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Building Smarter Healthcare Through Better Interior Design

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Submitted by: Todd Imming, CMO, at The Korte Co.

Healthcare interior design projects pose unique challenges for design teams. Many of the finishes chosen for a new, expanded or renovated healthcare facility are more than just passive elements that create a “look and feel” of a facility. They contribute to the core mission of the facility: Delivery of care to patients.

It’s not that these spaces cannot be appealing. Examples abound of healthcare facilities striking in their beauty. The idea, though, is that healthcare interior designers must first prioritize design elements that promote patient care.

The unique factors design teams must consider for these projects are highlighted below.

Code compliance

For healthcare facilities, code compliance is not negotiable. The protection of patients, visitors and facility employees is paramount, so interior design initiatives must first address code compliance. No exceptions.

While any number of unique local codes or ordinances can impact interior design decisions, most healthcare facilities in the U.S. must comply with National Fire Protection Association codes. Those include NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and NFPA 99 Health Care Facilities Code.

Design teams must be aware of the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) over a given project ahead of time. In some states, the state fire marshal is the AHJ. In large cities, local fire department personnel usually assume that role.

Teams should also know which editions of the codes are effective in a project’s jurisdiction. That’s because some jurisdictions don’t always enact new codes each time NFPA standards are updated.

One of the key benefits of choosing Design-Build for your healthcare construction project is improved information sharing among teams. Interior designers stay in close contact with project managers and have a running start as they ensure all applicable local rules are followed.

Evidence-based design

Picture a 1950s-era hospital. With that image in mind, it’s no wonder generations of patients avoided healthcare facilities to the point of skipping doctor visits.

Now, picture a modern facility. With ample natural light, soft colors, garden and water features and an inviting look and feel, some don’t even look like hospitals at all.

Modern healthcare interiors are created on the premise of evidence-based design, or the use of credible research to influence built environments so that patient outcomes improve. The research becomes more and more convincing all the time. It isn’t just medicine that makes you feel better.

The principle of healing architecture has arisen from research assessing how patient outcomes improve when certain design choices are made. Consider these findings:

  • An experiment conducted by neuropsychiatric providers in Italy found that patients suffering from bipolar disorder spent an average of four fewer days in the hospital when they were assigned east-facing rooms that captured morning sunlight.
  • After shadowing the staff of the neonatal intensive care unit in a Swedish hospital, an architect redesigned the space. After implementation, hospital stays for premature infants measurably shortened.
  • A study of aggressive patients showed that doctors reduced sedative injections by 70% for patients whose rooms featured posters depicting scenes of nature compared to those whose rooms’ walls were blank.

Cleanability

Somewhat related to evidence-based design is cleanability, arguably the most important defense against spreading diseases in spaces inherently full of them.

Paying close attention to the design of the furniture you choose will go a long way toward reducing surface contamination that can lead to healthcare-associated infections (HAI). Furnishings and finishes in patient rooms are at especially high risk of harboring pathogens. Surfaces with seams and joints provide irresistible homes for potentially infectious bacteria.

It’s important that design teams select surfaces that are easily wiped down by facility staff. Wood, for example, typically is not ideal in high-risk spaces. It tends to be porous and its finishes can quickly be stripped away with repetitive cleanings. It’ll work for low-traffic areas like administrative offices, but not so much for patient rooms.

Advances in textile coatings have allowed designers to select antimicrobial furnishings that fight the spread of disease. Companies like Nano-Tex and Crypton now manufacture textile coatings that fight stains and actively combat microorganism growth.

Design unity

Design unity refers to a facility that maintains a consistent look and feel among its separate departments of sectors. In a time when most healthcare construction projects are expansions or renovations, maintaining continuity across “old” and “new” portions of healthcare facilities is critical.

Achieving this cohesion can be difficult in healthcare facilities because they feature so many different spaces, from patient rooms and labs to lobbies, offices and maintenance areas. But it’s important to remember the overall image of your project. More than just walls and a roof, your healthcare facility represents your brand. Do your interior design decisions reflect your cohesive vision?

Case study: Montezuma Creek Health Center

The Montezuma Creek Health Center, a 51,576-square-foot health clinic we just finished for the Utah Navajo Health System, illustrates the principle of design unity.

On the first floor are 36 exam rooms, two treatment rooms, a lab and a dental suite. Administrative offices, conference rooms, an employee fitness area and an outdoor patio make up the second floor. As you can see, maintaining consistency in design would be difficult across the variety of spaces in the clinic.

We looked outdoors for inspiration. The clinic sits near the banks of the San Juan River in the rugged Southwestern Utah desert. We brought elements of the land indoors to make the space feel like it belonged. Features included:

  • A dark red and brown color theme on finishes throughout the clinic to match the area’s red rock terrain.
  • Furnishings with color-accented fabric matching the color codes assigned to the facility’s separate departments.
  • Incorporation of native desert grasses and shrubs to bring the striking exterior environment into the facility.

Budget considerations

The bottom line is a major factor on every healthcare construction project. And while our Design-Build method is meant to cut construction costs, cost cutting must be done thoughtfully.

When it comes to healthcare interior design, our team follows a pretty simple mantra: Don’t give people shoddy furniture.

Here’s what we mean: You get what you pay for. And in healthcare, the way an organization is perceived is just as important as how well it delivers care. If you’re trying to choose between something comfortable and well-built versus something cheap, remember that a good reputation among patients, visitors and staff is practically priceless.

That said, there are ways to reduce costs on furnishings. If your project involves the renovation of an existing healthcare facility, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate any existing inventory that can be repurposed and incorporated into your new design layout. If this existing inventory still contributes to the design unity of the space—and it’s still in good shape—consider reusing it.

Then, choose what to do with the money saved. You can either hold onto it and lower the ultimate cost of the project, or allocate it somewhere else to increase the overall project value.

If you’re starting a new hospital development from scratch, think in terms of product life cycle and design versatility. Will a piece maintain its functionality if it needs to be moved? Will it need to be replaced more often than a slightly more expensive one? Are replacement parts widely available? How well does the piece hold up against frequent cleaning?

Investing in cleanable, high-quality furnishings up front can result in dramatic savings down the road.

Smarter design means smarter care

Healthcare facility owners know first-hand that the industry is changing. Both patient preferences and government policy are in flux. It’s critical that owners understand the impact interior design can have on patient outcomes and visitor perceptions.

With the help of an experienced healthcare Design-Build firm, owners can boost quality of care and keep the competitive edge.

Grand Opening of GreenLeaf Market & ZOOM Convenience Store on April 13

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Locally owned grocery store first to be built in north St. Louis City since 1968 

St. Louis Grocery Group announces its grand opening celebration for GreenLeaf Market and ZOOM Gulf Gas Station and Convenience Store, both located near the corner of Tucker and 13th Street on Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The grand opening for the new, north St. Louis City grocery store and convenience store will feature free samples, family-friendly activities and drawings for free gas, car washes and food giveaways.

Locally-owned GreenLeaf Market and ZOOM will deliver a unique combination of farm-fresh quality foods, community and convenience for residents of north St. Louis City and surrounding areas. GreenLeaf Market is the first grocery store to be built in north St. Louis City since 1968 and is proudly owned by St. Louis Grocery Group, in partnership with Good Natured Family Farms, a cooperative alliance made up of 150 family farms located in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas.

“We value farm fresh and local nutritious, affordable food as the foundation for a strong community,” said Good Natured Family Farms co-owner, Diana Endicott.

As a locally-owned and operated grocer, GreenLeaf Market and ZOOM strives to support other local and regional businesses by working with family farms to deliver high-quality, fresh food and a wide range of unique products that you won’t find at other grocers in the area. GreenLeaf Market is also actively engaged in the neighborhood community, working with church and civic leaders to help ensure that area residents’ needs are being met. More than 72 new jobs will be created by GreenLeaf and ZOOM, which is just the beginning of a larger, longer-term plan to spur job growth and new development and help regenerate the economy of north St. Louis City.

GreenLeaf Market and ZOOM are located within the NorthSide Regeneration (NSR) development, a mixed-use community development – a self-sustaining neighborhood of people, cultures, economic opportunity, safety and education with the infrastructure and growth to support key, necessary services for the community. The original development encompasses over 1,500 acres and borders downtown St. Louis. Jobs have always been the primary motivator for NSR with a goal of more than 43,000 construction jobs and 22,000 permanent jobs generated by the development’s activity.

The 20,000-square-foot grocery store will feature a state-of-the-art kitchen and an experienced, on-site chef who will be focused on creating fresh, nutritious, affordable, fully-prepared grab-and-go food selections while cooking with farm-fresh ingredients. GreenLeaf Market will also be ramping up convenient curbside pick-up for online orders to better serve the needs of commuters and people working downtown.

With an in-house bee colony, the market will deliver an educational experience for people of all ages.

“GreenLeaf Market will be partnering up with more local businesses to strengthen our community, while adopting new technology to create a truly one-of-a-kind grocery shopping experience. From the moment you enter GreenLeaf and experience the full-height mural depicting the near NorthSide, you know you are in a unique setting,” said Eyad Tammas of St. Louis Grocery Group.

Join the GreenLeaf Market and ZOOM Convenience Store grand opening event on Facebook: http://bit.ly/GLGO4-13  and follow GreenLeaf and ZOOM on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and details of this exciting community celebration. For more information about GreenLeaf and ZOOM, visit www.GreenLeafMarketStl.com and www.ZOOMStL.com.

Roeslein Named Among Best Places to Work in Saint Louis

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Roeslein & Associates, Inc. has been named one of the Best Places to Work (BPTW) in St. Louis by the Saint Louis Business Journal. This is the second time the company has achieved this award.

Over 250+ companies competed for this award and only 85 were recognized as a BPTW. This achievement is based on surveys completed by employees about their experiences with their company. Each company is evaluated and measured on communication, management structure, benefits, teamwork and several other factors important to employee satisfaction.

Human Resources Director, Sarah Davidson commented, “2018 was a great year for our employee-owners; by focusing on our core values, we have been able to perpetuate our family-oriented and employee-ownership culture. As we continue to grow, it’s of the upmost importance that we maintain this culture and continue to be an employer people are proud to work for.”

Roeslein & Associates saw its workforce increase by an astonishing 52% in 2018. This amount of growth was achieved organically by adding 58 new positions along with the acquisition of Pride Conveyance Systems and Roeslein Poland, formerly known as MCS Technology. Together, these acquisitions welcomed 160 new employees into the Roeslein family.

As the company continues to grow, it keeps its ethos – Be Happy, Remain Humble, Stay Hungry – at the center of its focus. Roeslein ensures its employees and their families have a competitive and generous benefits package; including employee-ownership (ESOP) / retirement plan and above average match, profit sharing, 75-90% coverage of health insurance, extra holidays, early releases, a wellness program, tuition reimbursements, gift matching, business casual atmosphere, and more.

“Roeslein is like no other company I’ve worked for. Not only does it offer outstanding benefits, but Roeslein’s executives know employees by name, they take time to reach out to those who are traveling and ask them how everything is going, and they show immense compassion by always contacting employees who have fallen on difficult times. Roeslein’s executives truly care about its employees and in today’s workforce, that can be hard to come by,” said Meranda Ory, Roeslein’s Sales & Marketing Manager.

Over the last several years Roeslein has taken many strides towards achieving its vision of becoming a global leader in delivering offsite construction solutions to its clients. President & COO Brian Sneed commented, “Our achievements have allowed us to increase our workforce, diversify our customer base, grow our geographic reach, and increase our product offerings. These are huge accomplishments for any company. The true accomplishment here is that with each of these growth initiatives, came new opportunities to ensure that our employees were taken care of. In 2019 we are strategically positioned to implement a talent development program to guarantee our employees can grow in their positions and allow us to continue to hire within as our company continues to grow allowing us to continue meeting the demands of our clients.”

Carrying this momentum forward, Roeslein forecasts to add at least 50 new employees amongst its seven locations this year. This rate of growth is on trend for Roeslein who, since 2010, has more than quadrupled its workforce and averaged an employee growth rate of 24% year over year with four of these years exceeding 30%. If you would like to join Roeslein’s team, you can find open positions and apply online at www.Roeslein.com.

Pictured Above: Roeslein employees at the Best Places to Work breakfast at The Ritz-Carlton in Saint. Louis, Missouri.

Roeslein & Associates was founded in 1990, specializing in engineering, modular fabrication and construction services. The company has product offerings in both the container manufacturing industry and the process and energy sectors with annual revenues over $250 million. Its 680+ employees are spread throughout offices in St. Louis, MO (HQ); Red Bud, IL; Denver, CO; Hollister, California; Northampton, UK; Dębno, Poland; and Shanghai, China. To find out more, please visit www.roeslein.com.

Roofing Branch Managers Provide Answers to Facility Manager’s Top Roofing Questions

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Maintaining the roof on any building or facility can be an arduous task for any building owner or property manager. The roof, often the first line of defense against the elements, is an important structure that must be carefully monitored and maintained to protect the overall integrity of the building. Leaks in roofs are often difficult to track down and can lead to damage to interior finishes, unhappy tenants and costly repairs.

Western Specialty Contractors’ three roofing branch managers recently sat down to discuss the roofing issues that facility managers are most concerned about and the questions they are asking and should be asking when it comes to maintaining their roofs.

What Roofing Questions Do People Ask You the Most Often?

Keegan Tune (KT), Kansas City Roofing Branch Manager – How much is it going to cost to fix my roof? How much life do I have left in my roof? What’s the best kind of roof?

Jack Schneider (JS), St. Louis Roofing Branch Manager – What is the most economical option to stop my roof from leaking? What roofing system do you recommend?How much life does my roof still have?

Michael Boyle (MB), Peoria Roofing Branch Manager – How cheap can I fix the problem?

What Roofing Question Should People Ask You, But Don’t? 

KT – What roof has the best life-cycle cost? What is the best roof for my building?

JS – What type of roof can be installed within my budget? Can we set up a maintenance service contract? Can you provide budget pricing on other roofs in our facility?

MB – Should I replace the roof now or do I have any life left in it? What are the “BEST” roofing options you would recommend for my facility?

What is Your Best Roofing Advice for a Property Manager/Owner?

KT – Know the condition of your roofs. Inspect and maintain them often — budget for repairs and replacements.

JS – To have a reputable contractor install a roofing system that they are certified to install, in turn providing a manufacturer’s warranty and a contractor workmanship warranty. To make sure they receive the manufacturer’s warranty and operations and maintenance manual from the roofing contractor. Make sure they receive the roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty at the end of a project (when it’s offered). Let a roofing contractor educate maintenance techs on proper roofing maintenance after a new roof is installed to maintain its warranty after the contractor workmanship warranty has expired. This can be done as a lunch and learn.

MB – We should talk about what the intended use is for the building and is it a long-term investment for them or is it being repaired for sale?

What are the Most Important Things That Your Prospects Should Know Before Buying?

KT – Contractor and manufacturer credentials and a defined scope of work.

JS – The contractor’s reputation. If they are bonded. If they are insured. The contractor is installing what is being asked for (i.e. detailed proposals, pictures, etc.). They do not need payment up front. (i.e. before purchasing material or even starting the roof). Financially stable.

MB – Who/what type of company they are contracting with. What kind of warranty will they be receiving – a contractor or manufacturer NDL warranty? Is there a detailed scope of work? Are all conditions covered for a complete roofing system?

What are the Three Most Critical Elements of an Effective Roof Maintenance Program?

KT – Qualified inspectors/contractors, consistency and cost.

JS – A certified contractor of the roofing system is making the repairs. A timely schedule for roof cleaning is decided on (cleaning moss, branches, leaves, etc. off the roof, out of drains). Reports are made each time the contractor is on the roof for scheduled cleaning/repairs. Documentation benefits the owner and the contractor.

MB –   A quality local company. Only certified applicators on warranted roofs.  Maintenance inspections regularly.

Have There Been Any “Critical Developments” in the Roofing Industry That Your Customers Should be Aware of?

KT – Roof coatings have increased significantly but are not suitable for every roof and certainly not in every situation. Coatings have also made it possible for some less qualified contractors to tackle projects that they don’t have the expertise to perform. R-value requirements are continually increasing so being aware of local codes, and compliance needs are key.

JS – Recent changes in the energy code laws, some states have adopted, others haven’t (i.e., R-30 insulation code above roof deck). Carlisle Syntec Systems has introduced the “Velcro” roofing system. No adhesives to bond membrane to insulation. Carlisle Syntec Systems has approved the material Cav Grip III to install EPDM membrane in the field and flash onto walls.

MB – Roof coatings over existing roofing with long-term NDL warranties are becoming more prevalent. New products are out that minimize or stop any odors from entering the building through air intakes and openings. In some cases, “R” values can be increased without raising units and mechanical equipment by using a new insulation material.

For more information about Western Specialty Contractors’ roofing services, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com/projects/services/roofing-services/.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.      

Sorella Group Receives American Subcontractors Association Certificate of Excellence in Ethics

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American Subcontractors Association, Inc. Recognizes Sorella Group Specialty Contractor with Certificate of Excellence in Ethics Lenexa, Kansas., March 12, 2019 – Sorella Group, a National Commercial Contractor, was one of 14 construction subcontracting firms to earn the American Subcontractors Association’s Certificate of Excellence in Ethics.

The awards were presented on March 8 during a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., in conjunction with ASA’s annual national convention, SUBExcel 2019, the premier education and networking event for subcontractors, specialty trade contractors, and suppliers in the construction industry.

The ASA Certificate of Excellence in Ethics is presented to subcontractors, specialty trade contractors, and suppliers in recognition of their commitment to ASA values like quality construction and a safe and healthy work environment. ASA honored selected firms that demonstrated the highest standards of internal and external integrity during an awards ceremony. Sorella Group is a certified WBE National Contractor and Building Material Supplier.

The company focuses on commercial carpentry and Division 10 specialty installation and products. For more information, visit www.sorellagroup.com or call 913-390-9544. ASA promotes the rights and interests of subcontractors, specialty contractors and suppliers by building strength in community through education, advocacy, networking and professional growth. ASA adheres to and promotes quality construction, ethical and equitable business practices, safety in the work environment, and best industry practices.

For more information about ASA, visit www.asaonline.com.

 

Square UP Builders Drywall & Taping Division Welcomes First St. Louis Job Corps/IUPAT Pre-Apprentice

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Donesha Rodgers, 20, of St. Louis has joined minority-owned Square UP Builders as the first St. Louis Job Corps/IUPAT Pre-Apprentice.

The direct referral program was recently introduced by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) and St. Louis Job Corps to give individuals training and help them determine if a specific trade or company is the right fit for them. Companies benefit by receiving feedback on participants’ training and work ethics from the instructor.

Upon completing the program this summer, Rodgers will join Square UP as a first-term apprentice in their Drywall and Taping division. Square UP launched its new drywall division a year ago and only recently added taping to its existing drywall operations, which also includes tape-only proposals and selective painting. Signing the painters/tapers agreement in November 2018, Square UP Drywall and Taping is an MBE-certified contractor providing minority boots on the ground.

“This dynamic program will allow both organizations to train the right person for the right task. Over the next 90 days, Donesha will receive hands-on work and safety training on how to tape and paint, as well as get a full understanding of the trade and the requirements for the position of taper,” said Paul Renaud, General Manager of Square UP Builders.

Applicants to the program must be 18-24 years old and have a high school diploma/GED and a letter of intent from the hiring contractor. Qualified individuals are placed in the program where they learn how to brush and roll, spray, patch and repair, tape and apply vinyl wallcoverings. For completing the program, the individual receives a $500.00 check, trade uniforms and a bag with tools. Participants are required to remain in the program for a minimum of 60 days. Participants can also receive safety certifications such as OSHA 30, Respiratory Fit Test Card, Forklift Certification, Ariel Lift Training, and other safety training.

Candice Rejmenczak, IUPAT Job Corps Trade Instructor, says the new fast-track program is laser focused on helping young people get the training they need to find a good job quickly.

“We encourage other companies to use our program. If they find a good student who is interested in construction and would be a good fit for the program and is willing to work harder and faster to achieve their goals, we will try to find them a job and get them the training they need,” said Rejmenczak. “Being the first company to participate in the program, Square UP has exhibited great intentions of trying to help young minorities who are looking for a chance to find a good career. Square UP is willing and patient and has come to us with open arms.”

The UP Companies (UPCO) is one of the region’s largest full-service MBE-certified contracting companies. For more information, go to www.theupcompanies.com or call 314.865.3888.

Byron, Plocher ‘Trace’ Edwardsville’s Development with $50 Million Mixed-Use Project

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

The East side real estate development team of Christopher Byron and Scott Plocher is forging ahead on a $50 million, mixed-use site in Edwardsville, Trace on the Parkway.

Byron, managing partner of Edwardsville-based BCPK Law LLC and Plocher, president of Highland-based Plocher Construction Co. Inc., broke ground in January on the project formerly known as Edwardsville Town Center. The 26-acre development is located at the intersection of Governors’ Parkway and IL Route 157, directly across the state highway from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

A total of 184 luxury apartments units (one-, two- and three-bedroom) comprise the residential facet of the development. Multiple amenities will include a resort-style pool, fitness center, social lounge and direct connections to the Madison County Transit walking/cycling trails. Phase one, underway now, totals 72 of the living units and the main leasing center; it is expected to reach completion in March 2020.

Phase two – which will include the remaining apartments and the retail scope – is scheduled to begin in late April. The 78,000-square-foot commercial retail component will include a 40,000-square-foot Kloss Furniture flagship location and six single-story retail outlots.

“We’re looking forward to bringing a grocer, restaurants and more retail to the Trace as this project continues to develop,” said Byron. “There’s still more to come in Edwardsville…the residential and commercial growth is sustaining it,” he added.

Trace on the Parkway is located on the former long-time site of Madison Mutual Insurance Co.’s headquarters. In early 2017, the company moved to a 5-story office building in downtown Edwardsville that was also developed and built by Byron and Plocher. Trace gets its name from The Edwards Trace, a key trail in the settlement of Central Illinois during the early 1800s, that claimed Edwardsville as its northbound launching point.

Other recent Byron and/or Plocher developments in Edwardsville and Glen Carbon include: the corporate headquarters for Prairie Farms Dairy, Altitude Trampoline Park and Donco Electrical Connection. The development team’s O’Fallon, IL projects include The Blade (Class A office tower along North Greenmount Road at I-64) Dewey’s restaurant and Sugarfire Restaurant.

Ameren Missouri Reaches Milestone in Plans to Build Second Wind Facility in the State

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New renewable energy planned for Atchison County

Ameren Missouri’s second planned wind facility in the state is one step closer to producing renewable energy. This morning, the Missouri Public Service Commission voted unanimously to grant Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), a certificate of convenience and necessity to acquire, after construction, an up to 157-megawatt (MW) wind facility to be located in Atchison County.

“Expanding renewable energy in Missouri is an important part of our strategy which, alongside our Smart Energy Plan, will modernize the energy grid and enhance how our customers receive and consume energy,” said Michael Moehn, president of Ameren Missouri. “Today’s announcement brings us even closer to adding at least 700 MW of wind energy by 2020.”

Several milestones remain for the northwest Missouri facility, including obtaining a timely and acceptable Midcontinent Independent System Operator transmission interconnection agreement. The Atchison County facility, along with the previously-announced 400 MW facility under development in northeast Missouri represent an approximately $1 billion investment and are expected to be in service by the end of 2020. These planned additions in renewable energy will help Ameren Missouri achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company’s electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri’s mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company’s service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.

Museum at Gateway Arch Cited in National Engineering Competition

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Innovative Building Systems Enhance Expanded Cultural Landmark

IMEG Corp. of Rock Island, Ill., has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 52nd annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for its role in the renovation and expansion of the Museum at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Mo.

IMEG provided mechanical, electrical, and telecommunications design for the $108.9 million, 50,000-square-foot addition and 100,000-square-foot renovation project, located underground beneath the famed Gateway Arch. The project updated all infrastructure, modernized exhibits and galleries, and added new spaces including a learning center and a new west entrance facing the heart of downtown St. Louis.

Along with meeting historic preservation requirements and ambitious energy-efficiency goals, the project team incorporated technology to support “micro-climates” for special museum exhibits in order maintain specific and constant temperature and humidity levels. The result is a safe and comfortable environment for visitors and staff, properly conditioned spaces for the exhibits, and long-term energy savings through the use of high-performance building systems technologies.

The project is among 196 engineering achievements from throughout the nation and the world being recognized by ACEC as the year’s finest examples of engineering excellence, and eligible for additional top national honors. Judging for the awards program—known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”– took place in February, conducted by a national 30-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the media and academia. Award criteria focuses on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

Recognition of all award winners including top commendations—20 Honor Awards, 16 Grand Awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement—will take place at the annual EEA Dinner and Gala, a black-tie event to be held Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,200 independent engineering firms and more than 600,000 professionals throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities.   Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations.

Tech Capabilities of Future SSM Health SLU Hospital Apparent in Scope of Enormous Construction Project

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

Of the $550 million total budget for building and equipping the future SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, $101 million is allocated to medical technology that will equip all facets of the operation and provide the latest means of patient care.

Donald Wojtkowski, executive director of design and construction for the SLUH Medical Campus Renewal Project that’s rising from the earth along Grand Boulevard in Midtown, says medical technology investments in the brand-new hospital include not only clinical IT but also IT that will connect and power all business functions throughout the hospital and adjacent ambulatory care center.

“Relative to overall clinical technology, we’re equipping 16 operating rooms, five cardiac interventional rooms, seven special procedure rooms, seven CTs, three MRIs, three nuclear medicine suites and eight endoscopy suites,” Wojkowski said. “Approximately $12 million in IT equipment is going in that’s specific to computerized medical records. The IT elements of this – every piece of clinical equipment in the new facility and most of the hospital’s medical devices – will link with its IT networks so we can capture data and assist nurses with all of that information right at their fingertips.”

IMEG is providing mechanical-electrical-plumbing, fire protection and technology design for the new medical center, which will replace the existing, adjacent SLU Hospital. Alberici Constructors Inc. is the project’s construction manager. The Lawrence Group is architect of record, in partnership with planning firms HGA and FZA.

The mammoth construction project is a joint effort between SSM Health, SLUCare Physician Group and Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

The project has been designed solely with 3D modeling since the beginning, years ago, when plans were first being etched for the future hospital.

“That’s the most amazing thing in my mind with regard to this whole project,” said Wojtkowski. “We began our commitment to building information management 12 years ago when we designed (SSM Health) St. Clare Hospital in Fenton,” he said. “Even then, we were committed to BIM and to lean construction delivery. It was a bit awkward because we were really pioneering things back then. We had a great team, we got it done and we learned a lot. Today, when you’re walking through this construction project, you don’t see anyone looking at blueprints anymore…they’re holding up their iPads…for a project of this magnitude not to have any trailers filled with blueprints, it’s truly a testament to how far technology has come.”

Substantial completion of the new hospital is on track for May 2020, according to Wojtkowski, at which time the facility will be turned over to its owners to begin the operational and staffing transition from old hospital to new. Sept. 1, 2010 is the date when the first patients will move into the new space.

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