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Vapor Mitigation Strategies’ Director of Technical Strategies and Applications Earns Certified Inspector Credentials

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Wes Robb furthers VMS’ expertise in the field with Land Science Certification

St. Louis-based Vapor Mitigation Strategies, a Wellington Environmental company, announces Director of Technical Strategies and Applications Wes Robb is now a Certified Inspector of the Geo-Seal Vapor Intrusion Barrier product offered by Land Science. By completing the training and earning this recognition, Vapor Mitigation Strategies is able to provide the third party inspection required to validate the warranty on the product.

“Land Science offers a warranty for their vapor mitigation products, which is only enforceable if the installation is inspected and verified by a Land Science trained and certified inspector,” said Wes Robb. “Our company is dedicated to mitigating the risk associated with vapor intrusion, and this certification is a critical component of that.”

Wholly-owned by St. Louis based Wellington Environmental, Vapor Mitigation Strategies offers architects and contractors solutions when vapor intrusion is a concern for a new building project or an existing structure. A more comprehensive explanation of the company’s services can be found on its brand new website,<>.

Vapor Mitigation Strategies, a Wellington Environmental Company, offers vapor intrusion barrier solutions to both new building projects and existing structures.

GAF Completes First Fully Integrated Residential Solar Panel Installation

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DecoTech™ offers attractive, innovative, durable solution for homeowners

GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, announced that Bay Valley Contractors completed a fully integrated residential solar panel installation – the first of its kind in America’s top solar state.[1] The 5.1 kW DecoTech™ Solar Roofing System was installed on a home in Concord, California, yesterday, about 30 miles east of San Francisco. This location follows several successful installations on test sites throughout the U.S.

Simple installation and attractive design

DecoTech™ Solar Roofing System is the sleek, low-profile, integrated solar roof system that GAF offers at an affordable price. The system provides a seamless aesthetic and is installed directly to the roof deck – unlike rack-mounted solar panel systems that sit above the roof and require multiple points of entry. Its unique fastening mechanism and flashed perimeter maintain the integrity of the roof and help protect against moisture and leaks.

“Building on the GAF expertise in roofing and solar, we designed DecoTech™ to be intuitive for roofing contractors to install and affordable for homeowners to choose,” said Tommy Rodrigues, research scientist and head of solar product design and development at GAF. “Our high-output panels use best-in-class technology, allowing consumers to harness maximum solar energy.”

“The DecoTech™ design simplifies the installation process,” said Ryan Diaz, vice president at Bay Valley Contractors, the company that completed the installation. “Other solar panel systems require contractors to drill into the roof to locate rafters, but DecoTech™ has an interlocking system that fastens directly to the roof deck, which helps cut down on installation time.”

Heritage in roofing and solar

GAF has a 130-year history in roofing and decades of experience in solar, including several patents on solar roofing products, a Solar Elite Contractor™ certification program, and proprietary solar financing relationships that have given the company a unique perspective on the market. The DecoTech™ Solar Roofing System, which is available for purchase and installation across the U.S., is the latest product in the growing GAF solar portfolio.

“We are seeing accelerated interest in DecoTech™ among consumers seeking to lower energy costs and find sustainable solutions. GAF is proud to offer an elegant solution with exceptional warranty protections for homeowners,” said Patrick Brokaw, GAF senior residential solar program territory manager for the Western region. “DecoTech’s aesthetic appeal and ease of installation make it unique to anything on the market today, and we are committed to continued growth and innovation in solar.”

GAF has multiple DecoTech™ Solar Roofing System installations scheduled across the country throughout the coming weeks and continues to introduce its offerings to leading roofing and solar contractors.

DecoTech™ is the proprietary GAF Solar Roofing System. With a low-profile, sleek design and monochromatic Deco Black gloss finish, the high-output solar panels offer a seamless aesthetic. 

Founded in 1886, GAF is the largest roofing manufacturer in North America. It is an operating subsidiary of Standard Industries.

Standard Industries is a privately held, global, diversified holding company with interests in building materials, aggregates, and related investment businesses in public equities and real estate. 

Western Specialty Contractors Makes Environmental Preservation a Daily Corporate Commitment

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Celebrating the natural environment and raising awareness for environmental issues worldwide is the goal behind World Environment Day on June 5. For Western Specialty Contractors, the country’s largest masonry and concrete restoration specialty contractor, environmental preservation is a job site priority and a daily corporate commitment.

“We are committed to the protection of the environment and we work to ensure that our services do not result in the generation or release of materials that could impact the environment,” said Western Specialty Contractors Safety Director Eric Olson. “It is our goal to reduce the environmental impacts of our services and to operate in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Western’s environmental policy applies to all aspects of its operation, including its corporate office. As Safety Director, Olson is responsible for ensuring that the policy is communicated and implemented by all employees, who have accepted a responsibility to participate in environmental education awareness programs, recognize and reduce or eliminate environmental exposures, abide by the objectives of the policy and comply with all federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations.

Western Specialty Contractors’ management also works to ensure that resources are available to its employees that enable them to achieve Western’s environmental objectives which include:

  • Continually examining the environmental impact of all activities on job site-specific plans.
  • Conducting performance evaluations during job site safety and environmental audits performed by field safety managers, insurance loss control representatives and industrial hygienist consultants.
  • Purchasing and using products and raw materials that are not hazardous to the environment and seeking to reduce the emission of any volatile organic compounds and other elements that are harmful to the environment.
  • Emphasizing environmental programs and providing necessary training to employees at scheduled events throughout the year.

Western also works with owners, designers and general contractors on projects to select the lowest VOC-emitting products available that meet the product quality requirements and lower the overall footprint of the company.

“We survey hazardous and waste materials stored at each job site and establish goals to control any waste materials. When we do encounter waste materials, we create a waste disposal plan with a reputable hazardous disposal company,” said Olson. “Our research also continues in evaluating state-of-the-art equipment for controlling dust and fumes on job sites, plus evaluating the miles per gallon of our fleet vehicles and setting an annual benchmark.”

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. 

IWR North America Nationally Recognized for Job Site Safety

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St. Louis-based specialty contractor receives TAUC Thomas J. Reynolds Safety Award

IWR North America, one of the longest-standing specialty contractors in the United States that focuses on being a true building enclosure partner, was presented  The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) 2016 Thomas J. Reynolds Safety Award for achieving a Zero DART Rate.

“We’re very proud to receive this great honor as it recognizes our continued commitment to worksite safety and health,” said Todd Staley, general manager of IWR North America. “Our safety philosophy is not only a proactive approach, but a culture and responsibility that exist from our top leaders to our newest team members.”

Created in 1983, the TAUC awards recognize and commend the exceptional efforts made by its members to prevent the occurrence of serious injury on the jobsite. Winners are recognized for achieving a zero DART (Days Away, Restricted or Transferred) rate in one of four categories. IWR North America won in category three, working 100,000-499,999 hours without a DART case. The average DART Rate of these TAUC members was .314 for 2016, well under the Bureau of Labor Statistics National Average of 2.0.

“The Association of Union Constructors is proud to have contractor members like IWR North America who make safety a top priority,” said R. Jake Locklear, president of The Association of Union Constructors. “We wish the entire IWR team every bit of success for the remainder of 2017.”

For a complete list of the 34th annual Thomas J. Reynolds Safety Award winners, please visit TAUC online:

IWR North America, formerly IWR Building Systems, is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. IWR is one of the longest-standing specialty contractors in the United States that focuses on being a true building enclosure partner. 

S. M. Wilson To Build 70,000 Sf Addition To Dot Foods Headquarters

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S. M. Wilson & Co. has been selected by Dot Foods as general contractor on two additions to its headquarters in Mt. Sterling, Il. The project includes additions to two buildings on the Dot Foods campus.

The main office building will receive a 60,000 SF, two-story addition consisting of offices, cubicles, meeting rooms and conference rooms. The freezer building will receive a 10,000 SF locker room expansion to allow for additional lockers, showers, a break room and kitchenette.

Arcturis is the architect for the project. Construction began in March.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. S. M. Wilson is one of the largest general construction and construction management firms in the St. Louis area. 

Sheffield Korte Joint Venture Begins Work On 24,000 sf Squad Operations Facility At Cannon Air Force Base, NM

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The Sheffield Korte Joint Venture has been awarded a 24,000 square foot Design-Build facility through the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The addition for the 551st Squad Operations Facility at Cannon Air Force Base consists of a new multi-story operations and training facility.

Cannon AFB is home to the 27th Special Operations Wing, which is assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command. The 27th SOW plans and executes specialized operations using advanced aircraft, tactics and air refueling techniques to infiltrate, exfiltrate and resupply special operations forces and provide intelligence, surveillance and close air support in support of SOF operations.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017, and will house administration spaces for the 511st Squadron. An auditorium, classrooms, and a full-length fuselage trainer are also included in the scope of work.

The Squad Operations Facility marks the fourth project at Cannon Air Force base that The Korte Company has been involved in to date.

The Korte Company, founded in 1958, is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with offices in Highland, Illinois; Norman, Oklahoma; and Las Vegas, Nevada. The company manages, on average, an excess of $250 million in annual construction volume.

The Korte Company’s project expertise includes building for federal, state and local government agencies as well as the design and construction of school, healthcare facilities, medical office buildings, warehouse/distribution centers, religious facilities, commercial buildings, recreation centers and office complexes.

IMPACT Strategies Completes Retail Renovation Project in Florence, Alabama

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IMPACT Strategies, a construction-management firm based in Fairview Heights, Illinois, recently wrapped up construction on a 30,000-square-foot retail building in Florence, Alabama for U.S. Properties Group (USPG), a national developer of retail properties.  The project involved renovating a vacant space housed in an existing retail center located at 374 Cox Creek Parkway. The newly finished building was constructed for a major national sporting goods tenant.

Mark Hinrichs, president of IMPACT Strategies, said, “We’ve had the pleasure of working with U.S. Properties Group on a number of retail projects throughout the country. Our extensive experience in retail construction, specifically with the management of projects from start-to-finish, is one of the reasons USPG has continued to utilize our services.”

IMPACT Strategies, Inc. specializes in Retail, Commercial, Medical, Senior Housing and Education construction and offers comprehensive construction services including design-build, general contracting, construction management and pre-construction management. 

HOK / PLP Architecture-Designed Francis Crick Institute Recognized As “Lab of the Year”

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The St. Louis and London offices of HOK are part of a design team that helped one of Europe’s largest biomedical translational research centers earn R&D Magazine’s 2017 Laboratory of the Year. The Francis Crick Institute, which opened last year in central London, was saluted by the research and development trade publication. HOK, led by the firm’s London and St. Louis practice, served as architect and ‎lead designer responsible for the institute’s overall design concept, lab planning, interior design and landscape architecture. PLP Architecture collaborated with HOK, leading the project through planning and shaping the building’s distinctive form and striking architectural expression.

Named after the scientist who helped discover the structure of DNA, the Francis Crick Institute represents a paradigm shift for biomedical research in the UK and the global research community. The 980,000-sq.-ft. building is home to a landmark partnership between the UK’s three largest funders of biomedical research—the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust—and three of its leading universities: University College London, Imperial College London and King’s College London.

“More than just sharing a building, these organizations have partnered as a diverse community of researchers working together in interdisciplinary teams,” said Bill Odell, FAIA, LEED AP, HOK’s firm-wide director of Science + Technology based in St. Louis.

The design encourages collaboration and interaction among multidisciplinary Crick researchers including biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians. The facility is divided into four lab neighborhoods connected by two atria that bring daylight into all of the labs and other spaces. The atria cross at the center of the building to create a hub with break areas, informal collaboration space, a large central stair and a concierge serving the entire floor.

“One of the Crick’s strategic priorities—‘pursue discovery without boundaries’—emphasizes the importance of its workplace environment,” said Odell. “Its researchers are encouraged to explore their scientific curiosities, with almost no idea being off limits.”

Glass walls allow for views into labs, promoting transparency and openness. Unless specific functions require closed walls, lab neighborhoods are open to encourage interaction. Walkways and informal meeting areas crisscross the main atrium and connect neighborhoods.

Designed with flexibility, lab neighborhoods can support rapid reconfiguration as research programs change. A centralized service distribution system enables a kit-of-parts approach in which predetermined components can be plugged into service spines in different combinations.

Now in its 51st year, the Laboratory of the Year Awards recognize excellence in research laboratory design, planning and construction. Judging of the annual international competition was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of laboratory architects, engineers, equipment manufacturers, researchers and the editors of R&D Magazine and Laboratory Design. A complete profile of the Francis Crick Institute is in the May/June 2017 issues of R&D Magazine and Laboratory Design. More about the award can be found at this link.


About HOK

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Through a network of 23 offices worldwide, HOK provides design excellence and innovation to create places that enrich people’s lives and help clients succeed. DesignIntelligence consistently ranks HOK as a leader in sustainable, high-performance design and technology innovation.​

TAO + LEE Associates, Inc., Becomes First Mosaic Ambassador Architecture Company

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St. Louis Mosaic Project is pleased with the addition of its recent two Mosaic Ambassador Companies in the Architecture industry. TAO + LEE is the first Mosaic Ambassador Architecture Company to be joining, followed by Trivers Associates. Based in St. Louis and founded in 1995, TAO + LEE provides architectural, planning, interiors and creative design services. The founders and principals and longtime Mosaic Ambassadors, Peter Tao and Helen Lee, modeled the firm based on their extensive global experiences with projects located both domestically and internationally.

TAO + LEE has been tremendously involved in the St. Louis community. The firm recently led an effort to improve health and wellness as well as inclusion at the St. Louis Public School’s Nahed Chapman New American Academy. This is a transitional school for 500+ new immigrants and refugee children who come from different countries and speak different languages. Nahed Chapman New American Academy is one of thirty three Mosaic Ambassador Schools. In partnership with the construction industry in St. Louis, TAO + LEE envisioned, then co-led a tremendous project to create a new soccer field and social gathering space, at Nahed Chapman New American Academy as a means to build bridges for the students through sports. This was dedicated in 2016.

The firm continues to support a variety of causes and initiatives focused on immigrants and refugees, including the St. Louis Mosaic Project, where Mr. Tao is a member of the Steering Committee, the International Institute and Welcoming America. TAO + LEE will continue to mentor professionals from the international community. Mr. Tao and Ms. Lee have participated in mentorship programs such as the OCA St. Louis MAAP Program; Ms. Lee’s recent efforts helped connect an individual with employment at Caleres. The firm has stepped forward in its role in international student retention by hiring an international student with a STEM degree and will continue to mentor international students. In addition to professionals and international students, TAO + LEE will also continue to support cultural and international affinity groups.

TAO + LEE has been widely recognized for engagement efforts in the City of St. Louis and the greater St. Louis community with regards to Diversity and Inclusion. Recognitions include Business of the Year Award, Asian Business of the Year, Diverse Business Leader and has also been featured in the book Who’s Who Diversity in Color. TAO + LEE is an active sponsor of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis (AACC) and Organization of Chinese-Americans-Asian Pacific American Advocates (OCA St. Louis).

The St. Louis Mosaic Project was launched in 2012 in response to an economic impact report that showed St. Louis was lagging in immigrant growth and highlighted the potential economic benefits of increasing its foreign-born population. The Mosaic Project is a regional initiative that is professionally managed by St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, World Trade Center and a 27-member committee. Its goal is to transform St. Louis into the fastest growing major metropolitan area for immigration by 2020 and promote regional prosperity through immigration and innovation. Learn more at

TAO + LEE Associates, Inc. is an award winning St. Louis based design firm providing Architectural, Planning, Interiors, and Creative Design services for a diversity of project types, sizes & applications. The firm has extensive experience in the planning, design and execution of Commercial, Cultural and Educational, Residential, Restaurants and Retail, as well as variety of other project types, which include Healthcare, Industrial, Sports-Recreation, as well as unique Creative Design projects (including Art Projects and Installations). 

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