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AGC Celebrates BuildMO Week

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The AGC of Missouri kicked off BuildMO Week at PARIC’s 212 S. Meramec job site in Clayton on Monday. BuildMO Week celebrates the construction industry in Missouri. Additional events were held in Jefferson City and Springfield on October 11, and at the Construction Training Center in St. Louis on October 14.

Leonard Toenjes, president, AGC of Missouri, said 212 S. Meramec is a symbol of what construction means to the Missouri economy. By the time it is complete, it will have provided 250,000 hours of construction employment to area workers.

The 212 S. Meramec project is 382,666-square-foot, 26-story post-tension concrete high-rise building. When complete, it will be the largest multi-family, mixed-used building in Clayton. The $60 million tower will host retail space, a parking garage, 250 luxury apartments spread across the top 20 stories of the building, and a roof-top swimming pool.

Construction on the high-rise building began in October 2015, and completion is expected in June 2017.  During BuildMO Week, workers were pouring the 17th floor of the structure. Keith Wolkoff, president of PARIC, said that as of September 30, 2016, the 212 S. Meramec project had logged a total of 92,453 hours of work by laborers, carpenters, operators, ironworkers, electricians, sheet metal workers, plumbers, pipefitters, cement masons, sprinkler fitters, glaziers, tapers and roofers.

Keith Wolkoff
Keith Wolkoff

“Three years ago, the developer challenged us and our partners to deliver a best in class, mixed-use building with great amenities and a harmony of great design and marketability,” Wolkoff said. “We are very proud of the technology and innovation we’ve applied to this project to reach that goal, including BIM 3-D modeling to remove waste and robotic layout to eliminate re-work,” he said. “We brought BASF in as a consultant to develop a specialty concrete mix not used in St. Louis before to hit the (strength requirements) with less weight. BASF has worked on the majority of the tallest concrete building designs in the world.”

212 S. Meramec is a joint venture of PARIC and McHugh. Major subcontractors on the project include CECO Concrete Construction, concrete; Murphy Company, HVAC and plumbing engineer; Kaiser Electric, electrical engineer; and Fire Tech, fire protection engineer. The developer/owner is WORP/CA Clayton, LLC. Architect is HDA Architects and Alper Audi is structural engineer. Project investors include union pension funds and others.

Toenjes noted that construction is a major driver of Missouri’s economy, employing more than 116,200 persons throughout the state, with Missouri ranking 4th in the nation in one-month employment growth between July and August 2016.

In 2015, he said, Missouri construction contributed $11 billion (3.8 percent) of the state’s GDP of $293 billion. That same year, Missouri construction wages and salaries totaled $ $6.5 billion. In 2014, construction workers’ pay in Missouri averaged $54,400, 18 percent more than all private sector employees in the state. Missouri had 13,000 construction firms in 2014, of which 92 percent had fewer than 20 employees.

While celebrating what the construction industry has accomplished, Toenjes pointed to challenges ahead.  Employment has passed pre-recession figures and the industry is now facing a critical workforce shortage. “Every day we hear new reports of contractors turning down or delaying work because of the skilled worker shortage,” said Toenjes.

In the last six months, the AGC of Missouri launched a new web portal to connect contractors with unfilled jobs to people seeking work. “We never had to do that before,” he said

“When young people are contemplating a career choice, we hope they will consider construction,” he added. “Our industry can be a rewarding and challenging career choice. With new technologies, sustainable buildings, new construction methods and other innovations, we are looking to the best and brightest to join our industry. We need bodies, hands, and brains to keep building in Missouri. Come join us – there are jobs waiting!”

St. Louis Info Session on Commercial Drone Certification

in Associations/Homepage Primary/News

The Electrical Connection will host an informational session on compliance with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) regulations and is planning to offer certification training at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center.   The Oct. 28, 2016, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. meeting at the training center is open to any civic or business operation that uses UAVs, also called drones.   The training center is located at 2300 Hampton Ave. in South St. Louis.  The deadline to register for the event is Oct. 25, 2016 can be done by emailing damon@uaviation.us or by calling 314-484-6360.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

On July 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) finalized rules for UAV systems. The new rules took effect on August 29 2016, offering safety regulations for unmanned aircraft drones weighing less than 55 pounds that are conducting commercial operations.  The rule’s provisions are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground.

The informational meeting at the training center will be conducted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) – Gateway Chapter and will be its first since the new FAA rules took effect in August 2016.  “Partnering with the Electrical Connection makes sense because the electrical industry already has the best foundation of knowledge in electrical systems – wireless and otherwise – that power this evolution in robotics,” said Dr. Damon Lercel, president of AUVSI-Gateway Chapter.  “UAVs are essentially flying electronic robots and the Electrical Connection’s IBEW/NECA membership has been engineering and installing robotics in advanced manufacturing facilities for decades.”

The IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center has been collaborating with the AUVSI-Gateway Chapter and UAViation, an unmanned aviation services and training provider, to develop a curriculum for attaining UAV certification.

“We’ve always adapted our training program to rapidly advancing technology,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.  “We did so at the dawn of the Information Age and for data storage, building automation, wireless integrated communications, electric vehicles and robotics.  It’s why we look to partner with visionary organizations like AUVSI-Gateway Chapter so our workforce is always prepared to safely and proficiently install the technology upon which our future depends.”

While the construction industry is already making extensive use of UAVs, first responders, real estate firms, agriculture, media and film makers, civil engineering and civic entities are all making use of the technology.  “It’s been a bit of a wild west out there as regulation tries to keep up with technology,” said Dr. Lercel.  “The AUVSI-Gateway Chapter was formed in 2012 in anticipation of a greater need to bring sensible rules to the operations of UAV systems.  The Electrical Connection has been a prime supporter of our mission since its inception.”

AUVSI is the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. Serving more than 7,500 members from government organizations, industry and academia, AUVSI is committed to fostering, developing, and promoting unmanned systems and robotics technologies. AUVSI members support the defense, civil and commercial sectors.  Learn more at www.auvsi.org.

St. Louis-based UAViation is a provider of unmanned aviation services and training.  Its unmanned aircraft and professional pilots provide a safe, low-cost, and environmentally friendly alternative to satellite imagery, manned aircraft, or traditional inspection techniques.  UAViation is FAA approved to commercially operate unmanned aircraft and is fully insured. Learn more at www.uaviation.us.

Members of the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services in Missouri and nationwide. More is online at www.electricalconnection.org.

Christner Honored With Local Design Awards

in Associations/Companies

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) St. Louis Chapter celebrated excellence in the built environment with its Design Awards celebration held on September 22 at Laumeier Sculpture Park. Through a juried process, projects in various categories were recognized for outstanding qualities in design and craftsmanship.

This year, Christner took home a record seven awards in various categories including architecture, interiors, unbuilt and craftsmanship. Projects recognized include the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Climate Corporation, Edward Jones Parking Garage, St. Louis County Library Grant’s View Branch, Knox College Field Station, and Shriners Hospitals for Children – St. Louis.

Wiegmann Associates named Midwest Top 50 Specialty Contractor

in Associations/Companies/News

Wiegmann Associates has been named a 2016 Midwest Top 50 Specialty Contractor by Engineering News Record, the leading international construction industry news magazine. With $33.86 million in 2015 revenue, Wiegmann Associates, a mechanical contractor, ranks among the top 12 largest specialty contractors in the St. Louis region.

The annual Engineering News Record Top Specialty Contractors list ranks contractors in such fields as mechanical, electrical, concrete, fire protection, masonry, roofing, sheet metal and excavation.

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.

Instructors Needed at Construction Training School

in Associations

The AGC of Missouri’s Construction Training School is currently seeking Instructors for the following programs:

  • Supervisor Training Program
  • Project Manager Development Program
  • Building Information Modeling
  • Lean Construction

There will be an informational session held at the Construction Training School in St. Louis Missouri and another held at the AGC of Missouri’s facility in Jefferson City Missouri.  The courses will be taught from both locations.

Session Topics:

  • The courses contained within each program and the subject matter expertise needed to effectively teach that material.   Which course best fits your experience.
  • Instructor Expectations and Student Expectations.  What you need to do in the classroom and what the students should do?

If you are interested in being an instructor for the Construction Training School, please attend the session nearest you.

St. Louis – Monday October 24, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Jefferson City – Monday November 7, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Please contact Paul Smith to let him know what session you will be attending and which program you may be interested in being an instructor.

Paul Smith

314-644-1525

psmith@stl-cts.org

Home Builders Association Donates $10,000 to Ranken Technical College

in Associations/News

On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2016 HBA President Kim Hibbs of Hibbs Homes (left) presented a $10,000 donation to Kari Davidson, director of major gifts for Ranken Technical College.

The donation will be used to support Ranken Technical College’s neighborhood revitalization and home building program, RCDC (Ranken Community Development Corporation). The RCDC was founded in 1994 to revitalize North City and give Ranken students real-world experience in building permanent homes. Carpentry, HVAC/refrigeration, plumbing, architectural technology, electrical and industrial technology students spend a portion of their second year building the homes and gaining valuable experience. Program participants are currently completing their 61st home. Ranken homes are sold as single-family, affordable housing and receive a ten-year real estate tax abatement from the City of St. Louis.

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.

Flooring Industry Council of Greater St. Louis Gives Back

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DASA LogoThe Flooring Industry Council of Greater St. Louis (FIC) has donated $4000 to the Disabled Athlete Sports Assn. (DASA). Proceeds are from the FIC’s annual golf tournament held on May 9 at Old Hickory Golf Club.

The DASA was created in 1997 and serves the Greater St. Louis region by providing quality and affordable therapeutic sports and fitness opportunities.

The Flooring Industry Council is an organization of flooring contractors that employ INSTALL floor layers. INSTALL floor layers have four years of classroom and on-the-job instruction and training in the installation of hardwood, carpet, ceramic tile and resilient floor coverings.

AGCI / SIBA / ECA Shooting Event

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The AGC of Illinois, Southern lllinois Builders Association and Egyptian Contractors Association recently held their Sixth Annual Shooting Event at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Illinois.  A total of 121 shooters participated in this sporting clays event which is a record number of participants for this event.

Three shotguns were donated by the following firms:  Southern Illinois and Central Illinois Laborers and Employers Cooperation Education Trust; E.T. Simonds Construction Co.; and Gould Flooring Services, Inc.  Three $250 gift cards to Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shop were also given away.  One lucky winner received $649 which was half of the 50/50 money collected.

Engineered Fluid, Inc. was the first place winner with a score of 321.

Port Official from New Orleans Highlights Economic Growth Opportunities for St. Louis Region

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Groundwork laid for Memorandum of Understanding between Port of New Orleans and St. Louis

Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Gary LaGrange & Mary Lamie
Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Gary LaGrange & Mary Lamie

Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange joined Bi-State Development and the St. Louis Regional Freightway to host an insightful forum that called attention to the tremendous economic growth opportunities for the St. Louis region through the Inland Port System.  More than 70 of the St. Louis region’s leading manufacturers, shippers, logistic experts and economic development professionals were on hand on September 28 to hear from LaGrange. He has been at the helm of the Port of New Orleans since 2001 helping to position it as the number one port for logistics in America and the fastest growing U.S. port for container on barge shipments.

St. Louis Regional Freightway Executive Director Mary Lamie opened the forum by noting the purpose of the event was to learn. “We are thrilled to have Gary here today to learn how we can best coordinate his supply chain with our supply chain.” The information shared during the forum revealed the desire for increased coordination is mutual, and would be mutually beneficial.

LaGrange’s leadership brought the Port of New Orleans back into operation only two weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005 to become the most extensive natural disaster in U.S. history to date. Also, under LaGrange’s direction, the Port of New Orleans has made great expansions in spite of great adversity—including opening new, state-of-the art container, cruise and refrigerated terminals. Over the past decade, a total of $500 million has been invested in the Port of New Orleans, and it today is responsible for 165,000 jobs in the state of Louisiana, and a total of 380,000 jobs in the U.S. While he has championed the port’s growth, LaGrange made it clear the growth at his port, and future growth around freight movement through the ports in the bi-state region, are already intrinsically connected. “The St. Louis region is the envy of the barge industry. Located in the heart of the nation and strategically positioned at the northernmost ice-free and lock-free point on the Mississippi River,” LaGrange said.

“Five-hundred million tons of cargo move through our port because of you,” LaGrange said. “We are the largest single port system in the world. Out of nearly 400 ports in the United States, we’re the only single port that has the Mississippi River and its tributaries, which combined offer 14,500 miles of navigable waterways.”

He noted those waterways are already being well utilized, but it is often to transport empty containers. LaGrange said 50 percent of the barge containers that travel from St. Louis down the Mississippi River to New Orleans are empty before they are either reloaded with cargo at New Orleans or shipped empty.

While they still want and need some empty containers, there are growing opportunities for more of them to be loaded in the St. Louis region and upriver regions with fertilizers, phosphates, animal foods and other products that there is growing demand for overseas.

LaGrange said 80 percent of the product coming into the Port of New Orleans is ultimately bound for the St. Louis region or the Midwest. But the products do not always travel directly up the Mississippi River to get to their destinations. He cited for example, the Port of New Orleans is the nation’s largest importer of rubber, but the St. Louis region gets its rubber from the East Coast instead of having it come directly from the Port of New Orleans. And while automobile manufacturing plants currently have parts shipped in by rail from the East Coast to Missouri, there is no reason those products could not be transported by water, rail or truck from the Port of New Orleans.

Largely in response to consumer demand for various products, the Port of New Orleans saw a 16.7 percent growth in container cargo traffic just last year, and that growth is expected to continue. Fifteen to 18 percent of the growth from the Panama Canal expansion alone is expected to come through the gulf ports, including Port of New Orleans, and LaGrange estimates that could translate to a total of 5 million new TEUs* for the gulf ports.  And LaGrange notes that with the potential for an all water route to and from Asia through the Panama Canal directly into New Orleans, their container on barge growth opportunities could be unlimited. There’s no question that growth at the Port of New Orleans can trigger growth on the inland waterways here in the St. Louis region. To capitalize on that growth, LaGrange stated that the St. Louis region needs to “Go beyond thinking outside the box, to actually creating a new box.”

Colin Wellenkamp, executive director of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, also spoke at the event, and he saluted the St. Louis Regional Freightway and its executive director Mary Lamie for doing exactly what LaGrange was advocating. “What Mary is doing is unique. I’m responsible for 10 states and we don’t see what you are doing anywhere else,” said Wellenkamp, who added that while other cities and towns along the Mississippi River may not be engaging to grow their freight industries in the same way the St. Louis region is, they are paying attention to the St. Louis Regional Freightway is doing.

Aimee Anders, executive director of the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc., the trade association for the nation’s inland waterway, port and terminal professionals, was also on hand to share her insight with the group. “The collaborative partnerships here really enhance the St. louis region’s ability to move freight for the entire nation,” she said.

Among the ideas discussed to foster even greater collaboration and really leverage the connection between the Port of New Orleans and the St. Louis region is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two entities. Lamie and LaGrange will be regrouping in short order to hammer out the details of what such an understanding would look like, but they concurred that it must include measurable deliverables for both parties, and that branding and jointly marketing the St. Louis region’s multimodal assets, the Port of New Orleans multimodal assets and the St. Louis region’s direct connection to the Port of New Orleans, should be key components.  Among the assets the St. Louis region offers are six Class I railroads with international market access (the same six that also operate at Port of New Orleans), the third largest inland port, two international cargo airports and four interstates that provide national access.

John Nations, president and CEO of Bi-State Development, took a few moments to comment on the significance of the forum, its attendees and the work being spearheaded by the St. Louis Regional Freightway, the newest Bi-State Development enterprise.  “We have the best of St. Louis region represented here today,” he said. “The St. Louis Regional Freightway is a great example of good cooperation for real progress.”

Dennis Wilmsmeyer, executive director of America’s Central Port, which was the presenting sponsor of the forum along with supporting sponsor Ingram Barge, urged the crowd to embrace its role as ambassadors. “All of you sitting here are ambassadors for this region and this effort,” he said. “It is all of our responsibilities to talk about the great things that are happening here.” 

Bi-State Development (BSD) operates the St. Louis Regional Freightway, the region’s freight district, and operates Bi-State Development Research Institute. BSD is the operator of the Metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; 391 MetroBus vehicle fleet that operates on 77 MetroBus routes; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 120 vans. BSD also owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and the Gateway Arch Riverboats, as well as operates the Gateway Arch Revenue Collections Center and Gateway Arch trams. 

*Note: The twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) is based on the volume of a 20-foot-long (6.1 m) intermodal container, a standard-sized metal box which can be easily transferred between different modes of transportation, such as ships, trains and trucks. 

Photo Above: Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Gary LaGrange & Mary Lamie

Missouri S&T to host Transportation Infrastructure Conference

in Associations/News

Missouri University of Science and Technology, together with the Missouri Department of Transportation, will host the fifth annual Transportation Infrastructure Conference on Friday, Nov. 18, at the Havener Center on the Missouri S&T campus. The program will feature recent findings in advanced construction materials, resilient structural systems, non-destructive testing and structural health monitoring of transportation infrastructure.

The registration fee is $70, and includes a USB device containing the conference materials, a professional development hour (PDH) certificate, lunch and coffee breaks. Conference participants will receive six PDHs.

Register online here.

The conference should be of interest to public transportation agencies, professional and consulting engineers, testing labs, academicians, and undergraduate and graduate students.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Atorod Azizinamini, professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering at Florida International University and the 2015 White House Transportation Champion of Change; Dr. Ghassan Al-Chaar, principal investigator at the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory; Tom Blair, assistant district engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation St. Louis Metro District; and Paul White, bridge engineering manager, Ultra-High Performance Concrete/Ductal at U.S. LaFargeHolcim.

Conference chairs are Dr. Kamal H. Khayat, Vernon and Maralee Jones Chair of Civil Engineering at Missouri S&T and director of the Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies, and William Stone, research administrator for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The conference is sponsored by the Missouri S&T Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies and the Missouri Department of Transportation.

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