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Western Specialty Contractors Restores Masonry Facade/Concrete Parking Structure at High-Rise Apartment Building

in Companies/News

Glen Oak Towers is a housing building in Peoria, IL that gives preference to seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. Originally constructed in 1954, the 15-story masonry structure and its attached 40-space parking garage were showing signs of deterioration and corrosion of the concrete surfaces, as well as weathering from salts and deicers brought into the garage from outside vehicles. Western Specialty Contractors – Springfield, IL branch recently completed restoration of both structures, as two separate projects.

For the first project, Western crews restored the parking structure, located on the back side of the building. With the garage’s main level and its suspended deck completely enclosed, the total floor space per level was approximately 10,000 square feet.

The garage exhibited extensive damage to its concrete decking in the form of spalling and cracking, and corrosion to its structural concrete members. Western crews performed approximately 3,100 square feet of full-depth concrete repairs (30% of the suspended deck), 550 lineal feet of structural joist repairs, 55 lineal feet of structural beam repairs, removal of 1,500 square feet of asphalt topping on the upper level and installation 825 lineal feet of gravity-fed epoxy injection.

Western crews installed shoring to support the concrete areas that were not to be removed during the restoration process. The shoring also acted as the support framework for the form work and false floor that had to be used for fall protection.

In order to keep the garage operable for tenants, Western crews performed the garage repairs in three phases. In the first phase, new concrete was installed using a concrete pump. In the second and third phases, new concrete was placed using a concrete buggy to move material through the garage. Once the concrete repairs were completed, Western crews applied a two-component, fast-cure traffic membrane on the elevated parking level. The garage restoration project was completed in four months.

For the second project, Western crews performed masonry restoration on the building’s challenging facade. Crews performed necessary tuckpointing throughout the building and replaced over 5,000 spalled and broken bricks, which were mainly at the shelf angles. Western crews also installed new weeps along all of the shelf angles to allow water that may have penetrated the wall to drain out. Workers then re-sealed all of the shelf angles with a silicone sealant. Western crews also sealed around all newly installed windows, using a Dow Corning silicone sealant.

Due to the building having a lot of ins and outs, Western crews were required to change the sizes of the swing stages often during the masonry restoration project.

“Access was difficult since there were lower roof areas that were not connected all the way around, so we had to move the stages up and down off the roof levels as we went around the entire building,” said Western Springfield, IL Branch Manager Scott Haas. “Roof anchors needed to be installed in order to tie back the swing stages properly.”

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. 

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

in Homepage Primary/People
The latest People in the News highlighting new hires, promotions, honors & recognition of the men and women in the St. Louis building community.

Dr. Majid Talebi, P.E. Joins Marino Engineering Associates, Inc.

Dr. Majid Talebi, P.E.

Marino Engineering Associates, Inc. (MEA) of St. Louis, Missouri is proud to announce that Dr. Majid Talebi, P.E. has joined the company as Geotechnical Engineer. In this role, Dr. Talebi oversees geotechnical analyses, designs, project budgets and schedules, and project specifications.

Talebi comes to MEA from the University of Delaware, where he earned his Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering. He has also previously worked as the Head of the Geotechnical and Structural Division of the Iranian Water, Power, & Resources Development Company in Tehran.

MEA is a leading expert in advanced subsidence and geotechnical engineering challenges. With over 37 years of experience, Marino Engineering Associates, Inc. (MEA) has provided services across a wide ranging scope of geotechnical engineering and subsidence engineering. In addition, MEA provides subsidence and geotechnical services including shallow and deep foundation systems, all types of retaining structures, and underground excavations, as well as numerical 2D and 3D seepage, soil-structure interaction analyses, sophisticated slope stability analyses, and rock engineering.

Dr. Gennaro G. Marino, President and founder of Marino Engineering Associates, Inc. said of Dr. Talebi, “We are so proud to have Dr. Talebi join MEA, given his level of training, experience, and competence”.

Busby Rejoins Murphy Co. as Inside Sales Representative

Anabelle Busby

Annabelle Busby has rejoined Murphy Company, a leading mechanical contracting and engineering firm, as an inside sales representative. The announcement was made by Chris Carter, vice president, service.

Busby served as a service coordinator for Murphy from 2013 to 2016 and, most recently, was as an inside sales representative for an HVAC supply company.  Prior to that, she served as  a service coordinator and a national  facilities account manager in the HVAC industry.

Between 2010 and 2012 she worked as an executive assistant for NISA Investment Advisors. In Kentucky, she served as a workshop coordinator/title insurance analyst for Prism Title & Closing from 2007 to 2010, and as an administrative assistant for the Northern Kentucky Health Department from 2000 to 2007.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Northern Kentucky University and also has completed two years of studies at Barnes College of Nursing.

Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets.  Murphy offers process piping, HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, design-build, piping fabrication, energy solutions and 24-hour service emanating from its five locations in St. Louis, Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder and Northern Colorado.  Murphy is ranked No. 17 on Engineering News-Record’s list of largest mechanical contractors in the United States. Founded in 1907, the firm employs more than 1,000 people nationwide. For more information, visit

September 15, 2017

McGrath hires Jacob Morten as Project Estimator

Jacob Morten

McGrath & Associates has hired Jacob Morten of Bethalto, IL, as project estimator. Morten, who previously worked at McGrath as an intern in estimating, has a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and an OSHA 30-hour Construction Safety and Health certification. 

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.

Western Specialty Contractors Hires Douglas Martin as Branch Manager of its Tulsa, OK Branch

Douglas Martin

Western Specialty Contractors has hired Douglas Martin as Branch Manager of its Tulsa, OK branch. Douglas comes to Western with 26 years of industry experience. In his new position, Douglas will be responsible for marketing, sales, estimating, oversight of operations and administrative functions, as well as the safety of all branch employees and the productivity of the office staff and field crews. Additionally, he will be responsible for ensuring the branch’s profitability by forecasting and managing the budget, identifying market trends, ensuring quality control, and building and maintaining customer relationships.

Douglas is certified in the following: Project Manager Professional (PMP), Colorado Carpenter’s Apprenticeship Program, OSHA 40-Hour, Air Borne Pathogen, CPR and First Aid, IICRC-WRT, Applied Structural Drying, Applied Microbial Remediation and Xactmate.

He is a member of the International Facility Managers Association (IFMA) and the Oklahoma Hospital Engineers Association (OHEA), and is involved with the Tulsa United Way, Rebuild Tulsa and Habitat for Humanity.

Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. 

Balles Named Data Center Services Account Manager at Murphy

Michael Balles

Michael Balles has been named data center services account manager at Murphy Company, a leading mechanical contracting and engineering firm. The announcement was made by Eric Gottschlich, director of data center services.

Balles has more than 30 years’ experience in the design and construction of data centers, network switching facilities, call centers, cable television head ends, cell sites, and healthcare facilities. Most recently, he was director of design services for Venyu Solutions LLC, a Baton Rouge, LA-based company offering datacenter colocation; hosted exchange; cloud and virtual hosting; cloud backup; and managed hosting services.  Prior to that, he served as technical director for  Data Specialties, Inc. From 2001 to 2012 he was director of design services, then vice president of design services for the Bick Group.  Earlier, he served as a project manager, senior designer and CAD-IS manager for The Wischmeyer Architects.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He is an associate member of the American Institute of Architects and a member of the AutoCAD Users Group International.  He is a past member of the Construction Specification Institute, AFCOM, Uptime Institute, ICOR, and BICSI (Building Industry Consulting Service International).

Finnegan Joins Murphy Co. as BIM/HVAC Designer

Brad Finnegan

Brad Finnegan has joined Murphy Company, a leading mechanical contracting and engineering firm, as a BIM/HVAC (Building Information Modeling/Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) designer. The announcement was made by Patrick Bastow, supervisor, BIM production.

A 2017 graduate of Saint Louis University, Finnegan holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.  He studied mechanical engineering in Madrid, Spain in spring 2015.  While an undergraduate he also was an intern at Hunter Engineering and a computer aided design (CAD) teaching assistant at Saint Louis University.

An active community volunteer, Finnegan was a Jesuit Community Scholar and also held an Ignation Scholarship while attending Saint Louis University.  He also  received a Presidential Service Award in May 2013 for his community service work.

Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets.  


Ben Haberberger

Haberberger, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of two new team members. Ben Haberberger, who represents the fourth generation in the 69-year-old family owned mechanical contracting firm, has joined as a project manager/estimator in the plumbing department. Additionally, Jennifer Wilson has been hired as a receptionist and will also be in charge of accounts payable for the company.

Jennifer Wilson

Haberberger, of Ballwin, Mo., most recently worked as a project engineer for the Tinuum Group – formerly Clean Coal Solutions Services – located in St. Louis. He also previously served as a facility manager at the company’s Creek Power Plant in Fannin, Texas. Haberberger holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In his new role at Haberberger, Inc., he will be responsible for assisting in the growth of the new plumbing department.

Prior to joining Haberberger, Inc., Wilson served in Accounts Payable and Payroll roles at Sachs Electric and Bobcat of St. Louis. In her new position, she will be responsible for performing receptionist duties, processing invoices and issuing payments. Wilson resides in Barnhart, Mo.

Haberberger, Inc. is a 69-year-old mechanical contracting company that offers complete HVAC installation, customized maintenance programs, process piping and piping fabrication, plumbing and refrigeration and energy management services to a variety of industrial and commercial customers.

Business Development and Marketing Veteran Joins Guarantee Electrical Company

Cindy Bambini

The executive management team at Guarantee Electrical Company (GECO) is thrilled to announce long-time industry veteran, Cindy Bambini has joined GECO as Vice President of Business Development and Marketing. With 20+ years as a Business Development leader, Cindy will lead, organize and coordinate efforts of the GECO team-based business development activities as well as oversee the company marketing efforts, including marketing strategy, brand positioning, and budgeting.

Prior to joining GECO, Ms. Bambini was the Director of Business Development for CRB, a national engineering, architecture and construction manager with a focus on BioPharma, Food & Beverage and Science & Technology markets. Additionally she has served in various roles such as Ameren Partnership Manager on the “Pure Power” program; Director of Business Development Manager for Brightergy; and spent 17 years in engineering and business development with AT&T.

In addition to her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Missouri – Columbia and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, Cindy is a LEED/Green Associate. Cindy also currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for St. Louis Earth Day, as well as President of the Board of Directors for the Kirkwood School District Foundation.

Founded in 1902, St. Louis based Guarantee Electrical is consistently ranked among the largest electrical contractors in the United States.  

Margaret McDonald Elevated to Marketing Principal for HOK’s St. Louis Office

Margaret McDonald

Margaret McDonald, LEED AP, has been named to oversee client and community outreach for HOK’s St. Louis studio as its new marketing principal and one of four office leaders. McDonald assumes this new role after serving over two years as HOK’s director of interiors in St. Louis, during which she led significant workplace and hospitality projects with clients including Ameren, Square, Microsoft, Missouri Foundation for Health and Koman Group.


In her new role, McDonald will work to expand regional awareness of HOK’s brand and its reputation as a leader in architecture and design.
“I have established three-month, six-month and nine-month goals for the marketing team to determine how we can better showcase our fantastic people and work,” said McDonald. “We want people to hear about us and say, ‘Wow! I need to work with them!’”

“Margaret was the natural choice for this position,” said Lance Cage, LEED AP, managing principal for HOK’s St. Louis office. “She is remarkably connected within the community, has a great rapport with clients and partners and understands how to create great experiences for clients. I’m elated that she will take on this role while still acting as key client contact and principal-in-charge of several projects.”
McDonald joins the senior leadership team at HOK’s St. Louis office during a time of remarkable growth. The St. Louis Business Journal recently recognized HOK as both the region’s largest architecture and interior design firm based on the number of full-time professionals. Eric Mersmann, formerly of Perkins+Will in Chicago, has returned to St. Louis, his hometown, to assume McDonald’s role as director of interiors.

“The interiors team is in great hands with Eric,” said McDonald. “But I don’t plan on being too far removed from the design practice. I see my new role as marketing principal as more of an expansion of my responsibilities rather than an outright change.”

In addition to her more than 20 years of experience as an interior designer, McDonald has served on numerous St. Louis nonprofits and boards. She is currently the vice chair of the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District Board, president of the board of Perennial STL and part of the Women’s Leadership Society for the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Her past volunteer work includes serving as chair of St. Louis Design Week, participating in Leadership St. Louis® and serving on the boards of the Laumeier Sculpture Park building committee and Metro Theater Company. She is a past recipient of a “40 Under 40” honor from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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

September 8, 2017

Midas Hospitality Hires Jim Cavallo and Promotes Michael Heater as Regional Operations Leaders.

Jim Cavello

In this position, both Cavallo and Heater will oversee approximately 12 to 15 hotels, creating and cultivating an environment that complements Midas Hospitality’s vision.  This includes a hands-on leadership approach with respect to top-line revenue, guest service, profitability, and associate satisfaction.  They will guide each hotel’s general manager in all aspects of hotel operations, as well as support their training and growth in order to achieve success.  Cavallo and Heater will ensure brand compliance and set department goals in regard to achieving top rankings for service with all brands.

Michael Heater

Cavallo has more than 27 years of hotel experience in multi-property management.  Prior to joining Midas Hospitality, he held numerous positions including area vice president and regional general manager for companies located throughout the country.  Heater, who has more than 25 years of hospitality experience, joined Midas Hospitality in 2013 as a Hotel General Manager in Greenville, S.C.  The success of this hotel and his ability to develop his staff has resulted in his career advancement.  Prior to Midas, he worked in numerous manager capacities at several South Carolina hotels.

“We are extremely fortunate to have both Jim and Michael in these leadership positions,” said Rob Willard, President and Principal.  “They both possess the background we need to oversee our new and existing properties.”

Founded in 2006, Midas Hospitality has developed, opened and currently manages numerous properties including 40 hotels in 14 states.  The company serves global brands including Hilton, IHG, Marriott, and Starwood.  Midas Hospitality’s headquarters are located at 1804 Borman Circle Dr. in Maryland Heights, Mo.  For more information, call (314) 692-0100 or visit

Mehaffy is promoted at Tarlton Corp.

Becky Mehaffy

Tarlton Corp., a St. Louis-based general contracting and construction management firm, promoted Becky Mehaffy to workforce manager. In her role, Mehaffy will be responsible for the day-to-day coordination of Tarlton’s field workforce. This includes the staffing of projects, working with superintendents and project managers on project startup and execution needs, developing future field leaders, and extending Tarlton’s community outreach in the area of workforce development.

Mehaffy brings to the position more than a dozen years of experience at Tarlton, most recently serving as a contractor management representative at the firm’s projects for Monsanto Co. She began her career at Tarlton as a laborer apprentice on the Facilities One segment of the Cross County MetroLink Expansion project. She proudly serves as a third-generation laborer in the local construction industry, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, father and brother, who are carpenters.

In business since 1946, Tarlton Corp. is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that completes projects for wide-ranging clients in the commercial, life sciences, health care, institutional, power and industrial markets.

Staff Additions at HOK 

Chad Morris

Chad Morris, has joined HOK in St. Louis. He will support the HOK team as a project manager supporting HOK’s justice practice. Morris joins HOK from AAIC Incorporated in Collinsville, Illinois. He earned his Bachelor of Architectural Studies from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Lindsey Merz

Lindsey Merz, has joined HOK in St. Louis. She will continue to support the HOK team as an interior design professional working in all aspects of the project process. Merz joins HOK’s St. Louis office after having served at HOK’s Los Angeles and Houston offices. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Maryville University in St. Louis.

Steven Schneider

Steven Schneider, has joined HOK in St. Louis. He will support the HOK team as a design professional working a variety of projects currently in design. Schneider joins HOK from Zimmerman Architectural Studios in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He earned his Bachelor of Architectural Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Thomas Freeborn

Thomas Freeborn, has joined HOK in St. Louis. He will support the HOK team as an intern in the Planning Group. Freeborn joins HOK from his previous internship with Clearwater Cove in Lampe, Missouri. He is a junior at Purdue University pursuing his degree in Landscape Architecture.

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

KWK Architects Adds Cindy Hausler, CPSM As Director Of Marketing

Cindy Hausler

KWK Architects announces the addition of Cindy Hausler, CPSM as director of marketing. In this position, Cindy is responsible for leading marketing strategy, business development, public relations, and overall marketing activities for the firm.

A graduate of Webster University, Hausler holds a Master of Arts degree in Media Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in Management (Emphasis in Marketing). She earned her Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) certification through the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) in 2008. A long-time member of SMPS, Hausler is a past president and board member of the St. Louis Chapter.

KWK principal and co-founder Paul Wuennenberg said, “We are extremely happy to have Cindy as part of our team. She is highly organized, a talented writer, and has a great eye for graphics. As our director of marketing, Cindy oversees the global brand of our company from execution of proposals to the larger picture of future markets, client engagement, and public relations. In addition to Cindy’s talent and expertise she is a wonderful person and a great asset to our overall company culture.”

Cindy Hausler also owns and operates Market Elevations, a marketing consultancy specializing in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry.

Founded in 2013 by five architects who had worked together for more than 15 years, KWK Architects specializes in design for higher education and student life. 


OSHA, American Chemistry Council Sign Alliance to Protect Workers from Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals

in Associations/News

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) established a two-year alliance [ ] recently to raise awareness of how workers are exposed to diisocyantes, and promote safe practices for their use in the polyurethane industry.

Isocyanates [ ] are raw materials used to make polyurethane products, such as insulation, car seats, foam mattresses, shoes, and adhesives. Exposure to isocyanates can cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. More serious health effects include asthma and other lung problems.

The alliance calls for the creation of a web-based training program on the safe use of chemicals and the potential routes of exposure to users. It will also develop guidance on medical surveillance and clinical evaluation techniques for employers and workers using the chemicals. The agreement also calls for best practices seminars on health and safety procedures for OSHA, On-Site Consultation, and State Plan staff.

OSHAs new alliance with ACC will help ensure that employers and employees who work with the identified chemicals better understand the health hazards associated with these potentially hazardous chemicals, and the methods to control employee exposures, said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt.

The ACC comprises the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI), and the Diisocyanates and Aliphatic Diisocyanates panels. Members of these groups include manufacturers and distributors of chemicals and equipment used to make polyurethane. CPI serves as the voice of the polyurethanes industry, covering more than 220,000 workers nationwide.

Through its Alliance Program [ ], OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.OSHAs role is to ensure these conditions for Americas working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit [ ].

McCarthy Completes Fast-Track Construction of Interim Science Building at Saint Louis University

in Companies/News

Construction team transforms former charter elementary school into research, teaching and office space in seven weeks. 

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has completed the conversion of a former charter elementary school into an interim science building for Saint Louis University (SLU). The 50,000-sq.-ft. renovation, which was undertaken and opened in time for fall 2017 semester, now houses research, teaching and office space for the University’s Department of Biology. Located on SLU’s South Campus, the new facilities will serve students, researchers and faculty while the University renovates Macelwane Hall, which experienced a fire and subsequent water damage in May 2017.

McCarthy completed the fast-track construction project in seven weeks to ensure the building would be ready for the start of classes on August 28.

“We quickly mobilized our team and collaborated closely with SLU’s staff and Fox Architects to convert the vacant school into a state-of-the-art science learning environment,” said Ryan Freeman, vice president at McCarthy Building Companies. “The project involved a lot of hands-on ingenuity and innovation to meet the very quick timeframe.”

To avoid project delays and reduce costs, the construction team proactively surveyed and sourced laboratory casework and equipment salvaged from the fire, then reworked it to fit the programs and layout in the new spaces.

Located at the corner of Spring and Chouteau Avenues, the former Imagine charter elementary school building required installation of lab exhaust and other systems and equipment, as well as extensive rework of mechanical and electrical systems to accommodate advanced research and teaching labs.

“We relied on McCarthy’s efficiency and specialized expertise in building complex research and education spaces to complete the project on time,” said Dustin Montgomery, assistant director of construction services of Saint Louis University.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients.

Poettker Construction Celebrates Topping Out Of Jefferson Barracks VA Engineering Warehouse

in Companies/News

Together with the Department of Veterans Affairs representatives, the architect and site construction workers, Poettker Construction Company celebrated the steel topping out milestone at the Jefferson Barracks VA Engineering Warehouse during a ceremony on September 7, 2017.

“Thank you to all the team members who have helped us reach this project milestone!  The Poettker Team is honored to collaborate with the VA, Christner, and our business partners to create a new facility for the VA’s warehouse, engineering, and maintenance operations,” said Keith Poettker, president of Poettker Construction.

The $30.9 million facility will consolidate the VA’s warehouse, engineering, and maintenance operations into one location, creating the future expansion space needed for the adjacent national cemetery.  The exterior façade features both precast concrete and brick masonry to complement the neighboring buildings.

Sustainable construction is a top priority with a goal to achieve LEED Silver certification.  To date, more than 95% of the construction waste has been recycled.

Our team also celebrated the project’s safety milestone, commemorating 365 calendar days without a lost-time incident.

Christner of St. Louis designed this facility.

Construction is currently on schedule with completion expected in Fall 2018.

Founded in 1980, Poettker Construction is a second generation family-owned and veteran-owned business that specializes in construction management, design/build, and general contracting services with an emphasis to exceed the client’s expectations. 

Seeing the future with 5D Macro BIM

in Companies/Homepage Primary/News

Submitted by The Korte Company

It’s not often that a technique or technology comes along that gets total buy-in from general contractors and permanently changes an industry for the better.

But such a change is in progress with the evolutions of Fifth Dimensional Macro Building Information Modeling (5D Macro BIM), a construction design software that incorporates detailed cost and timeline information into digital project designs.

Designers at The Korte Company first thought 5D BIM was too good to be true. But when its value became apparent, they bought into the technology that they say brings concepts to life and boosts owners’ confidence in contractors, ultimately streamlining the construction process.

Macro vs. Micro

5D BIM is a construction design software that calculates the costs of structures as they’re drawn by an operator. Construction material and cost information loaded into the software’s database allows for accurate cost projections. The technology can be broken down into two categories:

  • 5D Macro BIM develops big-picture designs of entire structures. These designs include costs and timelines down to the individual room level of a structure based on materials selected to be used. It’s best used during initial planning phases to allow owners to make design decisions based on a building’s intended function. Designers can make changes on the fly, giving owners and contractors a better idea about how project costs and timelines shift due to changes in design or material.
  • 5D Micro BIM programs are far more detailed, allowing for the design of hardware and materials used in every nook and cranny of a structure. If you’re looking at a project based on type, amount and locations of individual screws, for instance, 5D Micro BIM does the trick. While such granular detail is great for contractors, it’s not as useful for building owners who prefer the bird’s eye view of a construction project.

5D Macro BIM in the real world

During the planning phase of a hospital addition in Texas, designers from The Korte Company used 5D Macro BIM to provide an unparalleled view of what the expanded facility would look like —and what the project would cost— long before work began.

Big picture capabilities of the technology include pinning a rendering to satellite maps to show how it would sit on a property. Operators can easily shift the rendering to show owners layouts that work well with surroundings and ones that don’t.

On the Texas project, several buildings needed to be demolished to make way for the two-story addition and a parking lot. Korte designers color coded these buildings in their designs to illustrate how the facility addition would occupy space made available following demolition.

5D Macro BIM allows for greater participation in the design process by those who use a building. These individuals use on-the-ground knowledge about how floorplans are utilized to help owners shape the new spaces in which they’ll work.

For one example, designs for the hospital in Texas called for three different departments on the ground floor. Designers could easily click and drag color coded sections of the design that denoted each department, shrinking or enlarging them based on suggestions. These changes produced real-time shifts in projected cost.

For another example, Korte designers helped the owner of a new healthcare facility in North Carolina decide how to maximize finite resources by isolating individual floors in the design to examine their varying costs. This allowed owners to minimize expense in some places to allow more investment in others.

5D Macro BIM has proved especially useful in healthcare construction settings because it delivers more nuanced insights to owners who must balance a facility’s function, cost and ease of use for patients and visitors.

Seeing is believing

That’s cliché, but it’s true. And when it comes to designing multi-million dollar medical facilities, foresight might be the most important tool in the toolbox for both designers and owners.

According to designers from The Korte Company, 5D Macro BIM has improved design and planning on every single project it’s been used. They say the technology adds value in the following ways:

  • It brings concepts to life, and it does so more quickly and with more information owners can use to make better design decisions.
  • It automatically estimates cost, an obvious advantage for decision makers who ultimately are responsible for the use of construction funds.
  • It increases project predictability. Projects always come with variables, but knowing in greater detail how a project and its costs will progress over time gives owners more certainty than ever.
  • It may improve decision response times. This is potentially a two-way street, as owners could waffle endlessly between alternative designs because 5D Macro BIM designs are so easily changed. But the benefit of this capability is that owners can hit on winning designs sooner in the planning process, speeding up projects and reducing costs.
  • It’s transparent. Because 5D Macro BIM software objectively calculates project costs in real time as designs are drawn, owners will know their contractors are dealing with them fairly.
  • It boosts owner confidence. Owners responsible for new facilities need to trust both their contractors and themselves. When designers use 5D Macro BIM technology, owners get the best sense of how their decisions will play out. This boosts confidence in their decision making and builds trust with their contractor.

Answering ‘what if?’

Owners and designers alike are always asking “what if” in the construction planning process. What if we adjusted the cladding materials? What if we use structural steel instead of concrete? What if we changed the roofing systems?

5D Macro BIM indulges these questions and provides instant answers, fostering enhanced collaboration between owners and contractors who create designs that best serve a structure’s intended purpose.

Each new building completed by contractors who use 5D Macro BIM is proof the technology is critical to the industry. The Korte Company uses 5D Macro BIM on a wide variety of projects, from churches and aircraft hangars to hospitals and warehouses. As the technology’s use increases, so will the number of well-designed buildings that do what they’re designed to do —and do it well— for a lifetime.

RSS Honored with 2017 Perfection Award from Carlisle SynTec Systems

in Companies/News

Local Roofing Contractor Acknowledged for Exceptional Installation Quality for Third Consecutive Year 

Carlisle SynTec Systems, a leading manufacturer of single-ply roofing materials for more than 50 years, recently honored RSS Roofing Services & Solutions with its 2017 Perfection Award. Each year, Carlisle presents this award to the top five percent of its contractors.

“We are honored to accept this great achievement for the third consecutive year, and look forward to many more,” said Joe Lauberth, General Manager of RSS Roofing Services & Solutions – St. Louis. “This award is Carlisle’s way to acknowledge and thank contractors for whom perfection is the highest priority. The RSS team demonstrates the importance of perfection on every job.”

The Perfection Award is a distinction that recognizes the top tier of Carlisle’s contractors annually. To qualify, contractors must complete a minimum amount of warranted work and number of jobs per year. Recipients are then selected based on a history of exceptional installation quality and warranty claim performance.

“Carlisle appreciates contractors who are committed to providing top-quality workmanship and RSS Roofing Services & Solutions exemplifies this philosophy,” said Nick Shears, Carlisle’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Contractors who receive this award have consistently demonstrated high levels of skill and expertise, but what truly sets them apart is their commitment to perfection on every installation.”

RSS Roofing Services and Solutions is a nationally-recognized, design-build roofing contractor covering projects of all sizes for the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. For more information on this award, visit Carlisle SynTec Systems’ website here.

Western Specialty Contractors Branches in Florida, Texas and Georgia Serve as Staging Locations for Gulf Coast Disaster Recovery Services

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Losing a structure or building to an unforeseen natural disaster, such as flooding or the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas, can be devastating to the owner and its tenants.

The decision to move forward with repairs may not come quickly, but when it does, facility managers and owners should work with a specialty contractor experienced in disaster recovery to get the job done correctly and efficiently.  Western Specialty Contractors’ branch offices in Atlanta, GA; Houston and San Antonio, TX and Orlando, FL have been helping companies recover from natural disasters on the Gulf Coast for over 50 years.

“Bringing a building or structure back to life in the case of a natural disaster takes a certain level of experience and skill,” said Chester Scott, Branch Manager of Western’s Atlanta, GA branch. “Special skills are needed to properly assess the damage, develop a recovery plan and initiate the restoration or take steps to mitigate further loss.”

Disaster recovery services provided by Western Specialty Contractors include:

  • Building exterior stabilization
  • Emergency building enclosure
  • Roofing repair and replacement
  • Window boarding, repair and replacement
  • Interior demolition
  • General clean up
  • Masonry and concrete repair
  • Historic restoration

When Hurricane Katrina, one of the five deadliest and costliest hurricanes in the history of the United States, struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, Western Specialty Contractors was there to help.

South Shore Harbour Marina features one of the largest boat slips near the New Orleans Lakefront Airport overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. Hurricane Katrina left the covered slips unusable and virtually unrecognizable. Western crews worked to remove any remaining damaged panels and purlins and completely replaced the outer skin of the slips (approximately 30,000 square feet) with interlocking Berridge Zee-Lock panels. Western also replaced the guard house that overlooked the harbor with a new modular version and made renovations to the public restroom and oil containment facilities, which all suffered severe wind and flood damage during the hurricane.

That same year, Western Specialty Contractors came to the rescue of Florida-based Ardaman & Associates after they noticed some leaking windows in their building, resulting from the recent hurricane activity.

Western crews came out and surveyed the building before making a recommendation to re-seal all of the glass-to-glass, metal-to-glass and metal-to-concrete window joints throughout the entire building. The result was a watertight building and a happy owner.

For more information about Western Specialty Contractors’ disaster recovery services, visit

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. 


KAI Design & Build Offers Experienced Disaster Relief Services to Get Utilities, Businesses Back Up and Running Quickly

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When natural disasters occur, like recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which left a trail of devastation across eastern Texas and Florida, hiring a contractor with disaster relief experience is key to getting public utilities and businesses back up and running quickly, with minimal disruption to customers.

KAI Design & Build, with its experience in rebuilding after a catastrophe, is prepared at a moment’s notice to assist clients nationwide with emergency disaster relief. For more than a decade, KAI has developed and refined its many services to assist clients who have suffered major damage to a structure or facility due to a natural disaster.

“We undertake a significant management role in coordinating strategies to provide relief, as well as enhance our clients’ abilities to quickly recover from emergencies and catastrophes,” said Bruce Wood, PE, CCM, Chief Operating Officer at KAI Design & Build. “KAI is ready around-the-clock to respond with our construction management, engineering, architecture and construction services to address any type of disaster, damage or disruption.”

Disaster Relief Case Study

In 2016, KAI was contracted by the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) to provide emergency relief services after historic rains and severe flooding at the end of 2015 caused the shutdown of two of its wastewater treatment plants, and damage to a third plant. The total estimated damage was $11 million.

KAI worked with MSD to quickly identify the primary and secondary treatment process equipment that needed to be refurbished or replaced as a result of the flooding, as well as developed plans and schedules to get the plants back into operation.

Although protected by a levee designed for a 500-year-flood, the Meramec River overtopped the levee and completely flooded MSD’s wastewater treatment plant in Fenton, Missouri, including the control room, and knocked out all power. At one point, the entire facility was submerged under six feet of water.

Despite the Fenton Plant being completely offline, primary treatment was re-established within 45 days, secondary treatment was re-established within 2.5 months, and a regulatory deadline for disinfection was met as well. The estimated cost of the damage was $7.5 million.

At that same time, the Grand Glaize Creek, which runs directly to the south of MSD’s Grand Glaize Treatment Plant, became engorged with flood waters due to historic levels on the Meramec River and connecting waterways. As soon as flooding was predicted, a sandbag wall was constructed, but as time went on, the predicted water level increased and ultimately the sandbag wall was breached. Portions of the plant were flooded and MSD crews had to be evacuated.

Within four days, MSD, with help from KAI, was able to restore partial service at the Grand Glaize Treatment Plant, and secondary treatment processes were restored within a month. The estimated cost of the damage was $2.5 million.

While the Grand Glaize and Fenton treatment plants sustained the most damage causing significant interruption to service, MSD’s Missouri River Treatment Plant experienced flooding in one building located in a low-lying area as a result of the heavy rains.

A quick response including sandbag operations prevented further damage and associated interruptions in treatment. The Missouri River plant operated in emergency mode for only one week, with all treatment operations restored within another 10 days. The estimated cost of the damage was $1 million.

Services/skills provided by KAI on these projects included:

  • Mobilizing a team quickly. Within 48 hours, KAI was able to assemble a 14-person team integrated from four firms.
  • Achieving close cooperation and communication from everyone involved. KAI was able to track the daily time of employees and materials from several entities, including KAI’s team.
  • Monitoring MSD’s minority involvement goals. MSD has established strict guidelines for Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) participation, and KAI was also tasked with monitoring each contractor’s participation for compliance.
  • Practical planning and strategizing. Through its planning and scheduling process, KAI was able to determine what material and equipment was needed and when. Using this information, KAI managed the procurement process, met the schedules and minimized the impact to customers.
  • Highly focused reviews. KAI’s team reviewed proposals to focus on needs and processes to meet the set schedule.
  • Construction inspection. The KAI team provided full-time construction inspection services at all three plants, at times, on an “around the clock” basis.

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

Wiegmann completes HVAC Projects The Sheridan Senior Living Facilities

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Wiegmann Associates has completed design/build HVAC work at three new The Sheridan senior living facilities in the St. Louis region. Wiegmann was the Engineer of Record, installing contractor, and on-site project manager for the HVAC and Building Automation System at all three facilities. The owner, developer and operator of The Sheridans is Senior Lifestyle Corp., a closely held national company based in Chicago, Ill. that specializes in senior housing communities.

Wiegmann most recently completed the HVAC work at The Sheridan at Chesterfield, a $31 million, 84,000-square-foot assisted living and memory care facility with 91 units. Wiegmann previously completed HVAC design/build work at The Sheridan at Laumeier Park in Sunset Hills, MO, and The Sheridan at Creve Coeur in Creve Coeur, MO.

The high-efficiency HVAC systems were engineered by Wiegmann to reduce first costs and long-term maintenance, and will save the owner $25,000 per year in energy costs across the three facilities, as compared to the original design. Wiegmann’s HVAC system design also improved humidity control and reduced noise levels while increasing usable interior space.

Construction of the three facilities created more than 425 construction jobs and nearly 300 permanent jobs. Brinkmann

Wiegmann Associates is a St. Louis-based mechanical contractor serving the commercial, industrial and institutional markets, and a national leader in design/build HVAC projects.

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