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Marcus Adrian, AIA, Principal at Mackey Mitchell Architects, to present at TEDxGatewayArch’s “Ripple Effect”

in Companies/News

Marcus Adrian, AIA, LEED BD+C, a principal at Mackey Mitchell Architects, will be speaking at TEDxGatewayArch’s “Ripple Effect” event at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on October 27.

Adrian will discuss the architecture of schools and classrooms, and how design can be improved through a deeper understanding of human ability. The talk will focus on design strategies he’s developed for deaf and other specialized schools, and explain how those strategies can benefit every learner and every school.

Adrian’s interest in this topic began with one project – Central Institute for the Deaf School, in 1998.  He was fascinated by the seemingly counter-intuitive idea that a deaf school should be as quiet as we can make it.  That’s when he learned that human ability is a wildly complex thing, and poses limitless design challenges.

Marcus has been designing schools and classrooms around differences in human ability and human brain development. He started with designing around the auditory sense, including the acoustics of separation and reverberation and designing to elevate signal and reduce noise.  Over the years, those signal-to-noise strategies have extended to the other senses, primarily the visual, to create better classrooms and schools.  He had a major breakthrough when he realized signal and noise strategies apply to other dimensions of human ability beyond the sensory, including human social and cognitive development.

TEDxGatewayArch Ripple Effect begins at 5 p.m. with a Happy Hour, followed by 14 live Tedx talks. Tickets are $25 and are on sale now at

Fall Ideal Time to Prepare Structures for Winter From Roof to Foundation

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Routine inspections in the fall can prevent costly repairs in the future

Submitted by Western Specialty Contractors

Winter is right around the corner. With the changing seasons comes freeze and thaw cycles, falling pine needles and leaves, organic growth and harsh weather conditions that can wreak havoc on a building or structure’s exterior if not maintained properly. Conducting an annual fall building inspection will help to identify potential maintenance issues before they become problematic and lead to costly repairs for the owner.

“Maintenance of buildings or structures, whether it be the interior or exterior, horizontal or vertical construction, or a hi-rise or single-story, is a necessity across the country,” said Bob Gender, Branch Manager, Western Specialty Contractors. “Many times a quick check today on your properties can help save building owners and managers headaches during the harsh winter months ahead when getting repairs done can be complicated by low temperatures.”

Facility managers can protect their buildings and structures throughout the winter by identifying a few red flags early in the fall and addressing those problem areas quickly and effectively before the winter sets in, says Gender.

Repairing and Protecting Concrete

In the winter, freeze and thaw cycles can cause big problems with concrete structures. When water infiltrates concrete, it can freeze, causing the water to occupy nine percent more volume than in its liquid state. This expansion causes distress on the concrete, which can lead to fractures that will continue to grow exponentially as saturation of the material increases.

A wide range of restoration, repair and reinforcing services are offered by certified specialty contractors, such as Western Specialty Contractors, who can repair cracks, spalls, rust spots, deterioration, pot-holes and heaves in concrete and masonry. More often than not, concrete repairs are made before they become a more serious or costly issue, but there are measures that facility managers can take to actually prevent future damage. Applying hot-applied or below-grade waterproofing and urethane or acrylic protective coatings to traffic decks, pedestrian areas or exterior facades will extend the life of the repair, protect adjacent areas that are currently in good condition and significantly improve the aesthetics of the area treated.

For facilities with a concrete parking structure, the fall is an ideal time to survey for damage.Vehicles regularly entering parking garages leave water, oil and muck behind. Not to mention salt and de-icers tracked in during the winter months that can corrode the structure’s concrete and steel support system.

An ineffective maintenance routine on a parking structure can quickly lead to costly repairs and restorations that can be disruptive to tenants and cause unexpected costs and safety concerns.

All types of parking structures are subject to deterioration. Western’s experts have identified five key indicators that a parking garage is in need of preventative maintenance: water leakage, ponding water, expansion joint failure, exposed rebar, and delaminated, spalled or horizontally/vertically cracked concrete.

An experienced concrete maintenance and restoration specialist can identify specific problem areas and recommend a repair plan and maintenance schedule for the structure.

Preventing Unwanted Water Leakage

The exterior walls of a building can be a significant source of unwanted water leakage. It’s easy to forget how many openings are required in commercial building walls – from plumbing and irrigation connections to lighting, HVAC system elements, exhaust vents, air intakes, joints around windows and doors, and fire alarms, to name a few.

There are also unplanned holes caused by aging brick joints that need re-pointing, vanishing sealants, damage from acid rain and settling cracks. All wall penetrations provide easy access for water, bugs, field mice, birds or other unwanted pests to enter the building and cause damage.

Checking for changes in a building since last year is also recommended. Do you have abandoned pipe penetrations from a tenant upgrade? A new tenant demo? Or maybe just a deteriorated building joint which can make the building joint vulnerable to the elements and unwanted pests?

If a building is seriously damaged, specialists may be needed to bring a wall system back up to its expected performance level. Regular inspections by the property manager or a trained professional will help identify these potential problems early and save the owner money.

Protecting the Roof

The fall often brings falling leaves, pine needles and organic growth on building roof tops. A commitment to good roof maintenance practices can help facility managers avoid overflowing gutters, clogged downspouts and excessive ponding water which can lead to costly roof, facade and foundation damage. A weekly routine roof inspection is recommended during this time of the year.

Decaying leaves, pine needles and dirt run-off can all contribute to ponding water and clogged gutters and downspouts, which is why it is essential that all roof drains remain clear of obstructions. In addition to the risk of water pouring into the tenant spaces should a breach in the roof occur, the freezing and thawing of ponding water during the fall and winter months can cause extensive roof damage.

Make sure that all organic debris is completely removed from gutters, downspouts and drains before the winter arrives.

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


Protecting our Water Infrastructure

in Associations/News

At River Event, Officials Underscore the Need for Massive Upgrades 

Recent events such as multiple hurricanes and even the water crisis in Flint, Michigan have underscored the importance of access to clean, safe drinking water.   The message seems to be getting through, as a packed crowd of government officials, engineers, public safety officials and concerned citizens gathered to learn more about how reliable our water sources are.

Metro Water Infrastructure Partnership (MWIP), a group of area utilities and professional associations, sponsored the event.  The group hosted a riverboat tour last week to discuss the area’s aging pipes and water systems, and the increasing frequency of water main breaks across the St. Louis Metro region. Water pipes in St Louis are rapidly reaching or exceeding their average life expectancy and need to be addressed: some of the region’s water flows through pipes that are more than 100 years old.

“Our water infrastructure is old and some components are reaching end-of-useful-life. Many elements are waiting to fail and need to be fixed,” said  Curt Skouby, City of St. Louis Director of Public Utilities .  “We can’t continue to do nothing. We aren’t in a crisis yet, but ignoring aging infrastructure has serious consequences.”

Cheryl Norton, president of Missouri American Water, also noted the importance of improving infrastructure and being prepared for natural disasters like earthquakes and tornadoes.

The frequency of water main breaks varies from year to year, but has been steadily increasing since 1970. Changes in infrastructure management have limited the increase of water main breaks, but they still occur on average five times more frequently than in the past. “The loss of funding for proactive replacement programs can lead to significantly higher replacement costs – up to 10 times as expensive, says St Charles County Public Water Supply District #2 General Manager Ron Smith, who presented at the event.

The MWIP says the St. Louis Metro region needs to roughly double the pace at which it replaces water pipelines in order to reach the industry standard of a one percent replacement rate, which is just fast enough to swap out each pipe by the time it hits 100 years old. This would cost about $34 million more per year, raising the average water bill over the next 20 years to around $80 per month from about $30 per month.  On a positive note, this effort would add to the more than 13,000 jobs currently attributed to water utilities in the region.

MWIP is an organization dedicated to advancing community conversations about the importance of investing in our region’s water and wastewater infrastructure. MWIP member utilities provide water and wastewater service to approximately 1.5 million people in Missouri and Illinois. MWIP member organizations include:

For more information about MWIP, visit:

NECA Electrical Contractors Dominate Annual Ranking of St. Louis’ Largest Electrical Contractors

in Associations/Homepage Primary/News

The strength of St. Louis National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA) members is again on display in the annual ranking of the largest electrical contractors by the St. Louis Business Journal.   Eighteen of the 22 electrical contractors ranked are NECA contractors and members of the Electrical Connection – the partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and NECA.  The rankings are by gross billings in 2016 and can be found at this link: 

Among the St. Louis NECA electrical contractors on the September 29, 2017 listing and their revenues are:

  • Sachs Electric — $233.3 million
  • J.F. Electric Inc. — $207 million
  • Guarantee Electrical Co. — $157.37 million
  • PayneCrest Electric Inc. — $120 million
  • Kaiser Electric — $40.5 million
  • Aschinger Electric Co. — $39.8 million
  • Kaemmerlen Electric — $34.43 million
  • TSI Global Cos., LLC — $31 million
  • K&F Electric Inc., a Zak Co. — $29.81 million
  • Bell Electrical Contractors Inc. — $27 million
  • TD4 Electrical and Communications LLC — $24.08 million
  • Schneider Electric of St. Louis LLC — $24.06 million
  • Schaeffer Electric Co. Inc. — $21 million
  • RJP Electric LLC  — $20.61 million
  • Pyramid Electrical Contractors — $19.7 million
  • Kay Bee Electric — $18 million
  • M.R. Bathe Electric – $11.2 million
  • J. Bathe Electric — $5.64 million

NECA members in the rankings include minority contractors.  The industries served by the NECA contactors on the list span residential and commercial, including healthcare, power, industrial, retail, multifamily, renewable energy, institutional, R&D, data centers, schools and more.

St. Louis NECA contractors partner with IBEW to form the Electrical Connection, providing safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information, visit

Welcome to the new HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital

in Associations/News

In less than 30 days, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s will be making one of the largest moves in its history – from Belleville to the new facility in O’Fallon. This is the next chapter in fulfilling the health care Mission through advanced technologies, professional, skilled and compassionate caregivers, and the highest level of quality service. It is the next step on the hospital’s  journey to offering patients the highest quality care in a comfortable and healing setting.

All along, the goal was to create a healing environment that combines technology and efficiencies to provide region leading, high-quality care. In our new facility, we will offer state-of-the-art technologies to provide advanced services in surgery, medical imaging, laboratory, and the emergency department, just to name a few. Hospital designers and planners also hope the public enjoys the private rooms, efficiently designed clinical areas which allow nurses to spend more time with their patients at the bedside, and the deluxe amenities offered in the Women and Infants Center.

St. Elizabeth’s plans to be the health and wellness destination for the region for decades to come. The new $300 million O’Fallon campus sits on 120 acres and is easily accessible off of Interstate 64. This location and amount of space allows for wonderful outdoor spaces for patients, visitors and colleagues and provides many growth opportunities for the future.

Throughout the design of the new facility, you will see that patient care, privacy and overall experience are our priority. Please enjoy this informational piece to learn more about how we continue to put patients first and join my excitement in opening our new facility to the region on November 4, 2017.

Public Open House events are scheduled for October 7 and 8 from 10am-2:30 pm.

TriStar Begins $26 Million, 593,940SF Spec Warehouse at Gateway Commerce Center, Edwardsville, Ill.

in Companies/News

Project Emerging on 54-Acre Site

TriStar Properties has begun speculative development of a new 593,940-square-foot mega-cube distribution center at Gateway Commerce Center, a 2,300-acre logistics and bulk distribution park outside Edwardsville, Ill. Teaming with TriStar to fund the $26 million venture is PCCP, LLC a national real estate finance and investment management company.

The new building, Gateway East 594, is a tilt-up concrete cross-docked facility with 36’ clear-height ceilings, 570 feet of depth and 66 dock doors plus two drive-in doors. Taking shape on a 54-acre site, the building is expandable to approximately 1,000,000 square feet.

The 594 building will be available for occupancy in January, 2018 according to Ed Lampitt, SIOR, CCIM and managing director of the St. Louis office of Cushman Wakefield, the exclusive leasing agent for Gateway.

“Gateway Commerce Center is widely acknowledged as one of the leading distribution parks in the Midwest. With 18 bulk buildings containing nearly 13 million square feet under roof, Gateway’s development team is demonstrating its proactive approach in anticipating the needs of expansion-minded companies for efficient, expandable bulk space configurations,” noted Lampitt.

TRiSTAR-PCCP Joint Venture

Gateway East 594 will be the fifth distribution facility jointly developed by TriStar and PCCP at Gateway.  The partners recently completed two previously launched buildings totaling 1,144,000 square feet, all of which has been leased. Another recent endeavor, a $36 million, 717,060-square-foot distribution center on a 56-acre site, is now occupied by retail giant Amazon.

In addition to Amazon, Gateway tenants include Dial Corp., GENCO ATC, GEODIS, The Hershey Company, Ozburn-Hessey Logistics, Proctor & Gamble, Save-A-Lot, Saddle Creek Logistics Services, D.B. Schenker Logistics, DB Schenker, Schneider National, Unilever, USF Logistics, Walgreens and Yazaki of North America.

Joining TriStar on the 594 project are Contegra Construction, general contractor; Gray Design Group, architect; and Stock & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc.; civil engineer.

Founded in 1996, TriStar Properties is a nationally recognized real estate developer. Typically operating through affiliated joint ventures or partnerships, its activity log includes sale or development transactions involving more than 5,000 acres of commercial and residential land; apartment complexes; 1.5 million square feet of office space; 1.2 million square feet of retail space; and several million square feet of industrial/distribution space.

PCCP, LLC is a real estate finance and investment management company that focuses on commercial real estate debt and equity investments. With offices in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, it has approximately $6 billion in assets under management on behalf of institutional investors.

Since its inception in 1998, PCCP has successfully raised, invested and managed approximately $10 billion of institutional capital through private equity funds, separate accounts and joint ventures. Learn more about PCCP at ( .

KWK Architects Principal Dick Kirschner to Speak at InterFaceOn-Campus Housing Conference in Philadelphia

in Companies/News

KWK Architects principal and a leading expert in higher education design Dick Kirschner, AIA, has been invited to speak at the 5th annual InterFace On-Campus Housing Conference, Oct. 24-26, in Philadelphia, PA.

The conference features workshops, roundtables and panel sessions that focus on collaboration, sustainable success and best practices for on-campus housing. A variety of topics are planned for the conference including:  P3 financing, designing for Generation Z, keeping up with technology, trends in housing for international students, how to write an effective RFP, and more.

Kirschner will be participating in an architecture panel discussion. Kirschner is a seasoned professional with nearly 40 years of design experience. He has focused his career on the planning, design and construction of university, healthcare, K-12, corporate and cultural institution facilities throughout the Midwest and Southeast. For the past 18 years, Kirschner has concentrated on student life projects and is recognized as an industry leader in the master planning of housing that supports a vibrant and financially stable campus community.

Participants at the conference will include college and university housing experts, business advisors, student housing developers, architects, contractors, vendors and more. Tours of on-campus housing at Drexel University and the University of Philadelphia are also planned for participants.

For more information about the conference, visit 

Founded in 2013 by five architects with a combined 120 years of higher education knowledge and experience, KWK Architects partners with colleges and universities across the United States to create innovative and inspiring places that enhance campus life. 

Tarlton Announces New Website Launch

in Companies/News

Newly redesigned website offers visitors insight into client-driven culture and capabilities across a wide range of sectors

St. Louis-based Tarlton Corp., a leader in general contracting and construction management throughout the Midwest, announces the launch of its new website.

The launch coincides with an important milestone in Tarlton’s history—Founders Day, a day of companywide celebration each October 2 that marks the birthday of Art Elsperman, one of the firm’s founders and first generation of leaders.

The redesigned site, located at the company’s same web address at, was created with user experience in mind, offering enhanced content, improved functionality, quick access to essential information and insight into the company’s capabilities. The website features bold photographs and a comprehensive overview of Tarlton, in business since 1946. A WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise, Tarlton is the recipient of numerous local, regional and national industry awards for its many projects and is one of Engineering News-Record’s Top 400 Contractors nationally.

Among the new website features is a filter that allows visitors to search Tarlton’s projects by size, market type and/or specific attributes such as LEED-certified or historic renovation.

“We are excited to launch a newly revamped website that provides a rich online experience and underscores our commitment to our clients, industry and community, while also illustrating the winning strategies and solutions we bring to every project,” said Tracy Hart, president, Tarlton Corp.

Tarlton, which had 2016 revenues topping $171 million, completes projects for wide-ranging clients in the commercial, institutional, life science and industrial markets, with special expertise in concrete repair and restoration, power and energy, and hydro excavation.


Missouri’s Contractors Celebrate BuildMO Week Oct. 2-6

in Associations/News

Contractors Grapple with Critical Worker Shortage

Today, the AGC of Missouri, government and civic leaders gathered at North Technical High School in Florissant to celebrate BuildMO Week, Oct. 2-6, a week-long celebration of the construction industry in Missouri.  Part of the Special School District, North Technical High School provides Career and Technical Education (CTE) that prepares students for continuing education and the workforce.

Leonard Toenjes, CAE, president, AGC of Missouri, spoke about the economic impact of construction on Missouri’s economy and welcomed St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger; Thomas P. Schneider, Mayor, City of Florissant; and Tom Heeger, Co-Chair, St. Louis Construction Cooperative.

Toenjes noted that construction is a major driver of Missouri’s economy, employing more than 118,700 in August (seasonally adjusted) persons throughout the state. View here :


In 2016, U.S. GDP totaled $18.6 trillion; construction contributed $784 billion (4.2 percent).  In Missouri, construction contributed $11 billion (3.7 percent) of the state’s GDP of $301 billion.  Construction wages and salaries in 2016 totaled $408 billion in the U.S., including $7.0 billion in Missouri. The U.S. had 682,000 construction firms in 2015, of which 92 percent employed fewer than 20 workers. Missouri had 13,000 construction firms in 2015, of which 91 percent were small (fewer than 20 employees.)  SOURCE: AGC of America: State of Missouri Economic Report, Sept. 26, 2017

Toenjes also noted that a “perfect storm is forming in our industry.” He said that, due to retirements, demographics and the 2008 downturn in the economy, a shortage of trained construction workers has reached critical levels in Missouri and throughout the country.  Results from a recent workforce survey by AGC of America indicate the shortage threatens to hold back the entire U.S. economy.

“Seventy-one percent of Missouri contractors recently surveyed noted they are having difficulty filling some hourly craft positions and 20 percent report they are having difficulty filling some salaried field positions,” noted Toenjes. “Forty-one percent report they are having difficulty filling some office salaried positions.” View Missouri Workforce Survey results at:  <

“This is why the career and technical education programs provided at North Technical High School and other schools throughout our state are so important,” added Toenjes. “The hiring situation is very favorable right now for students trained in the trades. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, construction and extraction employment is projected to grow 10 percent between 2014 and 2024. And, according to new data released last week by the AGC of America, in 2016, annual pay of all construction workers in the U.S. averaged $58,600, 10 percent more than the average for all private sector employees. Construction workers’ pay in Missouri averaged $56,000, 20 percent more than all private sector employees in the state.

“Construction is an excellent career path for today’s young people,” added Toenjes.  “New technologies like Building Information Modeling, drones, innovative building methods and new materials are transforming the way we design and build everything.  The sky’s the limit for a young person entering our industry today.”

North Technical recently updated its construction curriculum to ensure that students see many career paths in the industry during their first year. By rotating through immersive, real-world projects in four core areas of carpentry, construction trades, electrical trades, and HVAC, North Technical students choose their second year curriculum with focus and purpose.

“The Construction Innovation structure at North Tech allows students to maintain interest in the first year of the Construction Trades Programs by exposing them to nine week bursts of interesting projects and equipment function,” said Dr. David Baker, Assistant Superintendent of College and Career Readiness for Special School District. “These are 16- and 17- year-old young men and women and we must gain their interest in the field before we can prepare them to move forward as part of the construction workforce.  The program is dependent upon the strength of our instructors and their sincere interest in student success and competence in their respective fields is what ensures program success.”

BuildMO Week activities began yesterday with a news conference at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, MO, with officials announcing establishment of a new AGCMO student chapter at OTC. Additional AGCMO networking and training events also are scheduled throughout the week. Students from North Technical High School’s Culinary Program provided refreshments for the St. Louis kickoff event.

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri represents the united voice of the construction industry throughout the state of Missouri. AGC of Missouri represents over 525 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties across the state of Missouri. AGC of Missouri operates offices in St. Louis and Jefferson City. Visit:  <>

St. Louis Regional Ports and Terminals Ranked Most Efficient

in Associations/News

Capture One-Third of the Upper Mississippi River Barge Freight Traffic

Vital role in nation’s freight network reinforces need for infrastructure investment along the Ag Coast of America

St. Louis regional ports were ranked by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as the most efficient inland port district in terms of tons moved per river mile during 2015, the most recent year for which final numbers are available. The St. Louis region’s barge industry handled 500,000 tons per mile. The Ports of Huntington-Tristate, West Virginia and Ports of Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky, ranked second and third respectively, moving more than 200,000 tons per river mile, making the St. Louis region two and half times more efficient on its river usage than its closest competitors.

Those efficiencies translated into one-third of all freight traffic along the section of the Mississippi River from Minneapolis, Minn., to the Ohio River near Cairo, Ill., being captured by the St. Louis region’s ports and river terminals. According to the USACE, the 70-mile St. Louis regional port system represents only 8 percent of this 855-mile section of the river, yet carried one-third of the 2015 freight. The numbers reinforce the St. Louis region’s critical role in the nation’s freight network and further solidifies its position as the ‘Ag Coast of America.’

What does this mean? The St. Louis region’s ports and river terminals have created a highly competitive shipper and carrier market. This ability to capture more than 30 percent of the market share of 109 million total tons of all freight traffic is attributed to excess capacity at river terminals and high concentrations of barges; exceptional intermodal connectivity; and the region’s unrivaled location in the heart of America’s agricultural heartland, providing the northernmost ice-free and lock-free access on the Mississippi River to and from the Gulf of Mexico.

“It’s a combination that adds up to the St. Louis region having inexpensive barge freight rates for the handling of fertilizer, steel, manufactured goods, coal, petroleum products and agricultural commodities,” notes Mary Lamie, Executive Director of the St. Louis Regional Freightway, which is a freight district and comprehensive authority for freight operations and opportunities within eight counties in Illinois and Missouri that comprise the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Available capacity of the existing ports and river terminals and a high concentration of barges, combined with proposed barge facilities coming online over the next couple of years, strategically positions the St. Louis region to capture an even greater portion of the freight traffic moving along the Mississippi River. However, U.S. Department of Agriculture reports suggest that, without improvements in U.S. infrastructure from the farm to ports, global agricultural market shares will decline dramatically.

Given the existing barge freight traffic market share handled by the St. Louis region’s ports and the opportunities for additional growth, the importance of continued efficient and reliable rail and truck interconnectivity is critical for maintaining global competitiveness.

“Investment in this infrastructure, including improving at-grade rail crossings and increasing efficiency of freight rail interconnectivity with the region’s Class I railroads, is key to supporting the barge industry,” Lamie said.

Over the past year, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) President Mike McCarthy led the 75 members of The Freightway’s Freight Development Committee through a process to develop and build consensus around a priority list of 20 multimodal projects that were identified as critical to modernize the region’s freight infrastructure. The list has unanimous regional approval and the backing of both the Missouri and Illinois congressional delegations, which has vaulted regional priorities into national priorities.

For more information on the entire Freightway project list click here<>. To learn more about the St. Louis Regional Freightway, visit<>.

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