Having restored some of Charleston's most historic structures, and currently erecting a new building using "green" technology, Will Danielson found a career he can build on.
Danielson of Mount Pleasant is vice president of construction management for NBM Construction Co. A graduate of Ohio University with a degree in structural engineering, he came to the Lowcountry eight years ago when his wife, Carla, and took a job at the Medical University of South Carolina. Before that, Danielson worked a series of jobs at industrial plants, which he said helped him prepare for a career in construction.
With NBM, Danielson said he's constantly being challenged, and that's what makes the job so appealing. "Every job is so different. That's what keeps it interesting and fresh. You always seem to be learning something new."
NBM's projects have included restorations at historic Market Hall at Market and Meeting streets, the Middleton-Pinckney House at 14 George St., now the Spoleto USA Festival headquarters; Charleston City Hall; and the Dock Street Theatre.
But "old" isn't all NBM and Danielson know. The firm is building the new Arthur Christopher City Gym on Fishburne Street, an $8 million, 24,000-square-foot facility partially funded by federal stimulus money and green energy grants. The gymnasium, which has been described by city planners as "beautiful," "modern" and "airy," replaces a much older city gym at 65 Hagood Ave., and could be open by late this fall.
The new gym can also be described as "very green." As much recycled material as possible is going into the building, and the design incorporates the latest in new technologies for insulating and reducing costs of heating, cooling and lighting, Danielson said.
The building was designed with a huge opaque glass skylight roof that lets light in, reducing the need for electric lighting, he said. In addition, nearly all of the building project's scrap and waste construction material is being recycled.
Danielson said the U.S. Green Building Council rates new buildings for energy efficiency and use of recyclables. The highest rating would be "platinum," followed by "gold," "silver," "bronze" and "certified," he said.
"This is the first community center in the state built to the gold standard," Danielson said.
Danielson said that it was fascinating while restoring centuries-old structures to strip down the buildings to their frames and foundations and see what had been hidden all these years.
There are few, if any, downsides to his job, Danielson says. "Working in the heat" quickly comes to mind, along with dealing with subcontractors, he said. "But the successes certainly outweigh the drawbacks."
Reach Edward C. Fennell at firstname.lastname@example.org.