Our two first clients in 1937 are still our clients today.
Yes. You read that right. We have had our first clients remain loyal clients for 83 years. Here at Cripe, we think that means we’re doing something right.
There are so many things that go into making these lasting partnerships happen. Paul I. Cripe built an outstanding foundation all those years ago and we’re proud to say that we continue to build on these foundations, update them to serve the needs of existing and new clients and utilize new technologies to meet the ever-evolving and modern demands of the various industries we serve.
To maintain such long-lasting client relationships though, Mr. Cripe understood that there was a bigger, more holistic picture than just delivering innovative design solutions. He created core values which included, Accountability, Integrity and Community Service.
He turned those values into a blueprint comprising of The Cripe Way, Cripe Leadership Model and Cripe Charitable Foundation. These all still stand today in order to best serve all our clients across our internal departments and external market sectors and industries.
The Cripe Way is many things, but overall it embodies the quote Mr. Cripe liked best: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” This simple saying is known by every single employee at Cripe and they live it every day with every client and their colleagues. The Cripe Way is a project management tool that we live by at Cripe so that we can serve our clients without having details fall through the cracks. Above all else, it stresses the importance of communications and meetings with clients so that we know exactly what they’re looking for, schedules to keep everyone on track, quality control along the way to ensure efficiency and understanding not only our client’s businesses, but their perspectives as well.
The Cripe Leadership Model is more of an internal structure that we use to measure how well our employees are doing across several markers that we find highly important at Cripe. These values range from professionalism to living Cripe values. Checking in like this and having important conversations about internal performance ensures that we are giving our absolute best to our clients. Our employees are always willing to learn and grow to continue to best serve not only the clients, but their colleagues as well.
If you’ve been following us or reading our blogs, you know how important community service is. With the establishment of the Cripe Charitable Foundation, we’ve donated over a million education focused dollars, our employees volunteer over 65 hours per year on average and our employees support over 132 community organizations of their choosing. We are invested in our clients of course, but that goes so much further that providing design solutions. We’re invested in improving the communities in which we live, work and play and those communities include our clients, their businesses and even their families.
83 years after Mr. Cripe laid the foundations, employees are still living by those values and that’s why we can proudly say that we’ve had a few of the same clients since our founding in 1937.
1937 seems like a long time ago and it really was. Cripe had a simple beginning as a survey firm. It was not the firm of 2020 that it is now, providing architecture and civil engineering in addition to the original survey services. And those services just skim the surface. We’ve expanded into medical equipment planning, real estate services, interior design work and so much more.
83 years may seem like a long time, but we haven’t stopped moving and growing and expanding into new services and market sectors. Over those 83 years we’ve done projects from airports to college campuses to parks to hospitals. We’re not stopping there either. In the last few years, we’ve increased our focus on re-purposing previously standing spaces and sustainability.
Don’t be alarmed when you see that Cripe has been in business since 1937. It doesn’t mean our business practices are stagnant. Our employees and leadership are constantly learning and bettering themselves as architects, engineers and surveyors. Continuing to educate ourselves is so important and continuing to enhance our practices with new technology has made us the firm we are today and the firm we are continuing to grow into.
The foundation of our company laid out by Paul I. Cripe is still strong underneath the new practices we’ve utilized. To this day, our company culture revolves around the principles laid down by our founder.
Mr. Cripe understood that to holistically serve our clients, delivering innovative design solutions was not the whole picture. He believed a firm must embody the core values of Accountability, Integrity and Community Service. This valued blueprint brought into being The Cripe Way (Accountability), Cripe Leadership Model (Integrity) and Cripe Charitable Foundation (Community Service).
Every team member knows the story of the watch. In the early years, Mr. Cripe pawned his prized pocket watch to meet payroll. The watch – a living reminder of true servant leadership and accountability– sits in our CEO’s office today. When Mr. Cripe said, “If It is to be; it’s up to me” – he meant it – and so do we.
What does this mean for you? Whether you are a client, a partner firm, a community partner or anyone else know that our celebrated project management skills that were set down from the beginning and sharpened over time will get the results you want. Our staff, comprised of lifelong learners, will get the job done no matter what obstacles, known or unknown, come their way.
We understand that we are part of a community bigger than ourselves. We give our very best to each project, knowing that it will enhance the community whether it is a college campus, skate park or medical office building. We also know how important it is to give back to those communities in which we work, live and play. As a company we participate in many philanthropic events a year, going so far as to dedicate one whole day a year as our Day of Service. In addition, we do a Giving Tree holiday drive that benefits a family in our community and our interns choose a philanthropic organization and organize events and fundraisers to benefit that organization over the summer they spend at Cripe.
It doesn’t stop there. Cripe employees are so active in the community on their own that we host an award ceremony to recognize the change these employees are enacting in their communities and it’s always hard for the committee to choose just one winner each year.
83 years is a very long time. But we’re not frozen in time at Cripe. Each and every one of those years has brought us to new heights in the design services we offer and our community impact. We couldn’t get to those heights if it weren’t for the very solid foundation laid down in 1937 by Paul I. Cripe. Here’s to the next 83!
By Christopher Reinhart, Director | Sustainability + Research
On a crisp and sunny morning early this month, a small group started our day sipping toasty coffee and nibbling on tasty lemon poppyseed muffins from the local co-op, Bloomingfoods. We sat on the sunny outdoor plaza on the south side of The Mill, “Bloomington’s center of gravity for innovators, remote workers, entrepreneurs, and creators,” where Cripe’s Bloomington office is located. This lovely outdoor space is at the heart of the Trades District, a focal point of recent and continuing development in the city. We gathered here not just to enjoy some camaraderie, our morning treats, and a beautiful Bloomington day, but also to discuss biophilia and biophilic design, and how we find it around us in the spaces we inhabit each day.
This event was hosted by the Bloomington Living Future Collaborative, a local advocacy group which I co-facilitate, dedicated to the restorative work of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), whose mission is to “lead the transformation toward a civilization that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.” There are many local collaboratives around the country and the world, like ours, that provide education and engagement opportunities in our local communities to encourage positive transformation of our built environment.
And on this delightful fall morning, we weren’t the only ones gathered to discuss the human-nature connection and how it can be expressed through design to enrich our daily lives. In Columbus, Ohio, another Living Future Collaborative was gathered around the same concept. The idea to have these gatherings in various cities throughout the Ohio Valley was the brainchild of Andy McIntyre, Regional Sales Manager for Kingspan Insulated Panels. At the Living Future “unConference” several years ago, Andy heard that the collaborative in Australia had a done a “walking beauty tour,” and the idea stuck with him.
As Andy thought about doing a similar event here stateside, he realized that it would be a great opportunity to build regional connections. “The Ohio Valley region has all these things in common… when you look at the climate and the building archetypes, the people doing business in the region, the people designing in these areas… we all have a lot in common in terms of our challenges and similarities,” he told me. Based on a suggestion from ILFI’s Sunni Wissmer, Andy decided to call the event #ResilientBeauty—the hashtag being a way that participants from around the region could tag the photos that we took on our walks so that we could all see what others were up to. Searching the hashtag would yield a tapestry of photographs highlighting the beauty and human-nature connection expressed throughout the Ohio Valley region. The title also references the upcoming Building Resilience conference, in Cleveland, Ohio on November 7 and 8.
In both Columbus and here in Bloomington, the event began with a discussion and overview of biophilia and biophilic design. The scientist E.O. Wilson has described biophilia as the innate connection between humans and nature. Biophilic design is an approach that centers around this connection, seeks to understand the physiological and psychological effects it has on people, and develops patterns for practically implementing these ideas into designs. At the forefront of this practice is Terrapin Bright Green, a firm that has published many wonderful resources on the web related to biophilic design. In Bloomington, we used their report “14 Patterns of Biophilic Design: Improving Health and Well-Being in the Built Environment” as the basis for our conversation.
As we talked through the various patterns of biophilic design, participants shared ways that they have experienced these patterns in their homes, workplaces and cities. This conversational approach allowed everyone, even those not previously familiar with biophilic design, to get a feel for the concepts and patterns that we would be looking for as we explored the B-Line Trail, a rails-to-trails project that forms a curving spine—the backbone of our pedestrian and bicycle network—that runs through our city and adjacent to The Mill. Attendees were given a handout with the patterns listed to refer back to during our walk on the B-Line, as we sought to find these patterns expressed around us.
Our group began as a small core of four people, but as we walked, talked, and photographed our way along the B-Line and through the Farmer’s Market, we engaged many more friends that we encountered in our adventure. I was delighted to see some of our participants eagerly sharing their new knowledge with others. Biophilic design is easy-to-understand, and once you begin seeing the patterns at work, you can start to see them expressed in big and small ways all around us. Everyone left the event in great spirits and with a much better understanding of biophilic design.
The Columbus, Ohio, event was also a big success, drawing fourteen people. Johnna Keller, co-facilitator of the Columbus Living Future Collaborative and event organizer told me, “I was pleasantly surprised that the event drew people from all walks of life—not just from the building profession but also from the community at large. I thought a beautiful outcome of the event was that people were connecting with this idea of biophilia and biophilic design on a new level, not necessarily on a design level but more on a human, instinctual level.”
Johnna, like myself, is a design professional with a focus on sustainability, and we were both delighted to find a meaningful way to engage non-designers with a topic that may be new and unfamiliar, but that has a profound impact on the ways we feel in our built environments. Oftentimes, design can seem inscrutable because it is cloaked in technical language. Experiences like this, that help people connect through their senses with design principles, help overcome the barriers of technical jargon and generate an understanding that anyone can carry forward to positively impact their environments.
Because of the success of the events, and the positive feedback we received from all those that attended, Andy, Johnna, and I have already begun brainstorming for a similar event for next year, with a fun new twist—a photographic scavenger hunt for biophilic design principles! If you are interested in this event or similar events, feel free to email me and join the Bloomington Living Future Collaborative mailing list. In the meantime, you can learn more about biophilic design through the ILFI’s Biophilic Design Initiative. Look around you in your home and workspace and discover ways that biophilic design is already a part of your life. What new ways can you find to strengthen the human-nature connection in the spaces you inhabit?
Sustainable design stretches far outside of the physical limits of a building. Civil engineers are now seeing a spillover into their field of expertise to create sustainable landscapes.
Our civil engineering team recently worked on The Center, a space for employees and partners within The Heritage Group to gather and be engaged and encouraged to drive progress.
The Center is unique in its sheer size for a project of this type. It is the first and largest SITES certified project in Indiana.
This project contained not only a physical building, but also the green spaces around it.
Landscapes can pose their own set of particular obstacles, and Cripe civil engineers are more than willing to rise to the challenge when dealing with these living ecological systems. We know it is of the utmost importance to be stewards of the environment in which we live and play and so using proper design techniques, we aim to create landscapes that are regenerative.
We worked with The Heritage Group, Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf and the design team and construction management to create a sustainable work atmosphere that encourages outdoor engagement and collaboration.
The project presented the opportunity to blend a woodland site and a corporate work environment, which included exceptional meeting spaces and a laboratory.
The Center was guided by best practices set forth by SITES (Sustainable Sites Initiative) which is meant to help design professionals achieve sustainable land development and management practices. The codes promote the defense and renewal of ecological systems, which creates a rise in regenerative design.
The site was designed with numerous sustainable features including enhanced green space and canopy with native vegetation, rain gardens, forebays, and ponds to capture and treat stormwater. There are also wetlands, landforms and water features to redirect and mitigate noise pollution, permeable pavements, and purposeful LED lighting to reduce energy use and minimize light pollution.
We are proud to have played a role in the integrative and collaborative design that looked at the site as a blank canvas to create a project that weaves building, hardscape, preserved natural environment and health and wellness into one tapestry.
Cripe was instrumental in working with the client and development owner on communication with all stakeholders including end-users, neighbors, city officials, IndyGo and utilities in sharing a vision and developing creative solutions for the site development.
At Cripe, all projects are guided by a set of values that benefit all of those working on the project. We prioritize clear communication and quality control among many other benchmarks, making us a trusted and reliable team member for a variety of projects across all services and markets.
With the Fourth of July holiday behind us, most of us have fully embraced the summer time staples of barbeques, suntan lotion and swimming pools. Winter is the furthest thing from our minds. The natural gas industry, however, is still reeling from last winter’s touch.
The last cold season has taken an unusually large bite out of the country’s natural gas storage. Unless Mother Nature is kinder this year, serious price spikes could be on the way. The system can handle normal seasonal fluctuations just fine, but when we have a long, harsh winter like last season, there is an increased risk that there is not enough supply to get to end-users in the time that it needs to be there.
However with the recent advent of the shale has boom, the U.S. has unlocked decades, or even more, in natural gas resources. Gas is plainly seizing new roles in power, industry and transportation. Nevertheless, despite large and growing supplies, brief imbalances in supply and demand continue to appear. When they do, they work themselves out through price. Myriad factors go into that price and storage is just one of them as it doesn’t often take center stage.
It did in early 2012, when markets saw storage levels nearly maxed out by prodigious supplies of shale gas. With this oversupply – the possibility of gas with nowhere to go – natural gas prices crashed below $2 per million British thermal units (MMbtu).
This year, the question is whether gas supply stocks can recover from last winter’s deep drawdowns. The EIA currently estimate the U.S. has 1.93 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of working gas in storage. That’s nearly 26% less than this time a year ago and 29% below the five-year average.
A course correction is currently underway, with market observers already seeing large, even record-setting injection numbers. Most are forecasting 3.3 to 3.5 tcf in storage by the end of injection season. This is still less than average but will help alleviate market shivers and help keep gas supplier costs down.
It used to be that you had only one choice when it came to your energy supplier. Current laws have introduced deregulation, which means you now have options other than the local utility company when choosing your natural gas supply. Homes and businesses in deregulated states may now get there energy from suppliers who work within a competitive market to offer different options for your energy needs. There are plenty of choices out there. Here at Cripe our Energy + Facilities team helps clients make informed decisions and take advantage of deregulation to control energy costs.
The more suppliers involved that compete for your business, the better your rates.
Our Energy + Facilities team has had notable success in the natural gas procurement field and bringing significant savings to our clients. This process typically results in quick and early success, forming a great starting point to build an ongoing relationship, with Cripe acting as a trusted advisor and consultant on energy and facilities related endeavors.
- For a large school corporation in southern Indiana, Cripe Energy + Facilities facilitated a competitive bid of natural gas transportation. With no change in operations or capital investment and without complex hedging strategies, the equivalent of nearly two teacher’s annual salaries, approximately $70,000 annually was saved by this simple measure. This was just the first step in a larger initiative in which Cripe Energy + Facilities has so far been able to orchestrate a combined total annual savings of $340,000 for the school corporation.
- For a sizeable poultry processing plant and feed mill, the Cripe team orchestrated the use of a natural gas marketer over the typical “bundled” rate through the local utility and managed a 20% savings or approximately $100,000 annually.
- Most recently, for a statewide healthcare system in Kentucky, Cripe was able to consolidate existing natural gas contracts for multiple facilities and orchestrate a competitive bidding process which brought multiple facilities under a unified contract and consistent transport cost. Again, without any major change in operations or capital investment and without complex hedging strategies, with this simple measure Cripe is on track to bring over $300,000 in savings over a multi-year contract.
For most of these clients, after the initial success of the gas procurement process and the realization of the savings that our Energy + Facilities team can leverage, more in-depth, holistic programs are entered into encompassing other aspects of energy management. These aspects include energy auditing, demand-side management or behavior modification, measurement & verification and capital projects. In other words, natural gas procurement is not the only energy management service Cripe can provide, it is just the start.
We pride ourselves on coupling the social aspects of energy management with real bottom-line savings. Implementing true sustainability in a facility is an ongoing process. Cripe believes in real returns on investment and significant energy reduction to put clients on the path to responsible stewardship and true sustainability.
-Written By Adam Oak-
The concept of “sustainability” is an issue of growing importance both here at Cripe and in the world at large. Driven by a desire to conserve resources, it is primarily achieved through an increase in energy efficiency, whether that means the energy used to create the building materials, and building itself, or an ongoing energy efficiency as the building consumes resources once occupied. For more in-depth information on this topic, see Jennifer Lasch’s recent post here:
Our Energy & Facilities department serves clients to save money on the ongoing long-term costs of building operations. The Solar Decathlon is an initiative by the U.S. Department of Energy to encourage research and development in the academic world regarding both efficient usage of materials and also ongoing energy consumption by a building. Many fantastic new building methods, materials usages, and energy management strategies/technologies have arisen out of this competition that is still in its infancy.
I recently discovered an article about the winner of the 2010 Solar Decathlon, and was amazed at the scope/scale of the project coming out of an architecture program, and also pleased to see that it came from the relatively modest school where I had the fantastic opportunity to study abroad for a semester in 2009- The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, or IaaC, in Barcelona. Even the fact that its name is in English speaks to its intent to be an international program, and they draw students from around the world.
The 2010 winner, FabLab House, is well documented from inception to full-scale construction in Madrid, on the official blog for the house. It’s worth a look, and an impressive project to come out of a very small architecture program in Barcelona’s gentrifying former light-industry Poblenou neighborhood. The project also received many nice writeups on various architecture blogs and publications (credit pernell). It’s important for us in the practicing world to stay in tune with what is happening in academia, because it can inform our future work in many practical and useful ways- and keep us excited about Architecture!