Concrete Association, Contractor Members Unite to Switch from Hard Hats to Helmets


The nation’s nonprofit association for cast-in-place concrete contractors is asking its members to set goals to accomplish a safety-specific transition from hard hats to helmets to prevent traumatic brain injuries and deaths on the jobsite.

Bev Garnant, executive director of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, says momentum is gaining across the U.S. to replace traditional hard hats with helmets equipped with chin straps and extruded foam to protect construction workers more effectively from falls. Helmets for construction workers is one of the ASCC’s core initiatives.

“The ASCC has established an overall goal to realize the transition of 75 percent of our member companies’ jobsite workers from hard hats to helmets by 2023,” Garnant said. “This is an ambitious goal, but we feel it’s doable. Several major general contractors are already making the switch.”

St. Louis-based Concrete Strategies – a Clayco subsidiary – is preparing to embark on a pilot effort at one jobsite, outfitting the field crew with helmets. Concrete Strategies Safety Director Joe Rock says construction helmets are considerably more expensive than hard hats, but with safety paramount, it’s where the industry needs to head.

“In any type of fall event, the traditional hard hat comes off a worker’s head,” Rock said. “The most progressive, forward-thinking construction industry partners are headed in the direction of helmets over hard hats. Our company is always going to be pushing the envelope in seeking out, testing and trying any resources and practices that ensure our workers return home safely to their families every day.”

Perception in the field that a helmet is less comfortable and heat resistant than a hard hat, Rock adds, is one that must be overcome to gain buy-in on the hats-to-helmets transition from those in the field. Concrete Strategies performed research on helmets and ordered a half dozen for field workers to try. From that input, two finalist helmet models were ordered. The project for which field crew are sporting the new head gear begins this spring. Rock and Garnant say the construction helmets closely resemble a bicycle helmet.

“OSHA regulations still specify hard hats as approved head gear,” Garnant said, “but we truly think that over the next two to three years that will change to helmets. Hard hats are built to protect workers when protect materials striking their heads, but hard hats are not equipped to protect workers who fall. Helmets reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injuries and deaths. When we think of productivity on a jobsite, we may not necessarily think of safety. But safety has a huge impact on productivity.”

Clayco Expands its Communication Marketing Efforts with New Chief Communications Officer

Jessica Herrala

Clayco, a full-service turnkey real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm, announced today the expansion of their communication and marketing team with the hiring of Jessica Herrala as Chief Communications Officer.

Herrala is responsible for managing the Clayco brand, communications, public affairs and sales support for the entire Clayco enterprise, including all subsidiaries. Jessica is a 20-plus year veteran of the architecture, engineering, construction and development industry in senior level communications, marketing, strategy and public affairs roles.

“We want our communications efforts to catch up with the tremendous growth we have experienced in the last five years and it’s important to assemble a leadership team that exemplifies the values that helped make Clayco what it is today,” said CEO Bob Clark. “Jessica is an example of our commitment to employ the best and brightest in our industry.”

Joining Herrala to support critical business lines of the Clayco enterprise: Mia Sissac is the new Director of Communications for CRG, Oliver Muenz-Winkler is the Director of Communications for the Clayco Industrial Business Unit and Shelby Kroeger is the Director of Communications and Marketing for the architecture and engineering practice, which includes BatesForum and the recently acquired Lamar Johnson Collaborative.

Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering and construction firm that delivers clients across North America the highest quality solutions on time, on budget, and above and beyond expectations. For more information visit<>.

CRG is Clayco’s private real estate development firm that acquires, develops, and operates real estate assets. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Newport Beach and Philadelphia, the CRG team has developed more than 5,000 acres of land and delivered over 160 million square feet of commercial, industrial, and multi-family assets exceeding $9 billion in value. For more information visit

BatesForum is a full-service design and technology firm founded on the principle of creating a single forum that would bring together all of the capabilities of the master builder in a collaborative, creative, and inclusive process. For more information visit<>.

Lamar Johnson Collaborative was founded in August of 2017 when entrepreneurs Lamar and Lisa Johnson had an idea to bring together the best people they’d worked with in the architecture industry to create a firm that offers broad expertise with the intention of better serving clients. For more information visit<>

CRG and Clayco to Develop, Design and Build Pfizer R&D & Process Development Facility


$250 million investment expected to bring quality jobs to the St. Louis region,increase R&D capabilities

CRG is providing turnkey build-to-suit services to complete the new BioPlace for Pfizer<> in Chesterfield, Missouri. CRG is collaborating with Clayco<>, the design-builder on the project, for this world-class office and laboratory space.  As one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, Pfizer has entrusted CRG and Clayco to deliver a facility that reflects its highest standards for excellence, quality, safety and value.

The dual-purpose structure will be comprised of 285,000 square feet of laboratory and office space. The design partnership of Forum Studio and Ewing Cole merged the expertise and talents of both firms where the unique combination of both research and development labs combined with office and meeting spaces creates one of the most progressive facilities in the pharma industry. The architecture, landscape design, engineering, interior and lab/process was also designed by Forum and EwingCole.

The new campus will be owned by Pfizer and will bring together more than 450 employees who currently work at multiple locations that the company leases in the St. Louis area. Pfizer expects to hire an additional 80 employees over the coming years to support research at the site. Construction is expected to be complete by mid-2019.

“Our team came together quickly; the great chemistry was easy to see and the results we’re achieving are proof that true integration within a develop-design-build project can outshine more traditional methods of delivery,” said Kirk Warden, Clayco executive vice president and partner. “The collaboration between developers, designers, builders, engineers and the many owner groups is leading to a state-of-the-art facility that will offer the St. Louis Pfizer family a spacious and collaborative environment with great views into the surrounding wooded property and plenty of daylight reaching every interior space.”

Representatives from Clayco, alongside Pfizer officials and local dignitaries, broke ground on the project June 27, 2017. When complete, the facility will provide approximately 285,000 square feet of R&D space to house Pfizer’s BioTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences group and enabling partners. New state-of-the-art features of the campus will include a floor plan that provides flexible laboratory layouts, scientific casework and utility hookups, open office and collaboration spaces and increased conferencing technologies where researchers can collaborate. Renderings of the new site can be found here<>.