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Ground Breaking on New Mixed-Use Community In Edwardsville

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A groundbreaking ceremony was held this week at the site of Whispering Heights, a new $34 million mixed-use community, located off Highway 157 in the heart of Edwardsville, Illinois.

Holland Construction Services is working with Edwardsville developer Fireside Financial on the project.  When completed Whispering Heights will be the tallest building in Edwardsville.  The community will feature two six-story buildings with a total of 153 luxury apartments and 18,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Residents of Whispering Heights will enjoy a state-of-the-art fitness center, private entrances, private parking garage, business center, and a roof top “amenity deck” with grilling stations, fire pits, an enclosed kitchenette, and bar area.  The luxury apartment units will range from studios to 2-bedroom suites of up to 1,100 square feet and feature stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and high-end finishes throughout.

“Fireside Financial is proud to bring Whispering Heights, a mixed-use community, to the City of Edwardsville,” noted Brian Tempest, Vice President of Hearth Construction Management, the owner’s representative for the project.

Gray Design Group out of St. Louis and Edwardsville is the architect on the new complex.  Work is scheduled to be complete in Fall of 2019.

Holland Construction Services is a full-service construction management, general contracting, and design/build firm based in Swansea, Ill., guided by the principle of providing our clients the best possible building experience on every project. For more information, visit Holland’s website at

Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. Garner 3 International Achievement Awards

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During the October 2018 annual Industrial Fabrics Association International Expo in Dallas, Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. was awarded 3 International Achievement Awards for design excellence in specialty fabric products and applications.

The Lawrence Team was honored to receive an Award of Excellence in the Awnings & Canopies category for a Freestanding Structure at Hello Apartments and an Outstanding Achievement Award in the Fabric Structures category for the Barnes Jewish Hospital Lightbox Canopy.

In addition, the Missouri History Museum Panoramas of the City Fabric Graphics Display received an Outstanding Achievement Award.

Another Step Toward National Recognition Of St. Louis As “TECH CITY”

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The innovation and technology experts at PARIC Corp. are helping St. Louis earn national recognition and, hopefully, the honorary title of “TECH CITY, USA.”

When several thousand technology and innovationprofessionals who serve the North American architecture, engineering and construction industries meet this week in Las Vegas, their keynote address will be given by St. Louisan Andy Leek, PARIC’s vice president for technology and innovation.

Leek leads a PARIC team of seven technology professionals who have developed the company’s innovative approach to integrating several technology-based platforms to make the construction workflow stream as seamless as possible for owners representatives and the many sub-contractors involved in even the largest building projects.

One example of PARIC innovation involving worker safety is a predictive analytics program utilizing machine learning to estimate risk, to identify potential hazards in a specific construction project and to predict trends.

Another example of innovation is a PARIC program of project controls that on one $50 million construction project cut in half the number of anticipated change orders.

PARIC is a long-time user of technology, having been organized in 1979 around the concept of taping technology to deliver more value to project owners.

In the last two years, PARIC has used its proprietary technology to manage more than $1 billion in construction throughout the Midwest.

PARIC, one of the largest privately-held St. Louis-based companies, pairs their unique construction management approach and negotiated general construction techniques to take projects beyond expectations, offering customers the opportunity to “Experience. Excellence.” in every phase of the build.

PARIC specializes in commercial and interiors, education, healthcare, historic and urban redevelopment, hospitality and entertainment, municipal, science and technology, senior living, and sports complexes. More information is 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

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 a 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

Wiegmann Associates completes work at new American Outdoor Brands Corporation distribution center in Columbia, MO

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Wiegmann Associates has completed HVAC and Building Automation System work for the new American Outdoor Brands Corporation distribution center in Columbia, MO. Wiegmann was the design/build mechanical contractor for the project. The general contractor was Ryan Companies. The architect was Heitman Architects. The new facility is expected to be in full operation this December and is estimated to create 300 jobs over the next several years.

Wiegmann engineered a new energy-efficient and cost-effective HVAC system that serves the warehouse, offices, cafeteria, employee fitness center, conference rooms and boardrooms. Multi-zone variable air volume (VAV) packaged rooftop units were designed for the office areas to minimize fan speed and fan energy consumption, when possible. Natural gas makeup air units were used to heat the warehouse.

Wiegmann also provided and installed their own Direct Digital Control (DDC) system using Delta Controls. The Building Automation System controls all HVAC equipment in the facility and will allow the owner to monitor and schedule the HVAC system remotely and maximize energy savings.

The 576,214-square-foot, single-story distribution center will house outdoor sports recreation products and firearms manufactured by American Outdoor Brands Corporation. The facility was designed to improve logistics and supply chain efficiencies and to accommodate future expansion of up to 400,000 square feet.

Founded in 1852, American Outdoor Brands Corporation, formerly Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, creates a range of products for shooting, hunting and rugged outdoor enthusiasts. The company owns 18 brands, including well-known Smith & Wesson firearms.

Wiegmann Associates is a St. Louis-based mechanical contractor and a national leader in design/build HVAC projects. Since 1995, Wiegmann Associates has engineered and installed innovative, energy saving and cost-efficient HVAC solutions, refrigeration systems and automation controls for clients. For more information, visit or call (636) 940-1056.

Geotechnology Expresses Gratitude for Veterans’ Sacrifices, Honored to be Part of Soldiers Memorial Renovation Team

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After being closed for two years for a major $30 million renovation, the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum and Court of Honor in downtown St. Louis reopened in time for Veteran’s Day 2018, which was also the 100th anniversary of the armistice of World War 1.

The vast renovation included more than doubling the Memorial’s exhibit space, with workers digging 18 inches from the basement floor and turning the lower-level space into galleries. Geotechnology, Inc., was part of the team that renovated this grand monument, having performed construction materials testing and inspections throughout the project.

“We are grateful for all U.S. service members who protect our country and our freedoms, and proud to be part of this renovation,” said Geotechnology Central Region Manager Joel Weinhold. “This memorial pays tribute to them, and the enhancements will help to educate more people about their sacrifices.”

Working with BSI Constructors and Mackey Mitchell Architects, Geotechnology performed hazardous materials surveys to identify potential hazards such as asbestos, lead, and mold, and also conducted special inspections, construction observation and materials testing services related to soil, concrete, masonry, footings, reinforcing steel, and sprayed insulation thickness.

Built to honor 1,075 St. Louis-area soldiers who died in World War I, the memorial was originally financed by a 1923 bond issue that provided $6 million to clear seven city blocks for the plaza and structure. The memorial was completed as a works project of the Great Depression and dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936. It opened to the public on Memorial Day 1938. The Court of Honor was established across the street from Soldiers Memorial in the 1940s to memorialize the St. Louisans who lost their lives during World War II.

The Missouri Historical Society assumed operation of Soldiers Memorial in 2015, paving the way for this multimillion-dollar renovation that not only doubled the exhibit space, but also improved accessibility, and aided artifact preservation by adding a museum-quality HVAC system and interior storm windows. The Court of Honor was updated to include a reflecting pool and fountains that represent the five branches of the military. New monuments extend along the walkway between the Court of Honor and Soldiers Memorial to memorialize local service members who have fallen in the conflicts since World War II.

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum offers both long-term continuing exhibits as well as short-term special exhibits. The exhibits reflect a commitment to exploring the stories of local military service members, veterans, and their families. Admission to Soldiers Memorial and its continuing and special exhibits is free.

Established more than 30 years ago, Geotechnology, Inc. is a professional corporation offering a comprehensive range of consulting services in applied earth and environmental sciences, including geophysics, water resource management, geotechnical and environmental engineering, materials testing and drilling. Geotechnology has provided expertise on thousands of major construction projects in the Midwest and Mid-South regions. Geotechnology is ranked #406 in ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms in 2018. Geotechnology, Inc. is based in St. Louis, Mo., and has 10 offices in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. For more information, visit


OSHA Renews Strategic Electrical Partnership to Heighten High-Voltage Lineworker Safety

in Associations/News


The St. Louis and Missouri Valley Chapters of NECA – the National Electrical Contractors Association – applaud OSHA’s decision to renew a national partnership with industry stakeholders to support best practices to underscore safety for electrical workers who build and repair high-voltage electrical lines.

On Oct. 30, OSHA officially renewed the Electrical Transmission & Distribution Partnership, which began in 2004 with a few stakeholder organizations and today includes 17 major electrical industry players from the private sector. It is the only national partnership between employers and OSHA, according to the agency.

Mitch Marquardt, a Sachs Electric retiree and industry consultant who represents NECA in the partnership, says that before the consortium launched 14 years ago, OSHA conducted a survey of lineman from across the U.S. to identify areas where updated training was most needed. OSHA also held live discussions with lineman from coast to coast, ascertaining specific areas of their jobs where they found themselves most at risk for serious injury or fatality.

“Over the years, the partnership and OSHA have worked in tandem to tweak best practices and stay current with the best training possible,” Marquardt said. “And in partnership with OSHA, we’ve developed additional lineman safety training courses such as the 10-hour and 20-hour programs on safety in line construction. The 20-hour includes emphasis on supervisory and leadership skills.”

The partnership has also developed an app that lineman can easily access from their smartphones, one that outlines a procedural safety checklist and reminders for those working to restore electrical power in emergency and non-emergency scenarios.

“One of the practical resources the app provided during Hurricane Michael in October were safety-related push notices,” Marquardt said.

Asplundh Tree Expert LLC Chairman and CEO Scott Asplundh, who is serving as chairman of the partnership’s executive committee, says the entity has made great strides in improving safety in the industry. “The renewal of this partnership for another five years is an opportunity to continue making improvements to our practices to keep people safe,” he said. “This collaboration among industry stakeholders is making a real impact for lineworkers across the country. Due to the best practices and training materials developed under our agreement, millions of workers have benefitted.”

In addition to OSHA, NECA and Asplundh Tree Expert, members of the ET&D Partnership include: Aldridge Electric, Davis H. Elliot Co., Edison Electric Institute, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, The Goldfield Corp., Henkels & McCoy Group, MasTec, MDU Construction Services Group, Michels Corp., MYR Group, PLH Group, Pike Electric and Quanta Services. For more information about the partnership, visit

KAI Design & Build, HBD Construction, Inc. to Build New 136-room Fairfield Inn & Suites in Downtown St. Louis

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The KAI Design & Build/HBD Construction, Inc. team has been selected to build one of the first new hotels in downtown St. Louis in years – Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new hotel was held on Oct. 18 at the corner of 22nd and Market streets, the former site of iconic Harry’s Restaurant & Bar.

“We are truly excited to be a part of this dynamic project and the revitalization of such a landmark site in the Downtown-West area of St. Louis City,” said KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr.

St. Louis-based Equis Hotels is the developer on the $20 million hotel and parking garage project, with Chiodini Architects of St. Louis providing its design and Peak Construction Group serving as the construction manager. KAI Design & Build/HBD Construction is the general contractor.

“HBD is very excited to be starting its third project for Equis and its second project with joint venture partner KAI and team. The project will be an important amenity to the downtown St. Louis area, which continues positive growth,” said Michael Perry, President of HBD Construction.

The new hotel will feature 136 rooms and suites, 2,000 square feet of meeting rooms, a lobby lounge and bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, free breakfast, fitness center, outdoor patio, business center and shuttle service within a 2-mile radius of the property. With easy access to downtown St. Louis businesses and attractions, the modern Marriott-branded hotel will be suitable for business and leisure travelers and is expected to open in early 2020.

The Fairfield by Marriott hotel will revitalize a highly-visible lot in the western portion of downtown St. Louis and create an important addition to the region’s hospitality offerings.

“Equis’ new Fairfield by Marriott hotel is unique as it truly is the first, ground up Marriott select service hotel to be built in the City of St. Louis’ downtown market in decades,” said Equis Hotels Chief Executive Officer and Founder Michael Mullenix. “This hotel will now capture the traditional Marriott hotel customer seeking a true, ground-up Marriott select service hotel brand downtown. It will provide a quality offering so that guests do not have to travel outside of downtown to satisfy their lodging needs. Our new Fairfield by Marriott hotel will not only serve the existing hotel demand generators in the city, but it will definitely accommodate the exciting growth now taking place in the City of St. Louis, including the new $600 million Saint Louis University hospital project and the new $1.6 billion National Geo-Spatial Intelligence or NGA headquarters campus currently under construction just a mile north of our site.”

KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. A renowned leader in the industry, KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through collaboration, technology, processes and expertise. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit or call 314-241-8188.

HBD Construction, Inc. is a diverse, full-service general contracting and construction management firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. For more information about HBD Construction, Inc., visit or call 314-781-8000.

S. M. Wilson Awarded Hallsville R-IV School District Primary School Addition And Renovation Project

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S. M. Wilson & Co. has been selected by Hallsville R-IV School District to serve as the Construction Manager at Risk for the Hallsville Primary School addition and renovation.

The 31,000 SF addition will include adding classrooms to the Primary School consisting of eight new second-grade classrooms, and potentially adding two new first-grade classrooms and two new kindergarten classrooms. The design will be configured to allow for future expansion to the west. The gymnasium addition will consist of a main entry way, concessions, restrooms, locker rooms, storage and ancillary spaces.

The project will also include renovations to other exiting District buildings as well as additional projects related to a school bond issue and the District’s $7.3 M capital improvement plan.

Slated for completion in the summer of 2020, the project will be completed in phases to provide minimal disruption to the occupied campus.

Klinger & Associates is the architect on the project.

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

KAI Design & Build Announces Acquisition of 51-year-old Volk Construction Company

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KAI Design & Build Announces Acquisition of 51-year-old Volk Construction Company 

KAI Design & Build announces that it has acquired St. Louis-based Volk Construction Company, effective Oct. 1, 2018. The acquisition provides KAI’s clients with a greater pool of construction expertise and talent, and Volk’s clients with a greater depth of integrated design and construction solutions.

“Volk Construction Company has earned a reputation in St. Louis for treating subcontractors and owners fairly and equitably. Their dedication to quality workmanship, ethics and safety is unsurpassed in the industry, and we couldn’t be prouder to have acquired such a reputable and well-respected general contractor to join our team,” said KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr. “Each of our great companies bring complementary strengths that combine to a sum much greater than our individual parts.”

Since 1967, Volk Construction has provided construction management, design-build, renovation and general contracting services to a variety of public and private sector clients in the St. Louis marketplace. Over the course of its history, Volk Construction has served hundreds of clients and worked on thousands of projects in the healthcare, commercial, institutional, industrial and financial industries. Some of the significant projects that Volk Construction has been a part of include:

  • Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology Clinical Center for Imaging Research
  • Washington University School of Medicine Genome Sequencing Data Center
  • Cooper Bussmann Headquarters
  • Christian Hospital Northeast Emergency Department Renovation
  • Audubon Center at Riverlands
  • Washington University Danforth Campus Busch and Wilson Hall Renovation
  • Christian Hospital Northeast Kitchen Renovation
  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 6th Floor Renovation
  • Veterans Honor Park Memorial
  • YMCA Trout Lodge Renovation

Founder R. David Volk, Sr. worked in the construction industry for over 20 years before starting Volk Construction Company 51 years ago. His son, David Volk, Jr., became the company’s president in 1995 after working over 40 years in a variety positions at his dad’s company.

Volk Construction Company will complete current contractual commitments with its owners, subcontractors and suppliers. All new opportunities as of October 2018 will move forward as KAI Design & Build.

“Over the last several years, the A/E/C industry has evolved dramatically with innovative technologies, enhanced means and methods, and greater collaboration with customers, staff, architects and engineers, subcontractors and suppliers. In short, our industry has become much more efficient. This modern model of efficiency and collaboration is exactly what has driven Volk to become part of KAI Design & Build. The combination of Volk’s heritage and commitment to St. Louis combined with KAI’s progressive approach to collaborative design and construction solutions aligns perfectly and will create a powerful platform to meet the evolving needs of our industry and national customer base,” said Volk, Jr. “My daughter Melanie Volk and I, along with our other team leaders are very excited about the future with KAI.”

Photo Above: KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr. stands between David Volk, Jr. and Melanie Volk.

KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through client collaboration, the latest technology, proprietary processes and individual expertise. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit or call 314-241-8188.

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