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Area DRONE Company Aiding the Construction and Design Industries

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Drones - Overhead Const Site

Drones are making a huge and positive impact in many industries lately, and those of design and construction can reap the benefits, too. Drones, otherwise known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are versatile pieces of equipment used for gathering real-time, accurate, and high-resolution information about active constructions sites, those that are prospects, and are found very useful in early design phases, too.

Drones - BJC Fo ParkNathan Wambold, owner of OurFocus, a St. Louis area drone consulting and services provider, said, “Drones are the vehicles that allow everyone to see their sites in ways like never before.”

Acquiring data is just one part of the overall puzzle, however. “Drones are computers that fly,” Wambold said, and, like any computer, they require upgrading and maintenance. In addition, getting data is just one part of a process. “Once you have possession of the data, you have to know what to do with it,” he said.

Drones - Monk's Mound WireframeWambold, an experienced remote-controlled aircraft operator, a photographer, and a licensed architect, said drone technology “is capable of quite a lot, and everyone seems to want something different, but there are limitations, too.” A good drone provider will talk with the client to learn exactly what the client wants in order to determine the best platform and products to give them what best meets their need, he said.

BuildingPoint Mid-America Passes 1-Year Anniversary

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BuildingPoint Mid-America, a supplier of hardware and software solutions for Trimble’s Buildings Portfolio, just passed their one-year mark in business.  A joint venture between two St. Louis based companies, Seiler Instrument and Byrne Software Technologies, BuildingPoint has been focused on establishing relationships with local General Contractors, Construction Managers, and Subcontractors.  Their focus areas are:  Layout, Scanning, Estimating, Project Management, and VDC/BIM Services.  Since starting with three employees, they have since doubled in size to six employees. They are based in the Chesterfield Valley.

The Korte Company Begins Construction for V A Outpatient Facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana

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The Korte Company has begun construction on the design-build U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) clinic in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The 32,000 square foot LEED Silver Certified outpatient facility is expected to be completed in the spring of 2017.

The Lake Charles facility will offer services including internal medicine, psychiatry, and physical therapy.

The Korte Company, founded in 1958, is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with offices in Highland, Illinois; Norman, Oklahoma; and Las Vegas, Nevada.

SSM Health Unveils Plan for New $550 Million Academic Medical Center

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New SSM HospitalSSM Health has unveiled a Master Facility Plan for their new $550 million academic medical center in the City of St. Louis, a 316-bed, 802,000-square-foot replacement hospital and new outpatient care center for SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.

Developed in partnership between SSM Health and Saint Louis University, the Master Facility Plan establishes a footprint for the new hospital campus and facilities, including location, size, patient services, expanded parking and green space, along with areas for any future campus expansion.

The new complex will be located on the north side of the existing facility between Rutger and Lasalle Streets, adjacent to the hospital’s current location on Grand Avenue, with plans to better integrate the hospital with neighboring Saint Louis University School of Medicine and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. SSM Health continues to explore options for the current Desloge Tower, but no decisions have been made.

“This plan shows our commitment to the City of St. Louis and to an improved patient experience that supports our mission to provide exceptional care,” says Kate Becker, SLU Hospital president. “We will not only provide world-class health care for patients throughout the Midwest, but also ensure they are treated in a more comfortable healing environment.”

The new SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital includes all-private patient rooms, larger intensive care units and an expanded emergency department. To provide patients with more convenient options, the new outpatient care center will expand outpatient surgery services and provide additional clinical space for SLUCare physician practices. Dedicated educational space throughout the facility will allow Saint Louis University to better train future physicians and health practitioners.

“This state-of-the-art facility represents the health care of tomorrow and will benefit the entire region,” said Robert M. Heaney, M.D., SLUCare Physician Group CEO. “Most importantly, it ensures our patients have the best possible environment, one that incorporates the latest technology and best practices in patient care. In addition, our new facilities also will enhance the education of future medical and healthcare professionals, while strengthening medical research that leads to lifesaving treatments.”

Alberici Constructors, Inc. was selected as the project’s construction manager in April and is slated to break ground in the fall of 2017 with an estimated completion date of Sept. 1, 2020. The replacement hospital and outpatient care center is beyond the hospital improvements under way since SSM Health assumed ownership of SSM Health SLU Hospital last fall, including construction of a new radiation oncology facility.

Lawrence Group, in partnership with Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (HGA), began developing the project scope in January of this year, working from information provided by planning architects Frank Zilm and Associates, Inc. (FZA). Through meetings with key leaders from SSM Health SLU Hospital and SLUCare Physician Group last fall, FZA gained critical input and developed a defined project scope. The Master Facility Plan takes into consideration SLU Hospital’s medically-complex tertiary and quaternary services, such as its Level 1 trauma center, organ transplant program and outpatient bone marrow transplant program.

IFMA St.Louis Honors Members, Facility At National FM Day Celebration

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Members of the St. Louis Chapter of IFMA (International Facility Managers Association) gathered to recognize two industry members and the facility of the year. Held on Wednesday, June 15, at the Moonrise Hotel in the Delmar Loop, the awards were presented during the chapter’s celebration of National FM Day. Started in 2008, FM Day underscores the value and contributions of facility managers in St. Louis and around the nation who ensure that commercial buildings provide a safe, healthy and productive environment.

Award recipients were:

Distinguished Member Award: Michelle Hoff, Business Development Representative, Paragon Certified Restoration

Hoff was recognized for her contributions to IFMA St. Louis. She chaired the chapter’s recent annual Golf Classic. Additionally, she oversaw marketing for the area’s Industry Expo, which brings building owners, facility managers and suppliers together to discuss common issues and trends. Chapter members lauded her ability to collaborate and find new opportunities that benefit the facility management industry.

Achievement in Facility Management Award: Jacqueline Mattingly, FMP, Workplace Strategy Management, Monsanto

An 18-year veteran in developing and leading complex projects, Mattingly works with senior leadership to identify opportunities to increase performance. As a team leader at Monsanto, she has been an integral part of the global company’s improved service performance. This included launching a new software program earlier this year to streamline office allocations at the company’s St. Louis corporate campus. The new system allows the end user to review and follow all work orders, significantly reducing cycle time and improved service levels. The software also ties directly into Monsanto’s other operating systems.

Facility of the Year: Shriners Hospitals for Children – St. Louis

The new replacement hospital opened in June 2015 not far from its first St. Louis location. The 90,000-square-foot facility represents an extreme departure from a traditional 24/7 full-service hospital. It now operates primarily as an outpatient center with just 12 in-patient beds. Serving a nine-state region, many patients travel several hours to receive the hospital’s specialized care. Hotel-style guest rooms accommodate parents and their children for these visits. Its high-tech, high-touch design features brightly colored décor, interactive technology to engage all regardless of physical abilities, and an accessible playground for children with special needs.


IFMA St. Louis offers its members a learning and networking environment among its diverse membership, and supplies its members with the tools to achieve their professional goals.

Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA to the Rescue!

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On a dangerously sweltering day when much of downtown St. Louis was without power, the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA came to the rescue for an organization that specializes in rescuing stray animals.

It all began on June 16, 2016 after a massive outage left 2,100 Ameren Missouri customers without power downtown, including Stray Rescue of St. Louis.   The animal shelter nonprofit was desperate to find a way to protect 200 dogs in kennels from the rising temperature in its building at 2320 Pine St.  It reached out to the public and dozens of volunteers came by to foster the dogs in cooler spaces as work was underway to restore power.

“The public response was great, but we were at a loss on how to protect the remaining dogs in our shelter,” said Randy Grim, executive director of Stray Rescue.  “Then the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA stepped up and came to the rescue.”  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

The labor-management partnership donated a large commercial generator and the services to install it.  “The Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA is a great asset to the St. Louis community, providing not only great skills and safety to power our region, but also helping the community in times of need,” said Grim.  “We are so grateful for their generous donation.”

More information on Stray Rescue can be found at www.

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

Photo coutesy of the St. Louis Labor Tribune

Groundbreaking Ceremony set for City of O’Fallon’s Justice Center

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The City of O’Fallon will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for the O’Fallon Justice Center at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 10. The ceremony will take place at the site, which is located on the west side of Bryan Road, approximately one-quarter mile south of Veterans Memorial Parkway. The public is invited to attend. Limited parking is available at the site and at nearby businesses.

On April 7, 2015, 60 percent of O’Fallon voters approved a $28.6 million bond issue for the construction, furnishing and equipping of a new police station and municipal court building. When the 80,000+ square-foot facility opens in 2017, it will replace cramped quarters in the O’Fallon Municipal Centre for both the O’Fallon Police Department and O’Fallon’s Municipal Court, which is currently held in a meeting room.

“Our new state-of-the-art facility is designed to meet the needs of a modern police force and enable the City of O’Fallon to continue providing the highest level of service to its residents and businesses,” said O’Fallon’s Mayor, Bill Hennessy.  “The location is ideal for our new Police Station because of its proximity to Bryan Road, I-70, Mexico Road, and Route 364. It’s also close to the City’s historic downtown core, our retail centers along Highway K and Bryan, and the areas of much of our recent residential growth in the southern portions of the City. Our officers will have direct access to nearly every neighborhood in our City in a matter of minutes.”

The City has contracted with Wilson Estes Police Architects to design the new Justice Center and has hired McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. to manage the development of the project.

O’Fallon, Mo., is the seventh-largest city in the State of Missouri and the second-largest city in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. O’Fallon is home to more than 85,000 residents and 1,600 businesses.

OSHA: Biggest Risk Factor For Heat Deaths In The Workplace Is The Absence Of Acclimatization Programs

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The most common problem identified in heat-related deaths and illness of workers is the lack of a heat prevention and acclimatization programs by their employer, according to federal safety investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

With temperatures soaring well into the 90s and the 100s, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is reminding employers to  protect workers that may be exposed to extreme heat while working outdoors or in hot indoor environments.

Each year, thousands of workers suffer the effects of heat exposure and, in some cases, die as a result. In 2014 alone, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job.

“A review of heat related deaths revealed the majority of workers had just started the job, and frequently it was their first day on the job and the workers were not acclimated to the constant exposure to the heat and sun,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s Acting Regional Administrator in Kansas City, Missouri.  “Heat-related illnesses can be fatal and are preventable when employers take a few simple steps to ensure workers safety and health.  Those steps include acclimating workers to the hot environments, frequent water breaks, allowing ample time to rest, and providing shade.  OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool App is available to employers, employees and the public for free download on iPhones and Android phones.”

Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit.  “Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for construction employees working in these conditions,” Winingham said.

A common mistake is assuming that the worker is not at risk for heat stroke if they are still sweating.  “You can still be sweating and have heat stroke,” she said.  “A common symptom of heat stroke is mental changes, such as confusion or irritability.  Heat stroke is an emergency.  If there is any suggestion of heat stroke, call 911 and institute the other safety measures as quickly as possible.”

To learn more about heat stress symptoms see OSHA’s Heat Stress Quick Card

To prevent heat related illness and fatalities, OSHA offers the following safety tips:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Rest in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers.
  • “Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.

The risk of heat stress increases for workers 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications.

St. Louis Building Some of Nation’s Smallest Apartments

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Developers are shrinking the size of new apartments to accommodate the increasing demand for urban living. Research by RENTCafe has found that the average size of newly-built apartments fell eight percent in the last decade. In buildings with at least 50 units across the nation, the average size of new apartments – those completed in 2016 – is only 934 square feet, the smallest on record since 2006, when the average size of newly-built apartments was 1,015 square feet. Overall, the average size of a US apartment is currently 889 square feet, irrespective of when a property was built.


St. Louis is home to some of the smallest apartments in the country, with studios averaging 465 square feet, 1-bedrooms clocking in at 686 square feet, and 2-bedrooms spanning 941 square feet.


For many more data points and the full research, visit:


Roofing Company Goes Back to its Roots

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St. Louis-based RSS Roofing Services & Solutions has officially opened its new location in Evansville, IN. The 7,500-square-foot facility is located at 4117 N. Saint Joseph Avenue, with a 1.3-acre lot size capable of housing a large volume of project materials. Recently, the skilled workforce in the area completed a single ply reroof on more than 3 million square feet spanning across five buildings for the Department of Energy’s Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant  in Kentucky.

“With local roots in Evansville, this location was a natural choice as we looked to expand RSS’ capabilities,” said Walt Hatfield, president of MHS Legacy Group, RSS’ holding company.

An official grand opening ceremony with a ribbon cutting took place June 23rd. In attendance was Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, numerous Chamber of Commerce staff and ambassadors, and city officials.

Douglas Fuller takes on the role of superintendent at the Evansville location, alongside Bob Hollander, an experienced construction crew member for more than 25 years. Both Fuller and Hollander are residents in Evansville.

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