looking to do this can contact Don Epp, SARC’s Facility Planner, who can introduce you to aodbt architecture. Once organizations are provided with the digital drawings from aodbt they can then take them and explore their next steps with Don, aodbt architecture, or elsewhere. Don and Charles Olfert, Principal Architect at aodbt, have developed a fantastic partnership that is very beneficial to rural organizations that may have challenges getting professionals out in their community. Charles can meet virtually over the phone, while Don shares photos, measurements, etc.

“What we can offer is a way to organize building needs, starting with a good set of information.  Typically, there are no digital drawings. Organizations might have something that reflects what the building was like originally but most of them have been renovated since then, and usually they’re from 20 years ago,” Charles said. “Once you have that, you can develop a few ideas for how the building issues can be resolved. Depending on the money available, you can start with little things like improving the bathrooms or the entry way and then work your way through other projects. It allows you to develop a master plan for the building.”

One organization that has recently worked with the volunteer program at aodbt architecture is Variety Place Association for their day program facility renovations. After working with the IVEP volunteer to convert the drawing to digital files and come up with a concept drawing of potential room uses, Charles then worked with Angela Knapik, Executive Director of Variety Place Association, to provide ideas on how to better utilize the space.  Variety Place is now in the final stages of their renovations, which include, a dedicated participant entry with lockers, large kitchen and dining area, separate office space, a small staff room and training area, modernized fire safety equipment, as well as many other changes.

“The IVEP volunteer drew up the plans after I had supplied aodbt with a scaled drawing of the floor plan we had decided upon.  There was no charge for that service which helped minimize the total cost charged by aodbt,” Angela Knapik said. “Their expertise, patience and great attitude was gratefully appreciated!”

Many other SARC Members have taken advantage of this savings opportunity from aodbt architecture. If you are looking to get started with building renovations, and you are not sure where to get started, contact Don Epp.

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