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Allsup Sponsors Conference and Free Screening of “Thank You for Your Service”

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Joins with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Southwest Illinois, and other organizations to support “No Family Left Behind”

Allsup, a nationwide provider of veteran’s disability appeals representation, invites the public to a free screening of the award-winning documentary, Thank You For Your Service, on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Faith Family Church, in Shiloh, Illinois.

Hosted by Operation Honor, the movie screening and panel discussion kick off the No Family Left Behind Behavioral Health Conference and Connection Fair, Nov. 11-12.

“Nearly 25 percent of suicides in Illinois and Missouri involve a veteran,” said Brian Russell, conference director and Iraq and Afghanistan veteran. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, three primary mental health concerns for veterans are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and traumatic brain injury.

“The need for an event like No Family Left Behind can’t be overstated,” said Russell. “As a community, we’ve got to show up, listen, and show our veterans they have not been forgotten.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), PTSD is the third most common service-connected disability among current VA disability recipients.

“PTSD can cause problems with trust, closeness and communication,” said Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Service® and VA-accredited Claims Agent Brett Buchanan. “Survivors may feel angry, detached, or worried in their relationships, and this can put enormous stress on families.”

Buchanan added that veterans often have medically complex issues. In addition to PTSD and other psychiatric conditions, they may have orthopedic conditions, cancers, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

“There has been a 200 percent increase over the last 10 years in original VA disability claims that contain eight or more medical issues,” said Buchanan. “These are not easy issues being decided. There are special laws and regulations for Gulf War illness, combat veterans, PTSD claims and total disability due to individual unemployability.”

No Family Left Behind is designed to help veterans and military families connect with resources to address these and other issues and improve their quality of life. The Connection Fair features local and national organizations that provide products and services to veterans and their families, including employment, mental health services, VA disability appeals, financial planning and more.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Mark Russell, founding director of the Institute for War Injuries and Social Justice of Antioch University, featured in Thank You for Your Service.

Conference registration is $10. To register, visit the website at OperationHonor.net or call (618) 277-0232.  Scholarships are available. Continuing education units are available for professional counselors and social workers.

Coordinate interviews with Dr. Russell, Brett Buchanan and Brian Russell by emailing Tai Prohaska at t.prohaska@allsupinc.com. Headshots are also available.

For more information on Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Service, visit Veterans.Allsup.com. 

Allsup and its subsidiaries provide nationwide Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, re-employment, exchange plan and Medicare services for individuals, their employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. Visit http://www.Allsup.com or connect with Allsup at http://www.facebook.com/allsupinc.

World’s First Operational 3D Printed Excavator Just Got One Step Closer to Reality

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For the past two years a conglomerate of trade associations, industry, government and academia have been collaborating on the world’s first operational 3D printed excavator. That project made a giant leap forward with the recent printing of a prototype that leveraged large-scale additive manufacturing technologies and further explores the feasibility of printing with metal alloys.

Known affectionately as Project AME (Additive Manufactured Excavator), the excavator is being 3D printed using various machines at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) to create and assemble three components: the cab, the boom, and a heat exchanger. The excavator’s boom will be fabricated using newly developed free-form additive manufacturing technique to print large-scale metal components.

3D printing an excavator for the first time has been a learning experience for both seasoned researchers and the next generation of engineers.

A student engineering team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign won a design competition and was on-hand at the MDF to watch their cab design take shape on the big area additive manufacturing machine – using carbon fiber-reinforced acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS, plastic.

Their reaction could only be described as pure joy.

“The reaction of the UIUC team was like watching kids on Christmas morning,” said John Rozum, IFPE show director. “They worked hundreds of hours on this project and it was incredible to see them finally get to watch the printing process and see their design in full size.”

The excavator is a collaboration between the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). This project was supported by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Advanced Manufacturing Office.

CCEFP academic partners – Georgia Tech (GT), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and University of Minnesota (UMN) – are leading the research activities for Project AME.  A GT research team is designing the additively-manufactured steel boom, stick and bucket. A UMN research team is responsible for the aluminum-powder bed 3D-printed oil cooler design.  The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing all processes required to 3D-print these excavator components.

“The project idea came about during a tour of ORNL in 2014, when members of the CCEFP saw the 3D-printed car,” said Eric Lanke, chief executive officer of NFPA. “Discussions ensued about what could make a similar splash for the fluid power and mobile equipment industry. Like many brainstorming sessions, one thing led to another and it was decided that a working excavator was a natural fit.”

Hicor Group to Handle First Phase of Renovations at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site in St. Louis

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Scott Joplin RagtimeThe Hicor Group will begin a series of updates to the Scott Joplin House and Rosebud Cafe in St. Louis next month. The project is the first phase of a long range historic renovation program being planned by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Upgrades to the buildings will include tuck-pointing, a new period correct cedar shake roof and metal coping along with a flat roof replacement.

CMT Roofing, Crossroads Roofing and McDonnell Building Sealants will work in conjunction with The Hicor Group as part of the project. Hicor will self-perform the demolition, carpentry and other miscellaneous repair work on the project. Work is scheduled for completion in November.

The Scott Joplin House is a Missouri State Historic Site and a National Historic Landmark that is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Located at 2658 Delmar, it is estimated to have been built during the Civil War and is typical of the tenant row houses built in the City during that period.  Scott Joplin lived there from 1901-1903.

“We are honored to be a part of the long range preservation of this historic gem in our community,” said Andrew Stafford, President of The Hicor Group.  “Our previous work, including the current renovation of a large historic house at 3201 Washington into our future company headquarters, will be invaluable to maintaining the historic accuracy and integrity of the Scott Joplin House.”

Stafford also said The Hicor Group looks to continue to build on the recent success they’ve enjoyed on state construction projects, including playing a significant role in the construction of Echo Bluff State Park. The $52 million project was completed in July and opened this summer as one of Missouri’s premier state parks.

The Hicor Group is a minority certified (MBE) General Contractor that specializes in commercial construction and historic preservation work.  The company also provides construction management, general contracting and carpentry services.  Founded in 2014, The Hicor Group is an SBA-certified Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Chameleon Integrated Services (Chameleon).

The Hicor Group’s office is currently located inside Chameleon’s headquarters at the Barnett on Washington building at 3207 Washington.  For more information on The Hicor Group, visit www.thehicorgroup.com.

S. M. Wilson to Build New Residence Independent Living Building at the Tallgrass Creek Community in Overland Park

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S. M. Wilson & Co. has been selected by Erickson Living to build 108 new independent living apartments at the Tallgrass Creek retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas. The location of the apartments will be in a new residence building, to be called Hummingbird Square. This will be an 110,000 square foot, four-story structure adjacent to a picturesque courtyard. A weatherproof enclosed walkway will connect the new building to the Audubon Clubhouse.

Other features of the new addition will include an underground parking garage for 74 cars and an adjacent surface lot with 65 parking spaces. A new turnaround will also be added at the main entrance of the campus.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in summer 2017.  S. M. Wilson will provide General Contracting services.  Architect for the project is Lantz-Boggio Architects.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis.  S. M. Wilson is one of the largest general construction and construction management firms in the St. Louis area.  The company posted $305 million in 2015 revenues, and ranks 220th in Engineering News-Record’s 2016 list of Top 400 commercial contractors nationwide. For more information, visit www.smwilson .com.

Missouri Earns “Most Improved” in Energy Efficiency

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Missouri is one of the three most improved states in the 10th annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said: “Missouri is proud to be among the most improved states for energy efficiency this year. Our state energy plan recognizes the vital role that energy efficiency plays in helping Missouri citizens and businesses manage their budgets. Going forward, Missouri will continue to work towards a more sustainable and secure energy future and create next-generation jobs in this fast-growing industry.” 

 

Two other states joined Missouri in the Most Improved category: Maine and Michigan.

 

“Governors, legislators, regulators, businesses, and citizens are increasingly recognizing that energy efficiency is a critical state resource that keeps money in the local economy,” said Steven Nadel, executive director, ACEEE. “The past year has been an exciting time for energy efficiency, with several states strengthening efficiency policies and programs. States are spurring efficiency investment through advancements in building energy codes, transportation planning, and leading by example in their own facilities and fleets. These investments reap large benefits, giving businesses, governments, and consumers more control over how and when they use energy.” 

 

The three “M” states still have a ways to go to reach the top, however. California and Massachusetts tied for first place. The balance of the top 10 consisted of Vermont (#3), Rhode Island (#4), Connecticut and New York (tied for #5), Oregon (#7), Washington state (#8), Maryland (#9), and Minnesota (#10).

 

The states most in need of improvement: Louisiana (#47); Kansas (#48); South Dakota (#49), Wyoming (#50), and North Dakota (#51). 


The 2016 ACEEE State Scorecard zeroes in on six policy areas in which states pursue energy efficiency: utility and public benefits programs and policies; transportation policies; building energy codes; combined heat and power (CHP) policies; state government–led initiatives around energy efficiency; and appliance and equipment standards. Here are the leaders in each category:

* Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont are the top states in utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies. A total of 26 states enforce and adequately fund energy savings targets to drive investments in utility-sector energy efficiency programs. The states with the most ambitious targets include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Arizona. New Hampshire is the most recent state to adopt energy savings goals for its utilities. 

* California, Massachusetts, and New York are out in front on energy-efficient transportation policies. California’s requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions have prompted several strategies for smart growth. Massachusetts promoted smart growth development in cities and municipalities through state-delivered financial incentives. New York is one of the few states in the nation to have a vehicle-miles-traveled reduction target. 

* Several states—including Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Washington—join California and Illinois in achieving top scores for building energy codes and compliance this year. A growing number of states have taken major steps toward the adoption of the most recent DOE-certified codes for both residential and commercial new construction. These include Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

* Massachusetts, Maryland, and California score highest for their combined heat and power policies.

* California, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Tennessee set the pace in state government-focused initiatives. 

* California continues to lead the nation in setting appliance standards, having adopted standards for more than 100 products. Within the past year, it became the first state to adopt standards for LEDs and small-diameter directional lamps, and it also updated its standards for HVAC air filters, fluorescent dimming ballasts, and heat pump water chilling packages.

States continue to be standouts in other regards when it comes to energy efficiency. New York posted an increase in electricity savings. Earlier in the year, the Empire State also completed major updates to its state building energy codes. Utah and Tennessee made similar gains thanks to updates to state building energy codes this year. Arkansas committed to extend its energy efficiency goals and gained points for state government-led policies, having recently closed its first commercial PACE project.

Weston Berg, research analyst and lead State Scorecard author, ACEEE, said: “Over the last 10 years, we have seen that many if not most innovative policies and programs that promote energy efficiency originate at the state level. As a cost-effective compliance option, efficiency is a valuable addition to any state’s policy toolkit, saving money, driving investment across all sectors of the economy, creating jobs, and reducing the environmental impact of energy use.”

Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, US Department of Energy (DOE), said: “States oversee many policies and programs that unlock efficiency’s many benefits—economic competitiveness, more jobs, an improved environment. The Scorecard shows states are diving deeper, pushing further, innovating, and making tremendous progress on efficiency.” 

METHODOLOGY

ACEEE allocated 50 possible points to states among policy areas: 20 points to utility and public benefits program and policy metrics; 10 points for transportation policies and programs; seven points to building energy codes; four points to improved CHP policies; seven points for state government-led initiatives; and two points going to state appliance and equipment standards. 

Policy information for The 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard reflects the state of play on energy efficiency as of the end of July 2016.

To download the full State Energy Efficiency Scorecard online visit: http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard. 

McGrath Completes Construction Of New Girl Scouts Science & Engineering Program Center

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GSA E. MO 2McGrath & Associates has completed construction on the expansion of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri headquarters at 2306 Ball Drive in Maryland Heights. The new Berges Family Girl Scouts Program Center houses programs that are focused on STEM careers, health and money management. Oculus Inc. was the architect. Landmark Contract Management was the owner’s representative.
McGrath constructed the 6,500-square-foot one-story facility in an existing space adjacent to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri headquarters. The new program center includes a robotics lab, science area, demonstration kitchen and program studio. Design features include suspended lighting, acoustical ceiling “clouds” and a glass feature wall.

“McGrath has been a tremendous partner in taking our ideas and working with us to bring them into fruition,” said Bonnie Barczykowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. “The result is more than a space, it’s an environment that will nurture girl leadership development for years to come.”

The Program Center is the first of its kind for the organization, according to Barczykowski. GSEM has more than 43,000 girl members and 15,000 adult members in St. Louis City and 28 surrounding counties.

McGrath & Associates is a 100 percent employee-owned general contractor and construction management firm specializing in commercial, health care, industrial, institutional and pharmaceutical construction projects since 1983. 

Wiegmann Associates begins HVAC work at The Sheridan Assisted Living Facilities

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Wiegmann Associates has begun work on The Sheridan Assisted Living facilities in Sunset Hills, Chesterfield and Creve Coeur. Wiegmann is the engineer of record and installing contractor for HVAC and Building Automation Systems, and is providing on-site project management for the Design/Build project. Senior Lifestyle Corporation, based in Chicago, is developing the projects, which have a combined completion value of $65 million.

Wiegmann is installing high-efficiency HVAC systems that reduce first cost and improve humidity control and sound levels while increasing usable interior space and reducing long-term maintenance costs. Wiegmann also is installing a Building Automation System in each facility. Wiegmann’s HVAC solutions will save $25,000 per year in energy costs across the three facilities as compared to the original design.

Construction has begun on all three facilities. The $17 million, 69,000-square-foot, 84-apartment The Sheridan at Laumeier Park in Sunset Hills and the $17 million, 42,000-square-foot, 53-apartment The Sheridan at Creve Coeur are scheduled for completion in early 2017. The $31 million, 84,000-square-foot, 91-apartment The Sheridan at Chesterfield is scheduled to open next summer.

The facilities combined will create more than 425 construction jobs and 295 permanent jobs. Brinkmann Constructors is the general contractor.

The projects are a joint venture of Bob Brinkmann, founder of Brinkmann Constructors, and Senior Lifestyle, operator of senior living facilities across the United States.

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. 

U-Haul to Remove Blight of Abandoned Auto Dealership for New Facility in Florissant

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U-Haul LogoU-Haul will soon begin construction on a three-story, 79,330-square-foot facility to serve the do-it-yourself mover and self-storage customer northwest of St. Louis.

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Florissant II at 1350 N. Lindbergh Blvd. will be operated remotely by U-Haul Moving & Storage of Florissant, located one-eighth of a mile east of the acquired site. A building erected in the 1960s that once housed a prominent auto dealership occupies the site, but it has been condemned and will soon be leveled after sitting vacant for more than eight years.

“U-Haul is happy to provide the Florissant community relief from a property that had become such an eyesore,” said Mike White, U-Haul Company of Missouri Northeast president. “When we’re finished, this neighborhood won’t have to worry about blight from a condemned building. There will be a beautiful self-storage facility in its place.”

When construction at the 3.63-acre property is done, the facility will include a U-Box warehouse in addition to indoor, climate-controlled self-storage with state-of-the-art security features. It will offer 24-hour accessibility for customer convenience.

“We only have 10 self-storage units at our current Florissant location,” White said. “Having this additional facility is going to provide a much-needed service. The members of this community are really excited for us to open. We have a ‘coming soon’ sign out and residents are already coming by to ask when we will start offering self-storage. Everyone is on board with what we’re doing.”

U-Haul is a proud sponsor of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. The Company is honoring Pearl Harbor survivors and World War II veterans by supporting the events in Oahu commemorating the Dec. 7, 1941 attack. Founded by a WWII Navy veteran and his wife, U-Haul makes veterans a focus of its charitable works and has been recognized repeatedly as one of the top veteran-friendly U.S. employers. Any Pearl Harbor survivors affiliated with U-Haul Team Members or neighborhood dealers are encouraged to contact U-Haul at publicrelations@uhaul.com.

IWR Honored with Two Craftsmanship Awards for Shriners Hospital for Children Project

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St. Louis-based building enclosure contractor recognized by CSI and AIA

St. Louis-based building enclosure contractor IWR North America, formerly IWR Building Systems, recently won the 2016 North Central Region Craftsmanship Award presented by the Construction Specification Institute (CSI) and The American Institute of Architects (AIA) St. Louis 2016 Design Award in the craftsmanship category for its work on the Shriners Hospital for Children.

The CSI award is presented to organizations for superior craftsmanship in the construction industry within the region in the person’s trade profession. Many organizations in the region recognize outstanding design, but very few emphasize craftsmanship.

The AIA Awards Program celebrates the best architectural designs in five categories:  unbuilt, interiors, architecture, drawings and craftsmanship. The winning project represented the finest standards in craftsmanship in the community.

“We are honored to have received such prestigious awards in today’s competitive and challenging construction environment,” said Todd Staley, general manager of IWR. “The on-the-ground labor force and team of Local 36 sheet metal workers, led by IWR Superintendent Mike Sheriff, are truly the ones who deserve these craftsmanship awards for installing the highly complex building envelope.”

The building exterior consists of 3,600 rotated square ACM metal panels that required precise craftsmanship due to the intricate geometric details of the building surface. The panel system has been engineered with a pressure-equalized rain screen design allowing for a drainage cavity behind the panels. To reassure the building owner that the enclosure would function properly, IWR became the only exterior contractor in St. Louis to be certified by the ABAA (Air Barrier Association of America) as a requirement to having a weather-resistant barrier installed.

“The detailed integration of all the exterior systems allowed this complicated curved and coplanar design to result in a high-performing façade,” said Matt Ford of Universe Corporation. “IWR’s precise installation resulted in a uniform, streamlined appearance of the building located directly off the interstate.”

IWR North America, formerly IWR Building Systems, is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. IWR is one of the longest standing specialty contractors in the United States focusing on total building envelope solutions.

IBEW St. Louis Convention Gives Back to the Gateway City

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IBEW 125 Anver LogoThe International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International Convention in St. Louis continues this week, providing a significant economic boost to the Gateway City. It is the third largest convention being held in St. Louis this year. St. Louis has hosted the international convention more than any other city – a record six times.

Hotels, restaurants, retailers, civic attractions and more are all benefiting from the estimated 4,000 delegates who began arriving Sept. 16, 2016 for the convention which concludes on Sept. 23, 2016. According the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission the convention is generating an economic impact of $7.9 million in direct spending. The St. Louis Business Journal earlier reported that a total of 22,815 hotel room nights would be reserved as a result of the convention.

One of the highlights kicking off the convention was a Sept. 15, 2016 ribbon cutting for the Henry Miller Museum in St. Louis where IBEW was foundeded 125 years ago as the first electrical union in the nation. In addition, there was a “Day of Service” where up to 400 IBEW members performed 26 community betterment projects in St. Louis.

The convention has included a “Gateway to St. Louis Introductory Tour,” shopping excursions throughout the St. Louis area, including St. Charles county, a tour of St. Louis’ historic homes, a concert and picnic and a visit to Ballpark Village. It also includes visits to other well-known attractions, including the Anheuser Busch Brewery, which IBEW has teamed with members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) to build and maintain over the years, and, of course, the iconic Ted Drewes.

Learn more about the convention at this link and see all of its contributions to the St. Louis area in this video.

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