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ICON Mechanical Hosts Family Fun Day

in Companies/News

On Saturday, June 16th, icon Mechanical hosted its first-ever “Family Fun Day” at its facility in Granite City, IL.  Not only was there barbecue, sidewalk chalk and a racecar, but this day also included tours of fabrication shops, warehouses and the community garden that icon sponsors for its Granite City Neighbors.

Most importantly, this day provided an eye into the future.

The pitter-patter of little feet were heard, and a sea of kid-sized safety glasses and hard hats could be seen traveling icon’s facilities during this family-friendly event. “The purpose was to let all our employees—office and field—bring their families to see where we work and what we do,” said Steve Faust, icon’s Director of Business Development and Diversity Coordinator.

“This was a great opportunity to introduce our youngest generation to the trades. We had the little ones running bridge cranes, operating welding positioners…seeing how we make pipe sections and ductwork.” This may have been the first year for the family-friendly event, but it will not be the last.

“She talked all the way home about how she moved big pipes today just like her Daddy does,” said Matt B. speaking of his daughter Abbi (Age 5). “Now every day when I get home from work she asks me how many pieces of pipe I moved today and if I had as much fun as she did. It’s pretty cool to know she’s excited about the work her Daddy does every day.”

icon Mechanical is a full-service mechanical engineering and construction contractor founded in 1995, whose client base includes BJC, Monsanto, US Steel and Pfizer. 

The New Accessible Courthouse

in Companies

By Robert Schwartz

About 10 years ago, I became a member of the Courthouse Access Advisory Committee, an august group of architects, accessibility experts, code experts, building operators, judges, court managers and lift manufacturers. We were assembled by the U.S. Access Board to develop best practices on integrating standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into the design of courthouses and published the final report, “Justice for All: Designing Accessible Courthouses,” in 2006.

The Will County Courthouse features 6-foot-long ramps integrated inside the courtroom to the witness stand, jury box and clerk, and in the private corridor between the judge’s chambers and jury deliberation rooms.
Since then, I have had the honor to observe many existing courthouses and helped plan the renovation and new construction on several others. The lack of accessibility in existing courthouses is never more obvious. Meanwhile, many courts have hired accessibility experts and implemented accessibility improvements within the limitations of their buildings by adding ramps, lifts, power door operators, lowered public counters and remodeled toilet facilities.

Designers of new courthouses have embraced the ADA Standards and integrated access with trauma-informed design, wayfinding and sustainability to provide a better experience for the public and a superior environment for staff within basic courthouse planning principles. The requirement to comply with ADA Standards began in 1992. The current ADA Standards, which were updated in 2012, include several specific provisions for courthouse and detention facilities.

The ADA addresses access to public spaces as well as to employee areas. ADA Standards require that all courtrooms comply in new construction and address access to jury boxes, witness stands, judges’ benches and other courtroom spaces. Universal Accessibility has also become a natural progression adopted by many jurisdictions. With Universal Accessibility, the accessible path is used by everyone, is direct and eliminates the need for separate stairs at entries and corridors.

The new Will County Courthouse project in Joliet, Ill., features a 38-court, 10-story structure that includes a raised private corridor to provide wheelchair access.
Photo Credit: Wight & Co./HOK

Universal Accessibility principles were used in several of HOK’s most recent courthouses.

For example, the new Will County Courthouse project in Joliet, Ill., which is nearing the end of the contract document phase, features a 38-court, 10-story structure that includes a raised private corridor to provide wheelchair access. The private corridor is raised 12 inches. Six-foot long ramps are also integrated inside the courtroom to the witness stand, jury box and clerk, and in the private corridor between judge’s chambers and jury deliberation rooms.

In addition, the Gull Road Justice Facility in Kalamazoo, Mich. — primarily a family court attached to an existing juvenile detention facility, which was completed in January 2016 — also uses Universal Accessibility principles. The three-story structure uses the sloped site to provide a public entry on the middle floor. High-volume spaces including a public counter with Friends of the Court and clerk functions and six hearing rooms are concentrated on this level. The upper floor has four full courtrooms and district attorney offices. The bottom level has the staff entry, a staff commons providing break, meeting and alternative workspace, and the probation department and court holding. Access to natural light is optimized for wayfinding and reduction of tension within the courthouse.

The Gull Road Justice Facility in Kalamazoo, Mich. — primarily a family court attached to an existing juvenile detention facility — was completed in January 2016.
Photo Credit: Maconochie Photography

For the Gull Road Justice Facility, HOK and Tower Pinkster worked with the court on height requirements within litigation spaces. The hearing rooms are all on one level. In the courtrooms, the judge’s bench is raised 18 inches and clerk, witness stand and front tier of the jury box is also raised 6 inches. The rear private corridor was raised 18 inches along with the judge’s chambers and support areas. This allows the judges to enter directly from their chambers without stairs or ramps. The corridors between the public and private corridors permitted space to ramp between the two. Integrating the ramping into required circulation reduced area and cost while reinforcing natural movement.

If you need a refresher on courthouse accessibility, sign up with the U.S. Access Board for a free webinar on July 6 from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time), which will review requirements in the ADA and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards for courthouses. Visit for more information or to register for the webinar.

Robert Schwartz, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, is group vice president, senior justice planner at national architecture firm HOK.

Photo Credit: Wight & Co./HOK

S. M. Wilson’s ‘Swinging Fore Dreams’ Golf Tournament Raises $28,000 for the Dream Factory of St. Louis

in Companies/News

The 11th Annual Swinging Fore Dreams Golf Tournament sponsored by S. M. Wilson & Co. raised $28,000 for The Dream Factory of St. Louis on May 15, 2017 at Glen Echo Country Club. The total amount raised includes $20,000 from entry fees and an additional $8,000 through sponsorships and a silent auction.

More than 50 construction-related companies and organizations supported the event, which helps children with critical and chronic illnesses to realize their dreams.

Since 2007, S. M. Wilson has helped raise $335,000 for The Dream Factory of St. Louis through the Swinging Fore Dreams tournament.

“With help from our partners and subcontractors, we have been able to help grant more than 65 dreams to area children,” stated Amy Berg, President of S. M. Wilson. “We look forward to granting 65 more dreams in the future.”

The Dream Factory of Saint Louis was founded in 1983 — one of 36 non-profit Dream Factory chapters around the country. The Dream Factory is the only children’s wish-granting organization that does not limit its mission to children who have life-threatening illness. The organization believes children with chronic illnesses and disorders also suffer from substantial emotional and physical pain. To learn more about the St. Louis Dream Factory, visit .

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

HDA Architects Selected by Panattoni Development for Design of Lakeview Commerce Center 5

in Companies

HDA Architects was selected by Panattoni Development for the design of Lakeview Commerce Center 5 at Lakeview Commerce Center in Edwardsville, Illinois. The 768,678 square foot speculative distribution center utilizes concrete tilt-up panels and is designed to have four tenants with a two-story office space at each corner of the building. Some of the design components include a two tone paint scheme and accent lighting to highlight the architectural features. The project is scheduled to break ground late summer 2017.

Allegro Celebrates Groundbreaking on Premier Senior Housing Community in Richmond Heights

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Allegro Senior Living, a St. Louis-based company specializing in the development and operation of luxury senior housing communities, celebrated the groundbreaking of their 12th community, located at 1055 Bellevue Avenue in Richmond Heights, near the SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital Campus. This will be Allegro’s first community in St. Louis, home of the company’s headquarters.

More than 50 people were in attendance to celebrate the momentous occasion. Local dignitaries included the president of St. Mary’s Hospital, Travis Capers, CEO of the Lawrence Group, Steve Smith and the Mayor of Richmond Heights, Jim Thomson.

“It is a joy to be here today,” says Mayor Thomson. “Welcome, Allegro, to the community. Allegro will complement our aging-in-place program we have in Richmond Heights.”

The community will contain 87 units within 91,000 square feet offering premier Assisted Living and Memory Care services to the area’s seniors. First occupancy is expected in the fall of 2018. When complete, Allegro anticipates creating 80 permanent jobs in addition to 75 construction jobs to build the community. In conjunction with IronRock Investments, Allegro jointly funded the project and Lawrence Group, also headquartered in St. Louis, is providing architectural design and construction management services.

The new four-story Allegro will primarily cater to assisted living residents with the fourth floor dedicated to memory care services. Luxury accommodations will include a bistro and bar with outdoor balcony dining, stadium theater, fitness center, full-service salon & spa and therapy services. The community will represent the latest best practices in programming and design, following up on the successful resort-style approach of other Allegro communities.


Allegro Senior living, a St. Louis based company, is a well-respected leader and expert in the senior living industry with a long-standing reputation of efficiently developing and managing senior communities. To learn more about Allegro Senior Living visit

IMPACT Strategies Completes Construction of Region’s First University-Connected Retirement Community

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Construction-management firm IMPACT Strategies recently completed Cedarhurst of St. Charles, a $17.5 million senior living community located in St. Charles, Missouri. The 99,000-square-foot, 100-unit assisted living and memory care community is part of University Commons, a mixed-use development directly across from Lindenwood University’s flagship campus. The facility celebrated its grand opening June 25.

IMPACT Strategies served as the construction manager for the project, providing turnkey services from start-to-finish and overseeing all trade subcontractors. The large scale of the project presented a number of challenges along the way due to the limited site area and ongoing adjacent development. Those constraints did not create any major set-backs for IMPACT due to its previous experience building similar Cedarhurst properties. IMPACT also had familiarity with the University Commons development from having previously constructed the Schnucks grocery store in 2014.

Mark Hinrichs, president of IMPACT Strategies, said, “Our past experiences and familiarity with the location and client certainly enabled us to keep this project running smoothly and provide leadership for exceptional success. We have built four senior living communities for Cedarhurst in the past eight years, but this one in St. Charles is the largest and certainly the most challenging.”


Dover Development said Cedarhurst’s unique location and proximity to Lindenwood University makes it the first senior living community in the St. Louis region to strategically locate on or near a university campus. Approximately 50 similar developments exist across the country. The close proximity provides unique benefits to both Cedarhurst residents and Lindenwood students, including a lifelong learning program and access to University sporting and cultural events for Cedarhurst residents, and the creation of internship and other programs to educate Lindenwood students on issues relevant to the growing population of seniors, including caring for persons with memory loss issues like Alzheimer’s Disease.

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. 

Mosby Building Arts is a 2017 Top Workplace

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Independent survey of the St. Louis remodeling firm’s employees places them on the list of top small businesses

Mosby Building Arts, a St. Louis residential remodeling design-build firm, has been awarded a 2017 Top Workplaces honor by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in the Small Business category.

“We remodel homes, but first we build relationships with our clients and our team,” said Mark McClanahan, Mosby Building Arts president. “As a second-generation family-owned business, the concept of a work family is instinctive for us. We have many families who work here – fathers and mothers proud to bring their children on board because our mission is to make a positive difference in people’s lives every day. We are honored that the honest opinions of Mosby associates earned us a spot as a Top Workplace.”

McClanahan’s comment about the employees’ “honest opinions” is a key point highlighted by Workplace Dynamics’ Doug Claffey, CEO of the independent research firm that conducted the survey for the Post-Dispatch.

Claffey says, “The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits. But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together. Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”

Mosby is especially pleased to be named a 2017 Top Workplace because this is also their 70th anniversary of improving St. Louis homes. Started by Sam Mosby in 1947, the company is now owned by his son, Scott Mosby and his wife, Judy. “I learned from my father that happy employees make happy clients,” says Scott. “Our team becomes like an extended family for our clients; it’s the compliment we hear most from them. That, and how much they and the family dog will miss seeing them every day because the project is completed. Our company culture of friendship and teamwork is contagious, and produces wow results everyone can be proud of.”

Read this article on-line with photo, links and video:

Mosby Building Arts has been the trusted resource for home remodeling, design and architecture in Metro St. Louis for 70 years. 

McGrath completes dialysis center project at Missouri Baptist Medical Center

in Companies/News

McGrath & Associates has completed a fast-tracked project to move the dialysis center at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis to a new location within the main tower of the hospital.

McGrath served as construction manager and general contractor for the six-week design-build project, which included installation of a reverse osmosis water treatment system for dialysis procedures. C&R Mechanical was the design-build contractor for the mechanical and plumbing portion of the project, which involved bead-and-crevice-free fusion-joined PVC piping. Guarantee Electrical was the design-build contractor for the electrical portion of the project. Christner was the architect.

McGrath implements strict isolation and infection prevention measures when working in occupied health care areas to ensure a clean and safe environment for patients, staff and visitors.

McGrath & Associates is a 100 percent employee-owned general contractor and construction management firm specializing in commercial, health care, industrial, institutional and pharmaceutical construction projects since 1983.

Integrated Facility Services Installing $3.2 Million Plumbing System For Kansas City Mixed-Use Development

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Integrated Facility Services (IFS) is installing a $3.2 million plumbing system for the $40 million 51st and Oak multi-use development in Kansas City, Missouri.

Van Trust Real Estate is the developer, HOK is the architect and The Weitz Company is the general contractor for the design-build project, which is scheduled for completion in December 2017.

The eight-story, 325,000-square-foot complex includes 170 luxury apartments, a clubhouse and fitness center, student health center, Whole Foods grocery and parking garage on a nearly three-acre site.
IFS participated very early in the design process, which used Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) planning, BIM technology and Robotic Total Station Layout.

Integrated Facility Services (IFS) is a full-service HVAC, plumbing, piping, fire protection and building automation firm with more than 270 professional and trade employees. 


EDM Receives St. Louis Branch of Mo Chapter APWA 2017 Public Works Project of the Year – Environmental

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EDM Incorporated was recognized by the American Public Works Association’s St. Louis Branch with the Environmental Project of the Year Award.    This award recognizes excellence in design, management and administration of public works projects and the alliance between the managing agency (City of Frontenac), Engineer (EDM Incorporated) and the Contractor (Ideal Landscape Construction). It was granted for the Frontenac Forest Storm Improvement project which converted a tie-wall channel to a natural meandering stream with over 2,000 live stakes of willow, dogwood and ninebark. The project provided creek bed access with a low water crossing allowing the residents to get closer to nature.

Caption for Photo:  Pictured (left to right), Project Engineer Len Madalon, PE (EDM Incorporated), Dave Buckel, (Ideal Landscape Construction), Jeff Wappelhorst, Public Works Director (City of Frontenac).

Headquartered in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, EDM Incorporated is a 40+ year old full-service engineering firm providing civil, structural, and mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineering to local, state and federal governments, as well as private sector clients.

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