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KAI Design Expands with Addition of Two

Michael Andresen

KAI Design proudly announces the hiring of Michael Andresen, AIA, CDT, LEED AP, as Project Manager.

As Project Manager, Andresen acts as the primary point of contact and the liaison between the owner/client and the design team on both public and private projects. He is responsible for the work quality, schedules and budget compliance for the project team.

He has 14 years of industry experience, having previously worked as a Project Manager for Vessel Architecture and Design in St. Louis and as an Architect at RDG Planning & Design in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Having Mike Andresen join our KAI Design team is a next growth plateau for our organization. He is a seasoned project manager with a wide range of project experience – including a particular emphasis with social infrastructure-driven markets such as community, education, healthcare and housing. Mike brings a well-rounded personal portfolio of solid business management, technical acumen and a passionate drive for design excellence. His alignment with KAI values, culture and mission are just terrific,” said KAI Managing Partner Brad Simmons, FAIA.

He is a Registered Architect with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), LEED AP with the U.S. Green Building Council and CDT with the Construction Specifications Institute.

Over the last four years, he has worked as a Project Manager on six new construction and renovation projects in St. Louis totally more than half a million square feet of planning, design and construction. Prior to relocating to Missouri, Andresen spent 10 years working in central Iowa where he managed the sustainable design process on over 3 million square feet of new construction, including certifying 30 LEED projects – 10 of which achieved LEED Platinum certification.

Andresen has a Bachelor of Architecture with a Minor in Entrepreneurial Studies from Iowa State University. Andresen and his wife live in Olivette with their son.

Ramona Nicula

KAI Engineering is proud to announce the addition of Ramona Nicula, PE LEED AP as Director of Electrical Engineering of its St. Louis office.

In her new position, Nicula will lead electrical engineering project design, work planning, electrical discipline recruitment and staff development. She will provide project oversight of St. Louis-led projects and lead the overall quality control of the electrical department.

“Ramona is a home run hire and a truly welcome addition to our KAI Engineering team. She brings a passion and commitment to engineering design excellence and meshes well with our KAI mission, culture and values,” said KAI Managing Partner Brad Simmons, FAIA. “Ramona is a mature industry veteran that brings a wide range of project experience. As a seasoned group leader, she is well known in our industry, understands our seller-model and is a proven performer with alternative delivery.”

Nicula has had a successful 25-year career in the industry, having previously served as Vice President of EDM Inc. and Engineering Manager at PayneCrest Electric, both of St. Louis.

She earned her engineering degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Transylvania University in Romania and an M.B.A. from University of Missouri – St. Louis. She is a member of the Electrical Board of Missouri and Illinois and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, Maryland and California. She is also a LEED Accredited Professional through the U.S. Green Building Council.

When not working, Nicula enjoys skiing and biking. She resides in St. Louis with her husband and daughter.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. KAI Enterprises is comprised of four distinct business units—KAI Design, KAI Engineering, KAI Build and KAI 360 Construction Services. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

June 26, 2020

KAI Announces Hiring of Aaron Keistler, AIA, NCARB as Director of Architecture

Aaron Keistler

KAI Enterprises is pleased to announce the hiring of Aaron Keistler, AIA, NCARB, as Director of Architecture in its St. Louis office.

As Director of Architecture, Keistler will manage staffing of the architectural and interior design team as well as lead the department’s vision, project guidance and standards. He will also pursue new projects with the team’s project managers and principals.

“KAI is delighted to have Aaron join our architecture and engineering business. I had the opportunity to previously work with Aaron and know what an asset he is to our design teams, our organization and our clients,” said KAI Managing Partner Brad Simmons, FAIA. “Aaron brings a high level of energy and enthusiasm that positively touches everyone. While still considered young in our industry, Aaron has the knowledge and maturity of someone with far more experience. His commitment to design excellence and knowledge of industry-leading technology are the differentiators. We are keen to see Aaron’s impact with our architecture studio.”

Keistler has eight years of industry experience, including four years as an Architect/Associate at FGM Architects in O’Fallon, Illinois; two years as an Architect at Jacobs Engineering in St. Louis and two years as an Architect at V Three Studios in Maplewood, Missouri.

He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Young Architect’s Forum St. Louis (YAFSTL). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is also a Registered Architect with the State of Illinois and is registered through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Certification (NCARB).

Keistler resides in Affton, Missouri with his girlfriend and their dog Zoey Zobo, a German Shorthair Pointer. When not working, Keistler enjoys home improvement projects, dog training, hunting, fishing, camping and playing recreation league softball.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

The UP Companies Hires David Schwetz as General Superintendent

David Schwetz

The UP Companies (UPCO) proudly announces the hiring of David Schwetz as General Superintendent in its new Kansas City office. Through UPCO’s Square UP Builders division, Schwetz will primarily focus on carpentry projects and will also support Regional Director David Murrell with expansion efforts in the Greater Kansas City area.

“In his new position, Dave will be responsible for recruiting, developing and retaining field personnel in the Kansas City area. He will also work to maximize productivity and efficiency on jobsites while creating and maintaining a workforce safety culture,” said UPCO Regional Director David Murrell. “We are pleased to have Dave join our expanding Kansas City crew, as this is an exciting time for UPCO and Square UP Builders in Kansas City.”

Schwetz has 25 years of industry experience. Prior to UPCO, Schwetz was a Foreman for BAM Contracting of St. Louis and Dahmer Contracting Group of Lenexa, Kansas. He also worked as a Superintendent for Fleshman Construction in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Dave is a tremendous asset to the UPCO team. He has built a successful career and has a reputation as a formidable leader, mentor and skilled problem-solver,” said Brian W. Arnold, Vice President of The UP Companies. “We are excited to have him on board helping to oversee our many projects as we grow in the Kansas City market.”

Schwetz lives in Blue Springs, Missouri with his wife Katie, who is a vice-president at State Street Corporation, and their two sons, George and Michael. George is in the Air Force and Michael is in the Army National Guard. During his spare time, Schwetz enjoys golfing and fishing.

The UP Companies (UPCO) is one of the region’s largest full-service contracting companies offering all-inclusive and convenient solutions for general contractors, owners and facilities management professionals. For a decade, UPCO has focused on its mission of Building UP Communities Through Innovation, Diversity, and Integrity, providing superior design and contracting services through each of its distinct business units—Power UP, Square UP and Hustle UP. For more information, go to www.theupcompanies.com or call 913.787.4063.

Kwame Building Group Hires Katina Shannon-Crawford as Project Administrator

Katina Shannon-Crawford

Katina Shannon-Crawford of Spanish Lake, MO has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) as a Project Administrator. Shannon-Crawford’s responsibilities include contract changes, tracking documents and maintaining staff schedules for the construction management firm’s projects, including the new St. Louis Major League Soccer Stadium and America’s Center expansion.

Shannon-Crawford has more than 10 years of experience in planning and executing large events and meetings. She holds a master’s degree in Education from Lindenwood University and a bachelor’s degree in Education from Harris-Stowe State University.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. An employee-owned company, KWAME provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. For more information, visit www.kwamebuildinggroup.com or call (314) 862-5344.

Murphy Company Adds Staff

Mary Young

Mary Young joins Murphy Company as accounts payable/payroll clerk. The announcement was made by Marty Coughlin, service accounting manager. With an extensive background in administrative responsibilities, Young most recently served as an accounts payable associate for a mechanical contractor. Prior to that, she held a position as an administrative assistant at an electrical consulting firm. “We are very excited to welcome Mary to the Murphy team,” said Coughlin.

Mackenzie King

Mackenzie King joins Murphy Company as data center services coordinator. The announcement was made by Eric Gottschlich, vice president – Data Center Services. A recent graduate of Missouri University of Science and Technology – Rolla, King received her bachelor’s degree in engineering management with a focus on industrial systems. Prior to that, she graduated from Mineral Area College in Park Hills, MO. with an associate’s degree. Mackenzie was recognized for her outstanding academic achievements where she made the dean’s list at each institution. Additionally, she founded an engineering honor society, as well as maintained membership in five other groups for engineering, leadership, and industrial honor societies. Mackenzie comes to Murphy with several years of experience as an engineering intern with a background in telecommunications, chemical engineering, and metallurgy. Aside from being OSHA 10 certified, she has also passed the Industrial FE exam and Systems FE exam. King is also Six Sigma Green Belt certified.

Madison Feldhaus

Madison Feldhaus has joined Murphy Company as service billing specialist. The announcement was made by Marty Coughlin, service accounting Manager. As a graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia, Feldhaus was most recently employed as a patient service representative for a local asthma and allergy relief clinic where she was responsible for a variety of administrative duties. Since 2012, Madison has been a volunteer with ManAdvantage, a non-profit association that helps children who have been affected by the death or disability of a parent. “We are very happy to have Madison as a part of our team and to help us grow towards our departmental goals.”, said Coughlin.

Carolanne Dukeman

Carolanne Dukeman has joined Murphy Company as office clerk. The announcement was made by Tina Jones, executive administrative assistant/office manager. For the past two and a half years, Dukeman served as an administrative assistant for Sts. Joachim & Ann Catholic Church & School in St. Charles. From 2008 to 2017, she was a project manager, campus administrator and administrative assistant for EJ4, a video e-learning company. She attended University of Missouri-St. Louis. A dedicated volunteer, she serves as vice president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians-St. Patrick’s Division, arranging Adopt-A-Family participation and helping to organize its annual fundraiser. For the past five years, she has been chair of the silent auction for the Sts. Joachim & Ann annual parish picnic.

Murphy Company is the area’s largest mechanical contractor with offices in St. Louis and Denver. For more information, visit www.murphynet.com.

Carolanne Dukeman has joined Murphy Company

Dennis Voss has been named president of G&S Architectural Products in St. Louis. The company is a subsidiary of Golterman & Sabo, a family-owned supplier of architectural products for the construction industry for more than 100 years.

Voss oversees the company’s specialized service and supply offering in the Midwest.

“We are one of the few suppliers that not only manufactures custom architectural products, we also do our own installation work in the bi-state area,” explains Voss. “Many of our projects are quite complex and our unique expertise in installing our products is highly valued by our construction partners.”

The company has won numerous construction industry awards for their work. “Since Dennis joined us in 1996, he has been a valued player who has continuously contributed to our growth and success, moving from various roles in project management to sales management,” says Herb Golterman, president of Golterman & Sabo. “Dennis is the first non-family member to become an officer of the company in our 75-year history, which underscores the significant contributions he’s made to our business.”

Voss holds a  Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Southeast Missouri State University and MBA from the Keller Graduate School.

Dennis Voss Named President of G&S Architectural Products

Dennis Voss

Dennis Voss has been named president of G&S Architectural Products in St. Louis. The company is a subsidiary of Golterman & Sabo, a family-owned supplier of architectural products for the construction industry for more than 100 years.

Voss oversees the company’s specialized service and supply offering in the Midwest.

“We are one of the few suppliers that not only manufactures custom architectural products, we also do our own installation work in the bi-state area,” explains Voss. “Many of our projects are quite complex and our unique expertise in installing our products is highly valued by our construction partners.”

The company has won numerous construction industry awards for their work. “Since Dennis joined us in 1996, he has been a valued player who has continuously contributed to our growth and success, moving from various roles in project management to sales management,” says Herb Golterman, president of Golterman & Sabo. “Dennis is the first non-family member to become an officer of the company in our 75-year history, which underscores the significant contributions he’s made to our business.”

Voss holds a  Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Southeast Missouri State University and MBA from the Keller Graduate School.   

June 19, 2020

Oculus Inc. Adds to Ownership Team

Brian Kern

Brian Kern named principal, continues to lead retail team

Oculus Inc., a full-service St. Louis-based architecture and interior design firm, has expanded its leadership team with the promotion of Brian Kern, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB, to principal. Kern has been with the firm since its inception in 1994 and will continue to hold the position of retail director for the firm’s St. Louis, Dallas and Portland, Ore. offices.

“On the heels of our 25th business anniversary this past year, we couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate the milestone with the promotion of Brian Kern,” said Ron Reim, executive vice president and co-founder of Oculus Inc. “Brian has truly helped to diversify our client base and expand our book of business outside of the St. Louis area, further positioning us a national firm.”

Last year, Oculus completed renovations on both its St. Louis corporate headquarters and its Dallas office location. The company is currently working on projects across the U.S. for returning clients including Focus Brands, Lion’s Choice, and Department of Veterans Affairs. The addition of new senior living projects in St. Louis and the design of an out-of-ground boutique hotel for Seaside Lodging in Seaside, Ore., have positioned Oculus for continued success in 2020.

“I’m so honored to continue supporting the company that helped me develop my skills and career path,” Kern said. “Now, 25 years later, Oculus is positioned as a premier national architecture and interior design firm, and is strategically growing in the hospitality, senior living and private healthcare markets.”

Kern is a graduate of Kansas State University’s Interior Architecture program and joined the firm in 1994 when Oculus was founded. Kern most notably designed an electronic inventory system for the firm to help track and manage data in drawings. The early adoption and deployment of these technological innovations became the foundation of the company, establishing them to compete for larger corporate work. This includes bringing on BJC HealthCare, The Federal Reserve Bank, Centene Corporation, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis Community College, and AT&T Wireless Retail as clients.

In 2008, Kern earned his MBA in Business Management from Washington University in St. Louis while working at Oculus and assumed the role as director of retail. Kern’s significant experience in prototype design, brand standards management, national roll out, new builds and retail remodels brought the additions of restaurant clients, such as Nestle, Dominos and BurgerFi.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive Architecture, Interior Design, Planning, and Move Management services with a driving aesthetic to Connect | Shape | Move people, experiences, sensibilities, and spaces. Oculus creates high-performance design that supports change and promotes value for clients in the Commercial, Education, Government, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Restaurant and Workplace industries. Oculus has offices in St. Louis, Dallas and Portland, Ore., is WBE-certified and is regularly cited in top industry rankings for architecture and design. Oculusinc.com.

Spellman Brady & Company Hires Danielle Spellman

Danielle Spellman

Spellman Brady is pleased to announce that Danielle Spellman has joined the firm in the role of Art Associate.  In her role as art associate, Ms. Spellman is responsible for creating unique project-specific artwork concepts; making artwork selections to meet the project budget; completing documents for presentations; and assisting with record keeping of all art processes and project-related documents.

Ms. Spellman attended Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film, Video and Photography and became OSHA 10 Certified.  Prior to joining Spellman Brady, she served as a photo assistant with several photography studios, worked with the Maryland Film Festival, and produced a short film for the Baltimore Student Film Showcase.

Spellman Brady & Company is an award-winning St. Louis–based interior design firm specializing in senior living, healthcare, and higher education environments.  The firm maintains design excellence by delivering comprehensive interior design, furniture, artwork master planning, and procurement services.  As a Certified WBE Business, Spellman Brady & Company has completed more than 6,300 projects in 43 states and abroad since its founding in 1991.  For more information about Spellman Brady & Company, please visit www.spellmanbrady.com.

Kwame Building Group Hires Courtney Prentiss as a Construction Management Intern

Courtney Prentiss

Courtney Prentiss has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) as a Construction Management Intern. Prentiss’ responsibilities include assisting the construction project manager on project responsibilities, including scheduling, cost estimating and other aspects of project performance.

Prentiss holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. She will graduate from Washington University this December with master’s degrees in Architecture and Construction Management.

Prentiss is a student member of the National Organization of Minority Architects and the American Institute of Architectural Students. She was a first-place winner in the PCI Foundation’s 2020 Project Precast student competition and has been elected 2020-2021 Vice President of Finance for the Washington University Graduate Architecture Council.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. An employee-owned company, KWAME provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. KWAME’s public and private sector projects include educational facilities, major airports nationwide, light-rail systems, hospitals, wastewater treatment facilities and government facilities. KWAME is headquartered in St. Louis with division offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Seattle. For more information, visit www.kwamebuildinggroup.com or call (314) 862-5344.

June 5, 2020

Cole & Associates Announces New Shareholder

Eric Morff

Cole & Associates, Inc. announced today that Eric Morff, PE is the newest shareholder of the firm. Morff graduated from University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1997. Eric is a registered Professional Engineer and LEED AP BD+C. He started with Cole in 2012 and works on a wide range of projects with clients nationwide.

When asked about how he came to Cole Morff said, “A friend I used to work with kept telling me ‘You should come to Cole, it’s great here!’, and it turns out that he was right, I love working here.”

Kevin E. Riggs, President/CEO of the firm said, “Eric has been instrumental to the growth of the firm. His professionalism, ability to successfully complete projects of any size, and dedication to develop excellent client relationships has made him invaluable to Cole. We are excited to add Eric to our group of shareholders and we know he will contribute greatly to the continued success of the firm.”

Current shareholders include Riggs, Lisa Baker, CFO; Vice Presidents of Regional Operations ‐ John Harshbarger in St. Louis and St. Charles; Jim Roth in Phoenix; and Sandy Stephens in Dallas; Jeremy Roach, Director of Planning and Landscape Architecture; and Survey Managers ‐ Terry Westerman and Tom Reynolds.

Cole & Associates, Inc. is a Missouri Corporation d.b.a. Cole Design Group, Inc. in Texas & Arizona. Cole was founded in 1990 and is a multidiscipline design firm providing civil engineering, surveying, planning, landscape architecture, GIS, and ADA transition planning services nationwide. Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., Cole has additional offices in St. Charles, Mo., Phoenix, Ariz., and Dallas, Texas.

Wiegmann Associates Promotes Kyle Boschert to Service Manager

Kyle Boschert

Kyle Boschert of St. Charles, has been promoted to service manager at Wiegmann Associates. Boschert will lead Wiegmann Associates’ HVAC service operations. His responsibilities include overseeing service contracts and equipment installations, developing and managing a high-performing team and creating repeat business opportunities. With more than 25 technicians, Wiegmann Associates is one of the largest commercial heating and cooling service providers in the St. Louis region.

Boschert joined Wiegmann Associates as an estimator in 2010 and became a service project manager in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Lindenwood University.

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

May 29, 2020

Feeler S. Architects Promotes Cody Henderson

Cody Henerson

FSA, LLC is excited to announce the promotion of Cody Henderson to Director of Science and Education. Since joining our team more than 10 years ago, Cody has developed a detailed talent for laboratory and higher education design, taking the lead on over 150 laboratories and higher education projects. In his new position he will oversee all laboratory and education projects within the firm. Cody will continue to pursue new clients in these sectors, while enhancing existing relationships by always listening first and pushing for sustainable laboratory and education design that exceeds client expectations.

Outside of the office Cody remains highly involved in the community. He is the 2020 American Institute of Architects St. Louis Chapter President, a member of Ranken Technical College’s Architectural Advisory Board, a Habitat for Humanity Construction Leader, and a St. Louis Startup Ambassadors Board Member. In his “free time” he enjoys playing softball, attending Cardinals games and traveling.

Lindenwood University President Dr. John Porter Joins Midwest BankCentre St. Charles Advisory Board

Dr. John R. Porter

Lindenwood University President Dr. John Porter has been elected to the Midwest BankCentre St. Charles Advisory Board. Lindenwood is a four-year institution founded in 1827 with its main residential campus in St. Charles and a network of extension centers offering evening classes and more than 35 online degree programs.

Porter, who earned his doctorate in education at Johns Hopkins University, worked at IBM for 33 years, the last 15 in senior management. Immediately prior to joining Lindenwood University in 2019, he was vice president of services for Gulf Business Machines, a premier IBM business partner, in Dubai. He has served as a member of the board of trustees at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He graduated with an MBA degree from Washington University in 2011.

Porter serves on the Mercy East and Missouri Colleges Fund board of directors. He is a member of the NCAA-Great Lakes Valley Conference Council of Presidents.

Midwest BankCentre is St. Louis’ second-largest locally owned bank with assets exceeding $2 billion and deposits of $1.4 billion. A mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, the bank employs a staff of about 280 working at 17 bank locations in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles counties. It works to empower people, enable business and energize neighborhoods through the strength of its financial services, including personalized consumer and business banking, business cash management, mortgage lending, home equity loans, financial planning and investments, insurance and digital banking.

The bank is a local leader in the St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition (formerly the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force) and its Bank-On Save-Up St. Louis initiative. Since 2001, Midwest BankCentre has consecutively achieved the Bauer Financial 5-Star Superior financial rating each quarter. It has been recognized for its success in bringing mainstream financial services to unbanked and underbanked citizens in the region and other diversity and inclusion contributions with the 2019 Community Commitment Award from the American Bankers Association Foundation and the 2018 National Community Bank Service Award from the Independent Community Bankers of America.

Partney joins BELOMAN Team

Dennis Partney

Bel-O Sales and Service of Belleville is pleased to announce the hire of Dennis Partney as the newest Sheet Metal Manager to team BELOMAN.  As of May 18th, 2020 Partney will be managing the sheet metal division, including estimating HVAC and architectural sheet metal.  After receiving his B.S. in mechanical engineering, he has spent nearly 35 years in the design, estimating, sales and management of sheet metal projects of all types and sizes. Partney will be a great addition to an establish Metro East business.

BELOMAN is a second-generation family owned HVAC, plumbing, indoor air quality and sheet metal business providing quality sales and service to the Metro East for 60 years.  Founded in 1959 by Paul and Leo Lugge with only four employees – today BELOMAN has grown to over 50 employees with a combined 1,249 years of experience.

Bill Smothers Joins Kwame Building Group as Chief Estimator

Bill Smothers

Bill Smothers has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. as Chief Estimator. His responsibilities include compiling project estimates in support of KWAME’s role as an owner’s representative.

Smothers brings 30 years of industry experience, including with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and The United States Department of Veterans Affairs. He completed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Management Program and is a member of the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE), Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the American Society of Cost Engineers (ASPCE). Smothers earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Tulane University.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. An employee-owned company, KWAME provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. For more information, visit www.kwamebuildinggroup.com or call (314) 862-5344.

Ameren Begins Upgrading 1.2M Electric Meters Throughout Missouri

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First installation at a Habitat for Humanity home in St. Charles, part of larger plan to build a smarter, stronger, cleaner energy grid for families and businesses

St. Charles residents will begin seeing utility crews in their neighborhoods as Ameren Missouri starts to upgrade electric smart meters. This is the first step in a multi-year project to upgrade 1.2 million electric meters and 130,000 gas modules throughout Ameren Missouri’s service territory.

“With a new smart meter, customers will get more precise energy use information to help them better understand how and when they use energy, which can help them use it more efficiently” said Jeff Esserman, director of the smart meter program at Ameren Missouri. “They will be able to choose from a range of expanded rate options, which will offer flexibility to pay less when using energy during off-peak hours, when demand for energy is lower.”

Upgraded smart meters also will improve reliability thanks to two-way communication between the updated grid and the new meters. This capability allows Ameren Missouri to “talk” to the meters and quickly identify if a location has lost power, pinpoint the problem, and fix it faster.

Ameren Missouri will install 120,000 smart meters throughout much of St. Charles County over the next several months, then expand upgrades into St. Louis City and other regions of the state. Customers will begin receiving notifications a few months in advance to inform them of their scheduled installation timeframe and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

A remodeled Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County home was the first St. Charles residence to receive an upgraded smart meter, preparing the family for a bright energy future. The upgraded meter will provide energy usage information they can use to shift their energy usage habits and potentially save on their bill.

“We work to build affordable and sustainable housing for our families, and look for ways to make them energy efficient to reduce homeowners’ monthly costs,” said Michelle Woods, Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County. “We appreciate that Ameren Missouri is thinking about how smart meters and other technologies can help customers manage their energy use better.”

“Our installers have Ameren Missouri ID badges and to keep everyone safe, they will practice social distancing measures,” said Esserman. “Since our crews will be working outside, you don’t need to worry about being present during the installation. It will take less than 20 minutes to switch your meter.”

Ameren Missouri expects to complete the installation of smart meters for all Missouri customers by 2025. More information about the smart meter installation and time of use plan options is available AmerenMissouri.com/SmartMeters.

Investing in Smart Energy

The new smart meters are part of Ameren Missouri’s Smart Energy Plan, which includes thousands of electric projects to prepare for the region’s future energy needs. The current five-year plan will invest $7.6 billion in continued grid modernization while building upon successes from the first year.

“We identified projects that will provide more reliable, affordable energy for our customers, and help reduce carbon emissions to benefit our environment,” said Marty Lyons, president at Ameren Missouri. “Through these efforts, we are building a cleaner, stronger energy grid that will serve our region’s changing energy needs for decades to come.”

Ameren Missouri’s Smart Energy Plan 2019 highlights:

• 900+ projects completed

• 9,000 new storm resilient utility poles installed

• 13 new or upgraded substations completed to serve growing communities and improve reliability

• 180+ smart switches installed, which can reduce an outage from hours to seconds by re-routing power.

• 30,000 hours of avoided outages in 2020 for customers with upgraded smart switches.

• $8 million in customer solar rebates allocated.

Learn more about Ameren Missouri’s smart energy initiatives at AmerenMissouri.com/SmartEnergyPlan.

About Ameren Missouri

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company’s electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri’s mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company’s service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.

Western Specialty Contractors Uses Special Skills and Care When Restoring Monuments and Memorials

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Monuments can be powerful, and even controversial, reminders of a person, place or event in history. When monuments start to show signs of wear-and-tear and weather damage and need to be restored to their original conditions, or new monuments need the expertise of a specialty contractor to construct, customers call Western Specialty Contractors.

Over the course of its 100+ year history, Western Specialty Contractors has worked on some of the nation’s most recognized monuments and memorials, such as the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C.; The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO; Staten Island September 11th Memorial in New York City, NY; World War II Veterans Memorial Globe in Springfield, IL; and the Lincoln Receiving Vault in Springfield, IL.

Whether the memorial or monument is made of stone, concrete or metal, they are all subject to weathering and damage over time. Through proper, routine maintenance, monuments and memorials can be returned to their original condition and protected from future damage.

In the case of graffiti, Western uses high-performance, environmentally friendly technology to safely and effectively remove spray paint and its shadows from concrete, brick and natural stone without damaging their delicate surfaces or changing their appearances.

“Each memorial project is unique and requires a special set of restoration skills and care. Repairing spalling and cracking concrete, installing appropriate waterproofing and treating rusting metal consistently will go a long way toward boosting a monument’s longevity. One aspect that remains consistent is Western’s dedication to respecting and maintaining the historical integrity and significance of the memorial or monument that has been entrusted to our care,” said Ben “Butch” Bishop, Jr., CEO of Western Specialty Contractors.

Staten Island September 11th Memorial in New York City, NY

In 2004, Western assisted in the design and installation of granite victim plaques for The Staten Island September 11th Memorial in New York City. The memorial, designed by architect Masayuki Sono and titled, “Postcards”, is constructed of two, 40-foot wing-like fiberglass walls, each with a 30-foot long window displaying the face profile and name of each victim.

Western was responsible for overseeing the selection and production of granite in Victoria, Brazil and Barrie, VT that would make up the 274 granite plaques. Each victim profile was designed by the architect and family members and downloaded to an electronic file that guided a waterjet machine over the granite to create each victim’s profile and name inscription. Western’s crew took great care in joining these special plaques to the memorial’s fiberglass walls. Over 3,000 family members and friends of the victims, city officials and a cast of devoted workers dedicated the memorial, which was awarded the New York Construction “Best of 2004 Annual Award.”

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO

Western Specialty Contractors completed a project in 2017 to restore and waterproof the roof of the Museum of Westward Expansion located underground beneath the iconic Gateway Arch on the St. Louis Riverfront.

After the concrete roof was exposed, Western crews identified and repaired any leaks, then installed a 2-ply Laurenco modified bitumen sheet waterproofing covered with WR Meadows PC2 protection board. An electronic leak detection system followed by a permanent leak detection grid system were installed over the protection board.

The next phase of the project involved waterproofing the 42,000 SF horizontal lid and 37,000 SF vertical walls of the museum addition. Additional waterproofing of the north and south museum entrances and each Arch leg was also completed. The museum was largely operational during construction and a lot of the time Western crews were working over occupied space. Western sequenced the removal of existing roofing material so that they could remove, clean and install new roofing material daily to keep the museum dry during construction.

World War II Veterans Memorial Globe in Springfield, IL

In 2015, Western Specialty Contractors was tasked with repairing and re-coating the World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial Globe in Springfield’s historic Oak Ridge Cemetery. The exterior of the concrete Globe was showing signs of wear, with cracking and spalling concrete evident near the top of the memorial where a previously applied protective coating was flaking off.

Western crews removed damaged areas and repaired them with a polymer-modified concrete repair mortar. The shapes of the continents and the Globe’s longitude and latitude lines were reformed and finished, under the watchful eye of the artist, to match the existing profile. Crews wet-abrasive blasted the Globe’s surface to remove any remaining coating and provide profiling for the new coating.

After the surface had dried, Western applied a Sherwin Williams Loxon Concrete Primer and two coats of ConFlex XL Elastomeric Coating in flat white to match the original color.

Restoration of President Abraham Lincoln Receiving Vault in Springfield, IL

In 2015, Western Specialty Contractors restored the historic receiving vault in Springfield, IL that once held the bodies of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln and his son, Willie. Constructed in the 1860s, the stone and marble vault had major deterioration due to decades of water penetration.

Western crews repaired the vault’s walls using a system of low cement ratio mortar and brick infill in areas where the brick had deteriorated away from the wall. After infilling the voids in the walls, Western applied a layer of low cement ratio mortar to the entire wall surface to create a smooth surface to accept the bentonite sheet waterproofing. Western used stone fabrication methods to repair two serpentine retaining walls that extended outward away from the vault entrance.

The restoration project was completed on May 1, 2015 in time for commemoration and funeral reenactment ceremonies marking the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s funeral.

Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool – Washington, D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool was constructed in 1923 following the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial. The pool is over a third of a mile long, 167 feet wide and 30 inches deep in the center. In 2004, Western waterproofed the pool, which had begun to leak, and cut-out and re-caulked joints with urethane grout and silicone sealants.

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. Western offers a nationwide network of expertise that building owners, engineers, architects and property managers can count on to develop cost-effective, corrective measures that can add years of useful life to a variety of structures including: industrial, commercial, healthcare, historic, educational and government buildings, parking structures and sports stadiums. Western is headquartered in St. Louis, MO with over 30 branch offices nationwide and employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.

Image above: President Abraham Lincoln Receiving Vault in Springfield, IL

The Salvation Army Welcomes New Divisional Commanders

in Associations/News

Lt. Colonels Robert and Collette Webster, currently serving as divisional leaders for the Indiana division, have been appointed as divisional leaders to the Midland Division serving Missouri and Southern Illinois.  Current Divisional Leaders, Lt. Colonels Dan and Dorene Jennings, are now assigned to lead The Salvation Army Northern Division serving Minnesota and North Dakota.

Lt. Colonel Robert Webster is a graduate of Asbury University with a degree in Physical Education and Recreation.  He also holds a Masters of Ministry Degree from Olivet Nazarene University.  Before becoming a Salvation Army officer, he worked as a Physical Education teacher for the Tampa, Florida Public School System, and as a Community Center and Recreation Director in Atlanta and Indianapolis.

Lt. Colonel Collette Webster is a graduate of Asbury University, where she majored in Physical Education with a minor in Psychology and was an all-state honoree in volleyball for the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.  She has continued her studies at Olivet Nazarene University and Trinity International University.

Lt. Colonels Webster brings 60 years of combined experience as officers and have held several pastoral appointments, including appointments in St. Louis, MO, New Albany, IN, and Port Huron, MI.  They have also provided leadership for The Salvation Army’s youth programming as the Divisional Youth Secretaries in the Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Division and as The Salvation Army’s Central Territorial Youth Secretaries.  They pioneered the work at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in South Bend, Indiana, with Lt. Colonel Bob as the Senior Officer (Executive Director) and Congregational Life Officer, and Lt. Colonel Collette as Officer for Youth and Program Development.

Also, Lt. Colonel Bob Webster has received several honors such as the Kiwanis International Robert P. Connelly Award for Heroism, Life Membership with the International Association of Fire Fighters, Founding Member of the Port Huron Police and Fire Chaplain Service, member of the New Albany, Indiana Fire Department Chaplain Service, member of the South Bend Police Department Chaplain Service and Teacher of the Month for the Hillsborough County Florida School System.

Lt. Colonel Bob Webster has also served as a Chaplain (CISM) at many major disasters around the country including; Hurricane Andrew, the Mississippi River floods in St. Louis, tornados in Kentucky and Indiana, plane crashes in Indiana and Iowa, and at the World Trade Center (Chaplain to the Fire Department of New York) and Hurricane Katrina (DMORT Chaplain).

Lt. Colonel Bob loves playing golf and woodworking, while Lt. Colonel Collette is an avid reader.  Each enjoys spending time with their grandchildren.

KAI Design Expands

in Companies/News
Michael Andresen

KAI Design proudly announces the hiring of Michael Andresen, AIA, CDT, LEED AP, as Project Manager.

As Project Manager, Andresen acts as the primary point of contact and the liaison between the owner/client and the design team on both public and private projects. He is responsible for the work quality, schedules and budget compliance for the project team.

He has 14 years of industry experience, having previously worked as a Project Manager for Vessel Architecture and Design in St. Louis and as an Architect at RDG Planning & Design in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Having Mike Andresen join our KAI Design team is a next growth plateau for our organization. He is a seasoned project manager with a wide range of project experience – including a particular emphasis with social infrastructure-driven markets such as community, education, healthcare and housing. Mike brings a well-rounded personal portfolio of solid business management, technical acumen and a passionate drive for design excellence. His alignment with KAI values, culture and mission are just terrific,” said KAI Managing Partner Brad Simmons, FAIA.

He is a Registered Architect with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), LEED AP with the U.S. Green Building Council and CDT with the Construction Specifications Institute.

Over the last four years, he has worked as a Project Manager on six new construction and renovation projects in St. Louis totally more than half a million square feet of planning, design and construction. Prior to relocating to Missouri, Andresen spent 10 years working in central Iowa where he managed the sustainable design process on over 3 million square feet of new construction, including certifying 30 LEED projects – 10 of which achieved LEED Platinum certification.

Andresen has a Bachelor of Architecture with a Minor in Entrepreneurial Studies from Iowa State University. Andresen and his wife live in Olivette with their son.

KAI Hires Ramona Nicula, PE LEED AP as Director of Electrical Engineering

Ramona Nicula

KAI Engineering is proud to announce the addition of Ramona Nicula, PE LEED AP as Director of Electrical Engineering of its St. Louis office.

In her new position, Nicula will lead electrical engineering project design, work planning, electrical discipline recruitment and staff development. She will provide project oversight of St. Louis-led projects and lead the overall quality control of the electrical department.

“Ramona is a home run hire and a truly welcome addition to our KAI Engineering team. She brings a passion and commitment to engineering design excellence and meshes well with our KAI mission, culture and values,” said KAI Managing Partner Brad Simmons, FAIA. “Ramona is a mature industry veteran that brings a wide range of project experience. As a seasoned group leader, she is well known in our industry, understands our seller-model and is a proven performer with alternative delivery.”

Nicula has had a successful 25-year career in the industry, having previously served as Vice President of EDM Inc. and Engineering Manager at PayneCrest Electric, both of St. Louis.

She earned her engineering degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Transylvania University in Romania and an M.B.A. from University of Missouri – St. Louis. She is a member of the Electrical Board of Missouri and Illinois and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, Maryland and California. She is also a LEED Accredited Professional through the U.S. Green Building Council.

When not working, Nicula enjoys skiing and biking. She resides in St. Louis with her husband and daughter.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. KAI Enterprises is comprised of four distinct business units—KAI Design, KAI Engineering, KAI Build and KAI 360 Construction Services. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

Kwame Foundation Cancels Annual Golf Tournament

in Companies/News

Fundraising continues for first-generation, college-bound students

Because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, The Kwame Foundation has canceled its 17th annual golf tournament, which raises tens of thousands of dollars each year for scholarships for first-generation, college-bound students. The Kwame Foundation, a 501c(3) organization, is fundraising online so they can continue to help students. Donations can be made at www.kwamefoundation.org/donate

Since 2003, the foundation has endowed over $1.5 million in scholarships and grants at over 12 different universities. Although the foundation serves students of all races, the primary focus is minority students who are bright, talented, high-achieving individuals but might not otherwise have an opportunity for higher education.

“While we are saddened to have to cancel our event, the needs of our college-bound students continue in significant ways. We are grateful to our loyal sponsors and volunteers who continue to donate their time and money to serve local students in need, including those who have been specifically impacted by the coronavirus,” said Kim Thompson, executive director of The Kwame Foundation.

Founded by Kim and Anthony (Tony) Thompson, CEO of Kwame Building Group, The Kwame Foundation provides young people an opportunity to learn, grow, and become professionals in their chosen careers. Programs include financial assistance and scholarships, educational mentorships, internship opportunities and training in careers consistent with those needed to compete in a changing environment.

The Kwame Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that creates opportunities for youth in underserved communities through mentorship and scholarships. Founded by Kim and Anthony (Tony) Thompson, CEO of Kwame Building Group, the Kwame Foundation develops a doorway of opportunity into the professional world through mentoring programs and scholarship opportunities. For more information on Kwame Foundation, visit www.kwamefoundation.org or call (314) 754-5619.

Landco Construction Launches Innovative “REMOTivate” Service to Upgrade Home Office Spaces

in Companies/News

As months of pandemic work-from-home arrangements start to show the strain, St. Louis-area commercial contractor Landco Construction has a solution: REMOTivate yourself and your employees with home office makeovers.

Landco President Linda Bernhard says its new service can help companies lean into an uncertain situation with improvements that keep employees motivated and efficient.

“It could be a long time before we get back to normal,” Bernhard said. “Everybody has people working from home — sitting at their dining room table or down in the basement surrounded by 2×4 studs and raw insulation. A proper home office can make them more productive.”

Landco specializes in constructing contemporary, effective and environmentally aware workspaces for many St. Louis companies and campuses, including several Fortune 200 organizations.

Bernhard says that when the coronavirus struck earlier this year, it quickly became clear that the shelter-in-place orders were putting many clients’ construction plans on indefinite hold. “They didn’t know how long they’d be keeping employees working remotely.”

So, her team came up with REMOTivate, a service it could offer to both employers and employees to improve the work environment for the remote workforce.

Landco’s bundled offerings bring home office functionality to work-from-home locales. They range from the very simple — a desk and chair — to more premium packages that could include a sit/stand desk, executive chair, acoustical panels, even light construction such as installing a privacy door. “We can make this package work for everybody,” Bernhard said.

Employers can offer it as a perk to their workers, maybe to help transition them to permanent remote work. “They may be looking at downsizing their campus, giving up some rental space to save on their rent.”

Employees may treat themselves in order to be more efficient and comfortable in their home offices — or may upgrade an employer’s offered renovation with extras of their own.

Landco is working with its partners, CI Select, Golterman & Sabo, Request Electric and Automated Data Solutions, to put together a menu of standardized offerings that can be ordered easily and delivered quickly. “We need products that are turnkey — that we can turn around in three to five days,” Bernhard said. Landco employees will observe stringent safety protocols, maintaining social distancing when they deliver and assemble the REMOTivate orders.

Bernhard said she’s spoken to both vendors and clients in the St. Louis area. “We’ve had a great response,” she said. “The excitement level is high.”

And it’s a service she believes will continue to be attractive to some clients, even when the initial COVID-19 crisis abates.

“What we’ve been encountering over the past few months has opened everybody’s eyes to a new way of working,” she said. “If employers can save rent, if employees can work from home, I do see a need continuing for this.”

For more information visit landco-construction.com.

Since 2001, Landco Construction has built astounding interior projects – and a strong reputation with clients for collaboration, consistency, and service. A Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), Landco is led by CEO Linda Bernhard and her talented, experienced team of projects managers and craftsman (and women). Her vision reflects the company’s founding vision: Service, above all else. It is why Landco has received multiple ASA Contractor of the Year awards, and why they’re consistently among the top construction companies in St. Louis. 

 

Pluton Biosciences First St. Louis-based Biotech Company Selected for Global Illumina Accelerator

in Companies/News

Pluton Biosciences is the first St. Louis-based biotech company to be chosen for Illumina Accelerator, a company creation engine started by San Diego-based, global DNA sequencing leader Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN). Illumina Accelerator partners with global entrepreneurs to build breakthrough genomics startups.

“Pluton is thrilled to be the first St. Louis-based biotech company to be chosen by Illumina Accelerator. The opportunity to build our company in San Francisco, a global center of the life sciences industry, is terrific, and to have an investment from Illumina, the world’s largest sequencing company, is even better,” said Pluton CEO Charlie Walch.

Pluton is a microbial testing and discovery research company dedicated to finding unique microbes to replace synthetic chemical applications in agriculture and pest control with eco-friendly natural products. Pluton uses Micromining®, its high-throughput microbial discovery platform, to identify and isolate novel bacteria, fungi, and viruses within months and not years, which dramatically improves R&D throughput for agtech companies and producers of pesticides.

Pluton’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Barry Goldman observed, “Access to Illumina’s sequencing resources enables Pluton to build a vast microbiome data library – a critical component of our Micromining platform. Joining Illumina Accelerator San Francisco Bay Area as part of the 11th funding cycle is a transformational opportunity for Pluton.”

During two six-month funding cycles per year, Illumina Accelerator provides the selected startups with access to seed investment, access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, as well as business guidance, genomics expertise, and fully operational lab space adjacent to Illumina’s campuses in Cambridge, UK or the San Francisco Bay Area.

Three companies comprise the inaugural funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, UK and four companies, which includes Pluton Biosciences, will join as part of the 11th funding cycle in the San Francisco Bay Area. Due to lockdowns and travel restrictions during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Illumina Accelerator kicked off both funding cycles digitally this month, bringing all seven startup companies together for the first time.

“We are proud to partner with Pluton in the 11th funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator San Francisco Bay Area,” said Amanda Cashin, Co-founder and Global Head of Illumina Accelerator. “Pluton’s experienced team and unique approach to harness the power of next generation DNA sequencing will uncover new microbial insights for environmental and plant health.”

Illumina Accelerator has partnered with First In Ventures to provide convertible notes for the incoming startups in the U.S. and U.K. Wing Venture Capital will continue their support in providing convertible notes in the U.S., and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority will support the companies in the U.K.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Pluton Biosciences researches and mines beneficial microbes in the soil for use in sustainable bioproducts across a variety of industries, including pesticide, agriculture, pharmaceutical, and bioremediation. Pluton’s Micromining platform targets new microbial solutions quickly and inexpensively, speeding the introduction of novel natural products through the research and development pipeline to market. For more information about Pluton Biosciences, visit www.plutonbio.com. 

Illumina Accelerator is the world’s first business accelerator focused solely on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry. It provides select startups with access to seed investment, business guidance, Illumina’s sequencing systems and reagents, and fully operational lab space in the San Francisco Bay Area or Cambridge, U.K. during each six-month funding cycle. Since launching in 2014, Illumina Accelerator has invested in 45 genomics startups from across the globe, which have collectively raised approximately $400 million in venture capital funding.

Helping to Create Virus-Resistant Spaces in Schools

in Companies/News

New Transira Window Solutions Cuts the Germs

The world changed overnight. Schools, businesses, restaurants, and other public settings closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Now these same places are preparing to re-open, with social distancing and safety measures in place.

Public and private K-12 schools are at the top of the list for concerns about re-opening. School administrators and facility managers are looking at new ways to keep students safe. A new breakthrough in window systems, Transira™ Prime Window Solutions, resolves several common problems faced by public buildings used for education, as well as government, commercial, retail, and healthcare.

Transira Prime Window Solutions encases a high-performance vertical shade within an insulated window, eliminating the possibility that allergens and airborne pathogens cling to the shade’s fabric. The window system can be locally controlled and simultaneously tied into the overall building management system. This offers teachers and school staff the ability to control visibility, light, and solar heat entering a room at the touch of the button.

WINCO Window Company, a St. Louis-based manufacturer of architectural aluminum windows, developed the Transira concept as a way to modernize and simplify daylighting. The Transira system was first used by the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada as a way to visually secure learning spaces in the event of an intruder on campus.

“The feedback that we’ve gotten from teachers and school district personnel has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Gantt Miller, LEED AP, part of the product development team at WINCO. “Since adding healthy daylight is as simple as pressing a button next to the light switch, they’ve found that rather than relying on artificial lighting, classrooms and student activities are more frequently illuminated by a warm glow of natural light.”

With more than 70,000 students in its school district, Washoe County has plans to build an additional 15 schools and has committed to including Transira Prime Window Solutions in the design. Now with Coronavirus causing concern for re-opening school districts, Transira Prime Window Solutions provides an additional benefit of cleanliness for the health and welfare of students and staff.

“Draperies and shades can hold onto disease-spreading microbes. Both are difficult and costly to sterilize. This is a risk we can eliminate entirely from the equation. Cleaning glass is far easier and safer than cleaning the soft surfaces of fabrics,” says Miller. Transira neutralizes this source of contamination while simultaneously reducing operating costs, harnessing daylighting, and dramatically streamlining and sanitizing the user interface for a school room’s lighting and privacy.

When not being operated locally by a teacher or school staff member, the Transira Prime Window Solutions can interface with a school’s existing Building Management System to help conserve energy and save money by reducing or allowing heat transfer depending on the current cooling or heating load of the building. “Basically, when the building needs heat, the window delivers. When the building needs to stay cool, the window blocks solar heat gain,” says Miller.

Building the shade into the window not only protects it from contamination but also from inadvertent damage from daily use. Shades, blinds, draperies and window coverings are one of the largest single maintenance expenditures. By putting the shade within the window, it is protected from handling while being controlled seamlessly with a wall keypad or BMS integration — convenient, efficient, and cost-effective.

Bundled Benefits Can Reduce Costs

Transira Prime Window Solutions can reduce energy bills because both the insulated window, glass coatings and interior shades all contribute to reducing costs. Security is improved because the shades can be quickly raised in case of a fire or lowered in case of an intruder. The windows are also engineered to prevent sound entering the building, creating a quieter school room for learning.

WINCO partnered with Somfy, the world leader in the automatic control of openings and closures in buildings to ensure the Transira Windows offer state-of-the-art functionality. “We needed a partner with a proven track record in automatic control, and Somfy was instrumental in navigating the fine details that went into this product,” says Miller.

A final benefit of having the shades built into the window is that the installation of Transira Prime Window Solutions cuts down on multiple trades, multiple vendors, project complexity, and extended timelines. Only one vendor is needed to spec, design and install Transira Prime Window Solutions.

WINCO also offers Transira Accessory Sash Window Solutions when a full window replacement is not necessary. This is a smart way to add energy and security upgrades to existing window systems. Transira Accessory Sash Window Solutions offers the convenience of built in shades that are controlled with BMS integration or local control.

To learn more about WINCO’s new Transira Prime Window Solutions and Transira Accessory Sash Window Solutions, visit www.wincowindow.com.

Founded in 1915, WINCO Window Company, based in St. Louis, provides full-service manufacturing of high-performance architectural and heavy commercial aluminum windows and doors nationally, for classic renovation and new construction. Visit www.wincowindow.com for more information.

For more than 50 years, Somfy engineers have designed quality products that both commercial and residential markets rely upon to motorize interior window coverings, awnings, rolling shutters, exterior solar screens and projection screens. Somfy motorization systems are easily integrated with security, HVAC and lighting systems providing total home or building automation.

White House Opposes $1.5 Trillion House Infrastructure Measure

in News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said Monday it opposes a $1.5 trillion proposal from congressional Democrats to boost U.S. infrastructure over the next decade, criticizing how it would pay for new spending.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is set to begin on Tuesday debating the measure, which includes a massive boost in spending on roads, bridges, public transit, rail, ports and airports as well as water systems, schools and broadband internet. A final vote is expected later this week.

“America’s infrastructure is in crisis,” House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, a Democrat, said. The country’s “roads, bridges, public transit, rail, airports, ports and water systems are badly outdated, causing stress and safety hazards for our citizens, strain on our economy, and an enormous toll on public health and our planet.”

The White House said it was “not a serious proposal,” saying it “significantly favored” urban areas over rural America and that the measure appeared to be “entirely debt-financed.”

Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize surface transportation spending. White House officials confirmed earlier that President Donald Trump is expected in the coming weeks to unveil his surface transportation spending plan.

Trump and Democratic leaders in April 2019 agreed to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure, but never hashed out how to pay for it. It appears increasingly unlikely Congress will pass any significant funding boost ahead of the November presidential election.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday opposed the Democratic bill, calling on lawmakers to take up a bipartisan measure approved by a Senate committee as a starting point. The “stakes are too high for yet another failure,” it said.

Congress abandoned largely requiring road users to pay for road repairs and has not hiked the federal gas tax since 1993. Since 2008, Congress has transferred about $141 billion in general revenues to the Highway Trust Fund.

To maintain existing spending, Congress will need to find $107 billion over five years; the House bill transfers $145.3 billion.

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