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Project Estimating Just Got Even More Seamless

in Companies/News

As pioneers of the Design-Build construction method, efficiency has been at the heart of what we do for decades. Thanks to our implementation of an innovative estimation program, we’re making preconstruction more efficient and more collaborative.

The program is called DESTINI Estimator from Beck Technology. Developed with crowd-sourced input from experienced estimators, the platform includes the following features:

  • Full-featured, yet easy-to-use estimating functionality.
  • Integrated 2D and 3D takeoff.
  • Highly customizable dashboard-based reporting.
  • Estimate comparison views and Microsoft Excel imports.

“One of our business requirements was to gain a support system that would listen, change, and grow with us, providing the product that will make us the most efficient we can be as technologies and systems change,” Jason Mantle, Chief Operating Officer of The Korte Company, said. “As a truly integrated Design-Build firm, we also need to take advantage of the 3D modeling that our design department gives us. With DESTINI Estimator, I think we will see increased utilization of the information that we have today in our design department, as well as a more efficient takeoff and estimate setup method.”

Beck Technology is no stranger to us. We’ve been using their companion software for 5D modeling and estimating, DESTINI Profiler, since 2015. Using DESTINI Profiler to conceptualize and estimate projects in the early preconstruction phase, we’re positioned for improved communication with owners that helps us win more work.

“With both DESTINI Profiler and DESTINI Estimator on board, Korte can now significantly reduce the number of steps and time taken to align a project vision with the project cost,” said Stewart Carroll, Beck Technology’s Chief Operating Officer. “The world is moving to more lean methods, and Korte’s use of the DESTINI suite supports both the target value design approach and more traditional preconstruction methods in a single platform. Because DESTINI products are designed to work seamlessly together, Korte will have a much more integrated design and bid process. That’s a win for their preconstruction team, as well as Korte’s clients, who will get more value out of the preconstruction process at every stage.”

The innovation behind Beck Technology stems from DESTINI: design estimation integration initiative. DESTINI Profiler and DESTINI Estimator share a common cost database schema, allowing companies to manage a single database platform for both conceptual and detailed estimating. DESTINI Profiler outputs can be opened in DESTINI Estimator and form the basis of the downstream estimating process. Alternatively, DESTINI Estimator can be used from the beginning of the project through project completion.

When we began the process of replacing our previous estimating software, DESTINI Estimator was one of several products we had our eye on. We sent team members to Beck Technology’s Dallas office for a hands-on, intensive exploration, which included a demonstration of Estimator along with hands-on training.

“The success that Korte has had with Profiler provided a high level of trust with their executive team, and they agreed to move forward into the implementation planning phase,” says Tyler Barron, Account Executive with Beck Technology. “(We) introduced an innovative, collaborative approach to implementation planning to help Korte ensure a seamless rollout and take full advantage of Estimator’s extensive capabilities. We were also happy to coordinate client-specific terms in the agreement to better meet Korte’s needs.”

By implementing cutting edge collaborative estimation software that fits our needs, we’re more poised than ever to deliver the Design-Build solution that best fits the needs of our customers.

There’s no substitute for combining the right people, the right materials and lots of hard work to build something special. That will always be true in this industry. But the opportunity to build better relationships before ground is ever broken is something we can’t pass up.

About the author

As Director of Virtual Construction, Craig Mulliniks is responsible for working with owners and our Healthcare Team to understand project solutions through virtual construction.  He will work to develop the project from initial planning and conceptual design to contract execution. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the construction industry. Mr. Mulliniks specializes in acute healthcare construction and conceptual estimating. He is highly experienced in advanced technology software including Macro BIM/DProfiler Modeling

Home Builders Association Donates $12,500 to Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County

in Associations/News

On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2017 HBA President Ken Kruse of Payne Family Homes presented a $12,500 donation to Lauren Grotegeers, resource development coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County.

The donation will be used to help fund the first attached home built by Habitat St. Charles. One home will be built for a family with young children, including one with special needs. The other is for a single mother and young daughter. Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County strives to fulfill the mission of providing decent, safe, affordable and sustainable housing to deserving families in St. Charles County.

The HBA is a local trade association of more than 600 member firms representing the residential construction industry. The Home Builders Charitable Foundation, the HBA’s charitable arm, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing assistance to people or organizations with special shelter needs.

TDK Adds Software Professionals; Continues Growth Pattern

in Companies/News

IT Consulting Firm Hiring 70 Java Developers, Other Technology Positions for New Clients & Projects

TDK Technologies, LLC (TDK) has added several new software development positions in the first half of 2017 and anticipates the trend to accelerate for the remainder of the year as the St. Louis-based Information Technology (IT) consulting and software solutions firm takes on additional clients and projects.

Since the beginning of the year, TDK has added 30 software developers, project managers and analysts. The company projects it will add an additional 40 in similar roles to meet project growth requirements. Currently TDK has 110 full-time employees, and is one of the area’s largest IT Consulting firms as ranked by the St. Louis Business Journal.

The company has ramped up hiring of Java Developers due to growth in the number of clients and projects that require the most popular programming language around the world. Java is an important programming language in application development and in a wide variety of business software solutions.

“We are looking to hire the best and brightest Java programmers and engineers available, both as employees and as subcontractors,” said TDK Principal David Kocs. “TDK has projects on the immediate horizon that talented Java experts will find challenging and rewarding.”

The demand for Java developers is a trend that has been present in the IT industry for several years. A May 2017 article in the World Economic Forum noted Java is among the programming languages “…to learn if you always want to have a job…”. Java Developer responsibilities at TDK include design and development of Java-based applications based on business requirements, creating new code as well as making enhancements to existing code while providing functional programming deliverables within strict deadlines.

The company will also continue to add project managers, scrum masters, business analysts and quality assurance specialists.

For more information, contact TDK Principal David Kocs at david.kocs@tdktech.com or 636.778.1404 extension 112.

About TDK Technologies

TDK Technologies, LLC is a Woman-owned Business Enterprise (WBE), established in 2001, with more than 100 team members located in the St. Louis metropolitan area.  TDK Technologies provides information technology based e-Commerce and business process and system solutions for businesses through either staff augmentation or outsourced solution delivery.  For more information about TDK Technologies – visit www.tdktech.com. They can be reached at (636) 778-1404 or info@tdktech.com.

Architecture Firms End Second Quarter On A Strong Note

in Associations/Homepage Primary/News

Firm billings beginning to catch up with project inquiries and design contracts 

For the fifth consecutive month, architecture firms recorded increasing demand for design services as reflected in the June Architecture Billings Index (ABI). As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 54.2, up from a score of 53.0 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.6, down from a reading of 62.4 the previous month, while the new design contracts index decreased from 54.8 to 53.7.

View this press release here: https://www.aia.org/press-releases/139891-architecture-firms-end-second-quarter-on-a-

“So far this year, new activity coming into architecture firms has generally exceeded their ability to complete ongoing projects,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Now, firms seem to be ramping up enough to manage these growing workloads.”

Key June ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (54.8), West (53.1), Midwest (51.9), Northeast (51.5)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (57.1), mixed practice (53.8), institutional (52.6), commercial / industrial (52.1)
  • Project inquiries index: 58.6
  • Design contracts index: 53.7

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities.

 

Prevailing Wage Not Repealed In Missouri

in News

Submitted by Will Buchanan, HesseMartone P.C.

Will Buchanan

There is some confusion in the industry surrounding the state of the Missouri prevailing wage law.  Several news stories and a June 15, 2017 article in the National Law Journal titled “Missouri Repeals Prevailing Wage Law in Government Contracting” have suggested that the prevailing wage was repealed in Missouri.  It was not.

There are a number of different prevailing wage repeal bills pending in the Missouri legislature.   On March 30, 2017, the House passed HB 104, a bill to completely repeal prevailing wage; the Senate took it up but then placed it on its informal calendar and did not pass it.  Other bills pending in the House modify but do not completely repeal prevailing wage; none of these bills has seen any legislative activity since March 2017.

The source of the confusion is SB 182, signed by Governor Greitens on May 30, 2017.  SB 182 “…repeals provisions of the law permitting the state or any political subdivision to enter into a union-only project labor agreement.” (Bill Summary) (Bill Text)  SB 182 extends the state government-level prohibition on entering into union-only project labor agreements to municipal governments, eliminates the requirement that a project be more than 50% publicly funded to be subject to the law, and establishes a private cause of action for persons affected by violations to sue for equitable damages.  However, SB 182 does not repeal or directly modify the Missorui prevailing wage.

The Missouri legislature will begin its next regular session on January 3, 2018.

The prevailing wage is still the law of the land in Missouri.

SLU Grand Hall Glass Installation Profile

in Companies/News

Saint Louis University’s new Grand Hall, located at the corner of Laclede and South Grand on SLU’s midtown campus, is a seven-story, 237,000 s.f. residence facility constructed following LEED silver standards. In addition to student housing, the building will also include a campus dining area, classrooms, study lounges and an outdoor plaza.

The building facade features a varied-width glass panel design that has quickly become popular with institutional buildings. IWR North America was chosen for the furnishing and installation of all the building’s glass panels, totaling roughly 35,000 s.f.

The exterior of the building contains high-performing insulated glass in both tinted and blue coatings installed into aluminum curtainwall and window wall framing. For the interior, IWR installed specialty glass partitions in the cafeteria, bathroom mirrors, fire-rated glazing, and more than 30 aluminum entrance doors on the exterior and interior of the building.

IWR began its portion of the project in September 2016 and will finish in late July 2017.

Missouri Contractors Lower Expectations For 2017& 2018

in Associations/News

Lack of sustainable infrastructure plan and shrinking skilled workforce loom over market

Contractors in both the AGC of Missouri’s Building Division and its Heavy Highway/Infrastructure Division report lowered growth expectations for the rest of 2017 and for 2018. However, most results from the quarterly, online Contractor Confidence (CCI) Index, looking six, 12 and 18-24 months ahead, continue to surpass 50 pts. (NOTE: All results above 50 pts. indicate a favorable construction climate.)

According to Leonard Toenjes, CAE, president, AGC of Missouri, uncertainty in both Washington, D.C. and Jefferson City, including the lack of a permanent, sustainable infrastructure program, and a developing critical shortage of skilled workers in the building trades and project management roles continue to weigh heavily on the industry.

Contractors in the AGC of Missouri’s Building Division lowered their optimism from an identical survey taken just three months ago, especially looking 18 to 24 months out. Their six-month forecast moved from 63.46 pts. in Q1 2017 to 53.8 pts. in Q2 2017. Looking ahead 12 months, their forecast decreased from 69.23 pts. in Q1 2017 to 51.9 pts. in Q2 2017.  Forecasting business conditions 18-24 months ahead, they anticipate a significant pullback, from 63.46 pts. in Q1 2017 to 46.2 pts. in Q2 2017.

“Our contractors are relatively busy right now, but are seeing projects ahead that are making them more selective about the work they accept and the teams they assign,” added Toenjes. “There is a shortage of seasoned project managers, technical support staff, and skilled trades workers. Our members are mobilizing their teams and concentrating on delivering high-quality work for repeat clients.  In other words, they simply don’t have the time or resources to take on high-risk projects.”

Contractors in the AGC of Missouri’s Highway Division also are becoming more pessimistic, with concern building over inaction on infrastructure in Washington, D.C and Jefferson City, MO.  For the six-month outlook, their forecast dropped from 66.7 pts in Q1 2017 to 59.1 pts. in Q2 2017.  Their forecast for a year from now plummeted over 13 pts., moving from 72.2 pts. in Q1 2017 to 59.1 pts. in Q2 2017.  Their forecast for 18-24 months also dropped from 72.2 pts. in Q1 2017 to 69.9 pts. in Q2 2017.

According to Toenjes, the highway contractors are working right now because of summer bridge and road repairs, part of MoDOT’s spend down of the state’s transportation funding reserves. However, without a permanent funding solution in place, the future of Missouri’s transportation systems is in jeopardy.

“Our roads and bridges are crumbling, and we’ve been told that, in some cases, MoDOT is doing repairs to hold things together when replacement is truly needed,” said Toenjes. “All those projects will need repairs again when the patches wear out. It’s a much better investment to do it right the first time.

“Investment in infrastructure also creates jobs and stimulates economic growth,” he added. “Kansas, Iowa and Arkansas all have increased their transportation investment in the past several years and are ‘moving forward’ while Missouri is, ‘quite literally,’ standing still.”

Full AGC Report Here

*NOTE: Due to scheduling difficulties, a 3rd Q 2015 survey was not conducted.

The Associated General Contractors of Missouri is the leading voice of the construction industry in Missouri, representing nearly 500 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties throughout Missouri

Ross & Baruzzini Acquires Irving, Texas-based CAGE Inc.

in Companies/News

Ross & Baruzzini, Inc. an international consulting and engineering firm, has acquired CAGE, Inc., one of the leading aviation baggage handling consulting firms in the United States.

Based in Irving, Texas, CAGE’s primary professional services focus is on planning, design, procurement and commissioning of complex automated baggage handling systems, passenger boarding bridges, ground support services and aircraft parking design.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.  

Carl Clause, chairman and owner of CAGE, said “We know Ross & Baruzzini well, having worked together internationally for years. I know the global strength of their organization and believe in their growth strategy which will provide a platform for CAGE to build its brand globally.”

Founded in 1997, CAGE Inc. has provided services at more than 140 airports on projects valued in excess of $2 billion. Their client list includes some of the largest airports in the country and they have served American Airlines since the inception of the firm.

Ross & Baruzzini, which has more than 300 employees who execute projects in more than 30 countries, operates from headquarters in St. Louis and offices in Chicago, Miami, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Kansas City, New York, Hamden, Conn. and Columbia, Ill., with staff in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. The two firms will immediately combine operations to leverage opportunities for growth.  CAGE has approximately 45 people on staff.

“This is an acquisition we’ve wanted to make for several years to add to our portfolio of global airport engineering and consulting capabilities,” said Craig Toder, Ross & Baruzzini chairman. “CAGE has a highly specialized technical capability that is rare in the industry and fits our growing client base of airports and airlines. They have a terrific staff, a proven management team and some of the best clients in our industry.  It’s an exceptional fit for us.”

“This will continue to open up opportunities for our people,” said Jeff Plant, CAGE president, “as we will have a greater reach to global markets. Our people are excited about this.” Plant will work directly with Bill Overturf (photo above), Ross & Baruzzini president, to integrate the two firms. Overturf remarked that “the cultures of both companies are very similar. It became obvious very quickly that this group is extremely dedicated and very experienced. I was impressed by the longevity of their staff and the loyalty of their clients. It’s a great company that we are thrilled to bring into our family.”

Founded in St. Louis in 1953, Ross & Baruzzini (http://www.rossbar.com) is a premier international consulting and engineering firm continually ranked among the top companies in the nation. 

Plans Announced to Advance Second Phase of The Boulevard St. Louis

in Companies/Homepage Primary/News

JLL Hired to Market $100 million Mixed-Use Development

Chicago-based joint venture has retained JLL to market the rollout of the next phase of The Boulevard St. Louis, which owners confirm will break ground early next year and open year end 2019. Edwards Realty Group and Condor Partners purchased The Boulevard in late 2016 from Pace Properties. Owners say the advancement of the $100 million second phase includes an exciting mix of retail, residential, entertainment and class A office space to enhance the region’s premier mixed-use development located across from the Saint Louis Galleria.

“We’re extremely excited to be moving forward with this much anticipated second phase and to begin marketing it to the region,” said Sol Barket, a St. Louis native and founder of Condor Partners.  “The Boulevard is a great brand that appeals to many residents and visitors in the St. Louis region. This next phase will undoubtedly further enhance the development by offering more opportunities for people to live, work, play and dine.”

JLL office expert Dave Biales is representing the joint venture to market the office portion of the second phase of development. “The Boulevard has always been a premier location, but this expansion will solidify its position in the market as the premier destination for office and retail.”

Biales says in addition to several unique restaurants and retail, the expansion will bring approximately 100,000 square feet of office space to the market. Plans call for ample free garage parking with direct sky bridge access to an office complex. The development’s location along I-170 enables office tenants to avoid Clayton traffic and to have easy highway access. Highly visible signage opportunities will also be available to several office tenants facing both Brentwood Boulevard and I-170, which has approximately 130,000 cars pass along it everyday.

Biales adds, “The Boulevard’s location and amenities are unique to the area and, with Clayton experiencing vacancy rates at all time lows, this project couldn’t come at a better time.”

 

The Boulevard opened in 2004 and includes a professional office complex and 74 luxury residential apartments. It is home to Missouri’s first Crate and Barrel store and Missouri’s first Soft Surroundings location, as well as restaurants Maggiano’s Little Italy, P.F.Chang’s China Bistro, and Allegro at The Boulevard.

For more news, videos and research resources on JLL, please visit the firm’s U.S. media center web page: http://bit.ly/18P2tkv.

CRG and Clayco to Develop, Design and Build Pfizer R&D & Process Development Facility

in Companies/News

$250 million investment expected to bring quality jobs to the St. Louis region,increase R&D capabilities

CRG is providing turnkey build-to-suit services to complete the new BioPlace for Pfizer<http://www.pfizer.com/> in Chesterfield, Missouri. CRG is collaborating with Clayco<http://www.claycorp.com/>, the design-builder on the project, for this world-class office and laboratory space.  As one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, Pfizer has entrusted CRG and Clayco to deliver a facility that reflects its highest standards for excellence, quality, safety and value.

The dual-purpose structure will be comprised of 285,000 square feet of laboratory and office space. The design partnership of Forum Studio and Ewing Cole merged the expertise and talents of both firms where the unique combination of both research and development labs combined with office and meeting spaces creates one of the most progressive facilities in the pharma industry. The architecture, landscape design, engineering, interior and lab/process was also designed by Forum and EwingCole.

The new campus will be owned by Pfizer and will bring together more than 450 employees who currently work at multiple locations that the company leases in the St. Louis area. Pfizer expects to hire an additional 80 employees over the coming years to support research at the site. Construction is expected to be complete by mid-2019.

“Our team came together quickly; the great chemistry was easy to see and the results we’re achieving are proof that true integration within a develop-design-build project can outshine more traditional methods of delivery,” said Kirk Warden, Clayco executive vice president and partner. “The collaboration between developers, designers, builders, engineers and the many owner groups is leading to a state-of-the-art facility that will offer the St. Louis Pfizer family a spacious and collaborative environment with great views into the surrounding wooded property and plenty of daylight reaching every interior space.”

Representatives from Clayco, alongside Pfizer officials and local dignitaries, broke ground on the project June 27, 2017. When complete, the facility will provide approximately 285,000 square feet of R&D space to house Pfizer’s BioTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences group and enabling partners. New state-of-the-art features of the campus will include a floor plan that provides flexible laboratory layouts, scientific casework and utility hookups, open office and collaboration spaces and increased conferencing technologies where researchers can collaborate. Renderings of the new site can be found here<https://claycorp.sharefile.com/d-s42a8dd7a1254692a>.

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