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KAI Design & Build

KAI Design & Build Finds Inspiration for Alberici Office Renovation Through Client’s Own Steel Fabrication Expertise, Industrial Brand

in Companies/Homepage Primary/News

When Alberici Corporation, a major North American construction company, moved to its LEED Platinum corporate headquarters in 2004, two of their subsidiaries—Hillsdale Fabricators and Kienlen Constructors—remained at the Hillsdale, MO office five miles away. KAI’s Architecture and Interior Design teams were recently contracted by Alberici to completely renovate the outdated second floor of the Hillsdale office to provide better workspace for Hillsdale and Kienlen employees.

The office space was riddled with unused space, outdated finishes and no consistent flow. The space also did not adequately represent the company’s brand or expertise, and the employees were dispersed throughout several floors.

“The client requested an open floor plan to consolidate all of their employees onto one floor, with a centralized break room and a refined, industrial design,” said KAI Interior Designer Asha Perez. “Branding for the space was particularly important to the client, who wanted to exhibit their own steel fabrication expertise throughout the new interior.”

KAI’s design team worked closely with the client to develop their vision for the space, which included several collaborative design-build, custom-crafted furniture pieces that showcased the client’s skills.

“The design intended to demonstrate, as well as utilize the on-site capabilities of the structural steel fabricators,” said Perez. “We employed other interior design elements to develop that refined industrial design motif while also complimenting the exposed, existing concrete structure that the client desired for the space.”

The inspiration for the materials used in the design came from the client themselves. The KAI team walked through the client’s on-site steel fabrication facility and yard to gain inspiration and appreciation for the work that they do. Throughout the yard, they saw heavy steel, steel scraps, machinery and employees at work, which helped the team start to put the schematic design into context.

The renovated space features an “unfinished look” with sealed concrete floors and exposed ceilings and columns. Gray tones in the porcelain floor tiles communicate a similar design language, reflecting the warmth of the tones in the concrete throughout. Reclaimed wood was selected for use on the walls to wrap the elevator, while defining that as an alternate interior exit and entry point to and from the first floor. The wood was also used on the reception desk to add more textural interest to the space. The interior façade of the reception area features concrete-look panels with reveals and form-tie details, drawing inspiration from Japanese architect Tadau Ando.

KAI also redesigned the main front entry stairway replacing the existing terrazzo. Minerit heavy duty fiber cement board panels were used on the stairway entry walls. Recessed steel channels were designed for the handrails along each side and returns at the bottom and top of the stair landings. Limestone was used for the stair treads and steel for the risers.

KAI and the client collaborated on the design of a 25-foot-long, nearly-5,000-pound trapezoidal-shaped conference room table made of steel with wood trim, a steel and concrete prep table weighing over three tons, steel partitions around the perimeter of the break room and concrete-top, bar-height tables, wrapping existing columns in the break room; all of which were custom built by Hillsdale Fabricators. Due to the weight and size of the custom furniture, cranes had to be used to place the pieces in their new spaces.

“It was important to show how these elements were constructed, so the joinery and details are purposely exposed,” said Perez. “This allowed the client to showcase the kind of specialized work they do.”

A random mix of light, medium and dark-gray, large format hexagon-shaped floor tiles (21″ x 24″) by Ottomo Ceramics were installed in the break room. Wood flooring was also used in the break room meticulously forming a flush, seamless transition to the edge of the hexagon-shaped floor tile to create an irregular edge design.

The centralized break room is defined by steel partitions with opaque glass above. Butcher block walnut wood benching, wood top tables and a standing height wood ledge along the perimeter in the bistro were all designed to accommodate varying sit and stand postures of users in the space.

KAI worked closely with Lighting Associates to find linear and large hexagon-shaped light fixtures that mimic the layout and floor pattern in the break room. Energy efficient light fixtures that incorporate down- and up-lighting were specified to brighten the existing, dark, exposed concrete ceilings. These types of fixtures were used throughout the interior, including the conference rooms, which also feature industrial, black metal pendant light fixtures.

Acoustics was another important design element, considering the hard surfaces throughout the space. KAI created white noise with speakers in the ceilings, dropped acoustical ceiling tiles in the conference rooms, and carpet in the open office and workstation areas and conference rooms.

In keeping with Alberici’s brand, red was tastefully used in the design, but not overdone. Carpet used in the open office areas and conference rooms was selected from Mohawk Group’s Street Thread collection, which features bold red, black and gray geometric patterns. Carpet used in the reception area was a mix of Merge, Intertwine and Magnify from Mannington. Red and gray also highlight the workstation desk drawers.

The client wanted a bright, open office layout. KAI achieved this by furnishing the space with low partition Herman Miller Canvas workstations, integrating clear glass panels within the workstation partitions; conference rooms surrounded by butt glazed glass partitions and redesigning the space by eliminating the existing walls from the perimeter of the interior to allow in natural daylight.

KAI utilized BIM technology on the project to provide the client with an Enscape walk-through of the Revit model at the design development completion state. This ability to display the design through a virtual walk-through was key to achieving a quick review and approval of the design.

About KAI Design & Build

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 www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

KAI Design & Build Hosts Informative Panel Discussion on Infusing Art into Corporate Design Projects

in Associations/Companies/News

The Interior Design Team at KAI Design & Build, in conjunction with ARCH Design Artwork & Framing, held a panel-style discussion, Art in Design – Session 1, on May 30 at the Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being in an effort to bridge the gap between the artist studio and corporate decision-makers.

How do we evoke an emotional response in the physical space? Art is emotion reflected on the walls. Art is personal and evokes emotion. Art can convey a company’s values and build on the architecture. Art can express ownership of a space and the activities that take place around it. Art can make employees more productive, and even encourage customers to buy. Art in design has numerous benefits, according to the panel.

The free event provided the local art community with a platform for discussion and networking with the St. Louis region’s corporate decision-makers and presented fresh ideas on the importance of infusing local art into design projects. The event also showcased the unique architectural design and artwork featured in the Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being located at 1000 North Vandeventer in the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis City. KAI designed and built the facility, which was completed in December 2017.

“As artists, we have found it more difficult to break into conversations with companies regarding budgets for design projects, frankly because artists are generally more focused on their work’s inspiration than negotiating contracts,” said Kennedy Yanko, a New York-based artist and Art Director at KAI. “Our goal through this panel discussion was to open the dialogue between the local art community and corporations so that both parties can experience all of the benefits that art in interior design has to offer.”

KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr. moderated the panel discussion, which included the following panelists:

  • Cbabi Bayoc, St. Louis-based artist and illustrator. Bayoc is an artist who has always known and lived his calling to create art which reflects his love of music and family. Bayoc created a mural at the Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being that features influential children of the civil rights movement and young people throughout the world who have championed children’s rights.
  • Kennedy Yanko, New York-based artist and Art Director at KAI. Yanko is a painter-sculptor based in Bushwick, Brooklyn. She works in wood, metal, marble and acrylic, exposing dualities of juxtaposing these elements. Her multi-media genre showcases materials’ natural tendencies and encourages their innate modes of expression.
  • Asha PerezInterior Designer at KAI. Perez is a progressive design professional with current experience working with an interdisciplinary firm. Fueled by an industry she calls an “art-form,” she is innovative and passionate about everything design — color, texture, furniture, lighting and art — having the ability to breathe life into any space.
  • Bill McCuen, Design Director at KAI. Over his 35-year career, McCuen has led design efforts for a broad array of projects from an embassy in Yemen to a world headquarters for the Defense Logistics Agency, from one-room schools in Afghanistan to the master plan for Riverplace – the civic heart of Greenville South Carolina. He has consistently focused on contextually sensitive and sustainable design and urban development.
  • Levi Buck, Director of Business Development at ARCH Design Artwork & Framing. Buck has been involved in hundreds of artwork programs throughout his time with ARCH, spanning acute care facilities, corporate environments, hospitality and senior living. He has served as project manager on complex projects, including Dignity Health System’s Built Environment Improvement Program, consisting of over 3,000 pieces of artwork.
  • Connie Wetmore, Senior Art Consultant at ARCH Design Artwork & Framing. Wetmore has been contributing to the design and management of high-end art programs in hospitality, healthcare, corporate and residential spaces since 2001. She excels in conceptualizing unique, client-driven designs and installations. Clients depend on her knowledge for specific art placement and exceptional eye for color to communicate their vision.

Topics discussed by the panel included:

  • How to budget for interior design and art
  • Why companies should invest in art for their spaces
  • The importance of art in interior design
  • Determining what art is appropriate for what space
  • How to select an artist for a project
  • The importance of including art in public spaces
  • Connecting with the local art community on projects

The audience also toured the Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being and attended presentations by McCuen and Bayoc on their inspirations behind the building’s design and unique artwork.

For more information about Art in Design – Session 1 and future sessions, contact Asha Perez at aperez@kai-db.com or 314-241-8188.

About KAI Design & Build

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. Since its inception in 1980, KAI has been instrumental in reshaping the urban environment through its expertise in housing, K-12 schools, transit facilities, collegiate structures, commercial buildings, sports and recreational facilities, government/justice centers and healthcare buildings. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

KAI Design & Build Completes Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being in St. Louis City’s Grand Center Arts District

in Companies/News

Interactive programming and design process helped KAI meet client’s tight deadline 

KAI Design & Build has completed construction of St. Louis’ new $8.5 million Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being — a 21,272-square-foot facility providing meeting and office space for child advocates, civic leaders and community organizers dedicated to enhancing the well-being of at-risk children.

In March, KAI Design & Build received a 2018 Building St. Louis Award for the project. The awards program, sponsored by the St. Louis Business Journal, recognizes commercial real estate projects that have created a positive community impact in the areas of investment, jobs created or potential benefit to a surrounding area.

Located at 1000 North Vandeventer in the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis City, the facility was completed within just 7.5 months in December 2017. Since time was of the essence on the project, as the Deaconess Foundation’s lease at its previous office space was set to expire on December 31, 2017, the organization chose to implement the project using the design-build delivery method with the added advantage of an interactive programming and design process provided by minority-owned KAI Design & Build.

The Deaconess Center is the Foundation’s first new construction in almost two decades. The design and construction of the building reflected Deaconess’ religious legacy as well as its commitment to social causes by exceeding the city’s minority participation goals. The project achieved 36% Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and 3% Women Business Enterprises (WBE) participation. Elizabeth Noonan, an economic development professional and United Church of Christ member, served as the Project Manager and minority-owned Kwame Building Group was the Construction Manager.

In order to keep the project on schedule, KAI selected tilt-up concrete construction for the building’s exterior facade to assure the fastest possible building erection, as well as used vibrated stone piers to drastically reduce the owner’s site remediation cost and schedule impact.

The completed Deaconess Center provides meeting rooms, a chapel, and a large conference space for up to 125 people, as well as administrative offices for the Deaconess Foundation, Vision for Children at Risk, and Neighborhood Houses — a United Church of Christ ministry that supports low-income children and families of the inner core of St. Louis City. The facility’s design incorporates many elements that appeal to children, such as bright colors, eye-catching graphics and furniture, and garden spaces.

The Deaconess Center is expected to host more than 6,000 citizens a year in more than 250 meetings focused on children’s issues. Meeting rooms will be available at no charge to initiatives focused on improving public policy for children. Forty to fifty people are expected to work at The Center, with many re-locating from various Deaconess Foundation offices throughout the St. Louis area.

“Through our funding, advocacy and this facility, we want to cultivate a movement for child well-being in St. Louis,” said Deaconess President and Chief Executive Rev. Starsky Wilson in a press release. “Movements need activated individuals, creative ideas and institutional expressions. This will be a place where they all come together for kids.”

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 www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

KAI Design & Build Selected Preferred Midwest Vendor for Rigid Global Buildings Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings

in Companies/News

KAI Design & Build has partnered with Rigid Global Buildings as the metal building manufacturer’s preferred vendor for the Midwest Region.

Founded in 1990, Rigid Global Buildings is one of the leading pre-engineered metal building manufacturers in the industry. With over 100 degreed engineers in-house, their engineering expertise provides innovative and economical structural solutions to complex buildings, while complying with local codes and standards.

As a preferred vendor, KAI offers a complete line of Rigid metal buildings that can be custom-designed for any industry type, including:

  • Commercial – With the flexibility of design and interior build-out to meet any need.
  • Industrial – Versatile options for warehouse or manufacturing facilities.
  • Government/Municipal – Meet strict guidelines for quality assurance and flexible design.
  • Agricultural – Custom design for barns, riding arenas, or storage.
  • Aviation/Hangars – Ideal for large, clear span areas such as airplane hangars.
  • Religious – Durable, flexible options for religious facilities, churches, family life centers.
  • Education/Sports Complexes – Ideal for gyms, classrooms and administrative offices.
  • Healthcare – Fast turnaround and full customization ideal for healthcare facilities.

“As an award-winning design-build firm, the KAI staff of architects, engineers, interior designers and construction managers work closely with clients from start to finish to customize and construct the ideal metal building to meet their specific needs,” said KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr. “By offering complete design-build services under one roof, we are able to offer our customers better team collaboration, improved project processes and ultimately more value for their capital improvement investments.”

Our metal building systems offer value on any low-rise commercial building need, including:

  • Lower construction cost
  • Quick turnaround
  • Design flexibility
  • Structural stability
  • Sustainability
  • Energy Efficiency

“From retail space to a light industrial center to a busy community center, Rigid Global Buildings provides aesthetically-pleasing, cost-efficient metal buildings that KAI can easily customize with any architectural exterior and interior space, plus construct quickly and easily on-site,” said Kennedy.

For more information about KAI’s partnership with Rigid Global Buildings, visit www.kaipreengineered.com.

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 www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

KAI Design & Build Completes Conversion of Four Former St. Louis Metro Area Rothman Furniture Stores into Art Van Furniture

in Companies/News

KAI Design & Build has completed the renovation of four former Rothman Furniture stores in the St. Louis Metro area into Art Van Furniture. The stores are located in Bridgeton, O’Fallon and South St. Louis County in Missouri and in Fairview Heights in Illinois.

“The KAI team did beyond an amazing job on this project. From high expectations to short timelines, we really started KAI off behind schedule before they even got onsite. Everything was completed on time, per spec and within budget. Our team couldn’t be happier,” said Jay Steinback, President & CEO at Art Van of St. Louis.

Steinback commissioned KAI as the general contractor to renovate and convert the existing facilities into newly franchised showroom spaces, to be completed in January 2018. The existing stores required updated lighting and finishes, new offices and the salvaging of as much sales floor space as possible, at a total construction cost of $3.5 million.

Because the existing stores were still occupied while planning for the new Art Van Furniture stores was underway, KAI utilized a significant amount of pre-planning, phasing and early budgeting to accelerate the project schedules and complete the four-store remodel in roughly four weeks.

“Daily coordination was key for this project, along with maintaining open lines of communication. Any time work is being completed in phases while the space is occupied, whether its retail or commercial space or a healthcare environment, communication is always one of the keys to the success of the project,” said KAI Senior Project Manager Jeremy Lammers.

The UP Companies (UPCO), which includes Power UP Electrical Contractors and Square UP Builders, provided carpentry, drywall and electrical services on the project.

“It’s not every day that a minority firm is provided an opportunity to construct a major retailer’s locations; especially four at the same time,” said KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr. “I would ask everyone who believes in diversity to support Art Van Furniture, which has an amazing, diverse staff and gives opportunities to diverse business owners. In a time where stores are getting black-listed by minority communities for racism in their ads or how their staff treats their customers, we should celebrate Jay Steinback and Art Van for doing great things for the community.”

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 www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

Construction Complete on Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center

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As February marks Black History Month, minority-owned KAI Design & Build reflects on one of its most meaningful recent projects – the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center in Atlanta, GA.

Opened in October 2017, the $24 million facility, designed by KAI Design & Build in partnership with architectural firm Perkins+Will, features a striking likeness of Martin Luther King, Jr. on its facade as it stands as a cornerstone for the local community.

“The design for this new recreation and aquatic facility sought to represent an inclusive public amenity that is truly welcoming to all,” said KAI President Michael B. Kennedy, Jr. “I am humbled to have been a part of such a historic project. My hope is that this facility will be half as great as the man it represents.”

MLK’s daughter, Dr. Bernice King, spoke at the opening ceremony, noting that her father was an avid swimmer, but that her mother had never learned to swim. She expressed gratitude for the new facility, which she said gives young people an opportunity to enjoy swimming, just as her father did.

KAI worked with the City of Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation to design a state-of-the-art, public facility that would promote community involvement and inclusion. The center is located at 110 Hilliard Street between the King Memorial MARTA station and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic District. The original Martin Luther King, Jr. Natatorium, which opened in 1979, closed in 2012 due to structural issues.

In addition to being the lead architect on the project, KAI provided design-build MEP engineering criteria and design team project management on the new, two-story recreation and aquatic center, located just blocks from the original natatorium. The new pool was part of a $250 million Renew Atlanta Bond approved by voters in 2015.

The new, 63,000-square-foot facility includes a four-lane, 25-yard lap pool; leisure pool; fitness and weight room; climbing wall; multipurpose gymnasium; elevated walking/jogging track; recreation classrooms and locker rooms. Community and administrative elements include a multi-use event space with a warming kitchen to accommodate 200 people, a senior center, lounge area, computer lab, workroom, staff offices, storage, outdoor terrace and a substation for the Atlanta Police Department.

The building’s design also maximizes access from multiple directions for public transportation and the parking lots. The light-filled central lobby extends upward to connect the main floor and mezzanine. The centerpiece of the facility’s design is the glass-enclosed natatorium with a direct visual connection to the central lobby and onto an outdoor plaza for community activities. KAI designed the center to achieve a LEED Silver certification for energy efficiency.

For more information about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center, visit https://www.atlantaga.gov/government/departments/parks-recreation/office-of-recreation.

About KAI Design & Build

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. Since its inception in 1980, KAI has been instrumental in reshaping the urban environment through its expertise in housing, K-12 schools, transit facilities, collegiate structures, commercial buildings, sports and recreational facilities, government/justice centers and healthcare buildings. Beginning as an architectural design firm, KAI added mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineering to give clients a full package of in-house disciplines for their projects. Today, KAI continues with its original core service of design and has quickly grown its construction management group since 1997. Additionally, KAI is a leader in Building Information Modeling (BIM), applying the skill set to architectural, engineering and construction projects firm-wide. KAI’s affiliate locations include Atlanta, Omaha, Dallas and San Antonio. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

 

Construction Complete on Northwest High Magnet School Additions, Renovations Designed by KAI Design & Build

in Companies/News

Omaha Public Schools selected KAI Design & Build to provide architecture and interior design for two additions and renovations to its existing Northwest High Magnet School in Omaha, NE. Originally constructed in 1971, Northwest High School is the newest of the school district’s seven high schools.

The first addition is a 9,750-square-foot, multipurpose physical education space located adjacent to the existing gymnasium, with a direct connection to the gym through the first floor and mezzanine level. This addition includes a training room and concessions, with the former weight room equipment being relocated to the mezzanine. The former weight room was converted into a dedicated wrestling room for the wrestling program. A new canopy was constructed on the south side of the new addition and existing gym entry.

The second addition gives the main entry a new image by creating a visible marker or “beacon” from the street and the school parking lots. The design relocated the administrative and counseling offices and reoriented the existing commons to this new space to create an inviting entry and centrally-located commons area that incorporates the ceremonial circular staircase. The design also included a secure vestibule for the safety of students, staff and visitors. The former office spaces were converted into classrooms.

KAI’s engineers also provided designs for fire, life safety, security and technology upgrades to the high school. Charles Vrana & Son Construction Company of Omaha, NE was the general contractor on the project.

About KAI Design & Build

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. Since its inception in 1980, KAI has been instrumental in reshaping the urban environment through its expertise in housing, K-12 schools, transit facilities, collegiate structures, commercial buildings, sports and recreational facilities, government/justice centers and healthcare buildings. Beginning as an architectural design firm, KAI added mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineering to give clients a full package of in-house disciplines for their projects. Today, KAI continues with its original core service of design and has quickly grown its construction management group since 1997. Additionally, KAI is a leader in Building Information Modeling (BIM), applying the skill set to architectural, engineering and construction projects firm-wide. KAI’s affiliate locations include Atlanta, Omaha, Dallas and San Antonio. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

KAI Design & Build Hires New York Artist Kennedy Yanko as Art Director

in Companies/People

Interior Design Team launches initiative to incorporate more art in their projects

KAI Design & Build and its Interior Design Team have launched an initiative to support the art community by incorporating work from artists around the country into their design projects. To facilitate the effort, KAI has hired New York City artist and St. Louis native Kennedy Yanko as Art Director.

Yanko will work with KAI’s Interior Design Team to implement an embedded practice that puts culture and art at the forefront of its interior design conceptualization process. By understanding client interests and their unique missions, Yanko will ensure that any artwork selected for a project successfully emphasizes the core focus of that client’s workplace or environment.

“As a New York City-based artist, Yanko is in a prime position to lead this movement, having her ear to the ground of the nation’s contemporary art scene,” said KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr. “From artist studios to national museums and the marketplace, she knows what is happening in the art community and how to harness that creativity to the benefit of our clients.”

For four years, Yanko has alternated between a residency at The Living Theater in New York — one of the first and arguably the most influential experimental theater troupes in the U.S. — while dedicating herself to her studio practice in St. Louis. Throughout this period, her work was showcased in a trio of solo exhibitions in St. Louis (2009’s “Wu-Wei,” 2010’s “Paroxysm,” and 2012’s “Permutation”) that coincided with major developments in Yanko’s experiments in painting. This September, her series of work “Elements and Skin” will be featured in a group show at Jenkins Johnson’s new project space in Brooklyn. Kennedy will also be in a group show at Lewis Long gallery in Harlem at the end of January. She currently resides in and maintains her studio practice in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

“I have always understood life through movement and my senses; I have to create something physically in order to truly understand it intellectually,” said Yanko. “Most recently, my three dimensional sculptural paintings have served as the foundations for immersive experiences in physical spaces and in virtual reality. I’m eagerly looking forward to joining the dialogue at KAI, collaborating with the Interiors Team, and emphasizing art as an anchoring component of projects going forward.”

Yanko and the Interior Design Team plan to promote the art community in the following ways:

  • Attending art openings and exhibitions
  • Partnering with art liaisons to initiate the use of art in projects as a standard practice
  • Developing “art packages” based on client budgets
  • Creating events that are collaborative and incorporate design and art such as “meet the artist” or a featured artwork of the month

For more information about KAI’s art initiative, contact Interiors Specialist Asha Perez at 314-241-8188.

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. 

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

STLCC Awards KAI Design & Build Contract to Design New Allied Health Center

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KAI Design & Build has been awarded a consulting contract with St. Louis Community College (STLCC) to design the new Allied Health Center on the college’s Forest Park campus. The project team will be comprised of 85% Minority Business and Woman Business Enterprises through KAI and its consultants.

The contract was approved at the STLCC Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 23.

“KAI presents an experienced, diverse project team that has done considerable design work for the college,” said Jeff Pittman, Ph.D., STLCC chancellor. “They demonstrated a clear vision for the transformative nature of the new building, as well as a creative preliminary solution to the site development, acoustic concerns and future campus space requirements.”

The project aims to gain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification for the building. LEED is considered the leading benchmark in green building.

The proposed site of the new Allied Health building is along Oakland Avenue between the Library building and immediately north of the A, B and C Towers. It will house STLCC-Forest Park’s existing Allied Health programs, and add the districtwide Nursing program, plus the Physical Therapist Assistant and Occupational Therapist Assistant programs, which are currently offered at the Meramec campus. Preliminary data suggests the facility will be 65,000 square feet.

“The new Allied Health Center will be a significant addition and improvement to the Forest Park campus. Replacing a more than 50-year-old structure, the new building will metaphorically reintroduce the campus to the St. Louis community in a bold and vibrant way.”, said Larry Johnson Jr, Ph.D., STLCC-Forest Park provost.

Project completion on the Allied Health building is estimated to be two-and-a-half years. Actual construction may take up to 15 months, and also will include demolition of the A and B Towers and construction of a new entrance off Oakland Avenue.

KAI Design & Build was established in 1980 in St. Louis, MO. The firm specializes in providing value‐added building solutions through design and build collaboration.

Established in 1962, St. Louis Community College is the largest community college district in Missouri and one of the largest in the United States. STLCC has four campuses: Florissant Valley, Forest Park, Meramec and Wildwood. The college annually serves more than 80,000 students through credit courses, continuing education and workforce development programs. For more information about STLCC, visit  stlcc.edu.

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