Ballad Brewing – Bringing new life to an old warehouse
I was first approached by the owners of Ballad Brewing during construction of February 2017. Garrett Shifflet, one of the owners, met with us to discuss his vision to transform an ugly, muddy alleyway into a functional patio that added to the overall experience of Ballad Brewing. The site offered several unique challenges, which we were excited to address.
- This is a very tight construction site with very limited access and staging areas.
- Drainage presented a significant challenge. We needed to flow water off the patio while pairing up the two loading docks of the adjacent warehouses.
- The two adjacent warehouses were not constructed square to each other, and the loading docks were not at the same elevation – separated by 12″.
- The old industrial architecture needed to be complemented with new construction materials that would create this unique outdoor room.
Water – Where should it go?
In reviewing the site, we presented two construction options to handle the water that had no place to go. The first option was to install decorative trench drains on the surface of the pavers and slope the surface to create positive drainage. The second alternative was to build a permeable system which would allow the water to flow through the surface, and drain through a subsurface drainage system.
Ultimately we decided to construct the patio on a permeable base. The end result saved the owners money by eliminating costly drainage structures and allowed us to construct a perfectly flat surface. This flat surface is much more aesthetically pleasing, safer, and functional for long term use.
A permeable paver system allows an amazing amount of water to infiltrate the surface, and drain away inconspicuously. It offers many environmental benefits by reducing stormwater runoff and erosion. A permeable paver system also allowed us to build the patio perfectly level. This was a huge advantage as we needed to tie two different covered landings together that were also level.
Here is a really cool video illustrating just how effective a permeable paving system is at draining water. The gutters were not yet attached, so the water was just pouring right onto the patio surface. Almost like magic, all the water just disappeared draining away slowly into the subsurface drainage system.
Combining Industrial and Contemporary Designs
Another challenge faced at Ballad Brewing was complementing the rugged industrial design of these century-old brick warehouses. The owner’s vision combined a contemporary style to accent the buildings rugged industrial character. Techo Bloc’s Blu 60 Smooth was an obvious product choice with its crisp lines and smooth surface. When Blu smooth is combined with the Blu Slate border in Chocolate Brown, the finished product is simply spectacular.
In addition to the Blu slabs, the Borealis steps, wall, and firepits perfectly complemented the large rough cut beams and heart pine floors that are so prominent throughout the entire building. Borealis by Techo Bloc is a unique product that perfectly simulates large wood timbers. It is truly an innovative product that can really make any project stand apart. It was amazing how many people were deceived during construction by the detail of the Borealis look. They would curiously walk up to the pallet, touch the block, and ask “is this wood or concrete?”
The Borealis steps were used to transition between the two loading dock levels that were separated by a 12″ elevation difference. Borealis wall block was used to construct two firepits, and two small retaining walls that separated the patio and driveway. These Borealis block and steps are some solid pieces, too, with the steps weighing in at nearly 450 lbs a piece. Once they are installed, they are here to stay.
Friends, Good Beer, Good Times
When we undertook the Ballad Brewing project, it was clear from the start that this project was going to be special. It is clear that the owners of Ballad Brewing have a unique talent and vision in restoring old buildings, and creating new, hip sites that can be enjoyed by many. There is always a diverse crowd frequenting Ballad Brewing, and everyone always seems happy! Maybe its the beer? One thing that is apparent though is that in this day where everyone is glued to their cell phones people still need to socialize and have a good time. What better way than with a few cold beers on a beautiful patio?
If you are ever in Danville, VA I encourage you to stop by and check out Ballad Brewing. They have a great atmosphere, good beer, great staff, and an awesome patio. If you have visions of creating your own retreat in your backyard give me a call, and we can begin building you the backyard of your dreams.