Archive for the ‘New Concepts’ Category

It’s January 32nd here at Cripe and this morning we kicked off our Cripe Huddles.

Just kidding! We know there’s no such thing as January 32nd, but due to the inclement weather this week we were unable to host the Cripe Huddle on the last Wednesday of the month like we intended. So, we’re pretending today is still January.

Even with the best corporate communications, there is always room for growth. Cripe Huddles sprang from the belief that it is important to gather as a group as often as possible. We love to get together and share ideas and the Cripe Huddles are one more way that we can do that on a regular basis.

Employees from every department gather for the inaugural Cripe Huddle.

Inspired by TedTalks, these Huddles are short, but packed with valuable information. Cripe employees are busy! But everyone can spare fifteen minutes to learn something and to be involved in a company that takes its corporate culture so seriously.

While the first huddle was headed up by Kara Hensley, Vice President of Talent + Brand, and Cathy Erwin, Vice President of Finance, that won’t be the norm. These huddles will be a forum for employees at all levels to stand before their colleagues and share what they’ve been working on and knowledge they’ve acquired.

This morning, the Cripe Huddle consisted of three five-minute sessions. Employees got an overview of what they can expect from these huddles, an overview of 2019’s sales and revenue goals for the company, and the recruitment goals for the company.

Cripe employees are busy, so timekeeping was taken very seriously!

On January 9, 2018, it was announced that Cripe had become an employee owned company. Lifelong learning has always been important at Cripe and with the announcement that employees have become owners – it became more important than ever.

These Huddles will be a way to continue with the transparency that has long been a staple of the Cripe culture as well as to encourage the different departments to interact and share what they have been learning and about the various projects happening across departments.

Cripe has never been complacent and the Cripe Huddles very clearly convey that the company has no intention of settling into routines that have always worked. At Cripe, employees across all departments and levels of experiences are constantly “Teaching the Why.”

At Cripe, we are open to new ways of doing and thinking. This is true across departments and project processes, as well as our corporate culture. In everything done at Cripe, there is always a strong commitment to our employees and their professional growth.

Companies cannot grow and attract top talent without an open-mindedness and willingness to try new things and Cripe knows this.

Creating a work environment that feels like a team is a value that permeates throughout the entire company. All voices need to be heard whether that is in regards to a department specific project or an opinion on how Cripe can continue to evolve its company culture and keep employees engaged and excited.

In 2018, Cripe was named as one of the “Best Places to Work in Indiana” for the 8th time and was also inducted into the Best Places to Work in Indiana Hall of Fame. There are many reasons for being included in this list, but a top factor is the open-mindedness throughout Cripe as well as the ever evolving and growing culture component, as evidenced by the Cripe Huddles.

2019 will be a year of growth in many factors for Cripe. Stay tuned to our social media channels to see all that we accomplish, learn, and experience this year!

I grew up around the construction industry. Visiting job sites with the Boy Scouts and spending time around my family’s construction company’s warehouse as a child are some of my favorite memories. However, I wanted to be different. My mother has a passion for art and design that I fortunately inherited while my father works in construction. Growing up, I knew there had to be a career that married my interest in construction with my passion for art; architecture.

After two years as an undergraduate I decided that a traditional architecture career was something that did not meet my need for hands on method of design. My father and I discussed a method of project delivery called design-build. After researching the topic, I quickly signed up for a few construction management courses, which helped my understanding of the construction industry. Also, I enrolled in an independent study revolving around renovating a facility in downtown Muncie. The second semester of my senior year I was in luck. A project was being offered to students to design and build a ‘Playscape’ for a neighborhood in Indianapolis. The five thousand dollar budget seemed like a lot at the time. However, we quickly realized size limitations with our choice of materials. The project was thought provoking because a portion of the neighborhood had no desire for children to use the park, and instead wanted the whole area for themselves without children. This eliminated the option of a traditional playground with swings and a slide. Instead a series of platforms with key features was designed, approved, and built. These experiences led me to search for a graduate school program that expands upon the idea of design-build.



The single most important lesson I have learned from these programs in my undergraduate career, looking back during my final year of graduate school, has to be that design is on-going, even during construction. Design does not stop until construction is complete. This notion can be taken advantage of in a design-build situation to maximize efficiency. Sometimes you find a better method in the field than originally drawn in the documents. I had the privilege to work on a few special case projects that demonstrate that principle, one being a ‘fast track’ project with two components, a pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) and a stick built structure. The PEMB had broken ground and begun construction before the construction documents were even complete for this project.

Knowing firsthand how building systems come together is paramount to the understanding of this profession. There is a dramatic difference between drawing a detail for a set of construction documents and putting it together in the field. It makes you think critically when moving forward with the next project. Having those experiences on a construction site alter and improve your consideration for all aspects and phases of design. It has made me more aware of my design decisions that have an impact on schedule and budget.

There is also an added benefit of understanding a different perspective. Often as design professionals we hear the word contractor and moan while they do the same thing when they hear the word architect. The design-build delivery method allows those tensions to dissipate because unlike a typical design arrangement, all entities and firms, on both the architectural side and construction side are involved from the inception of the project. The client ultimately receives a better product as a result of proactive collaboration between the architect, contractor, and owner. Even when the design and construction is handled by two separate entities, this process is beneficial. There is a mutual understanding from day one that contractor and architect will work together to achieve a better product.

Design and construction both hold a very important place in my life. I am thankful for the opportunity to join my two passions into a career and hope that others will see the merit in enrolling in design-build courses while in college.


Max Wurster is an Architectural intern with Cripe. He studies Architecture at the University of Kansas with a focus on design-build and will be in his final year of graduate school in the fall.

Many people have heard the terms 3D laser scanning, 3D Surveying, or High Definition Surveying, but exactly what do those terms mean?  Do they mean the same thing?  What is it all about?  Is it magic?  Smoke and mirrors?  Not exactly.  Indeed, mirrors are involved, but this is definitely no illusion.  To me, all of the above terms can be used to describe the same cutting edge surveying technique.  Throughout this blog I’ll refer to the term High Definition Surveying (HDS).

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