KAI Completes Construction of New ZOOM C-Store and GreenLeaf Market in North St. Louis City


Transformative projects first in massive NorthSide Regeneration development

KAI is helping to transform underserved north St. Louis City with the recent completion of a new ZOOM C-Store and GreenLeaf Market – one of many projects in St. Louis developer Paul McKee, Jr.’s massive NorthSide Regeneration development, a mixed-use community development that encompasses over 1,500 acres bordering downtown St. Louis.

An official ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the completion of both projects was held on April 1, 2019 at GreenLeaf Market. ZOOM and GreenLeaf Market are located across the street from each other at the corner of Tucker Boulevard and 13th Street. KAI provided pre-construction and general contracting services on both projects.

Construction of the 5,000-square-foot ZOOM was completed in October 2018, with the 20,000-square-foot GreenLeaf Market completed five months later. The total construction cost for both projects was $10 million. ZOOM and GreenLeaf Market are locally owned by St. Louis Grocery Group.

“The ZOOM and GreenLeaf projects will truly transform the NorthSide community through the creation of 72 new jobs and in providing healthy, affordable food options to residents in an area of St. Louis City that has been underserved for far too long,” said KAI Enterprises President Darren L. James. “KAI is passionate about making change in our communities with projects like these, and we are grateful to have been a part it.”

A first for the St. Louis area, ZOOM features a state-of-the-art, two-way solar panel system on the canopy over its gas pumps that is capable of producing 109,000 kWh of electricity annually – enough to power most of the gas station, convenience store and car wash. The ZOOM C-Store sells fresh, locally-sourced produce and other typical convenience store items, plus features a Go Café that sells freshly-prepared meals-on-the-go such as pizzas, sandwiches, salads and wraps.

GreenLeaf Market is one of the first grocery stores to be built in north St. Louis City since 1968 and features a state-of-the-art kitchen with an experienced on-site chef; a bakery; salad and hot food bar; deli, produce and meat departments; and customer service counter.

Both projects generated several construction jobs for local residents that exceeded the city’s minority participation requirements in terms of contractors and boots on the ground working. ZOOM and GreenLeaf also brought 72 part- and full-time jobs to the area.

Adam Jones, KAI Project Manager, said one of the biggest challenges on the project was securing enough minority workers on both projects to satisfy NorthSide Regeneration’s high expectations for minority participation.

“From the beginning, Paul McKee put an emphasis on business and minority participation on the projects. We held outreach meetings with minority-owned firms with the goal of obtaining above-standard participation, and hired from the surrounding community for boots on the ground. We wanted to set a precedence with minority participation on all these projects within NorthSide Regeneration,” said Jones.

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. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

KAI Announces Acquisition of Fratto Engineering, Inc. in Arlington, Texas


KAI has acquired woman-owned Fratto Engineering, Inc. based in Arlington, TX. Founded in 1997, Fratto Engineering specializes in Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineering and has more than 40 clients that include higher education institutions, hospital systems and healthcare centers, local municipalities, architectural firms, electrical contractors, general contractors and other institutions.

Fratto Engineering President Debbie Fratto said the KAI Enterprises family of companies was the perfect fit for the acquisition due to the companies’ shared philosophies and collaborative culture. The acquisition, she said, will give Fratto customers the unique advantage of having design and construction professionals in the same office to provide input and advice on project solutions.

“As we sought to transition to the next period of our lives and careers, we were looking for a firm that exhibited similar qualities in service to their clients as well as a familial culture with their team members,” Fratto said. “It was refreshing to find a firm that valued our approach, reputation and team members as much as we do. Our philosophy of ‘Build It Right and They Will Come Back’ is in line with KAI’s mission of ‘Transforming Communities Through Integrated Design and Construction Excellence.’ We believe in building relationships not only with our clients but also with the communities we serve.”

Under the acquisition agreement, Fratto Engineering’s staff will complete its current contractual commitments to its clients, with all new opportunities as of Feb. 1, 2019 moving forward as KAI Engineering, LLC. Fratto Engineering’s 12 employees will remain in the Arlington office, accompanied by a few engineers transferred from KAI’s Dallas, TX office.

Debbie Fratto and Fratto Engineering Principal Mark Fratto, P.E. will stay on in senior level roles in the Arlington office.

“I am excited to have Mark and Debbie Fratto join the KAI team,” said KAI Enterprises President Darren L. James. “As the acquisition of Fratto was announced, the two of them have been exceptional in their new roles. They are a joy to work with and their insight, knowledge and personal touch serves us well as we provide additional resources and experience to our growing client base.”

Examples of Fratto Engineering’s clients include Huguley Hospital, Angiel Electric, Davis Latham Construction, CADCO Architects, Callahan & Freeman Architects, MPI Architects, Peter Lewis Architect, Rabe Architects, REES, SBL Architecture, Tarrant County College District, VA Hospitals, JPS Hospital and Parkland Hospital.

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. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

KAI Celebrates Construction Milestone at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Teen Center of Excellence


Final steel beam hoisted into place at March 27 topping out ceremony

Local officials, stakeholders, residents, staff and representatives of General Contractor KAI celebrated a topping out ceremony on March 27 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Teen Center of Excellence currently under construction in Ferguson, MO. During the construction milestone, the final beam signed by donors, community partners, staff and others was hoisted high into its final position. The City of Ferguson and its Fire Department showed their support for the project by flying a large American flag from their ladder truck during the event.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis is excited to reach this milestone regarding the construction of our Teen Center of Excellence. The topping out ceremony gives us a chance to include our club members and supporters in this important community resource. It symbolizes the role and responsibility we all have to foster hope and opportunity for all children,” said Dr. Flint Fowler, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis.

According to KAI Senior Project Manager Jeremy Lammers, construction of the $12.4 million facility is on track to open in the Fall of 2019.

“Predominantly, topping out ceremonies are reserved for projects that hold significant meaning to the organization and, most importantly, to the community,” said Lammers. “Completing the steel for this building gets us one step closer to opening the new Teen Center of Excellence that will be serving the youth of Ferguson and its surrounding communities. KAI is excited to be a part of this project and helping transform this community.”

The Teen Center of Excellence, located at 9200 West Florissant, will offer afterschool and summer programs to youth ages 12-18 in the North St. Louis County area. One of the first of its kind in the country, the 26,856-square-foot, 3-level center will provide a safe place for area youth to gather and participate in a variety of activities. Designs for the facility include a nutrition education center, gym, teen lounge, outdoor garden, auditorium, music and art studio, office space, intellectual commons, innovation center, and outdoor basketball and activity court.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis has a 50-plus-year track record of success in the St. Louis region as a youth services provider and will implement nationally acclaimed programs at the new Teen Center similar to those offered in the 10 locations it presently operates (seven of which are located in North St. Louis County). Programming will include an emphasis on health and wellness (such as yoga, healthy habits, open gym), education and workforce development (such as college tours, ACT/SAT prep, tutoring), STEAM (such as coding, app creation, robotics) and leadership and civic engagement (such as fine and performing arts, community service, applied arts).

KAI is serving as the General Contractor on the project, and the architect is Arcturis of St. Louis, MO.

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 mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. For over 50 years, BGCSTL has been providing after-school, teen, sports and summer programs to youth in the St. Louis area while also providing a safe place for them to learn and grow.

KAI announces the appointment of Matt Westphal as President of KAI Design and KAI Engineering


CEO Michael Kennedy, Jr. announced in January that KAI had undergone a corporate restructuring as parent company KAI Enterprises with four new subsidiaries—KAI Design, KAI Engineering, KAI Build and KAI 360 Construction Services (KAI 360 CS)—each with its own president. Darren L. James, AIA, a shareholder with the firm since 2010, transitioned to President of KAI Enterprises, overseeing the holding company.

“Matt was an excellent candidate for this new position,” said James. “His previous work experience combined with his attention to detail and his strong leadership skills were exactly what we needed to lead the new KAI Design and KAI Engineering.”

Westphal is responsible for leading, managing and maintaining accountability for the KAI Design and KAI Engineering companies. To enhance KAI’s multi-office approach to executing work, Westphal will travel between offices in Atlanta, Dallas and St. Louis.

“I am thrilled to be appointed to this new dual position at KAI,” said Westphal. “This is an exciting time for the company, with the restructuring and the rebrand. I am really proud to be playing a key role in KAI’s efforts as they continue to grow.”

Planning, programming, and architectural and interior design services are now exclusively channeled through KAI Design. Under the new restructure, KAI Design will focus on providing design services at all KAI office locations throughout the U.S.

In addition to Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing & Fire Protection Engineering Design services, KAI Engineering is an industry leader in BIM technology, and its engineering professionals have decades of combined experience in project leadership, design execution and advanced engineering concepts on a wide variety of building types. Through the recent acquisition of Atlanta-based Dorsey Engineering, KAI expanded its reach, enabling greater opportunities in a prime engineering-focused role to owners, architects, federal and state government agencies, and design-build contractors nationwide.

Prior to joining KAI, Westphal was the President of Hospital Designers, Inc., a subsidiary of HBE. Over the past nine years, he successfully led a team of 100+ architects and engineers specializing in the design-build of healthcare projects across the United States.

“Matt brings a unique set of skills to KAI, including executive and project leadership, operational excellence and structural engineering experience,” said Michael Hein, AIA, PMP, COO of KAI Enterprises. “We are excited to have him as part of our team.”

Westphal has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with an Emphasis on Structures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.



KAI Interior Designer Asha Perez to Moderate Panel Discussion at Design Connections Industry Event


Award winning KAI Interior Designer Asha Perez has been selected to moderate a panel discussion Feb. 13 at the Design Connections event in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The 6th annual industry event brings leading suppliers together with the nation’s top architectural and design professionals for 2.5 days of networking and information sharing.

Perez will introduce and moderate general session presentation: “The Experienced Designer & Emerging Professional” scheduled for 8-9 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13. Participants in the panel discussion will include:

  • Michelle Clark, Senior Associate at Rees Associates
  • McKenzie Gamez, Interior Designer at Rees Associates
  • Patrick Burke, Principal at Michael Graves Architecture & Design
  • Austin Crowley, Architectural Designer at Michael Graves Architecture & Design

The panel discussion will focus on bringing together generations as a necessity for successful project design. Two design teams, including an experienced designer and an emerging professional, will discuss the importance and usage of mentor/mentee relationships within the field of design and architecture and within the context of each respective firm. Communicating effectively with an emerging professional while working to meet deadlines can be challenging even for the experienced mentor; the panel will share some of their most effective communication techniques.

Additional discussion topics will include the importance of technology for emerging professionals, balancing the need to learn and participate in the design process with more experienced design leadership, and ways to accomplish “knowledge share” across a design firm.

Additional panel discussion learning objectives:

  • Understand the need and benefit for mentor/mentee relationships.
  • Explore ways of educating both experienced and emerging professionals to benefit positive project outcomes.
  • Explore balancing technology knowledge with creative design process.
  • Share the most important reasons for successful knowledge sharing and breaking down silos.

Perez actively mentors to college students in her community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the ACE Mentor Program of St. Louis, an organization that helps young people in St. Louis City high schools learn about careers in architecture, engineering and construction.

“I am excited to be part of this particular panel discussion because I truly value and support mentorship,” said Perez. “Throughout my career as an interior designer, I have learned the most valuable information outside the classroom, where I have gained real-world knowledge and experience through the various mentors who I have been fortunate enough to work with. I also see the value in being able to pass my experiences on to others through mentoring. This panel discussion is invaluable for anyone in the design industry, from the novice to the seasoned professional, who wants to learn the ins and outs of mentoring.”

For more information about Design Connections, visit https://www.interiorsandsources.com/design-connections.

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. 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.

KAI Receives Design-Build Institute of America Award for Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being Project


KAI Design & Build proudly announces that its design-build team has received a Design-Build Institute of America – Mid-America Region (DBIA-MAR) 2018 Honor Award in the Commercial-Office Buildings category for the Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being in St. Louis, Missouri.

For more than 18 years, the DBIA-MAR has recognized excellence in design-build practices and informed the public of the breadth and value of design-build delivery through its annual awards program. An event honoring this year’s award winners was held on Nov. 15 in Kansas City, Missouri.

“I am proud to have had the opportunity to represent our team at the 2018 awards luncheon,” said Marcus Moomey, Director of Design-Build at KAI Design & Build. “The project leveraged the talents of the entire project team. The owner’s team dedicated the time to define and refine their needs related to the project budget, schedule and level of quality desired. The design team facilitated a process to define and distill the project scope to its core components and developed a solution that was fitting to its owner and its place in the city. The construction team leveraged the talents of our sub-contracting partners to find innovative solutions that aligned with our cost model and schedule requirements.”

KAI completed construction of the $8.5 million Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being in December 2017. The 21,272-square-foot facility at 1000 North Vandeventer in the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis City provides meeting and office space for child advocates, civic leaders and community organizers dedicated to enhancing the well-being of at-risk children.

Since time was of the essence on the project, as the Deaconess Foundation’s lease at its previous office space was set to expire on December 31, 2017, the organization chose to implement the project using the design-build delivery method with the added advantage of an interactive programming and design process provided by minority-owned KAI.

The Deaconess Center is the Foundation’s first new construction in almost two decades. The design and construction of the building reflects Deaconess’ religious legacy as well as its commitment to social causes by exceeding the city’s business diversity participation goals. The project achieved 36% Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and 3% Women Owned Business Enterprises (WBE) participation. Elizabeth Noonan, an economic development professional and United Church of Christ member, served as the Project Manager, and minority-owned Kwame Building Group was the Construction Manager.

With input from their talented sub-contractors and with an eye on the project schedule, budget and desired level of quality, KAI’s team selected tilt-up concrete construction for the building’s exterior façade.  Additionally, the team used vibrated aggregate piers to improve the urban soils and drastically reduce the owner’s site remediation cost and associated schedule impact.

The completed Deaconess Center provides meeting rooms, a chapel, and a large conference space for up to 125 people, as well as administrative offices for the Deaconess Foundation, Vision for Children at Risk, and Neighborhood Houses — a United Church of Christ ministry that supports low-income children and families of the inner core of St. Louis City. The facility’s design incorporates many elements that appeal to children such as bright colors, eye-catching artwork by artist and illustrator Cbabi Bayoc and garden spaces.

The Deaconess Center is expected to host more than 6,000 citizens a year in more than 250 meetings focused on children’s issues.

KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through client collaboration, the latest technology, proprietary processes and individual expertise. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.

KAI Assembles New Interior Design Team Backed by Over 60 Years of Combined Experience, Innovative Thinking

Interior design is an exciting, ever evolving industry that combines forward thinking, artistic expression and functionality. KAI proudly introduces its new Interior Design Team, an embodiment of all these important elements and backed by more than 60 years of combined experience.

Through its unique Visionary Process, KAI’s Interior Design Team works with clients to establish a trusting, working relationship, while encouraging an atmosphere of client input and vision. The team communicates their vision with the client through each design phase to ensure that the overall design meets the client’s expectations.

“What we have assembled is an impressive team of talented interior experts who have exhibited tremendous creativity and professionalism on a variety of interior design projects throughout their careers. From commercial, government and education projects to healthcare and housing, our Interior Design Team works side-by-side with clients to ensure that their design vision becomes a reality in their project,” said KAI President Michael B. Kennedy, Jr.

Meet KAI’s New Interior Design Team:

Senior Interior Designer Terry Crotty of Dardenne Prairie, MO. Terry comes to KAI with more than 30 years of industry experience. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS. Terry stresses the importance of an interior designer’s involvement in projects from the beginning programming phase through to the final punch list at the completion of construction. She believes it is essential to look at all interior spaces three dimensionally from the outset to achieve a cohesive design that really responds to a client’s vision.

Interiors Specialist Jasmine Martin of Plano, TX. Jasmine comes to KAI with two years of experience. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. Outside of work, Jasmine is driven by giving back to her local community. Jasmine says her passion for design is infectious. She always strives to balance her signature style and design sense with the client’s vision for the project.

Interiors Specialist Asha Perez of St. Charles, MO. A transplant from Miami, FL, Asha earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Maryville University in St. Louis, MO and was hired by KAI in 2014. Asha serves on the Board of Directors for both the ACE Mentor Program of St. Louis, a program that helps the city’s high school students learn more about potential careers in architecture, engineering and construction; and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) St. Louis chapter. Fueled by a passion for the industry that she calls an art-form, Asha’s comprehensive designs speak to those who occupy the spaces she creates through her unique ability to deliver results based on client-driven solutions.

Senior Interior Designer/Project Manager Ali Summerford, RID, LEED ID+C, NCIDQ, EDAC of Ballwin, MO. Ali comes to KAI with 21 years of industry experience. She has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. Ali is a member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the St. Louis Alpha Omicron Pi Alumnae and St. Louis Panhellenic Alumnae organizations. Ali is adept at balancing the creative and business sides of design. Consistently developing a core level of trust with her clients, she is able to transform their desires and constraints into creative, functional solutions; while keeping the project on schedule and within budget.

About KAI Design & Build

KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through client collaboration, the latest technology, proprietary processes and individual expertise. Since its inception in 1980, KAI has been instrumental in reshaping the urban environment through its expertise in housing, K-12 schools, transit facilities, collegiate structures, commercial buildings, sports and recreational facilities, government/justice centers and healthcare facilities . Beginning as an architectural design firm, KAI added mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineering to give clients a full package of in-house disciplines for their projects. Today, KAI continues with its original core service of design and has quickly grown its general construction and construction management groups since 1997. Additionally, KAI is a leader in Building Information Modeling (BIM), applying the skill set to architectural, engineering and construction projects firm-wide. KAI’s affiliate locations include Atlanta, Omaha, Dallas and San Antonio. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit www.kai-db.com or call 314-241-8188.


PICTURED IN PHOTO FROM LEFT: Interiors Specialist Jasmine Martin, Senior Interior Designer Terry Crotty, Interiors Specialist Asha Perez and Senior Interior Designer/Project Manager Ali Summerford.

KAI Selected Architect for Extensive Renovations, Additions to South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, TX


KAI has been selected as the architect on a $52 million addition and renovation project for South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, TX. With the design phase nearing completion, construction is expected to begin in Fall 2017.

KAI is providing programming/planning, architecture, interior design, community engagement, project management and construction administration on the project, in which 90% of the school will be renovated, with three additions totaling approximately 60,000 square feet. The design theme centers around creating a 21st century learning environment supportive of current and future students.

South Oak Cliff High School received funding through the 2015 Dallas Independent School District bond program. Prior to the design start, KAI participated in a 3-day charette with the community to gather and formulate ideas for the school’s extensive renovation.

“Our community engagement led to a transformative design solution that will prepare students for the 21st Century. The designs include a new, welcoming front entrance with a 2½ story atrium and the creation of new learning environments for career/technical training, a collegiate academy, fine and performing arts, life skills and general education,” said KAI Texas President and COO Darren L. James. “The original school, built in the 1950’s, had undergone previous renovations, but none to the extent of this one. The existing building’s systems were not adequate or in good working order. Our designs call for the replacement of the entire mechanical system, with the exception of a recently installed chiller that will be re-purposed to cool the new athletic addition.”

A new athletic facility is planned that includes a competition basketball, 2,000-seat gym and auxiliary gymnasium that serves as a storm shelter. This new addition will attach to the existing facility by a circulation space that creates a grand, three-story, light-filled concourse nicknamed the Legacy Concourse that celebrates the heritage of the school’s student athletes. The terminus of the Legacy Concourse is the Bear Den, serving as the new student entry celebrating the morning arrival of students and a gathering spot during the day for academic and social activities.

Along Marsalis Street, KAI designed a new entry for the public, creating a new, two-story expression highlighting the new changes and emphasizing the academic excellence exhibited by the students. The two-story addition houses new administration offices, four new science labs, a community meeting space, and new entry connecting to one of the previous hidden jewels, a light-filled landscaped courtyard.

The two underutilized courtyards are being re-purposed for outdoor learning with new landscaping in both. One will have a terraced amphitheater connecting two of the three floors, the other will have seating for lunch and other academic uses.

On two sides of each courtyard inside the existing school, KAI designed new collaboration spaces adjacent to classrooms allowing access to the courtyard at the first floor or an overlook into the courtyards on the second floor.

About KAI Texas

Founded in 1999, KAI Texas is one of the most respected, minority-owned design and build firms in the state with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multidiscipline professionals and expertise in an integrated project delivery process. KAI Texas specializes in architecture, MEP engineering (mechanical/electrical/plumbing) and construction management services. Headquartered in Dallas, KAI Texas has an office in San Antonio. For more information about KAI Texas, visit www.kaitexas.com or call 214.742.0400.

KAI Celebrates Grand Opening of Lacy Clay Center for Children’s Health in St. Louis, MO


KAI provided architecture, MEP engineering and interior design on the project

KAI recently celebrated the grand opening of the Lacy Clay Center for Children’s Health in St. Louis, MO. KAI provided architecture, MEP engineering and interior design on the $6 million project.

Located at 5647 Delmar Blvd., the new 18,000-square-foot facility provides behavioral health, clinical and counseling support to children ages three to 17. The facility is owned by Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers.

The three-story facility houses administrative offices, examination rooms, therapy spaces, conference rooms, a kitchen, medical records room and an art therapy room, with two outdoor roof terraces on the third level.

KAI designed the family-friendly facility to be bright, open and comfortable. Day lighting was utilized throughout the building’s design to promote the productivity and well-being of the building’s occupants, while large windows were specified in rooms where children would gather, such as the art therapy room.

The building’s exterior was designed for low-maintenance and durability, featuring a combination of fiber cement panels, brick veneer, aluminum storefront and curtain wall glazing systems. The building is supported on spread footings bearing on structural fill, with load bearing masonry wall construction and interior steel columns and steel bar joist.

KAI’s interior design team focused on creating a soothing atmosphere using neutral and cool tones and incorporating soft metals that glimmer when light reflects off the material. Floor to ceiling, curved metal panels are used as an artistic piece on a wall greeting visitors as they enter the main lobby. The same language follows as curves are used in the floor pattern, ceiling clouds and reception desk.

Thoughtful use of color in the flooring, art panels, furniture and casework is seen throughout the second floor. KAI worked with St. Louis artist Cbabi Bayoc to create various artistic images of children playing within tempered glass panels to define each waiting area on the second floor. KAI consulted with health center representatives to select furniture for the first and second floor public areas that utilized materials that could withstand a healthcare environment and worked well with the color scheme.

“The overall goal was to deliver a great project that was within the budget,” said KAI Interior Specialist Asha Perez.  “We listened and paid close attention to the needs of the owner and the community whom we understood would visit this building.”

Dwayne A. Butler, CEO of Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health, expressed his satisfaction with KAI’s work, calling the building, “a game changer in urban behavioral health.”

“My performance expectations of our team have always been so high, that I am rarely shocked by the product of our efforts, but after taking a tour of the interior of our new children’s building, I was almost speechless. The new building is utterly extraordinary. I cannot imagine a more fitting gift to our communities’ most ignored and deserving children and families,” said Butler.

KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. A renowned leader in the industry, KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through collaboration, technology, processes and expertise.

KAI Design & Build Completes 1,200-foot-long, Elevated Pedestrian Skywalk Through Largest Medical Campus in St. Louis

KAI Design & Build, along with Joint Venture Partner Paric Corporation, is announcing the completion of a massive 1,200-foot-long, elevated pedestrian skywalk project connecting more than 6,000 parking spaces to the main hospital complex on the BJC HealthCare/Washington University Medical Center campus in St. Louis, MO.

KAI Design & Build’s construction department led the  project, with KAI also providing its architectural design. The project is a component of the BJC HealthCare/Washington University Medical  Center Campus Renewal Project  – a long-term project to transform a 16-block campus that includes Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine. The renewal project is focused on improving the patient and family experience from both a clinical and campus perspective.

Completed in March 2017, after only 264 construction days, the extensive pedestrian connector is a 13-foot-wide tube elevated to heights averaging 40 feet above street level. It starts on the east end at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital staff garage and continues west along the MetroLink right-of-way adjacent to BJC’s new 3,022-space Duncan Central Garage, designed and constructed in 2015 by the Paric/KAI joint venture. The walkway then connects to a third BJC garage on Taylor Avenue and continues across Taylor Avenue to the west and runs alongside the 700-space Metro Parking Garage.

The 1,200-foot walkway ends at the new 12-story Mid-Campus Center where pedestrians can connect to the main elevated walkway system near the BJC Institute of Health and Hope Plaza. The recently completed Mid-Campus Center was also constructed by a joint venture between Clayco and KAI. Other buildings adjacent to the connector route include a 213,000-square-foot College of Pharmacy academic building (currently under construction), the existing College of Pharmacy, the Parkview Building, and the Eric P. Newman Education Center.

KAI’s architects designed the connector to blend in with its surroundings, withstand high pedestrian traffic and outside environmental factors such as wind and weather, and provide a comfortable, safe environment for its travelers.

The connector is constructed of tinted, Low-E glass; pre-fabricated steel truss sections (in total weighing 380 tons); 14 concrete piers (2,500 cubic yards of total concrete); and over 500 sections of glass panels. Its mechanical system consists of a 4-pipe, hot and cold water system that feeds local fan coil units with a couple of local above-ceiling air handlers.

The interior, which could not be completed until the connector was enclosed, incorporates field carpet tiles for its flooring and LED lay-in ceiling fixtures strung along its entire length. The bridge design also incorporates emergency exits, as well as emergency security intercoms (indicated by blue lights) at all garage and building points along its route.

“What we built was a controlled environment that provides a safe way to get from point A to point B,” said KAI Senior Project Manager Jeremy Lammers. “It is a conditioned space so that in the summer, you are going to be cool and in the winter, you are going to be warm. In the rain, you are going to be dry. The connector provides a new way to get to work or class safely and comfortably.”

For security reasons as well as aesthetics, lights were installed roughly every 20 feet in the soffit beneath the bridge to illuminate the ground below and minimize the shadow effect cast from the bridge. The connector’s roof consists of an energy-efficient white, mechanically-fastened TPO roofing system.

With multiple contractors/subcontractors and entities involved in the project at any given time, including the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, MetroLink, various BJC HealthCare operational entities, as well as public utilities and the City of St. Louis, significant coordination was required by the KAI/Paric construction team to keep the project on track.

“Clear and regular communication with all of the entities was key to the success of the project,” said Lammers. “Covering roughly seven acres of prime real estate on the eastern side of the largest medical campus in St. Louis, logistics were of the utmost importance. Daily communication with the building managers of several adjacent structures was key each and every day. Our crews had to not only avoid traffic congestion in the area as much as possible, but also work safely amongst the many people walking along the streets to get to the campus for work or school. It was quite a challenging project logistically, but the team did an outstanding job.”

KAI was able to achieve substantial minority inclusion on the project with 75% MBE and 1% WBE participation and reported only two recordable accidents on the project.

Power UP Electrical Contractors provided design/build electrical services on the project, with Square UP Builders providing rough and finish carpentry services.

To view a video of the East-West Connector project, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHlmsJUFvq4

Download Project Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9pwich80dy9xh3x/AAAVEhnXSLdyNlICTuJU54PWa?dl=0


KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri . A renowned leader in the industry, KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through collaboration, technology, processes and expertise.