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HOK / PLP Architecture-Designed Francis Crick Institute Recognized As “Lab of the Year”

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The St. Louis and London offices of HOK are part of a design team that helped one of Europe’s largest biomedical translational research centers earn R&D Magazine’s 2017 Laboratory of the Year. The Francis Crick Institute, which opened last year in central London, was saluted by the research and development trade publication. HOK, led by the firm’s London and St. Louis practice, served as architect and ‎lead designer responsible for the institute’s overall design concept, lab planning, interior design and landscape architecture. PLP Architecture collaborated with HOK, leading the project through planning and shaping the building’s distinctive form and striking architectural expression.

Named after the scientist who helped discover the structure of DNA, the Francis Crick Institute represents a paradigm shift for biomedical research in the UK and the global research community. The 980,000-sq.-ft. building is home to a landmark partnership between the UK’s three largest funders of biomedical research—the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust—and three of its leading universities: University College London, Imperial College London and King’s College London.

“More than just sharing a building, these organizations have partnered as a diverse community of researchers working together in interdisciplinary teams,” said Bill Odell, FAIA, LEED AP, HOK’s firm-wide director of Science + Technology based in St. Louis.

The design encourages collaboration and interaction among multidisciplinary Crick researchers including biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians. The facility is divided into four lab neighborhoods connected by two atria that bring daylight into all of the labs and other spaces. The atria cross at the center of the building to create a hub with break areas, informal collaboration space, a large central stair and a concierge serving the entire floor.

“One of the Crick’s strategic priorities—‘pursue discovery without boundaries’—emphasizes the importance of its workplace environment,” said Odell. “Its researchers are encouraged to explore their scientific curiosities, with almost no idea being off limits.”

Glass walls allow for views into labs, promoting transparency and openness. Unless specific functions require closed walls, lab neighborhoods are open to encourage interaction. Walkways and informal meeting areas crisscross the main atrium and connect neighborhoods.

Designed with flexibility, lab neighborhoods can support rapid reconfiguration as research programs change. A centralized service distribution system enables a kit-of-parts approach in which predetermined components can be plugged into service spines in different combinations.

Now in its 51st year, the Laboratory of the Year Awards recognize excellence in research laboratory design, planning and construction. Judging of the annual international competition was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of laboratory architects, engineers, equipment manufacturers, researchers and the editors of R&D Magazine and Laboratory Design. A complete profile of the Francis Crick Institute is in the May/June 2017 issues of R&D Magazine and Laboratory Design. More about the award can be found at this link.

 

About HOK

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

Emerging Flooring Technologies

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As time marches on, new technologies, processes and techniques shape the way commercial flooring contractors operate. From lean construction and the prefabrication of materials to the increased demand for LVT and design involvement, things are changing to improve quality, reduce installation time and promote best-value decisions.

Lean construction

The biggest change in the commercial flooring world is the push toward lean construction. This method of construction management has been passed around since the early 1990s, but has been utilized most often in the past few years. Lean construction is a mindset that seeks to minimize the waste of materials, time and effort. This can only be achieved through the participation of all project participants – the contractors, owner, end-user, managers, etc. These participants from various industries, under a variety of roles, work together instead of in isolated groups.

Under traditional construction management approaches, each contractor’s crew worked in isolation, lacking communication with the other projects. Instead, the general contractor and sub-contractors for plumbing, electrical, flooring, etc., all meet regularly to determine where everyone is on their projects, how those timelines may affect everyone else’s projects and what tasks need to be done to ensure goals are met. The projects are mapped out every morning, that way no one is butting heads. Additionally, it keeps accountability high.

Another part of lean construction is a new method for scheduling projects. Traditionally, projects were scheduled from the start date forward. Now, under what is called the Last Planner System, projects are scheduled from the end date through the start date. Scheduling a project this way allow contractors to work out issues in advance and know when things need to be done to stay on time. This is maintained through biweekly regroupings to review the schedule and stay on track.

Prefabrication of materials

An important change in the commercial flooring world is the prefabrication of flooring materials. By knowing the dimensions of the upcoming project, flooring contractors are cutting the flooring materials to fit beforehand instead of traditionally doing it on site. These prefabricated materials are then stored in the contractor’s warehouse until the project is ready to begin.

By employing the prefabrication of materials method, flooring contractors are able to keep the project’s job site clean and free of unnecessary debris while also greatly reducing the amount of time spent on site during the installation process.

Continued demand for LVT floors

Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are not new to the commercial flooring world. What is new is the increasing demand for them and explosion of LVT manufacturers. With more LVT manufacturers comes a reduction in price and an increase in available aesthetics. LVT now comes in a huge range of prices due to a vast array of quality and design options.

The drive for LVT demand is the desire for low-maintenance, high-durability flooring options. With LVT, there is no waxing and stripping. Instead, simple cleaning methods are all that is needed for floor maintenance.

Design involvement

As part of the change in the way flooring contractors operate, there is a recent push by flooring contactors to get involved in the design aspect of a project. Designers, architects and engineers have usually mapped out a project before a flooring contractor is even contacted. Often times they have chosen materials that don’t match with the design or are not suited for the application.

Relying on the expertise of a flooring contractor helps find the balance between aesthetics, functionality, durability and costs. It’s referred to as value-engineering and flooring contractors are implementing it on projects across the nation. While value-engineering isn’t necessarily new, it’s use for flooring projects is increasing.

These methods, practices and materials are emerging more and more in the commercial flooring industry. Each one is having a profound impact on the way flooring contractors approach and complete a project.

This article was originally published on the Spectra Contract Flooring learning center.

American Society of Concrete Contractors to Hold 16th Annual Conference in Phoenix this September

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The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), St. Louis, MO, will hold its sixteenth Annual Conference September 14-17, 2017 at the Arizona Grand Resort, Phoenix, AZ.  Concrete contractors, manufacturers, designers and other industry professionals will gather for three days of educational events and networking.

Industry experts including Brad Humphrey, Pinnacle Development Group; Ian Blair, The Blair Group; Amy Lynch, Generational Edge; Chris Sullivan, Chem Systems; and Kim Basham, KB Engineering, will offer seminars on critical industry topics.

Seminar tracks include Tech, Business Management, Business Field Level, Decorative and Polished Concrete and Safety.

Seminar topics include “Use Science – Not Luck (to Minimize Floor Cracking)”, “Polished Concrete Maintenance”, “Navigating Your Construction Contract”, “Winning The War on Attitude”, and “Death on the Job”.

Attendees can take advantage of the ACI Flatwork Finisher Certification class and exam which will be offered September 14.

Additional opportunities include a golf tournament, kart racing, Phoenix Art Museum tour, and a visit to an Arabian horse ranch.

The ASCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of those who build with concrete, and to providing them with a unified voice in the construction industry.  Members include concrete contracting firms, manufacturers, suppliers and others interested in the concrete industry, such as architects, specifiers and distributors.  There are approximately 725 member companies in the United States and 15 foreign countries.  For more information visit the website at www.ascconline.org or call (866) 788-2722.

Tenth Annual Decorative Concrete Awards

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The Decorative Concrete Council, (DCC), a specialty council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), St. Louis, in partnership with Concrete Construction magazine, announces its tenth annual Decorative Concrete Awards.  The competition is open to DCC members and non-members.

Entries are invited in the following categories:  overlays, cast-in-place stamped and special finishes, stained, polished concrete, polished overlays, countertops, vertical application, concrete artistry, multiple applications, architectural concrete, decorative environmental, and project video.  With the exception of countertops, two awards may be given in each category, for projects 5,000 SF and less, and projects over 5,000 SF.  Submittals are judged on craftsmanship, aesthetics, functionality and creativity.

The deadline for submittal is September 30, 2017.  The awards will be presented at the World of Concrete 2018.  For more information, or to enter go to www.ascconline.org or call 1-866-788-2722.

The ASCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of those who build with concrete, and to providing them a unified voice in the construction industry.  Members include concrete contracting firms, manufacturers, suppliers and others interested in the concrete industry such as architects, specifiers and distributors.  There are approximately 725 member companies in the United States and 15 foreign countries.  For more information visit the web site at www.ascconline.org or call 866-788-2722.

 

TAO + LEE Associates, Inc., Becomes First Mosaic Ambassador Architecture Company

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St. Louis Mosaic Project is pleased with the addition of its recent two Mosaic Ambassador Companies in the Architecture industry. TAO + LEE is the first Mosaic Ambassador Architecture Company to be joining, followed by Trivers Associates. Based in St. Louis and founded in 1995, TAO + LEE provides architectural, planning, interiors and creative design services. The founders and principals and longtime Mosaic Ambassadors, Peter Tao and Helen Lee, modeled the firm based on their extensive global experiences with projects located both domestically and internationally.

TAO + LEE has been tremendously involved in the St. Louis community. The firm recently led an effort to improve health and wellness as well as inclusion at the St. Louis Public School’s Nahed Chapman New American Academy. This is a transitional school for 500+ new immigrants and refugee children who come from different countries and speak different languages. Nahed Chapman New American Academy is one of thirty three Mosaic Ambassador Schools. In partnership with the construction industry in St. Louis, TAO + LEE envisioned, then co-led a tremendous project to create a new soccer field and social gathering space, at Nahed Chapman New American Academy as a means to build bridges for the students through sports. This was dedicated in 2016.

The firm continues to support a variety of causes and initiatives focused on immigrants and refugees, including the St. Louis Mosaic Project, where Mr. Tao is a member of the Steering Committee, the International Institute and Welcoming America. TAO + LEE will continue to mentor professionals from the international community. Mr. Tao and Ms. Lee have participated in mentorship programs such as the OCA St. Louis MAAP Program; Ms. Lee’s recent efforts helped connect an individual with employment at Caleres. The firm has stepped forward in its role in international student retention by hiring an international student with a STEM degree and will continue to mentor international students. In addition to professionals and international students, TAO + LEE will also continue to support cultural and international affinity groups.

TAO + LEE has been widely recognized for engagement efforts in the City of St. Louis and the greater St. Louis community with regards to Diversity and Inclusion. Recognitions include Business of the Year Award, Asian Business of the Year, Diverse Business Leader and has also been featured in the book Who’s Who Diversity in Color. TAO + LEE is an active sponsor of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis (AACC) and Organization of Chinese-Americans-Asian Pacific American Advocates (OCA St. Louis).

The St. Louis Mosaic Project was launched in 2012 in response to an economic impact report that showed St. Louis was lagging in immigrant growth and highlighted the potential economic benefits of increasing its foreign-born population. The Mosaic Project is a regional initiative that is professionally managed by St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, World Trade Center and a 27-member committee. Its goal is to transform St. Louis into the fastest growing major metropolitan area for immigration by 2020 and promote regional prosperity through immigration and innovation. Learn more at www.stlmosaicproject.org.

TAO + LEE Associates, Inc. is an award winning St. Louis based design firm providing Architectural, Planning, Interiors, and Creative Design services for a diversity of project types, sizes & applications. The firm has extensive experience in the planning, design and execution of Commercial, Cultural and Educational, Residential, Restaurants and Retail, as well as variety of other project types, which include Healthcare, Industrial, Sports-Recreation, as well as unique Creative Design projects (including Art Projects and Installations). 

Hager Companies Announces Regional Sales Additions

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Resources will support growth in access control and architectural design markets

Hager Companies<http://www.hagerco.com/>, a leading U.S. manufacturer of commercial and residential door hardware products, announces the addition of 10 direct and independent sales representatives to better support the company’s current customer base and new product lines, as well as the access control and architectural design communities.

“As Hager grows into new and more sophisticated product categories, we are dedicated to adding strategic resources in order to provide our customers with opportunities to supply Hager’s full line of electronic access control and mechanical hardware solutions,” said Eric Rose, Vice President of U.S. Sales for Hager Companies.

Hager has made significant strides in the access control market, most notably the recent alliance with SALTO Systems and introduction of the Hager powered by SALTO HS4 product line. The additions of technical and specification writing roles to the company, as well as distributor representatives, will further provide its channel partners with a single solution for access control and mechanical hardware needs.

Hager’s full-line of architectural hardware is creating more demand within the architectural community. With the additions of architectural specification consultants, Hager will work on supporting the specification and design community by raising awareness of available specification services and solutions to meet the form, fit, function and budget of all building types.

“As more architects turn to Hager for its specification consultation and writing capabilities, it’s important to raise awareness of available options and to ensure that specifications for both public and private partnerships are meeting the needs of the owner and code requirements,” added Rose.

The recent additions of both independent and direct sales representatives will further support Hager’s operations in the following regions: Arizona, California, Tennessee, Maryland, Washington, Missouri, Ohio and Colorado.

About Hager Companies
Founded in 1849, St. Louis-based Hager Companies offers more than 6,000 full-line quality door hardware products under one brand name. With 12 product lines including, commercial hinges, residential hinges, Roton(r) continuous geared hinges, stainless steel continuous hinges, exit devices, locks, door controls, auxiliary, threshold and weatherstripping, sliding door hardware, access control products and Euroline our European hardware line. Hager focuses on architectural hardware that exceeds today’s building standards that are built to last. For additional information, visit www.hagerco.com<http://www.hagerco.com>.

ASA Midwest Council Hosts St. Louis Construction Showcase and BBQ

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Free event scheduled for May 24th in Queeny Park 

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council has assembled more than 60 companies to participate in its 5th Annual St. Louis Construction Showcase & BBQ on Wednesday, May 24th in Queeny Park.  The event is free for all to attend! Visit www.asamidwest.com for a full list of exhibitors scheduled to be in attendance.

The free event is open from 2:00-7:00 p.m., with judging of the BBQ competition to begin at 4:30 p.m.  Attendees will be able to visit with companies that represent all aspects of the St Louis construction industry, while enjoying some fantastic FREE BBQ samples and refreshments, provided by the exhibitors.

“The event provides a great chance for anyone in the construction industry to network and experience the latest & greatest in construction technology, software, equipment, tools and supplies,” said ASA Midwest Council president Amy Heeger. “We moved the event to May this year, and think the milder weather will lend to an even better experience for all of our exhibitors and attendees. We are looking forward to a great turnout, and are excited about the more than 60 companies already signed up to exhibit at the annual showcase.”

For more information about the FREE TO ATTEND ASA Construction Showcase & BBQ on May 24th at Queeny Park, visit  www.asamidwest.com/asa-midwest-council-events/?ee=160

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council is a construction trade association made up of quality specialty contractors and suppliers serving the construction industry and the community in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and southern Illinois. The ASA Midwest Council’s purpose is to improve the construction process through active participation in education, advocacy and cooperation. For more information about the ASA Midwest Council, visit www.asamidwest.com or contact executive director Susan Winkelmann at susan@asamidwest.com  
ASA has been Building. Community. for 50 years. Est. 1967

Flance Early Learning Center Receives 2017 AIA/HUD Secretary’s Award

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The Flance Early Learning Center has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a 2017 AIA/HUD Secretary’s Award in the Community-Informed Design category. The annual, national award recognizes just one project in each of four categories. This is the second HUD Secretary’s Award bestowed upon Trivers Associates in two years; 3010 Apartments was the recipient of the National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation in 2015. It is also the second AIA Award for the Flance Early Learning Center, which was recognized by AIA St. Louis with a Merit Award in the Architecture category.

The awards were presented at the American Institute of Architects Conference on Architecture, held April 27-29 in Orlando, Florida. Project Architect Emily Scanlon, AIA received the award, which recognizes design that supports physical communities as they rebuild social structures and relationships that may have been weakened by outmigration, disinvestment and the isolation of inner-city areas.

Located only one mile from the downtown core and built on the site of one of the last failed public housing high-rise structures in St. Louis, the Flance Early Learning Center aspires to proactively alter the course of one of the most impoverished zip codes in Missouri. This neighborhood has the lowest average household income in the City of St. Louis, the highest percentage of households living below the poverty line at 26%, as well as the highest number of children ages 0-5 living in poverty.

A community-based design was critical to the success of the Flance Center. With this in mind, seven community meetings were held with public and private partners. These meetings included key community and neighborhood leaders, volunteers, as well as Urban Strategies, McCormack Baron Salazar, staff from facility operator University City Children’s Center and Trivers Associates. Every effort was made to design a facility with extensive community input that addressed the needs of both the children and the neighborhood. The community room in the facility is the direct result of the recommendation of the community members who participated in the design process and is placed at the most accessible point in the building to facilitate community dialog.

The massing of the center allows the structure to “hug” the age-appropriate outdoor spaces. This provides an abstracted, organic-formed, tree-like façade which creates a shaded interstitial porch for each classroom’s direct outdoor access, critical to the pedagogy of the facility. Analogous to the dappling of light through a tree canopy, the use of perforated metal filters the light, shading the south and west facing glass further contributing to the facility’s pending LEED certification. The facility obtained a grant with MSD to create raingardens for parking lot run-off, an experiential natural playground, and two 2,500 gallon cisterns for water collection from the roof.

The interior utilizes a more sophisticated yet strategically playful color palate which fills the space with light and energy while allowing the building to remain a canvas for children to create and learn. To educate parents on the high-value of dietary nourishment for their children, a full-service and demonstration kitchen was given significant visibility emphasizing the importance of dietary health and dining.

This Center is just one piece of a complicated puzzle meant to alter an entire generation’s trajectory in one of the most challenged neighborhoods in the State. It starts early nurturing one child at a time.

For more information and to see the other recipients of this year’s awards, please click here.

Mosby Building Arts Wins 1 Chrysalis & 2 HBA Awards

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Multiple honors for the universal design and marketing efforts of the St. Louis design-build remodeling firm 

Mosby Building Arts has been honored with a national Chrysalis Award in the Residential Universal Design category, plus two awards from the Home Builders’ Association (HBA) of St. Louis for home remodeling marketing campaigns.

  • Chrysalis Award for Residential Universal Design
    The Chrysalis Award-winning project is a Kirkwood, MO master bathroom that easily accommodates the wife and her husband in a wheelchair. This nod marks the second time Mosby has won in the Residential Universal Design category (see the previous winner – an accessible kitchen), and underscores the remodeling firm’s commitment to making life easier for everyone of all capabilities.

Jake Spurgeon, the Mosby designer of the accessible bathroom, said, “We made the couple so happy with a handsome bathroom that caters to all of their needs and desires. To also earn a Chrysalis Award for our efforts is a nice bonus. We thank the Chrysalis Award judges for once again recognizing our accessibility remodeling efforts.”

See more photos of the award-winning accessible bathroom.

Continuing to set new standards of professionalism, the 2017 Chrysalis Awards program honored 80 remodeling companies from across the nation. The entries were judged on overall design, the creative use of space and materials, and the degree to which the project enhance the original structure. “Mosby has won 12 Chrysalis Awards in the past 16 years, demonstrating their ongoing commitment to professionalism and excellence,” says Ken Kanline, director of the Chrysalis program. All of the 2017 award-winning projects can be seen on the Chrysalis website beginning in late June.

  • Best Print Ad , Remodeler: St. Louis Blues 50thAnniversary Yearbook
  • Best Specialty Niche, Remodeler: Biliken Club elevator at Chaifetz Arena (pictured above)

Mosby Building Arts has been the trusted resource for home remodeling, design and architecture in Metro St. Louis for 70 years. 

Integrated Facility Services at Work on $10 Million Seismic Retrofit of Mechanical Systems at St. Louis Federal Building

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Integrated Facility Services (IFS) has begun work on a nearly $10 million ($9,818,910) HVAC, plumbing and fire protection renovation project at the Robert A. Young Federal Building in downtown St. Louis. The project is part of a $62 million design-build seismic retrofit of the historic 20-story building led by McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., the design-build contractor.

The 1.05 million-square-foot Robert A. Young Federal Building is located within 150 miles of the New Madrid fault, one of the largest known earthquake faults in North America. IFS is relocating, replacing and bracing mechanical systems, VAV boxes, HVAC ductwork, fire protection and plumbing to accommodate the new structural steel braces and seismic dampers being installed.

The Robert A. Young Federal Building, built in 1933, is owned and managed by the U.S. General Services Administration. The building is 98 percent occupied by nearly 40 federal agencies, with more than 3,000 workers. The design-build team is working to minimize disruption while renovating the building for enhanced safety during and after a potential seismic event. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2018.

Integrated Facility Services (IFS) is a full-service HVAC, plumbing, piping, fire protection and building automation firm with more than 270 professional and trade employees. 

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is one of the nation’s premier commercial construction companies. Founded in 1864, the firm is currently the 17th largest builder in America.

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