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Ameren Releases 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

in Companies/News

Report highlights how company balances responsibilities to customers, communities, shareholders, its workforce and the environment

The 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report for Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE) is now available at AmerenCSR.com. The voluntary report details Ameren’s commitment to energy sustainability and the company’s responsibilities to its many stakeholders.

The report addresses a range of topics, including environmental performance, community betterment and financial strength.

“Operating in a sustainable way requires us to carefully balance multiple priorities,” said Warner L. Baxter, Ameren’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.  “First, we have a responsibility to our customers and the communities we serve – we remain focused on delivering superior customer value, including very good reliability at reasonable prices. We also have a responsibility to shareholders, who are Ameren’s owners, and to our co-workers, with safety being one of our core values. And of course we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment and our shared world.”

Report highlights include:

 Cleaner air: Ameren has achieved significant decreases in emissions at its coal-fired energy centers since 2005. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions dropped by 26 percent, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions dropped by 44 percent and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions were reduced by 63 percent.

 Economic Impact: Serving as an economic engine in Illinois and Missouri, Ameren made more than $2 billion of capital expenditures in 2016, supported a payroll of $994 million and paid $467 million in state and local taxes.

 Customer Value: Ameren Missouri’s and Ameren Illinois’ electric rates remain below the Midwest and U.S. averages. Even though Ameren’s prices are comparatively low, some customers need extra help, which is why Ameren partners with social agencies to administer bill assistance programs funded by company and customer contributions.

 Reliability: Ameren’s electric distribution reliability performance has improved, as measured by the System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI). This important industry measure shows how Ameren has reduced the total number of interruptions per customer served per year.

 Charitable giving: Ameren contributed nearly $7.3 million in 2016 to nearly 1,000 nonprofit organizations throughout the two-state region.

 Financial performance: Ameren shareholders have seen a total cumulative shareholder return of 63 percent over the three-year period from Dec. 31, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2016, performance that beat indices such as the S&P 500 Utilities and Philadelphia Utility Index.

In October 2017, Ameren Missouri will release its updated 20-year energy generation plan. Baxter previewed this update in a video message that’s part of the report.

“We remain committed to transitioning to a cleaner, more diverse generation portfolio in a responsible fashion,” Baxter said.

Baxter continued: “Our vision – ‘Leading the Way to a Secure Energy Future’ – describes the future we work to enable: a future with cleaner energy and a stronger, smarter grid capable of delivering the products and services our customers value most, while delivering the long-term economic growth of the communities we serve and delivering superior value to the shareholders to whom we are accountable.”

St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric delivery and transmission service as well as natural gas delivery service. Ameren Missouri provides vertically integrated electric service, with generating capacity of over 10,200 megawatts, and natural gas delivery service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois develops regional electric transmission projects. For more information, visit Ameren.com, or follow us at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp or LinkedIn/company/Ameren.

Download – Ameren’s two-page summary PDF.

MC Industrial Awarded SLCCC Best Practices & Inclusion Award

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MC Industrial, Inc., an independent McCarthy company, was awarded with a 2017 Construction Industry Best Practice Award by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) on March 6th, 2017 for the Boeing St. Louis Composite Center of Excellence project. Also recognized as a finalist, was MC Industrial’s NRG Powerton DSI & ESP Upgrades project.

The SLCCC presents the Best Practices awards annually to recognize successful implementation on construction projects of one or more of 17 Best Practices such as cost, schedule and quality.

The Boeing St. Louis Composite Center of Excellence is a more than ten-acre manufacturing and paint facility that signifies a growing economy in St. Louis, bringing in jobs and growth to the community. MC Industrial was worked hand-in-hand with Boeing to design and construct the center, self-performing many areas such as the pouring of concrete foundations and steel erection. After a redesign of the job and having record amounts of precipitation for consecutive months, MC Industrial continued to push forward with the schedule and successfully complete the project with the original completion date.

MC Industrial’s NRG Powerton DSI & ESP Upgrades project, awarded in June 2015, exhibited the complex challenges of a large-scale coal fleet modernization job with the power plant being NRG’s largest. The scope of work included installation of two new Trona Dry Sorbent Injection units, PDC building foundations, and associated balance of plant equipment and structures. The significant team performance needed to achieve success on a critical compliance-driven power project, was recognized as a 2017 SLCCC Best Practice Award finalist.

“We are honored to be recognized for the hard work and determination set forth throughout both the Boeing Composite Center of Excellence and NRG Powerton projects,” commented Bob Kohlburn, president of MC Industrial. “These SLCCC Best Practices awards are a testament to our firm’s commitment of being a trusted partner and delivering a best-value approach to each of our projects.” 

MC Industrial is a national construction firm, dedicated to the highly-specialized needs of the industrial marketplace.

Dynamic Controls Inc., Expands With Two Western U.S. Branch Offices

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Leading systems integrator, Dynamic Controls Inc. (DCI), is pleased to announce the expansion of two new branch offices in Casper, Wyoming and Denver, Colorado.  This brings the total number of DCI branch offices to four (4).  This growth is part of a long-term strategy working with prominent owners, developers, property managers and general contractors who work on National Accounts in the Healthcare, Data Center, Industrial, Institutional, Government, Education, Petro-Chemical, Power & Generation and Entertainment markets.  As a part of this growth, Dynamic Controls, Inc. will further strengthen it’s expanding relationship as a Partner of Schneider Electric, a “Global Specialist in Energy Management and Automation.”

Jeff Gross, CEO of Dynamic Controls, Inc., “This is an exciting time for the company.  The strength of our team and our relationships with both customers and Schneider Electric continues to allow for the growth potential of our great company.  We will continue to focus on core large building automation, power management, small building controls, fire and security/surveillance as a Schneider Electric EcoXpert™ delivery partner.”

The Casper, Wyoming branch opened in early April 2017 and Denver, Colorado is expecting to open in late spring.  Both branches will offer sales, estimating, operations, field installation and building maintenance capabilities.  The Wyoming branch will have the ability to provide SmartStruxure, I/A Series, Vista, INET, I/A JACE and Andover Continuum on the temperature control side of the business.  The Colorado branch will have the ability to provide SmartStruxure, I/A Series and I/A JACE on the temperature control side of the business.  Both branches will have the ability to provide a vast number of security and surveillance solutions.

Jason Schaible, Director-West Region Partners for Schneider Electric Buildings America, Inc. added, “Maintaining customers for life is a core value for Schneider Electric. We are focused on supporting customers throughout the product lifecycle and the lifecycle of your facility.  Schneider Electric is focused on bringing modern offers and solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers.  We are excited to add Dynamic Controls, Inc., as one of our West Region Partners.”

Founded in the early 1980’s, in Peoria, Illinois, Dynamic Controls Inc., is consistently ranked among the top systems integrators in the United States. In addition to the Peoria, IL headquarters, DCI operations include a branch office in St. Louis, MO, Casper, WY and Denver, CO.

Foreman Fabricators, Inc. of St. Louis Wins International Bronze Award

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Foreman Fabricators, Inc. in St. Louis has won a prestigious award for outstanding craftsmanship in the annual Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition, sponsored by the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA).  Judges honored Foreman with the “Bronze Award for Furniture & Accessories Fabrication (non-forged)” for its entry of a unique, custom stainless steel kitchen range hood.  The International competition was open to over 700 member firms from throughout the U.S. and 12 foreign countries, and recognized outstanding work in the ornamental and miscellaneous metals industry.

Foreman custom fabricated this range hood for homeowners Chad and Kate Angle, who said, “we spoke with many metal fabricators before choosing Foreman, and they were the only one we felt confident about.  They did an outstanding job!”  The final design for the range hood was the result of collaboration between Foreman and the Angles.  Kate did some research online, gathering images and ideas, and then worked with Foreman’s Project Manager, Andrew Ehlmann, to create an attractive ornamental custom design that would seamlessly cover their existing Viking exhaust unit.  The finished product is a beautiful, functional one-of-a-kind piece.

The clients couldn’t be more pleased with the finished product.  Kate Angle said, “The hood is really magnificent and it’s the crown jewel to my new kitchen!”  Kate and her husband often entertain large groups of friends and family at their home, and the range hood is the first thing her guests notice in her brand-new kitchen.  “Everyone comments how beautiful it is.”  When asked if she would recommend Foreman to others, Kate’s immediate response was, “Absolutely!”  Satisfied comments like these are why Foreman takes pride in every job; they know how important it is to be flexible with the changing wants and needs of customers to create outstanding finished products.

Founded in 1959, Foreman Fabricators is a premier fabricator of custom architectural metal items.  Examples of their work are all over the metropolitan area, from the railings surrounding the baggage carousels at Lambert International Airport, and the departure and arrival signs as well.  To the stainless steel countertops and ticket counters and brackets in Scottrade Center, as well as bar tops, bar footrails, bar waitress rails and some metal components in all the party suites.   To the aluminum flagpoles in the World Series Room in the Cardinals Museum, elevator cladding at Barnes Hospital, and on and on. As owner Brian Foreman says, “If you live in St. Louis, you’ve seen our work!”  Specializing in architectural metal fabrication, Foreman Fabricators can custom create almost anything in metal…from a single, unique bracket, to intricate hand railings, to one-of-a-kind architectural features for buildings.  With more than a half century of work in commercial venues and homes throughout the St. Louis area, there’s a good chance you’ve had your hand on a Foreman railing.

BMC Enterprises, Inc. Announces Three Aggregate Transactions in Missouri

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BMC Enterprises, Inc. (parent company of Breckenridge Material Company) is pleased to announce three additions to its Missouri aggregates business: the opening of a new BMC Stone quarry in High Hill, the acquisition of a strategic interest in Base Rock Minerals, LLC, a limestone quarry in Bonne Terre, and the subsequent acquisition of Strack Stone Company, a limestone quarry located just north of Cape Girardeau.  Strack Stone will now operate under the Base Rock Minerals name.

Nathan G. McKean, Chief Executive Officer of BMC Enterprises, Inc., stated, “We are delighted to announce these aggregate acquisitions, which demonstrate our continued commitment to a sustainable growth strategy.  The pro-business administration in Jefferson City has given us a renewed optimism about the Missouri economy.”  McKean added further, “We are pleased to partner with the Bauman Family and are looking forward to continued growth with our limestone businesses in southern Missouri.  We are also very excited with the new opportunities these transactions will bring to everyone involved with the parent organization.”

The three quarries vertically position BMC along the major interstate corridors from its hub in St. Louis Metro. “This will dramatically increase our ability to service our customers with expanded product offerings,” said McKean, “and will enable the parent company to participate more fully in future transportation and infrastructure investment in the state.”

The acquisitions now bring the total number of vertical and horizontal acquisitions for BMC Enterprises, Inc. to 10 since 2009 and 19 since Nathan McKean became CEO in 2004.

 

Founded in 1925, Breckenridge Material Company, a subsidiary of BMC Enterprises, Inc. is a privately held and operated construction materials company headquartered in St. Louis.

Western Specialty Contractors Receives ICRI-Chicago Chapter Award of Excellence for Outstanding Concrete Repair Project

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Unforeseen sub-structure work and continued operation of garage posed challenges

Western Specialty Contractors – Chicago Concrete Restoration Branch was recently honored with a “2016 Award of Excellence” for Outstanding Concrete Repair Project from the International Concrete Restoration Institute (ICRI) Chicago Chapter for restoration of the aging Hilton Orrington Evanston Hotel parking garage.

Constructed in the mid-1920s, the Hilton Orrington Parking Garage is a stand-alone parking structure located adjacent to the Hilton Orrington Hotel in Evanston, IL. Its interior concrete had degraded due to the corrosive action of chlorides, such as salt, and natural life-cycle deterioration to the point where falling concrete was posing a safety hazard to visitors.

The original scope of work included renovating the interior of the four-deck garage; demolition and replacement of deteriorated concrete ramps, columns and beams; as well as ancillary HVAC, electrical and fire alarm work necessary to bring the facility up to current codes.

James McHugh Construction Co. acted as the general contractor on the $3.3 million project, in tandem with design engineer CTL Group and key repair contractor Western Specialty Contractors – Chicago Concrete Restoration branch.

The restoration team faced several unforeseen challenges on the project due to the garage’s advanced age and deterioration. Further complicating the project, the hotel owner also requested that the garage not be shut down for extended periods of time during the restoration, plus the garage’s first floor was occupied by several small businesses, so construction noise, dust and disruption also had to be kept to a minimum.

“Despite the need for repairs, the continued operation of this parking garage was determined to be key to the successful operation of the adjacent hotel. Therefore, the garage could not be shut down for extended periods of time, and could not go off-line for materials to be removed and replaced,” said Steve Genovese, Western Chicago Concrete Branch Manager. “Occupant safety was also a top consideration since construction activities could dislodge concrete spalls above the ceilings in the occupied spaces. Plus, the owner only allowed ‘noisy’ repairs to be performed three days a week.”

As a result of multiple generations of previous, un-engineered repairs to the structure, additional un-foreseen restoration of the steel sub-structure was required, further complicating the project.

Excavated openings revealed unattached amalgams of various types, sizes and arrangements of reinforcing steel in each opening. This required repair excavations to grow significantly in order to uncover sound reinforcement and concrete, said Genovese.

Western Specialty Contractors worked closely with the general contractor and engineer to coordinate excavations with repair evaluations since each opening required custom engineering to address the uncovered conditions.

“The repair locations were quite large, resulting in on average close to 20 yards of concrete material, or two truckloads, for each patch,” said Genovese. “On average, eight workers were onsite for the duration of the project, mainly because only certain sections of the garage were allowed to be repaired at a time. The deck is four levels, with the first two levels still needing availability for parking, and where most of the repairs were found.”

The restoration team was able to devise some creative solutions to keep the project running smoothly, such as eliminating a portion of the topside and underside repairs to a true full-depth repair, along with phasing. The aging, cast-in-place 8″ to 10″ concrete slabs circumvented doubling the project schedule even though the repair quantities doubled.

Despite the challenges, only three months were added to the original six-month schedule due to collaboration by the entire project team.

“The project posed substantial obstacles including technical, emission control and personnel safety. Changes to concrete and steel conditions drove quantity increases during the work, requiring close and timely coordination with the design engineer,” said Steve Bush, Superintendent, James McHugh Construction Co. “The stacked configuration of the parking ramp mandated stringent safety precautions during demolition and repair. Work was completed without injury to staff or reportable emissions from the garage.”

Family-owned and operated for 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. 

Spellman Brady Completes Interior Design for Bethesda Hawthorne Place

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Spellman Brady & Company recently completed a comprehensive  interior design package for Bethesda Health Group’s newest Assisted Living and Memory Support community, Bethesda Hawthorne Place, located in the Webster Groves/Kirkwood area of St. Louis, Missouri.  Spellman Brady was responsible for the interior design, finishes, furniture and artwork selection for the new facility.

Hawthorne Place consists of two Assisted Living households on two floors totaling 38 apartments and one Memory Support household for 20 resident apartments.  In addition, to the one and two- bedroom apartments, the Assisted Living households feature a hearth room, several lounge spaces, secured outdoor courtyards, a main dining room, kitchen and activity space, as well as a private dining room.  The facility’s overall amenities also include a dramatic entry lobby, grand staircase, library, fitness center, salon, spa and a chapel.

Building on the finish standards that they have developed for previous Bethesda Health projects, Spellman Brady created an overall design concept for Hawthorne Place that has refreshing transitional aesthetics, bold and comfortable with color.  They achieved this by utilizing a warm-neutral color palette with pops of tangerine, navy, and aqua colors.  The finishes are complemented with millwork, furniture and light fixtures that feature clean, crisp lines of timeless simplicity.

When visitors enter the facility, they are greeted by a reception desk accented in front of a stone wall which features lighting to showcase the Hawthorne Place logo.  As they move through the space, they encounter bright and open community spaces that are visually tied together through the use of white millwork columns, trim work, ceiling moldings and details that are rich in detail, yet sophisticated and restrained.

Adjacent to the larger community spaces are smaller-scaled specialized function rooms – such as the library, chapel, hearth rooms, sitting parlor and private dining rooms – which are discreetly defined by the use of custom sliding doors.  The sliding glass doors are detailed in the same crisp white wood as the rest of the project’s millwork and look like large windows to open up, yet create privacy for those areas.  In addition to opening-up floor space by eliminating area for door swings, the glass sliders allow residents visual contact with the variety of activities and add a classic contemporary architectural element.

To help maximize the facility’s inviting sense of home, hearth rooms have a working fireplace with white coordinating fireplace surround, detailed millwork columns, coffered ceiling and a custom carpet to look like an area rug.  All dining rooms have a custom-built hydration station, a design feature wall constructed of acrylic and wood materials with an adjacent activity space for smaller group sessions.

For the Memory Support and the Assisted Living households, Spellman Brady used the different color palettes to give each household its own identity, while still maintaining an overall cohesive feel for the facility.  To reinforce a residential feel in the Assisted Living corridors, custom carpet designs were utilized with “area rug designs” inserted at apartment entries which also help residents identify their unit.  For the Memory Support household, four differently detailed resident entry door styles were painted various colors which help residents to remember apartment location, as well as serve as a wayfinding tool.

Lisa Reynolds, Executive Director of Bethesda Hawthorne Place, attributes the facility’s interiors as part of the reason for the project exceeding its opening occupancy projections.  She recently said this about prospective resident’s reactions to the interiors.  “This community is so beautiful and welcoming that it sells itself.  We are offering the services that they need and want in a setting that is not only beautiful but calm, comforting and feels like home from the minute they walk in.  It takes their breath away and instantly calms the fears and doubts about having to make this transition in their life.  What an awesome accomplishment!”

In addition to Spellman Brady, the project team consisted of three other St. Louis firms – The Lawrence Group, architects for the project; Paric, the project’s general contractor; and Hercules Construction, construction manager. 

Bethesda Health Group provides exceptional senior living, care and services through its retirement communities, skilled nursing home communities and home and community based programs, which place equal focus on quality and value.   

Spellman Brady & Company is a St. Louis–based interior design firm specializing in Senior Living, Healthcare, and Higher Education environments.  

 

Tnemec Expands R&D Facility and Upgrades Capabilities

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Tnemec Company Inc., a leading manufacturer of protective coatings and linings, opened the doors of its new research and development (R&D) facility on March 30, 2017. This expansion of the company’s current manufacturing plant in North Kansas City, Missouri, includes an upgrade that doubles the size of its previous R&D laboratory and office space while making notable improvements to its testing and ventilation equipment.

“Tnemec Company has always been dedicated to researching and developing innovative technologies to protect our customers in corrosive environments,” explained Remi Briand, Vice President – R&D for Tnemec. “This expansion and renovation represents the next phase of this commitment.”

Among the upgrades, a new chemical immersion room allows Tnemec’s R&D team to conduct more expansive performance testing, including in-house autoclave tests and severe wastewater analysis testing (S.W.A.T.). Several updated fume hoods were also installed to handle tougher testing protocols.

Other improvements include a controlled spray booth for panel preparation, new contact angle devices for nanochemistry, an updated chamber capable of handling temperatures ranging from -94°F (-70°C) to 356°F (180°C) and a new state-of-the-art ventilation system to ensure safety for all personnel and the surrounding environment. The building also received high-performance Tnemec coatings systems on the walls and floors.

“The scope of this project also included updating our shipping and traffic offices and renovating the building’s break room,” noted Briand. “This expansion improves our capabilities and the working conditions for our current employees, while also adding additional room for added personnel in the future.”

The new R&D facility further helps Tnemec Company stay focused on delivering high-performance coatings to customers in the ever-changing coatings industry, according to Briand. This expansion comes after several other changes in the company, including the introduction of Chase Bean as President, various product introductions and an effort to increase the domestic sales force.

“We look forward to the future of research and development for Tnemec and the positive effect it will have on our clients,” added Briand.

Established in 1921, Tnemec manufactures more than 120 architectural and industrial coating products at facilities in Kansas City and Baltimore. Headquartered in Kansas City, Tnemec operates distribution facilities in Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Seattle and Compton, Calif.

SSM Health to host grand opening of Outpatient Center in St. Charles County

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Located near Interstate 70 and Fifth Street at 711 Veterans Memorial Parkway, the center provides patients easy access to primary and specialty health care services, including an urgent care clinic and advanced imaging services such as MRI, CT, X-ray, ultrasound, mammography and bone density.

The new SSM Health Outpatient Center opens to patients April 24 and is a collaboration between SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital – St. Charles and SSM Health Medical Group. It provides a new home for SSM Health specialists in internal medicine, pediatrics, endocrinology and physical therapy.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 4 pm

WHERE: 711 Veterans Memorial Parkway, St. Charles, MO  63303

WHY: The SSM Health Outpatient Center is part of a significant commitment SSM Health has made to St. Charles County. It comes on the heels of expansion currently underway at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital – Lake Saint Louis and the 2016 opening of a similar outpatient center in Wentzville.

WHO: 

  • Political and civic leaders from St. Charles County
  • SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital – St. Charles President Mike Bowers
  • SSM Health Medical Group Vice President of Operations Margaret Head
  • SSM Health President & CEO Bill Thompson
  • Other SSM Health executives and clinicians

VISUALS: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of this brand new facility before it opens to the public.

 

NewGround Director, Experience Innovations Wins Art Competition TOC Artwork’s Tiny Art Competition

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Kevin Dulle

NewGround, a St. Louis-based design-build firm, announces that Kevin Dulle, Director of Experience Innovations, won TOC Artwork’s Tiny Art Competition. TOC Artwork recently conducted a Tiny Art Competition for artists to create a piece of art on a mini 5×5” canvas.

Of the many creative masterpieces that were entered to win, the “Lost in A Story” piece created by Dulle ultimately won due to his use of materials, creativity and attention to detail. He used watercolor, ink and mix media to create his artwork. “The whole idea of ‘Tiny Art’ was very intriguing and presented a creative and fun challenge that I just couldn’t say no to,” said Kevin Dulle, Director of Experience Innovations for NewGround, “and, for my piece, I wanted to bring the idea of storytelling to life in a unique and entertaining way.”

“Four NewGround staff members entered the contest and it was an honor that one of our very own won the competition,” said Kevin Blair, President and CE

O of NewGround, “Dulle is a master creator and this win is a direct testimony for the unique skill level of the staff here at NewGround.”

NewGround, headquartered in St. Louis, designs and builds custom facilities including retail and corporate environments. 

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