A Conversation with Bergmann PC Principal Buddy Huyler
Disability Advocates of Kent County staff member Nathan Slauer spoke with Bergmann PC Principal Buddy Huyler. Bergmann PC is a sponsor of the 2022 Absolutely Accessible Kent event.
Q: Tell me about your role with Bergmann PC.
A: As Principal with Bergmann PC, my role focuses on business development. It is important that we build trust with clients, help them see their vision come to reality, and introduce them to our team. We have an open door policy, and the people working on our projects are sitting in the open. That’s why we’re really successful. The team really makes a difference
Q: What do you enjoy about architecture?
A: What sticks out to me is how the built environment affects emotion. It’s great to create an atmosphere that promotes an emotion and to help a client create an environment to serve individual’s needs. That’s kind of fun.
Q: Have you always wanted to become an architect?
A: I have always enjoyed art and drawing. Some people find their way into their profession. Early on, I knew where I wanted to be.
Q: What are you excited things are happening at Bergmann PC this year?
A: Everything for us is really exciting. Our Grand Rapids office is going into its fifth year. We have three nonprofit projects in the works such as HELP Pregnancy Center. We have a term contract with the City of Grand Rapids. We built some strong relationships right here in our background. Affecting your own environment make it worthwhile. We are also working on everything from a Lansing school district to the Muskegon County airport.
Q: What is it like to start a new project?
A: It starts with the client. The initial stage involve learning the client’s needs and setting a process in place. Like most architects, we work through early conceptual processes. We make sure that the project is feasible, and we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We want to make sure that the client can afford the project.
Q: How long does it take to build something new?
A: The construction process usually takes place over one to two years, but the relationships last beyond that point. When you build relationships, you build trust. You build relationships along with our projects. Each project is different. As a full-service company, we work on everything from putting up a partition to waterfront planning.
Q: What has it been like for Bergmann PC to merge with Colliers Engineering & Design?
A: We can provide the infrastructure side with roads, bridges, and utilities design from the ground up. We have the capability to do that across the board since we merged with Colliers Engineering & Design. We have enhanced our portfolio to be able to provide even more services on the engineering side. That is a huge milestone for Bergmann. We can show the clients the value we can add.
We have an exciting relationship with Colliers Engineering & Design. We are excited to build our design group. Being backed by such a national group, we have grown to a staff of 2,200 people. We have 70 plus offices with experience we can draw from no matter where we go. Our network is stronger than ever. The experience we can bring to a client has been multiplied exponentially.
Q: Do you have a recent project that you’re especially proud of?
A: Each project is different. Whether it’s a small renovation or a bigger project, it’s always about delivering for our clients. We are excited about building relationships on the front end. The client has to feel comfortable with our team. We do great buildings, and I love many of the projects we work on. Personal touches make all the difference.
Q: Have you noticed any recent architectural trends
With COVID-19, things transitioned quite a bit. Our environments are changing. The office environment is being looked at differently. Hoteling stations and working from home is a conversation happening everywhere. Before COVID-19, we weren’t not doing a lot of Teams Meetings. Face-to-face meetings cannot be replaced, though. They are critical to the planning aspect of our work.
Q: During Absolutely Accessible Kent, we will discuss how to make West Michigan a more accessible place. How do you use universal and inclusive design in your work at Bergmann PC?
A: Outside of what we’re required to do by code under the Americans with Disabilities Act, we look well beyond that. We use universal design in the built environment. We consider how spaces, textures, and sounds work within a building. As a good designer, those things should be on the forefront of what we’re looking to do.