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VOL. 34 • NO. 5 • $4.00




RENOVATION / RESTORATION Knowledge and Craftsmanship: Critical to the Restoration Process











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FEATURES 15 SUSTAIN|ABILITY The Michigan Energy Fair Returns to Ludington


24 Knowledge and Craftsmanship: RAM Construction Knows what is Critical to the Restoration Process

28 Bridge Renovation at Meadow Brook Hall Oakland University CONSTRUCTION HIGHLIGHT

29 Welcome Home to Ten West Lofts BanahCorp - API and MICCO Construction, LLC Deliver Light-filled Lofts Anyone Would be Happy to Call Home

DEPARTMENTS 8 13 14 36 42 45 46 46

16 The Battle to Save Detroit’s Castle CASS, Inc., Restores the GAR Building Roof to its Former Glory



MAY 2013

Industry News Safety Tool Kit Marketing on the Level Product Showcase People in Construction/Corporate News Construction Calendar CAM Welcomes New Members Advertisers Index


1175WestLongLakeRd., Suite200,Troy,MI48098 248-828-3377 • Fax248-828-4290Bonding • 248-828-3741Insurance

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Kevin N. Koehler Amanda M. Tackett


Mary E. Kremposky


Matthew J. Austermann Marci L. Christian Gregg A. Montowski Cathy A. Jones


Gregory Andrzejewski PPG Industries

Vice Chairman

Kevin French Poncraft Door Company

Vice Chairman

Kurt F. Von Koss Beaver Tile & Stone


Eric C. Steck


Kevin N. Koehler

Amalio Corporation


Larry S. Brinker, Jr. The Brinker Group

Todd W. Hill Ventcon, Inc.

Stephen J. Hohenshil Glasco Corporation

Mary K. Marble Marble Mechanical, LLC

Giuseppe (Joe) S. Palazzolo Detroit Spectrum Painters, Inc.

John W. Rieckhoff C.L. Rieckhoff Company, Inc.

Kevin F. Ryan Farbman Group/Huntington Construction

Donielle Wunderlich George W. Auch Company


William L. Borch, Jr. Ironworkers Local Union 25

Gary Boyajian Consultant

Stevan Bratic Bratic Enterprises, LLC

Marty Burnstein Law Office of Marty Burnstein

George Dobrowitsky Walbridge

Daniel Englehart Peter Basso and Associates, Inc.

Chris Hippler Capital Letters

Dennis King DMKINGconsultingLLC

Nancy Marshall Aluminum Supply Company

Rick Rys Hi Def Color

James Vargo Capac Construction Company, Inc.

CAM Magazine (ISSN08837880) is published monthly by the Construction Association of Michigan, 43636 Woodward Ave., P.O. Box 3204, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302-3204 (248) 972-1000. $24.00 of annual membership dues is allocated to a subscription to CAM Magazine. Additional subscriptions $40.00 annually. Periodical postage paid at Bloomfield Hills, MI and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER, SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: CAM MAGAZINE, 43636 WOODWARD AVE., BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI 48302-3204. For editorial comment or more information: For reprints or to sell CAM Magazine: 248-972-1000 Copyright © 2013 Construction Association of Michigan. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. CAM Magazine is a registered trademark of the Construction Association of Michigan.



MAY 2013

“Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

Expanded Opportunities


Three Recipients Selected for APWA Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Awards AWARDS PRESENTED AT 2013 APWA NORTH AMERICAN SNOW CONFERENCE IN CHARLOTTE Three recipients have been selected to receive the American Public Works Association (APWA) 2013 Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Award. Established to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works snow and ice operations, the Excellence in Snow and Ice Control award also promotes the best practices in snow and ice removal, while minimizing environmental impacts. This year, the Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Awards were presented at the 2013 APWA North American Snow Conference in April, in Charlotte, NC. The three recipients for this year’s APWA Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Award are: Ohio Department of Transportation: The Ohio Department of Transportation (DOT) winter program effectively addresses the need for snow and ice removal on 43,000 lane miles of highways, with 1,600 plow trucks, 3,000 employees, and 650,000 tons of salt stored at 200 locations around the state. Each winter, ODOT uses between 300,000 and 900,000 tons of salt – with a yearly average usage of about 600,000 tons. Snow and ice control can comprise 40-45% of the annual operating expense, with approximately $50 million annually attributed to labor, equipment, and materials. Each of 88 counties, with support from 12 districts and the central office, plans and prepares for the approaching winter season. Their plan includes equipment readiness, truck routing, call-out procedures, supplemental drivers, emergency equipment rental, training, and material inventory control. City of Green Bay, WI Department of Public Works: The City of Green Bay Department of Public Works operates out of two facilities for its snow and ice control program. The west side facility consists of offices, snow command operations, brine production room, fleet maintenance garage, parking garages, and parts stock room. The east side facility consists of offices, fleet maintenance garage, sewer section, electrical section and a 500 ton salt storage shed. In addition to a tarped salt storage at the west side facility, the city



MAY 2013

purchased and installed a Brine Extreme brine making system that has two 6,000 gallon salt brine storage tanks, one 6,000 gallon storage tank for calcium chloride, and one 6,000 gallon storage tank for Geo Melt. This system allows the city to manufacture 6,000 gallons of brine per hour, and enables the department to blend different materials on demand. Along with a new brine production room, with installed four new 37 watt LED light fixtures, employees have been on board with the new directions for the program, which has had a better result on the roadways. City of Novi, MI Department of Public Services: The City of Novi Department of Public Services (Novi DPS) has a winter maintenance program that includes several materials to effectively respond to the Michigan winter storms. The materials include rock salt, liquid brine (manufactured onsite), de-sugared beet extract, and mineral well brine. These materials are stored and handled in accordance with State of Michigan’s rules for salt and liquid brine storage, in that these materials may be covered, stored on impervious surfaces, and monitored routinely for potential pollution risks. Novi DPS stores rock salt inside a covered salt dome that has a shingled roof, concrete floor, and concrete walls. The large dome has a capacity of approximately 2,000 tons of salt, and the loading area of the salt dome is covered to prevent erosion of the salt pile, reducing the track-out material and exposure to stormwater runoff. GIS services are used to create detailed maps and booklets that assist operators with snow clearing, and multiple mapping layers are incorporated into the program allowing DPS to effectively plan work, track costs, and identify service deficiencies.

Introducing CSM – Energy Solutions CSM Mechanical, LLC, a Fenton-based fullservice Mechanical-Electrical Contracting Company founded in 2002, recently launched a new company called CSM – Energy Solutions, LLC. CSM – Energy Solutions founder Craig S. Mortz said, “CSM gained momentum in recent years due to the increased demand from facility owners for a single-source point of contact, able to respond to their challenges due to budget cuts and extreme weather changes, and the owners’ higher project expectations. The traditional role of a contractor is no longer enough.” CSM – Energy Solutions provides the “missing link” to the many technical aspects of building assessment and project execution, by providing facility owners with a network of planning, installation expertise, and maintenance. CSM solves problems and

reduce costs, and adds value to their customers by providing them with a realistic energy saving plan to implement into their facility. The lead role of Director of Technical Operations and Design was assigned to Fabrizio Pesce, BAMC, CPMP (CxA), who brings more than 30 years of experience in all phases of engineering design and construction. A recipient of the 1990 State of Michigan Energy Efficiency Award for innovative Ventilation Design, Pesce specializes in retrofitting projects for a diverse client base. Throughout his career, he has successfully completed countless projects. As an ASHRAE Certified Commissioning Authority and a licensed builder/maintenance and alteration contractor, Pesce’s experience and qualifications in project management allow him to understand the complexity of each task and accurately assess the required services, assuring that the building systems and equipment are designed, installed, tested and maintained according to the owners’ operational needs. CSM – Energy Solutions provides a high level of knowledge and experience in energy system design, installation, operation, commissioning and process management, which includes hands-on field experience with interaction start-up, balancing, testing, troubleshooting, operation and maintenance procedures and systems automation control knowledge, meeting the prerequisites of the U.S. Green Building Council.

On The Road with Klochko Equipment, Wacker Neuson and NAWIC Chapter 183 – An Event You Won’t Want to Miss! The Wacker Neuson Road Show will make a stop at Klochko Equipment Rental Company in Melvindale on Tuesday, May 21. The focus of this touring road show will be to raise awareness of the complete line of compact and light equipment that Wacker Neuson offers to the construction industry. This year the Road Show will be enhanced by combining it with the very successful NAWIC Detroit Chapter 183 “Skirts n Dirt” event. Skirts n Dirt has been a tradition between Klochko and NAWIC for the last four years; with the popularity of the Road Show and Skirts n Dirt, it seemed only natural to combine the two events together. The Road Show will display the range of equipment that Wacker Neuson offers, from light towers and generators to mini excavators, wheel loaders, dumpers, trowels, compaction equipment, and more. The Road Show visits dealerships around the country to promote the equipment, the dealerships, and make “Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

contractors aware that Wacker Neuson and Klochko can meet your jobsite equipment needs from start to finish. The Road Show is designed to allow attendees to view and operate light and compact equipment, as well as participate in various skill challenges utilizing Wacker Neuson equipment. A great day is in store, with food, beverages, raffles, and an opportunity to network with industry members. Admission is FREE to industry members. Come join us ON THE ROAD with Wacker Neuson and NAWIC Skirts n Dirt! Where: Klochko Equipment Rental Company Address: 2782 Corbin Melvindale, MI 48122 Date: May 21, 2013 Time: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Phone: (313) 386-7220;;

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NAWIC Detroit Chapter 183 Introduces “Project Accelerate©” The Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction [NAWIC], has developed an exciting program being introduced as “Project: Accelerate” that provides an opportunity to make an immediate impact on the lives of women already in, and those considering, the construction, design, engineering and related industries. This unique program strategically expands opportunities, provides exposure to the industry, promotes industry internships, education, and potential scholarships. Program participants must commit to six weeks (one day a week, an eight-hour day – beginning Friday, May 3rd and Friday, June 14th)] during which time participants interact with industry professionals in workshops, classroom settings and on-site experiences. Each Friday will include a half-day at Lawrence Tech University, lunch, guest speakers and a half-day at one of the local Detroit-area Building Trades. This program will provide exposure to the industry, referrals to industry internships, education,

potential scholarship opportunities, and direct employment interaction. There is no cost to participants. The ideal participant will be an adult woman, likely a “non-traditional student” or “mid-career demographic,” looking to explore options in construction and design-related fields, including transitioning from other career fields. After a comprehensive vetting process, accepted participants receive the tools to build their careers, expand their experiences in the industry, and take back with them an enhanced understanding of aspects of the industry that they may not have otherwise been aware of. NAWIC is currently looking for potential candidates. NAWIC has been able to engage strategic allies such as, Lawrence Technological University, community partners and the trades, to work together to provide this unique handson, immersive and aggressive program. Anyone wishing to participate or seeking sponsorship information regarding “Project Accelerate” should contact Rita Brown at or Carol Varga at They can also visit the website


MAY 2013


INDUSTRY NEWS Firestone Honors Master Contractor Award Winners ANNUAL AWARD ACKNOWLEDGES TOP ROOFING PROFESSIONALS IN 2013 Firestone Building Products Company, LLC, a leading manufacturer and supplier of a comprehensive “Roots to Rooftops” system of building envelope solutions, honored 260 firms from its network of more than 3,000 Firestone Red Shield® licensed roofing contractors throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico as esteemed 2013 Master Contractors. Over the last year, these respected firms earned this long-standing commercial roofing industry distinction based on their quality roofing system installation and outstanding customer focus. Collectively, the winners installed more than 240 million square feet of warranted Firestone roofing systems on new construction and reroof applications in 2012. Established in 1988, the Master Contractor program annually presents three distinct industry awards: Master Contractor Award – Recognizes top Firestone licensed contractors for the total square footage of quality roofing systems installed and Quality Points accumulated for receiving outstanding inspection ratings on Firestone Red Shield® warranted RubberGard™



MAY 2013

EPDM, UltraPly™ TPO, and UNA-CLAD™ metal and asphalt-based roofing system installations. Inner Circle of Quality Award – Installers are eligible for the Inner Circle of Quality award by achieving 2013 Master Contractor status, installing a minimum of four warranted Firestone roofs in each of the last five years, maintaining at least 2 million square feet of Firestone roofs under warranty, and achieving an annual Quality Incidence Rating (QIR) of 2.0 or less. The Firestone QIR measures each contractor’s quality performance based on warranty repair incidences per million square feet under warranty. President’s Club Award – Distinguishes Master Contractors that have accrued the highest number of Quality Points for superior inspection ratings and total square footage of Firestone Red Shield warranted roofing system installations completed over the past year. In addition to these three awards, Firestone also presents the biennial Platinum Council Award to acknowledge the top of the class. This exclusive group of Firestone licensed contractors has significantly surpassed the criteria needed to qualify as a Master Contractor and earned the highest quality points during the combined 2011 and 2012 period. Firestone awarded the prized Inner Circle of

Quality to 173 firms, the prestigious President’s Club Award to 33 firms, and the elite Platinum Council Award to 32 firms at an awards ceremony held in Miami, FL in February 2013. For a complete list of Firestone Master Contractors, please visit the Firestone Buildings Products website at

Rudolph/Libbe Companies named Corporate Citizen of 2013 by Wood County Economic Development Commission Rudolph/Libbe Companies has been named Corporate Citizen of 2013 by the Wood County Economic Development Commission. The award was presented at the Wood County Economic Development Commission’s annual dinner on March 20. “We are honored to receive this recognition from Wood County, where Rudolph/Libbe was founded in 1955, and the Rudolph/Libbe Companies are proud to call home,” said Bill Rudolph, chairman of Rudolph/Libbe Companies. “There are many terrific companies based in Wood County, many of which are our customers,” Rudolph said. “We greatly appreciate the support they have given us by allowing us to help them with their facility and

“Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

“Our customers are some of the best in the business and we’re proud to provide them with quality products,” says Jay Butch, director of contractor programs and promotions for CertainTeed Roofing. “Our new incentive programs serve as a ‘thank you’ for playing such an important role in our continued success.” This year, CertainTeed introduces the Contractor’s Edge™ Shingle Sweepstakes, allowing contractors in North America who utilize SureStart™ Plus warranties the chance

to win one of five 2014 Ford™ F-150 trucks or be one of 10 winners of $5,000 worth of Landmark™ Pro shingles. In addition, roofing contractors who meet the eligibility requirements will be entered into a $500,000 sweepstakes for CertainTeed shingles. New rebates are also available through the No Limits promotion for contractors who purchase CertainTeed products, such asLandmark™ Solaris, Landmark™ Pro, Presidential™, Highland Slate™,

Left to right: Wood County Commissioner Jim Carter; Bill Rudolph, chairman of Rudolph/Libbe Companies; Phil Rudolph, Jr., Business Development, Rudolph/Libbe Companies. process needs over our nearly 60 years in business.” In the last 20 years alone, the Rudolph/Libbe Companies, which includes Rudolph/Libbe Inc. and GEM Inc., has completed more than 500 projects in Wood County. The Economic Development Commission, an Ohio nonprofit corporation, strives to expand the employment base through existing industry development and the systematic recruitment of new businesses. The Commission actively markets Wood County and its communities to outside industrial prospects, while continuing to provide services to the County’s communities and existing industries helping them broaden and diversify the tax base while creating and retaining jobs. The Wood County Economic Development Commission has been presenting its Corporate Citizen of the Year award since 2006. Previous winners include: OI; Jones Hamilton Co.; Principle Business Enterprises; First Solar Inc.; Keystone Foods Equity Group; Wood County Hospital; and CSX Transportation. The award recognizes excellence in the Wood County business community. The Rudolph/Libbe Companies is among the region’s largest contractors and employs 1,0001,500 construction trades through offices in Lima, Toledo, Cleveland and Walbridge, OH, and Plymouth, MI.

New CertainTeed Incentive Programs Help Roofing Contractors Sharpen Their Competitive Edge When working with CertainTeed, roofing contractors not only have access to an industry-leading portfolio of products, they can also take advantage of a wide array of incentive programs to boost their bottom line. This year, the newest value-added benefits of working with CertainTeed roofing products include cash rebates, as well as various promotions for contractors. Visit us online at


MAY 2013


INDUSTRY NEWS Independence™ and more, including select CertainTeed accessories. Qualifying low-slope lines include CoolStar™ and Flintlastic® commercial roofing products. Rebates range from $1 to $4 per square and are loaded onto a CertainTeed Visa® debit card. Gold and Silver Star Contractors will also be eligible for an extra $1 per roll rebate for qualifying products. In addition, Gold and Silver Star Contractors



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specifically focused on commercial projects also have the opportunity to earn incentives with the No Dollar Limit promotion. For each 250 squares of eligible warranties registered, contractors will receive a $500 Visa debit card rebate. Contractors interested in learning more about these and other CertainTeed contractor programs can contact their local territory manager or visit


Neumann/Smith Architecture is the Latest in the Creative Community to Open in Downtown Detroit COMPANY TO TAKE ENTIRE THIRD FLOOR OF HISTORIC WRIGHT KAY BUILDING Neumann/Smith Architecture, specializing in architecture and interior design for corporate, commercial, academic and recreational facilities, recently announced it will open a design studio in downtown Detroit’s Wright Kay Building, located at 1500 Woodward Ave., between Clifford and Farmer Streets. Neumann/Smith has been front-and-center in downtown Detroit’s recent revitalization, designing innovative workspaces that have helped to attract new businesses to the city. The firm has been involved in transforming the M@dison Building at Grand Circus Park into a hub for high-tech entrepreneurial activity and designing renovations to the Chrysler House, One Woodward Avenue Office Tower and the First National Building, located in the city’s growing tech hub. Most recently, it was announced that the firm is designing Campbell Ewald’s new headquarters in the former J.L. Hudson Co. warehouse attached to Ford Field. “We are excited about opening up a studio space downtown where we can be closer to our clients and the incredible revitalization taking place,” said Joel Smith, AIA, Neumann/Smith partner. “The new Detroit office will provide an opportunity for more face-to-face meetings, foster a closer client experience, and increase our involvement in the community.” Headquartered in Southfield, the firm plans to move employees into the new design studio by June of this year, encompassing the entire third floor of the Wright Kay Building, which was purchased by Rock Ventures in December 2011. “As a creative company, nothing is more inspiring than to work in a city like Detroit, with its rich history of architectural design,” said Firm Principal and Historic Preservation Design Leader, J. Michael Kirk, AIA. “Our employees are looking forward to the opportunity to work in a downtown urban core.” Bedrock Real Estate Services, Rock Ventures’ full-service real estate firm, brokered the lease. “Neumann/Smith is joining the fast growing list of companies who have a presence in downtown Detroit to leverage the dynamic creative tech hub that is quickly forming, ” said Jim Ketai, managing partner, Bedrock Real Estate Services. Neumann/Smith hopes to expand its presence in Detroit and expects to hire more employees for its Detroit studio. For more information, please visit “Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

SAFETY TOOL KIT 2013: Michigan Construction Deaths on the Rise By Tracey Alfonsi, CAM Director of Education & Safety Services Tracey Alfonsi has already been a tough year for construction safety. Last year, there were a total of 26 MIOSHA-related deaths. 2009 saw the lowest number with 24. But only three months into 2013, we’ve already buried 11 Michigan workers. On March 21, 2013, MIOSHA reported 2013’s 10th work-related death. In response to that announcement, the CAMSAFETY Committee had a discussion via e-mail which offered up a few suggestions about what could be contributing to such a sharp increase in construction fatalities in the first quarter of the year. Ideas included:


1. The recession forced many contractors to seek work outside of their comfort zone, resulting in employees performing work tasks without experience, proper training, and/or necessary equipment. Residential contractors are working on commercial projects and commercial contractors are expanding into industrial worksites. In addition, Michigan-based companies expanded their footprint into neighboring states. This trend of diversifying has created a large group of workers who are expected to learn as they go. They are unfamiliar with the hazards they are now exposed to, and lack the necessary experience to adequately protect themselves. 2. Employees who have been out of work for an extended period of time need just as much safety/refresher training as someone who has never been in the field. Employers need to be providing refresher training and stressing that jobsite safety is equally as important as productivity. Relying on computer-based training or instruction provided by a previous employer does not meet requirements as specified by MIOSHA. 3. A reduction in revenue required employers to cut expenses. Training and staff devoted to jobsite safety were often the first to go. Also, routine maintenance was suspended and purchasing anything new was simply not an option. In many cases, workers are using outdated, barely-functioning tools, vehicles, and other equipment. Visit us online at

4. The contractors who have survived the recent economy are now expanding rapidly to meet the growing demand in Michigan. Michigan is one of only four states that show job gains in construction since June 2009. Michigan’s expansion is concentrated in specialty trade contractors, while the building construction sector continues to shed jobs, due to a poor housing market. Companies are hiring at record rates and a proper worker safety orientation is being pushed to the side in an effort to get projects adequately staffed as quickly as possible. I put together a synopsis of the above and sent out an e-mail to more than 4,500 industry contacts. I received some feedback that suggested another potential reason for the sharp fatality increase: Last year’s rescention of 611 MIOSHA standards, as identified and recommended by the Office of Regulatory Reinvention. Many safety professionals, including CAM’s Safety Committee, spoke out against the proposed revisions but the damage was already done. Michigan’s recent push to deregulate business is sending a message to our workforce that MIOSHA’s enforcement efforts will be suspended and underscores the perception that safety is less important than productivity. As we enter the second half of 2013, I ask that all Michigan contractors take a moment to reflect on their own safety efforts. Have you reduced your training regimen? Failed to provide workers with necessary equipment? Stressed job deadlines over the importance of working safely? Asked someone to perform a work task or operate a piece of equipment when they lacked training or experience? If you identify a weakness in your program, shore it up. Contact me about the free training and assistance options offered through CAM. Reach out to the Consultation, Education and Training (CET) Division of MIOSHA. Talk to your provider of workers’ compensation insurance, trade unions, and other industry associations to find out what they can do for you. Remember: No job is so important and no task is so urgent that we cannot take the time to do it safely.


MAY 2013


Emerging Trends Can Make Your Website Work Harder By Chris Hippler ould you allow your salespeople to make new business presentations wearing illfitted clothes, showing a dated portfolio, or telling inaccurate information about your company? Of course not. So why let your website misrepresent your business that way? The quality of your work and strong business relationships will always be the foundation of your business. But the Internet has changed everything. Dated, inaccurate websites are an obstacle to new business. If you’ve ever apologized for your website to a prospect, you know what I mean. Remember the saying ‘You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’? It’s especially true for your website. I spoke recently with Alex Fisher, founder of Commercial Progression, a Michigan-based website development firm, and he cited two emerging trends in website development that will be the way of the future, and could make your website more effective.


Content Management System Building your site with a Content Management System (CMS) may be the single biggest factor in assuring your site will be current for years to come. “CMS allows the website owner to control website

updates,” said Fisher. “It’s that simple.” CMS provides easy access to the back-end of the site so you can keep projects current and news items relevant. Specify to your Web developer that you want your site built with CMS, and they can include an hour or two of training before the site launches. Your office manager or a salesperson can play the role of website manager. Drupal and WordPress are two popular Content Management Systems, but there are others. Responsive Design In 2012, more mobile devices were sold in the United States than desktop browsers. Think about that. Your website needs to be ready for that tsunami of a change, and Responsive Design is the answer. “Responsive web design is a way of making your website work effectively on both desktop browsers as well as the wide range of mobile devices on the market,” Fisher said. Responsive Design gives the best quality browsing experience whether on a Smartphone, Tablet or E-reader, and regardless of the operating system. People who browse while on-the-go have very different needs than those sitting at a desk. Responsive websites re-organize themselves

automatically according to the device viewing them, so that the same website provides a great experience everywhere. Desktop browsers get a full-blown interface with videos, large images and animations. Smartphones get a simplified website that runs fast. Tablets get something in-between. Don’t think of your website as a marketing cost; think of it as an infrastructure. Your website is the modern equivalent of your shop front. If it looks out-of -date, without a door handle or broken windows, you’re going to run into trouble. Your website is the online presence of your company and, increasingly, the Web is the preferred way people research businesses. You owe it to your business to hit the Refresh button. Hire a good Web developer; your business should not be left to amateurs. Chris Hippler is the president of Capital Letters ( a business-tobusiness marketing company that specializes in the commercial and industrial construction industry. Based in Ann Arbor, Capital Letters focuses on getting results for clients through print and online communications. Chris can be reached at (734) 353-9918 or by e-mail at

Interior Demolition SpecialistS

Commercial – Industrial




13840 Intervale St. (313) 836-3366 Detroit, MI. 48227 (313) 836-3367 fax 14


MAY 2013

“Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

S U S T A I N |A B I L I T Y

THE MICHIGAN ENERGY FAIR RETURNS TO LUDINGTON By Douglas Elbinger, Energy Policy Analyst, Greenlancer Energy, Inc. What: Where: When: Who:

8th Annual Michigan Energy Fair Mason County Fairgrounds, Ludington, MI Friday & Saturday, June 7 & 8 Everyone Who is Interested or Active in Renewable Energy

John Sarver, executive director of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA), has announced that Steve Hilfinger, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer, will be the keynote speaker at the 8th Annual Energy Fair’s Friday evening reception. The Michigan Energy Fair, sponsored by the GLREA, is changing things up this year. The Fair is moving to the second weekend in June and will take place over the course of two days - June 7 & 8 - at the Mason County Fairgrounds in Ludington, MI. Friday, June 7th will feature workshops geared towards those active in the field of Alternative Energy with topics such as Community Solar, Net Metering, and Grid Modernization with Renewables. The cost to attend the Friday workshops is $25 and will follow with an evening reception for networking.

Keynote speaker, Steve Hilfinger, will discuss state energy policy and programs from an economic development perspective. The MEDC is the state’s economic development agency and includes the state energy office, the lead state agency on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Hilfinger oversees MEDC operational and administrative functions and works with MEDC’s senior leadership to support business growth and create more and better jobs throughout Michigan. Saturday, June 8th is free to the public and features workshops for those wanting to learn more about alternative energy. Topics will include Introduction to Wind Energy; Ask the Solar Installer; Utility and State Programs; and Peak Energy. In addition to workshops there will be exhibitors with a wide variety of alternative energy and energy efficiency exhibits, along with information to learn from. Details about the event are available at If you are interested in exhibiting or attending the Fair, or for more information, please contact Samantha Keeney at or at (517) 646-6269. This is a great opportunity to participate in a fun and educational event for all! The GLREA is the leading Renewable Energy organization for Michigan in advocating and promoting policies, technologies and practices that are environmentally and economically sustainable while partnering with key stakeholders to connect businesses, governments and communities. Doug Elbinger’s career spans over 35 years. As an environmental journalist and producer for, he focused his efforts on acquiring an in-depth knowledge of advances and investment opportunities in the renewable energy industry. For more information, comments or dialog, please contact Doug Elbinger – Energy Policy Analyst, Greenlancer Energy Inc. Greenlancer is a renewable energy engineering and consulting firm in Detroit

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MAY 2013



The Battle to Save Detroit’s Castle By Mary E. Kremposky, Associate Editor ld Glory flies once again over the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Building in Detroit. Originally constructed around 1897, the building was a meeting place and social hall for Civil War veterans who sacrificed to save the Union. Today, the restoration of this much-loved gem is part of the drive to save a city. Mindfield, a Detroit-based creative media company, is restoring this unique stone fortress as its new headquarters. This small castle of a building with its familiar sandstone turrets has dominated a triangular site at the intersection of Grand River and Cass Avenues for over a hundred years. Thanks to Mindfield, the GAR Building will soon host restaurant, retail and office space, as well as a museum dedicated to those who wore the Union Blue. Mindfield has enlisted a small army of passionate design and construction professionals who are coming to the defense of





this landmark building listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Integrity Building Group, LLC is the Detroit-based general contractor and architectural firm leading the charge to restore the turrets, gables, and stout stone exterior of Detroit’s very own castle. (Interior work will begin this summer.) Of course, the flag couldn’t fly over this grand building without a sturdy roof. Enter Custom Architectural Sheetmetal Specialists, Inc. (CASS), another Detroit company returning the GAR Building to its former glory. “Being a Detroit contractor, I have passed by this building a thousand times,” said Glenn Parvin, CASS president, “and I wanted to be involved in its redevelopment very strongly. Certain jobs are a little bigger than just normal business.” With its crenellated turrets resembling the tower of a medieval castle, the building’s

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ROOFING dinners, monthly meetings and annual celebrations for GAR members whose ranks included Hazen Pingree, Detroit mayor and Michigan governor. As a fraternal organization, the Grand Army of the Republic honored deceased warriors, offered care for their dependents, and even established the first Memorial Day on May 30, 1868 to honor the graves of Union soldiers. As the number of GAR veterans dwindled, the Detroit Parks and Recreation Department took over the building in 1943. However, the Sons and Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War continued to meet in these hallowed rooms; the last meeting of the GAR Memorial Association was held in 1973. The Recreation Department vacated the building in the late 1980s, before the building was shuttered, said Mooney.

unique architecture has a certain charm and inspires a definite affection. Parvin recalls a comment from a Mindfield executive who said during a recent tour, “A lot of people ask us why are doing this,” and he said, ‘Wouldn’t anybody want to own a castle?’” CASS is doing its part to bring this Sleeping Beauty of a building back to life. CASS played a pivotal role in material selection for the optimal restoration of the roof’s slate appearance and its beautiful copper work. Ultimately, CASS produced a roof of impeccable quality while working under taxing conditions: at grade, a tight site; on the roof, a steeply pitched series of hips and valleys perched 85-feet above Grand River and Cass Avenues. The two roadways serve as wind tunnels intensifying wind speeds that are great for flag flying but add another level of caution for the roofing crew. Safety and schedule are no-brainers for this experienced contractor, even under challenging conditions. “CASS is dedicated to safety and quality,” said Brian Mooney, president, Integrity Building Group. “I have nothing but respect for Glenn and his firm. When he walked on this site on day one, he really impressed the group and he impressed me personally. His crew was very professional, and they executed a phenomenal job.”

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A FLASHBACK IN TIME Clearly, Mindfield assembled the A Team for this undertaking, including John Biggar who recently merged his architectural firm, studiozONE, LLC as a sister company with Integrity Building Group. As principal of studiozONE, Biggar designed Mindfield’s current headquarters in the Library Lofts, a building on Woodward Avenue once housing Hudson’s toy store. Mindfield is a company rooted in and rooting for all things Detroit. The company produces commercials, computer graphics, print ads and apps for DTE and other major corporations, as well as the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings. According to Mooney, the graphics and photos of player profiles flashed across the Comerica scoreboard is the work of this innovative media company, along with the projected graphic designs on the ice during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The GAR building is deeply rooted in city and state history. The site was once part of the farm of Lewis Cass, Michigan’s territorial governor in the early 1800s who donated the land for use as a public market, according to The City of Detroit Historic Designation Advisory Board. In subsequent years, the Cass Market occupied the first floor of the GAR Building, one of the few remaining examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in Detroit and the final design of respected architect, Julius Hess. The building hosted a whirlwind of parties,

FLASHLIGHT TOURS For the GAR Building, history almost ended in the 1980s. If “all the world’s a stage,” the curtains fell at the GAR in the form of plywood sheets that blanketed all the windows, leaving this storied interior in pitch-black darkness. Thankfully, Mindfield took this building out of storage, first touring the inky dark with only a flashlight. A flashlight scan would have revealed the wood staircase’s well-preserved spindles or the curved balcony in the main auditorium. Another beam of light might have fallen on the old Grand Army of the Republic Badge recreated in red, white and blue mosaic tile in the lobby floor.

“Mindfield walked through a completely dark building with only a flashlight and then made a decision to move forward with its restoration,” said Parvin. “As the plywood was removed, all sorts of stories were revealed in the building interior.” Officer tags, old flag poles and other artifacts were discovered in the GAR’s main locker room. Wood tobacco lockers, with shelving made from crates of scotch, were found in another room. Once thought to be used for storing each veteran’s private stash, the lockers will be restored and installed in a new first-floor bar and restaurant. The light of day revealed past artifacts and the present condition of the building interior. “I think the first time that we walked through the building with Mindfield was one of the most rewarding days as part of this team,” said Mooney. “They were gauging our every move through the building to see if we shared the same passion and opinions of this magnificent structure.” The verdict: “The bones of the building are phenomenal,” said Mooney. “After walking through the building, there were no fears whatsoever. I said, ‘Let’s get it cleaned up and completely secure structurally. You are going to have a wonderful product.’ I think the smiles on Mindfield’s face showed their passion for saving this building.” According to Biggar, the GAR Building’s structure is “load-bearing masonry on the exterior with some steel beams carrying wood joists on the interior floors. Some of the large

CASS used 125-foot lifts to access the GAR Building’s gables and turrets, and 80-foot lifts to reach the gutters. CASS, Akins Construction, Inc., and Integrity Building Group often shared lifts to smoothly deliver the job. CAM MAGAZINE

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The GAR then and now: The main auditorium once hosted grand festivities as shown by this historical photo on the left. Today, the GAR interior is poised for a return to its former glory. the stone was phenomenal,” said Mooney. “There were very few pieces of missing stone.” For roof assessment, Parvin and Biggar took a flashlight tour of their own through the cave-like darkness of the building interior. Braving the cold of a winter’s day, Parvin noted the rotted wood deck and holes under the old terne metal roof that composes the only section of flat roof in the building. Peeling away the plywood shutters drew natural light into the building and revealed the condition of the entire wood deck. Ultimately, CASS replaced approximately 500 square feet of tongue and groove wood decking, concentrating primarily on the roof valleys. One of the damaged valleys caused some water damage to the auditorium, a large space with operable porthole and sun dial-style windows and

openings in the exterior masonry required large steel beams, as well. Interior masonry-bearing walls are around the central stair and elevator.” This robust building could clearly be saved, but the roof - the lifesaving shield of any structure - was rescued in the nick of time. Water damage impacted every roof valley and one turret in particular. The building had been effectively secured, except for two roof hatches that had either been blown or left open on each of the turrets. This breach in the castle’s defense resulted in water damage on every floor of the tower and the need for framing and floor repairs. Overall, “the roof was getting to the point where had it continued to deteriorate it would have really started to impact the entire building,” said Mooney. “We were within a year or two, if not less.”

The small flat roof and its steep companion valleys have both been beautifully restored, thanks to the craftsmanship of CASS.





ENTERING THE BATTLE As part of Phase I, a team of dedicated professionals descended on the building to stabilize the building exterior. Integrity Building Group restored all 136 windows, using its own restoration crew and the expertise of Randy Klepinger. The window restoration team set up shop within the locker rooms of a former Parks & Recreation dance studio. “The city did a good job of securing the windows, so we could restore rather than replace them,” said Mooney. “There are actually only two or three replaced windows in the whole building.” Virtually all of the frames are intact, and in some cases, the original glass, too. Akins Construction, Inc., Detroit, tuck-pointed and restored the building’s sandstone face and its limestone sills and lintels. “Structurally,

The above photo shows the overall configuration of the GAR roof and an overview of the entire GAR Building prior to restoration. “Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

the curved balcony. Fortunately, the damage to this grand space that often hosted lavish GAR dinners was fairly minimal and easily remedied. A DAVINCI ORIGINAL Before actual installation, Parvin worked diligently to find a slate composite shingle that remarkably simulates actual slate. Actual stone could not be used for cost and structural reasons. Standing in one of the turret rooms on a chilly spring day, Mooney holds one of the building’s extremely thin shingles of original slate in his hand. “Replicating the original slate would require a custom stone application,” said Mooney. “This would be extremely cost prohibitive, because they just don’t cut slate that thin.” Applying slate of a conventional thickness was not an option either due to the roof structure. Biggar explains: “The size of the roof structure members is too small to carry the weight of today’s slate. The size of the wood would have to be doubled to carry the weight of a slate roof.” Parvin and Biggar investigated a host of slate composite products, narrowing the selection down to three. When the initially chosen shingle sample arrived, no one was satisfied. Ultimately, CASS came to the rescue by identifying a DaVinci product as The One. “We looked high and low and came up with a product that Glenn found for us,” said Mooney. “Going the extra mile to put your stamp on a building is always a sign of a good contractor.” The selected composite slate has the same rippled edges and textured surface as natural slate, an important consideration for a building receiving historic tax credits. Plus, this 21st Century product not only lasts as long as natural slate, but is also a “green” shingle with 100 percent recycled content. Given the wind loads on the roof, the project team also selected a product of sufficient stiffness to avoid any curling or bowing over time. “John and Glenn did a great deal of homework to come up with a composite slate that we felt was the best on the market,” said Mooney. A COPPER BEAUTY CASS was also pivotal in persuading the owners to fit copper flashings, valleys and gutters into the project budget. Copper is the sister material for a slate roof, especially on a historic building clad with a shingle perfectly simulating this traditional stone. “Copper is what this building begs for,” said Parvin. “It goes with slate, and copper gives the building the character it deserves.” Thanks to CASS’s passion and Mindfield’s commitment, new copper crowns the roof of this 19th Century structure. Standing in a brisk, cold wind on the rooftop of a turret, one can see the beautiful gleam of copper lining the Visit us online at

steep valleys of this newly restored roof. Copper flashings and custom gutter boxes complete the scene unfolding against a backdrop of Detroit. “These copper details are exceptional,” said Mooney. “It is quite the roof.” The copper boosted the roof’s aesthetics and longevity. “Once you tackle a restoration project of this nature, you want to tackle it once and have it last for a very long time,” said Parvin. “Because the built-in gutters are inlaid into the carpentry, we could not solder

aluminum gutters and make the roof 100 percent watertight. We would have had to rely on rivets and caulk, making it a 15-year gutter in lieu of a 75- year gutter. The same holds true for the valleys and other roof details.” CASS coordinated the copper work with Akins’ masonry restoration, for the stone had to be repaired and locked in place before copper flashing installation. Completing the job, CASS also installed a new rubber membrane on the small section of flat roof.




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SCALING THE CASTLE ROOF CASS began work in late September 2012, restoring the roof of this venerable old building over the course of the next three months. Access and staging were the core complexities of actual installation. Occupying a small triangular site, the GAR Building is almost flush with the web of streets tightly surrounding this stout, little castle with a moat of traffic. “In terms of project logistics, the site has absolutely no space for set up and no area for good scaffolding,” said Parvin. “All the work was done off of lifts and with the help of toe boards.” CASS used 125-foot lifts to access the gables and turrets, and 80-foot lifts to reach the gutters. The roof has a small flat area in the center surrounded by a series of steeply pitched roof hips and valleys, leaving little room for set up and staging. “There is no room on the roof, so we had to set half the job up at a time, working on a Saturday when there is little street traffic,” said Parvin. Because of these tight space constraints, a chute could not be used for disposal of the existing shingles. Given the typically high wind loads, storing stacks of materials would have generated unsafe conditions. The solution: “All the tear-off had to be taken down almost a wheel barrel load at a time using a lift,” said Parvin. “We also had 40 squares of 5/8-inch plywood and nail-based, isocyanurate insulation that needed to be moved from the ground to the roof.” A hatch installed in the flat roof area proved to be a godsend for composite slate installation. The hatch leads into the GAR’s cavernous attic dominated by massive wood trusses. “We craned the materials up, over and down into the hatch and used the attic space for storage,” said Parvin. The attic was soon stocked with composite slate. “CASS had a slate elevator or hoist to lift all of the material slowly up to the small, flat section used to stage roofing materials,” added Mooney. The hatch is actually an opening for the insertion of mechanical equipment, including an innovative indoor cooling tower. Under historic tax credit funding, nothing can remain on the rooftop. Pieces of the disassembled cooling tower will be lowered through the hatch; the tower will be assembled and installed in the attic along with other mechanical components. This energy-efficient building will also have two boilers to heat the supply hot water for the building’s heat pumps, added Biggar. Ultimately, the hatch will be filled with the indoor cooling tower’s main ductwork to facilitate air-to-water heat exchange, said Biggar. CASS added the roofer’s touch: the installation of a permanent tie-off anchor on the hatch to ensure safety.

SPIDERMEN OF DETROIT During roof installation, the CASS crew seemed to work on a roof so steep as to be almost vertical. Every roofer was fully tied off, and toe boards were installed along the entire slope. In addition, a custom safety system with a high tension wire and specialty netting surrounded the entire building, said Mooney. Scaling steep buildings like Spiderman is all in a day’s work for a roofer, but executing the work with the skill of an artisan places CASS in a select cadre of roofing firms. “Watching the CASS team work, it’s clear they are artisans,” said Mooney. “They are not just production guys. They really put extra care and pride into what they do as shown by the high level of roofing details.” Old Glory is the final touch on this fascinating roof. Integrity Building Group created a new structural system to support the flagpole. Biggar explains the design: “Some of the historic postcards showed a flagpole on the original building but whether that really was built or not was a question as the existing 2 x 10 joists on the roof would not be able to provide the structural support necessary for the flagpole. Quite literally, the first big wind would rip out the existing joists if the flagpole was attached to the joists. We came up with a new structural system using structural steel above the existing roof. We used steel channels that bolted around the base of a 20foot-high flag pole.” Construction involved bolting “the channels into the masonry walls of the turret parapet,” continued Biggar. “This structure was all built on the ground and lifted into place as one piece.” SPRING FEVER For the building interior, Phase I involved abating the building and cleaning the pigeon debris. For cleaning, Integrity Building Group hired Mike Kelly of Environmental Maintenance Engineers who used an innovative cleaning agent to remove the caked on pigeon debris. Called ice blasting, the technology uses ‘dry ice’ formed from liquid nitrogen. “When the dry ice hits the wall being blasted, it ‘evaporates’ and turns into a gas,” said Biggar. “The material blasted falls to the ground without any of the waste materials generated by other methods, such as sand blasting. It is a much cleaner process since you don’t have to pick up any leftover sand.” The GAR interior is now poised on the brink of Phase II, the interior transformation of this landmark building. In mid-March, Mooney said, “We can’t wait. We have that spring pent-up construction energy. We are ready to go.” The interior is a living textbook of construction technologies and materials from the past 100 years. Integrity Building has come across old knob and tube wiring and cast iron joist hangars. A 12 x 5 foot piece of limestone “Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

in one turret has a telltale notch in the stone. In the 1890s, one can imagine the contractor inserting a wood wedge in the notch, strapping the stone with a rope and using a pulley system pulled by men and horses to hoist this massive rock into place, said Mooney. Layers of history also form the interior finishes. Flooring ranges from the original 1899 wood to laminate tile from the 1940s. “The building’s life-cycle includes renovations in the 1920s, 1930s and into the 1970s,” said Mooney, “but the intent is to try to get the building back to 1899 as much as possible.” Integrity Building will remove false ceilings to restore the original height of the meeting rooms and take similar measures throughout the interior. The original ornate details on column capitols and the oak rail and style doors will be preserved, along with 1899 cast iron radiators embellished with decorative flames. However, the building’s 20th Century history will also be respected, salvaged and reused. For instance, wood door partitions from the 1960s “will be re-used by Mindfield and transformed into a creative piece of the finished aesthetic,” added Mooney. THE GAR’S GRAND UNVEILING Once completed in late 2013 or early 2014, the GAR interior will be unveiled to the world. “Generations of people haven’t seen the interior of so many of these historic buildings in Detroit,” said Mooney. “We have given multiple tours of the auditorium, and the reaction is very gratifying. It will be an even greater and more fulfilling experience when the building is fully finished.” Imagine the turret interior as a creative breakout space offering an intimate view of the unbelievable stone masonry and a grand vista of DTE Energy’s new plaza and landscape, the new Cass Technical High School, the Motor City Casino and other buildings. As part of the development agreement, the interior will also house a museum in the public lobby and along the stairs of the first three floors dedicated to GAR veterans. Plans are in the works to display Civil War artifacts currently stored at Fort Wayne’s CRC collection. The artifacts will be shown in the museum as part of a rotating display, said Mooney. This four-story building may look like a fairytale castle but its restoration is not just a dream. Soon this revitalized building will host a bar, restaurant and diner with a shared kitchen on the first floor, leasable space on the second and third levels, and Mindfield’s new world headquarters on the fourth floor. By this time next year, the once-shuttered GAR Building will be bustling with activity, thanks to Mindfield, Integrity Building Group, CASS Sheet Metal and all the design and construction professionals intent on restoring this little castle along Grand River Avenue.

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MAY 2013




The History Channel: CASS Restores St. Mary’s Church Sheet Metal, Detroit, is frequently tuned to the roofing version of the History Channel. CASS artisans have been working across Detroit restoring a host of historic structures, including a recently completed seven-month stint at the ornate St. Mary’s Church in Greektown. “At St. Mary’s Church, we are restoring the gutter and cornice work, which is up at heights of 65 and 85 feet,” said CASS President Glenn Parvin. CASS used an arsenal of lifts, one with a reach of 150 feet and another 135 feet at the church. “We tore out gutters that had failed miserably,” said Parvin. “The cornice had failed underneath the gutters and required rebuilding the entire structure. We took care of the structure rebuild as necessary, and we took care of the tuckpointing as necessary. We used Akins Construction, Detroit, as a subcontractor to repair tuck-pointing around the perimeter. We also took care of the installation of all new copper liners and the prefinished cornice, plus any patch and repair work.” Clearly, as a roofing and sheet metal contractor, CASS has the capability and the drive to take care of the needs of Detroit’s treasure trove of historic buildings. Last October, CASS was working on four different buildings in or near downtown Detroit. “In late October 2012, we were working all over the city with a lot of artillery, including about six lifts, a double-tiered swing stage, a Gradall, and a


50-foot scissor lift,” said Parvin. Making full use of this equipment arsenal, the CASS crew was simultaneously working on the historic Saint Charles Church in downtown Detroit and the new Greektown Valet Parking structural veil screen system, as well as the historic Saint Mary’s Greektown Church and the historical restoration of the GAR Building. CASS also delivered a Detroit Windsor Tunnel vent screening project for Integrity Building Group last summer. Both Integrity and the client were well pleased with CASS’s selection and installation of a screening system similar to the Greektown screen.

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What RAM discovered was about three inches of pack rust along the window lintels causing the brick to fall out of plumb and the stone parapet to lean inward approximately approximately four inches every four feet, or 8-12 inches in total. Pictured is Darren Frazee, RAM crew member.

Knowledge and Craftsmanship: Critical to the Restoration Process By Doug Pawloski, President, Digital Marketing Production, Inc. afayette Place Lofts is a new development in a historic structure in downtown Pontiac that is owned by West Construction Services, also based in Pontiac. Due to their experience and expertise in restoration services, RAM Construction Services, Livonia, was hired by West Construction to provide a variety of restoration and repair services to this historic structure.




The building was constructed in 1929 to house the Sears Roebuck Department Store. Remembered fondly by many of Pontiac’s citizens because, even as the economy teetered on the verge of collapse and the Great Depression loomed, Sears never reduced its workforce. In fact, Sears likely staved off poverty for many families in the Pontiac community. Sadly, over time, urban flight and the

migration of retailers toward suburban malls helped accelerate the decay of this and many similar structures around the country. Yet today, forward thinking and technically adept companies are utilizing new or improved construction products and processes to not only preserve but also to redefine many of these monuments to America’s lasting endurance. Lafayette Place Lofts, the largest “Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

construction investment in downtown Pontiac in nearly 30 years, had to follow the guidelines set forth by the National Park Service Preservation Briefs and Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Office to retain the historical integrity of the structure. Once completed, the Lafayette Place Lofts project will include 46 unique, contemporary oneand two-bedroom lofts, a rooftop terrace, an outdoor patio, an Anytime Fitness gym, an electric car charging station, a market and a café all situated nicely in a historic district of the city. PROJECT SCOPE Considerable neglect over the years was evident in the magnitude of work needed to repair and restore this 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) structure. Started in March 2012, the three-month-long project included extensive work on the interior ceilings, support columns and floors. The exterior repairs included concrete, brick and stone restoration. The overall goal of the owner and RAM Construction was to restore the building to its original state in 1929.

FOLLOWING HISTORICAL GUIDELINES In all, four separate agencies were involved with decisions on the renovation of the Sears Building. They included the Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN); Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA); the National Park Service (NPS); and the Federal Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and therefore the primary guidelines pertained to the front façade of the building and required the developers to restore the storefront as closely as possible to the original 1929 condition to retain its Historic designation. Both the MSHDA and HUD were involved with inspections throughout the restoration. MHPN and NPS conducted their inspections once the renovation was complete. They were involved from the early design and planning stages and were familiar with the scope of the project. The work included brick replacement and repair, tuck pointing, concrete repair and masonry cleaning. According to Foreman Robert Woods, Building Restoration Division at RAM,

approximately 90% of the original brick was saved and reused. EXTERIOR BRICK AND MASONRY RESTORATION What began as a rather routine restoration project on the brick façade, quickly doubled in scope. The exterior, plagued by spalled and crumbling concrete, loose and fallen bricks, deteriorating window lintels and shelf angles, was hiding serious structural problems. What RAM discovered was about three inches of pack rust along the window lintels causing the brick to fall out of plumb and the stone parapet to lean inward approximately four inches every four feet, or 8-12 inches in total. After consulting with the owner of the building and the architect, TDG Architects of Pontiac, it was determined that the entire façade and parapet had to come down. Since they were working to preserve as much material as possible, “salvaging the brick and masonry from the top of the building and getting it to the ground was a big challenge,” according to Woods. To help the process, RAM built an elaborate 70-foot-

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The exterior - plagued by spalled and crumbling concrete, loose and fallen bricks, deteriorating window lintels and shelf angles - was hiding serious structural problems.

long swing stage across the building suspended from the roof that allowed the crew to perform the necessary repairs and move the brick and masonry from the top floors to the ground. The masonry from the parapet was carefully removed and each piece numbered to help with the reconstruction process. Once the lintels were replaced and flashing was added to the second and third levels of the building, the newly cleaned and restored brick and masonry was then reinstalled. CONCRETE RESTORATION AND REPAIR The decision to use shotcrete on the Lafayette Place renovation was a practical one considering the project time requirements, the ease of shotcrete application, finishing, and the strength and durability of the finished product. The advantages were applicable to both interior and exterior repairs. For the ceilings, deteriorated concrete was removed exposing the reinforcing steel. RAM cleaned and then coated the steel reinforcement to prevent deterioration. When the shotcrete was applied, it penetrated in and consolidated around the reinforcing steel bonding to the substrate to form a structurally sound and durable repair. One of RAM’s fifteen ACI Certified nozzlemen had to carefully adjust the water and material flow to assure a quality

application with enough time before final set for proper finishing. The crew matched form lines from the original construction over 80 years ago. The ceilings will be exposed as a finished product in each unit to highlight the aesthetics of the early construction techniques. The interior structural columns, many of which remain exposed and visible in the lofts, were 24 inches (600 mm) in diameter and flared at the top to about three to four feet (0.9 to 1.2 m) across. Approximately four inches (100 mm) of concrete was removed from the columns to expose the embedded reinforcing steel. RAM replaced the concrete and matched the conical profile of the existing columns. Using shotcrete on the ceilings and structural columns saved the crew time and the client money. The level of penetration of shotcrete would be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve if the crew had to mix materials and apply them by hand. On the exterior, concrete bands that encase the structural steel beams are seen from the outside and run both vertically and horizontally around the building. Once the loose and damaged materials were removed and the areas were cleaned and the steel beams coated, shotcrete was applied. During the finishing stage, the crew exposed the sandy texture of the repaired areas to match the building’s weathered appearance. Care was taken to constantly remove any “Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

overspray that would affect the building’s appearance. CHALLENGES According to Dennis Lezotte, a concrete foreman for RAM Construction, weather conditions posed the biggest challenge to working on the exterior of the structure. Wind, sun, temperature and humidity can all affect the curing rate of the shotcrete. Variable winds, changing humidity and extreme temperatures encountered during the project required the ACI-certified nozzlemen to carefully monitor and adjust the water and material flow during shotcrete placement. Maintaining proper hydration and appropriate protection to the exposed shotcrete surfaces, as well as starting curing as soon as possible were essential to guard against shrinkage cracking. The crew worked within the constraints of the weather to ensure that the quality of the repairs was maintained. PROJECT SUMMARY The Lafayette Place Lofts renovation project presented a unique set of challenges because of its status as a Historical building and the fact that it had been neglected for many years. Many of these challenges were minimized because a talented and knowledgeable crew readily adapted to changing situations. As a result, this project was completed on time, within budget and met all the strict requirements put forth by multiple government agencies for historical structures. West Construction Services, the building’s owners, were impressed with RAM Construction Services’ performance and professionalism throughout the restoration process. West Construction’s Site Manager Joe Owens describes RAM Construction as “an exemplary company that would always go above and beyond to make sure we were satisfied with their work.” SOURCES: RAM Construction Services, Inc., Livonia, MI Restoration and Repair Specialists: - Dennis Lezotte, Concrete Foreman - Robert Woods, Façade Restoration Foreman - Jessica S. Farley, Project Manager/Estimator West Construction Services, Pontiac, MI Building Owner and General Contractor: - Kyle Westberg, President - Bob Davis, Director of Marketing and Client Services - Joe Owens, Site Manager

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Bridge Renovations at Meadow Brook Hall ~Oakland University By Jessica S. Farley, RAM Construction Services - Photo Courtesy of RAM Construction Services eadow Brook Hall was built in the early 20th Century from the successes of automobile mogul John Dodge, his widow Maltida Dodge, and her second husband Alfred Wilson. After John’s death Maltida purchased additional acreage at their farm property in Rochester, Michigan, expanding the home to include 1,200 acres. The construction of the main house included 88,000 square feet of space in the much celebrated Tudor Revival style. In 2012, the main house and 37 associated farm buildings and structures were recognized by the United States Secretary of the Interior. The National Park Service has designated these buildings with their highest honor as a National Historic Landmark. Livonia-based RAM Construction Services was recently awarded the contract to restore the bridge adjacent to Meadow Brook Hall. The work consisted of wood, brick and concrete repairs. The decorative wood railing was completely replaced with a new custom white oak railing. The deteriorated brick veneer on the piers was removed and replaced with a blend of three brands of brick for a perfect match to the existing masonry. The structural concrete beams under the




bridge had deteriorated to such a degree that the bridge was considered unfit for large tour buses to pass. A coating was applied to the concrete on a previous repair which was not breathable and trapped moisture that led to further deterioration of the concrete and steel. The repairs necessary to restore the structural beams consisted of full and partial depth concrete removal and replacement. The use of Shotcrete, a method of applying the concrete thru a hose, was an integral part of this repair. Shotcrete was a smart choice because of the difficult access to the underside of the bridge and the confined working space. Shotcrete allowed all materials and equipment to remain at the top of the bridge and just hoses were mobilized to the work area. The ACI-Certified Nozzelmen at RAM Construction repaired a total of 1,200 square feet of concrete on the structural beams. All of the exposed steel was cleaned and coated or replaced if deterioration was significant. All seven support beams were finished to the original historic “chamfered” profile. One of the main concerns of the owner representatives at Meadow Brook Hall and Oakland University was to not interfere with

the schedule of main events, including weddings that took place during the week and on weekends. According to Damian Farmer, project foreman for RAM Construction, planning the work around the schedule of events at Meadow Brook Hall was the most challenging part of this project. With the multiple mobilizations, using the Shotcrete method was an advantage to decrease the duration of the project while offering a cost saving to both the owner and contractor. This project is reminiscent of the “glory days” of the automobile industry in metropolitan Detroit. The triumph of the Meadow Brook Hall bridge renovation coincides with resurgence in the auto industry and the revitalization of Detroit. RAM Construction Services is formerly known as Western Waterproofing Company and was founded in 1918. RAM is a premier Masonry Restoration and Waterproofing contractor in the state of Michigan. RAM is headquartered in Livonia and continues to expand. Last year, a new office was opened in Grand Rapids and currently they are renovating their newest location in the Chrysler House building downtown Detroit. The opening is slated for late spring. “Voice Of The Construction Industry”®


Welcome Home to Ten West Lofts By Mary E. Kremposky, Associate Editor

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MAY 2013



The exterior brick, dentils and decorative medallions of this late 19th to early 20th Century building were painstakingly cleaned.

pen the lobby doors of Ten West Lofts in downtown Pontiac and step from a 19th Century exterior into a 21st Century interior. Exterior brick and decorative limestone medallions give way to 14 contemporary lofts with Energy Star fixtures and hardwood floors, plus solid granite window sills and kitchen countertops. But for the project team, “time travel” wasn’t as easy as opening a door into this circa 1884 building and its two companion additions built between the late 1800s and 1905. The interior walls had been altered repeatedly over the last 129 years, leaving a


perplexing structural puzzle, plus seven different flooring layers that produced as much as a 7.5-inch drop from one end of a loft unit to the other. Drawing upon their professional acumen, BanahCorp - API, a Waterford architectural firm, and MICCO Construction, LLC, a Pontiac contractor, successfully untangled a host of unknown conditions to deliver these wonderful, light-filled lofts anyone would be happy to call home. In fact, many have called this building home over the last century, at least temporarily. Originally, this vintage three-story building housed sleeping rooms – the 19th Century equivalent of a hotel room – along with eateries, a jewelry store and a bank on the first level. Over time, the sleeping rooms became offices until the building was shuttered over the course of the last decade. The building is now part of the Cunningham collection of historic buildings in Pontiac. Jim and Greg Cunningham are the father and son development team that brought this building on the northwest corner of Huron and Saginaw Streets back to life. Working under the name, G.J. and J.A. Investments LLC, Pontiac, the Cunningham enterprise has created commercial space on the first level and residential space on the next two floors. According to Greg Cunningham, the manager and son of this father and son company, the development contains ten, one-bedroom and four, twobedroom units, including two fully accessible handicapped lofts. “I like the challenge of these old buildings,” said G.J. and J.A. Investments President Jim Cunningham. In fact, the firm redeveloped and moved their offices into the historical building, circa 1905, located right next door to Ten West Lofts. The Cunningham team selected architectural and contracting firms with local roots that had performed admirably on past projects for Monarch Investments, the name of the primary Cunningham firm




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that has developed nine historical buildings along downtown Pontiac’s loop road and several others throughout the city. MICCO President Robert Washer is the individual who first developed a working relationship with Monarch Investments. “MICCO Construction is a local builder that did a wonderful job on another one of our projects,” said Cunningham. “We are very happy with it, and it worked out very well. We have a very good relationship with both MICCO and BanahCorp-API.” Ten West Lofts were created in a close and collaborative family spirit by a local project team able to quickly resolve thorny design and construction issues. Past work and location are two of the ties that bind for this project team. Dropping by to examine an unexpected condition was all in a day’s work for BanahCorp-API Project Manager Alan Hall. And with the owner for a next-door neighbor to this active jobsite, financial decisions could be rendered quickly. “An obvious advantage to using local people was the fact that MICCO was only five minutes away, and I was 10 minutes away,” said Hall. “If a cash flow decision was needed, then Jim was right next door.” The channels of communication were wide open between the owner, architect and contractor, allowing a challenging job to progress more swiftly and in an easy, amicable spirit. The paperwork and time tangled up in a formal Request For Information (RFI) could be averted in this team climate. “We didn’t have to go through a paper chain that would take two or three days to figure out an answer,” said Hall. “It wasn’t just a team on paper. It’s a family. You don’t RFI your dad. You just go and ask him a question. In other words, we worked closely together, and we worked with the same goal in mind.” CLEANING A BIRD CAGE Securing the building envelope proved far easier than re-working the interior structure. The brick and masonry envelope was in great condition given the building’s age. For the exterior brick, “all we had to do was some minor tuck-pointing, as well as repairs and cleaning,” said MICCO Project Manager Duane Bernard. But rather than an acid wash, the exterior façade of this historical building was cleaned brick by brick. “The detail work near the cornice - the dentils and decorative medallions from the 1880s - was also painstakingly cleaned, and the window frames were painted burgundy for historical relevancy,” said Hall. Over time, the EIFS at street level had replaced the original limestone. An Visit us online at

aluminum grate had been installed across all of the EIFS, creating an ideal home for birds. “About 2,000 starlings came in every night and nested in it,” said Jim Cunningham. The developer cleaned this “bird cage” before handing the building over to the project team for the repair of cracks and spalls, followed by painting and the installation of new windows on the once shuttered building.

In terms of the building envelope, the roof was actually in the worst shape. “We ended up completely replacing the roof,” said Hall. The project team installed four inches of hard foam insulation on the roof and a single-ply membrane. The rooftop insulation eliminated the need for interior ceiling insulation and paved the way for creating high, exposed ceilings throughout the loft interiors.

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CONSTRUCTION HIGHLIGHT crooked, the floors of the entire building were markedly slanted. “In the beginning, you could roll a marble from one end of a unit to another,” said Hall. “One of the door openings in a unit would be higher than another door opening.” As a solution, MICCO removed seven layers of flooring and then placed two inches of gypcrete as a leveling agent. Post renovation, different flooring defines different living spaces, with hardwood floors for the living room, porcelain tile for the kitchen and baths, and carpeting for the bedrooms. The project team successfully resolved these concerns, leaving loft residents with an amazing place to live. Today, the main corridor and hallways resemble a boutique hotel with barrel-vaulted ceilings, indirectly lit soffits and even wall niches for flowers. In the units, the exposed ceiling’s new structural insertions and the original structure were both painted black to blend the two different construction periods and also add to the illusion of greater height. Peeling away the modern lay-in ceilings actually added significant height to the loft interiors, creating a greater sense of spaciousness in these relatively modest-sized units.

Office lay-in ceilings were removed, exposing the full height of the windows and the ceiling structure to create a dwelling of light with a sense of space.

STRUCTURAL SURPRISES Structurally, the building had good “bones.” The first level is riveted steel and the upper levels are wood. “It was built like a tank,” said Hall. But MICCO’s interior demolition revealed several unexpected structural surprises. “We were trying to leave as much of the structure of the main corridor intact, but as we were demolishing we uncovered some of the unexpected ‘mysteries’ of the building,” said Bernard. The first surprise: The steel beams in the main corridor were not even straight. “That was the way they were manufactured in the 1880s,” said Hall. “They were somewhat crooked, so we had to design our walls to take advantage of where the steel was placed.” The second surprise: Extensive notches were in the existing wood beams and joists. “Many of the beams had been notched and pipes had been inserted in the notches,” said Hall. “They just spanned from one wall to the other, and now that member, by code, couldn’t hold the regulated loads and was no longer structurally sound.” Some of the areas were even sagging. As a remedy, MICCO added new micro lam beams and other components to upgrade the structure. “There was a significant amount of work on the ceilings on all three levels,” said Hall. Washer added, “MICCO’s Project Manager Duane Bernard put in long days and hard hours.” The third surprise: While the main corridor beams were slightly



SCHEDULING THE UNEXPECTED More than structural anomalies were encountered when demolishing this 129-year-old building. Asbestos and lead paint were discovered during demolition. “When we began taking the seven layers of flooring off, we ran into some asbestos,” said Hall. “Other areas had lead paint. In one case, we had to put in some new members to uphold the second floor in one area. We had to put the new member on the existing beam by welding a plate underneath the existing beam. Before putting the plate on, we found out the beam had lead paint on it. We then had to abate the beam.” In another instance, the elevator was supposed to be modestly revamped for handicapped access. “But when we dug into the area and opened it up, nothing was within code,” said Hall. “The structure of the actual elevator shaft has to be able to handle the shaking of the elevator along the rails. Instead of just revamping, we had to take down the existing elevator and install new rails, so when the car moves it doesn’t shake the existing structure at all. We also had to put in a brand new elevator car and also a new board with modern mechanics. Basically, we went from revamping to installing almost a brand new system.” Given the age of the building, MICCO worked closely with BanahCorp-API during the design process and throughout the entire project. “When you are dealing with a structure that is 129 years old, you are always running into unknown conditions,” said Washer. “There had to be a great deal of coordination between the contractor and the architect on a renovation project of this complexity.” Working closely together was also pivotal in maintaining the project schedule. “Even working with all of these unknowns, we still have to maintain the schedule,” said Bernard. “We had to find ways to quickly work through the issues as a team. Everyone knew the importance of finding solutions that brought the best value to the project and of maintaining the schedule to deliver the end product when it was needed.” In the field, many strategies were used to save time and materials. For instance, in building the new corridors, the shoring wall was actually constructed to become the permanent wall between the corridor and loft units. “Nothing was wasted,” said Hall. “We didn’t want to install a shoring wall and then just take it out again.” In design, BanahCorp-API conducted a 3D laser scan of the new opening that had to be carved through the full height of the building to make way for the contemporary steel staircase. Given the slightly off-kilter structural members of the existing building, the “Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

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HOME SWEET HOME The completed interior of each loft is carefully orchestrated for optimal acoustics, light and space. The window frames were trimmed and triple-pane Pella windows were installed with integral blinds. Triple panes, coupled with blown cellulite insulation, improve energy efficiency and dampen the sound of traffic, creating lofts that meet a 70 DBA noise restriction. Residents of Ten West Lofts are enveloped in an acoustically controlled cocoon, for MICCO also installed acoustical insulation on the floors, as well as in the walls between units, the walls between the units and hallways, and the wall fronting the building exterior. The lofts are protected from sound but bathed in natural light, thanks to the removal of the lay-in ceilings at the 8-foothigh mark. The removal uncovered the full height of the windows, leaving room for exposed ductwork and drawing generous sunlight into these south-facing units. The new windows offer more natural light and more space, thanks to the deep-set, newly rebuilt, granite-clad sills. The sills almost form a window seat or an additional storage space. “We are maximizing as much space as possible,” said Hall. “Rather than bring the window flush with the interior wall and creating a place for birds to sit, we pushed the windows all the way out to the exterior wall and created more useable space.” Lowering the height of the bedroom closets and creating a wide, shelf-like platform above carves out further storage or display space. BanahCorp-API even tightened the width of the hallways to create more space for each unit. The building has an entire host of energyefficient features: It meets HERS standards, an acronym standing for Home Energy






3D scan ensured greater accuracy in design and timeliness of construction. “We used the 3D scan to design the steel to a tolerance of 1/8th of an inch,” said Hall. Today, one can walk all the way down the newly inserted steel staircase and catch a glimpse of the original Michigan fieldstone foundation in the 1884 portion of the building. Part of the new staircase even partially bears on this three-foot-thick foundation. “A post and a new foundation for the post were installed, because the original foundation wall could not bear the weight of the new staircase,” added Hall. The entire staircase is a light-filled vertical shaft, thanks to the preservation of window openings. In the future, these areas will even offer a view of a green or vegetated roof that will be built as a park-like oasis for residents.


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Each loft has a spacious kitchen with full-sized appliances and upscale finishes, including granite countertops and porcelain tile flooring.

This steel staircase was inserted into the existing building, using a 3D scan to design the steel to a tolerance of 1/8th of an inch.

Rating Standards; the entire building has new electrical, plumbing and heating and cooling systems; and each unit has a full complement of energy-efficient lighting and Energy Star appliances, including the water heater, the dishwasher and the refrigerator. Designed for optimal comfort, each unit has its own heating and cooling controls. The developer and architect have not left one stone unturned for tenant comfort. “Each unit has its own heating and cooling controls,” said Hall. “The door for each unit’s mechanical system is in the hallway, so maintenance staff does not interrupt the resident.” Plus, in this project team’s hands, each loft resident has all the comforts of a traditional single-family home, including a full-size kitchen, complete with a kitchen island, and a full-size stackable, front-loading washer and dryer. With natural light, hardwood floors and carefully crafted floor plans, it is no wonder that every loft is fully leased. And with a satisfied client, it is no wonder that the development team would surely contract with BanahCorp-API and MICCO on another project. “The builder was very good, and we work very well with the architect,” said Cunningham. “We’ve enjoyed it, and if we do another project, we would use the same people again.”

10 WEST LOFTS Owner: Architect:



G.J. & J.A. Investments, LLC, Pontiac BanahCorp - Architectural Planners Incorporated (API), Waterford Contractor: MICCO Construction, LLC, Pontiac Structural Engineer: AR Decker & Associates, Troy Acoustical Engineer: Kolano & Saha Engineers, Inc., Waterford • • • • • • • • • • • •

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE BILCO’S EnhancedPerformance Roof Hatch Designed for Energy Efficiency The Bilco Company’s enhancedperformance roof hatch meets LEED standards for recycled content and is more than 48 percent more energy-efficient than standard roof hatches. The enhanced performance roof hatch is designed for buildings seeking a LEED certification and for buildings located in areas with extreme temperature conditions. The roof hatch features a cover and curb that are fully insulated with a two-inch polyisocyanurate thermal insulation board for superior performance. This insulation achieves an Rvalue of 12 and is ozone-friendly to protect the environment.

In addition, the cover features a specially designed EPDM finger-type gasket that ensures a positive seal with the curb to reduce air permeability and ensure energy performance. Now the standard in European markets, the roof hatch has been tested and approved to BS EN standards for weathertightness, sound rating, and security. Bilco’s enhanced performance roof hatch is fabricated from aluminum to attain high levels in both recycled content and solar reflective index. As with all Bilco’s roof hatches, the product features counterbalanced lift assistance for easy one-hand operation, an automatic hold-open arm, a heavy-duty slam latch with interior and exterior padlocks, and the innovative Bil-ClipŽ flashing system for a quick and easy installation on singleply roofs. For more information on enhanced performance roof hatches, call (203) 9346363 or visit

Straight to the Point - Robotic Total Stations for Everyday Jobsite Use HILTI POS 180 AND POS 150 ROBOTIC TOTAL STATIONS Using the latest in robotic technology, the new Hilti POS 180 and Hilti POS 150 Robotic Total Stations are making their mark. With digital plans stored in memory, the compact controller is in permanent wireless contact with the total station and provides direct access to functions that make everyday layout and measuring tasks easier than ever. But best of all, these jobs can now be completed quickly and efficiently by just one person for increased productivity when compared to traditional methods for all jobsite layout needs. With intuitive operation and automatic

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target acquisition, these total stations are great for 3D layouts: outdoors on the ground or on facades, indoors on floors, ceilings and walls, and for checking positions on plans and measurements for drawing up building plans. The POS 180 and 150 bring the whole jobsite to your fingertips by providing a reliable “Building Information Modeling (BIM) to the jobsite” and “jobsite to BIM” data flow. Thanks to automatic prism tracking and continuous measurement data capturing, the new controller puts the complete building plan in the palm of your hand. Backing the Hilti POS 180 and POS 150 Robotic Total Stations is Hilti’s Calibration Service to help ensure reliability and accuracy. Even with Hilti’s built-in protection features, precision instruments can be affected by everyday use and more. Through the Calibration Service, the total station will be calibrated and adjusted as needed, with the calibration confirmed in writing. The POS 180 and POS 150 Robotic Total Stations also are covered by Hilti’s Lifetime Service, a unique service agreement that includes two years of no-cost coverage. For more information about the Hilti POS 180 and POS 150 Robotic Total Stations, please contact Hilti Customer Service. From the United States, call Hilti, Inc., at 1-800-8798000 or visit; from Canada, call Hilti (Canada) Corporation at 1-800-3634458 or visit

space and freedom needed for optimal productivity. With a base plate weight of 30 lbs., SpiderRail is easy to transport and assemble, and minimizes installation strain on workers. The system is uniquely designed to be stable and sturdy without a return or outrigger at the path ends. Swivel clamps and patented interconnection features provide the strongest temporary rail on the market.

SpiderRail comes with built-in toe-boards making it a complete ready-to-install system. The pre-engineered fabricated panel system eliminates lumber yard visits to collect and dispose of 2x4s, saving time and resources while offering a superior alternative solution. To view the product brochure, visit

Spider Launches SpiderRail™ Spider, a division of SafeWorks, LLC, announces SpiderRail™ - a temporary, nonpenetrating guardrail system used to protect workers from fall hazards in the restoration, new construction, and process industries. Designed for easy and efficient assembly which meets and exceeds OSHA’s fall protection requirements, SpiderRail keeps worksites safe by protecting edges and other fall hazards while giving workers the Visit us online at


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PRODUCT SHOWCASE Releases Rail Mount LED Work Light with Dual Light Heads announced the release of the WAL-JH-2XWP400 Rail Mount LED Work Light designed to allow fast temporary mounting to ladders, scaffolding and railings. This high output LED work light is designed to provide highly versatile mounting options for workers who frequently use ladders and scaffolds during work operations. This LED light features an adjustable scaffold mounting bracket and dual light heads that make it an ideal lighting solution for larger work spaces where operators must work from elevated locations. The Magnalight WAL-JH2XWP400 rail mount LED work area light provides powerful and dependable LED illumination with dual LED light heads and versatile mounting options with an adjustable Jhook ladder mount bracket. This railing mounted work light produces 2,924 lumens of bright white light



and distributes it in a wide flood pattern capable of illuminating 15,000 square feet of work space. The lamp assembly on this work light consists of two 40 watt LED light fixtures producing 1,462 lumens each mounted onto an aluminum J-hook bracket designed to be attached to ladders, scaffolds and railings without the need for tools. The J-hook bracket can be adjusted between 26 inches to 43 inches in length, allowing it to be quickly and easily fitted to a wide variety of railings and scaffolds of various sizes. Each LED lamp is independently adjustable and a an adjustable center post allows the operator to elevate the lamps up to three feet above the mounting bracket for better coverage. The lamps are IP68 rated waterproof to three meters, providing excellent protection against water and humidity, and the LED design is highly resistant to damage from shocks and vibrations. The lamps have a 50,000+ hour operational life, providing more than twice the longevity of HID lamps, and are designed to provide high output while running cooler,

resulting in less heat in the work area and less chance of accidental burns should hands or fingers come into contact with the lamps while they are operating. These scaffold mounted work lights run with common 120-277 VAC current in standard configuration, allowing them to be operated from most typical wall outlet power sources. Magnalight also offers optional 12/24 VDC configurations for applications where low voltage power sources are preferable or more convenient. These rail mount LED work area lights are ideal for workers who operate in large spaces where scaffolding and ladders are commonly used and allow them to position the lights in elevated locations, thus providing excellent overhead illumination of the work area below and around them. Larson Electronics’ Magnalight offers a wide selection of LED work lights, LED light towers, explosion proof lights, LED flashlights, and intrinsically safe LED lights. The Larson Electronics family of brands can be found on, and You can also call 1800-369-6671 to learn more about all of Larson Electronics’ lighting products or call 1-214-616-6180 for international inquires.

“Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

Duro-Last® Adds Three New Products to Its Accessories Line Duro-Last Roofing, Inc. is pleased to announce the availability of three new accessories to their product line: Oval Membrane Plates; Tubos®; and Non-Penetrating Anchors which are offered in two different sizes. All three products provide more options for authorized Duro-Last contractors to install a complete roofing system. The Oval Membrane Plates are used to mechanically fasten roofing membranes. This new design reduces the lap spacing on rolled goods installations by 17 square feet per roll. Tubos® are pre-fabricated PVC plumbing vent pipe extensions. This product is a great accessory as part of a “complete roofing system.” When vent pipes need to be extended to accommodate additional layers of insulation, or meet building codes, this now offers contractors the ability to order the extensions directly from Duro-Last when they order their other materials. Non-Penetrating Anchors are lightweight equipment attachment systems consisting of a galvalume-coated steel plate with an integrated stainless steel bolt, heat-fused to a Duro-Last® membrane skirt. The bolt is compatible with the support framing of all rail systems, and the anchors provide a non-penetrating option for securing racks for photovoltaic systems or other equipment to the rooftop. They are available with 12” x 12” or 16” x 16” skirts, which are attached to the installed Duro-Last PVC membrane using conventional heat welding techniques. With corporate headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Saginaw, MI, and other locations in Grants Pass, OR, Jackson, MS, and Sigourney, IA, Duro-Last Roofing, Inc. is the manufacturer of the “World’s Best Roof”®. Since 1978, Duro-Last has produced a custom-fabricated, single-ply roofing system that is ideal for any flat or low-sloped building. Energy-efficient and extremely durable, the Duro-Last roofing system is also leak-proof, virtually maintenance-free and resistant to chemicals, fire, punctures, and high winds. DuroLast offers specialized single-ply roof membranes, standing seam panels, and other metal components for single-ply roof installations, and a complete line of roof insulation products. For more information, contact Fred Sitter at 800-248-0280 or visit

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MAY 2013


PRODUCT SHOWCASE New Angle Grinder from Metabo Lightweight, Ergonomic RAT TAIL HANDLE INCREASES COMFORT AND SAFETY Metabo Corporation, a leading international manufacturer of professional grade portable electric power tools and abrasives for industrial, construction and welding applications, introduces a new lightweight, ergonomic angle grinder designed for applications in the field using AC/DC power sources. The W1080 RT 5” angle grinder, also known as the ‘Rat Tail’ because of its handle design, fits comfortably in the user’s hand and features a rubberized grip that dampens vibration and increases slip resistance. This new angle grinder is ideal for use in pipeline installation and maintenance as well as for tank and structural steel fabrication in heavy metal industries. Its advanced ergonomics enables use for prolonged periods of time with reduced

operator fatigue. The W1080 RT features a high overload capacity 10 A motor with 1,080 watts of power, 26 inch-lbs of torque and a no-load speed of 10,000 rpm. The new grinder has a low profile aluminum die-cast gear housing that facilitates heat dissipation and increased tool life. Weighing just 5.4 lbs., this new angle grinder is perfect for applications that require reaching or overhead work. Its slim motor housing design and ergonomic side handle make the grinder comfortable, safe and easy to use throughout the day. The W1080 RT includes a non-locking trigger switch, spindle lock, burst-proof wheel guard and auto-stop carbon brushes, further ensuring a long tool life. As with all Metabo tools, this grinder is covered by Metabo’s XXL warranty. This free warranty extends the standard one year

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power tool warranty to three years. The W1080 RT comes standard with a Type 27 wheel guard, an inner flange, a face spanner and an outer nut. A Type 1 cut-off wheel guard, carrying case and a variety of abrasives for the grinder are sold separately. For more information, please visit or contact Jere Geib, Metabo Corporation, 1231 Wilson Drive, West Chester, PA 19380. Tel: 800/ 6382264; Fax: 800/ 638-2261; E-mail:

The SpaceKap CAT Slip-In Truck Cap Now Available From A.R.E. NEW MODEL CREATES ULTIMATE TOOLBOX FOR CONTRACTORS, FLEET OPERATORS A.R.E. has announced it will offer the SpaceKap CAT slip-in utility body designed to turn work trucks into the ultimate toolbox for everyone from small contractors to large fleet operators. The SpaceKap CAT is a new self-contained mobile unit featuring one-piece construction and doublesided fiberglass walls insulated to prevent condensation inside the unit. Available for 6foot and 8-foot truck beds, the SpaceKap CAT comes standard with the company's popular 40/60 rear doors that allow for easy access to equipment. It also features interior LED lighting, stainless steel hinges, interior molded wooden rails to attach shelving, automotive grade door retainers, an HD aluminum door sill and aluminum diamond plate panels to protect the rear doors from shifting cargo. A second version of the SpaceKap CAT is also available featuring full length side access doors with interior shelving and sliding trays to create an efficient workspace. Designed to increase efficiency, the SpaceKap CAT has a unique tie-down system that allows users to quickly install or remove the cap in 15 minutes or less. If professionals want to leave the cap at the jobsite, four camper jacks can be used to hold the 550 lb. unit while the truck is pulled away. The cap, which can be customized with optional windows, interior shelves, ladder racks and more, is built to spec for most compact, mid-sized and full-sized pickups on the road today. “Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

A.R.E. is the exclusive U.S. distributor for the SpaceKap product line (excludes WA and OR), which is available through their network of more than 650 authorized dealers, who provide nationwide product availability and customer service. A.R.E. began manufacturing aluminum frame truck caps in 1969 and has become a leading manufacturer of fiberglass truck caps and hard tonneau covers. At its ISO-9001:2008certified manufacturing facilities, A.R.E.'s more than 700 employees create the products that are sold through a network of more than 650 independent authorized dealers. For more information, contact A.R.E. at 400 Nave Rd. S.E., P.O. Box 1100, Massillon, OH 44648; E-mail or visit

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MAY 2013


PEOPLE IN CONSTRUCTION Skanska USA announced today that Kristin Goodchild has been promoted to senior director of business development for Michigan, Indiana and Northern Ohio. In her new role, Goodchild will expand the company’s network of community relationships, develop new business, and focus on growing the Indiana and Northern Ohio markets. Goodchild’s previous position was director of business Goodchild development. Goodchild has been recognized for her professional achievements and contributions to the industry. The National Association of Women in Construction’s (NAWIC) Kalamazoo chapter awarded Goodchild the 2011 Crystal Vision Award for advancing the success of women in the construction industry. Lansing-based C2AE, a full-service architectural, engineering and planning firm, has announced the following new hires: Cory Davis, PE has been added as a project manager specializing in transportation and infrastructure construction engineering services; Tim Cane has joined the firm as an architectural designer, specializing in healthcare and education; Jennifer Middlin joined the marketing team at C2AE as a marketing coordinator; and Trystin Vanderstelt also joined C2AE as a marketing coordinator with a background in business and marketing. Barton Malow Company, Southfield, recently announced that Marisa Varga, CPSM, LEED AP has been promoted to director of business development and marketing. Marisa will primarily focus on managing marketing operations and developing business for Barton Malow. Varga has been with Barton Malow Company for the past eight years.


Hamilton Anderson Associates (HAA) is pleased to announce that Dan Kinkead, AIA, has been named design principal at HAA, a multidisciplinary design practice based in Detroit. Kinkead’s appointment will include design project leadership, staff development and design studio direction, while contributing to strategic decision-making within the firm’s broader leadership team. Lansing-based Clark Construction Company has announced the promotion of five employees to executive positions. Gerald Boerner has been Boerner Reece Blower promoted to senior vice president of operations. Boerner has over 25 years of experience in commercial, retail and institutional projects. David Reece has been promoted to senior vice president, responsible for marketing, estimating and brand development (BD). Allen LaLonde Stakhiv Blower has been promoted to vice president. Blower had previously worked as a project director for Clark. Robert LaLonde has been promoted to vice president. He has 14 years of experience in commercial construction. Jerry Stakhiv has been promoted to vice president. He has a 30-year career in the construction industry.



The Board of Directors of Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber, Inc. (FTC&H) is pleased to announce the following key management and leadership promotions: Brown Koops Linck Jeffrey Brown, PE to vice president/senior civil engineer; Paul Koops, PE, LEED AP to vice president/senior mechanical engineer; Jacquelyn Linck, PE to vice president/senior Launstein Piper Steele chemical engineer; Daniel Launstein, AIA, LEED AP to senior architect; Kelli Piper, CHMM to senior environmental specialist; Aaron Steele, CPA to controller; Christopher Wall, PE, PTOE, PTP to senior civil engineer; and Jonathan Yonkers, PE, LEED AP to senior mechanical Wall Yonkers engineer. FTC&H has offices in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Farmington Hills, MI and Cincinnati, OH. SHW Group, one of the nation’s leading educational architecture and engineering firms, has nine new team members at its Berkley office. Debra Burgess joins SHW Group as mechanical designer; John Glaeser, LEED AP, as lead commissioning and controls engineer; Agnieszka Hartzell as an electrical designer; Tara Hoeksema as marketing manager; Thomas McComas joins the firm as electrical co-op; Theo Pappas, AIA, LEED AP BD&C, NCARB as a senior planner; Laura Sanders joins as an electrical designer; Anthony Sikora, LEED AP BD&C as an architectural intern; and Elizabeth Tierney joins the team as a proposal coordinator. Ruby+Associates, Structural Engineers based in Farmington Hills, has named Robert Stempien, AIA as its newest vice president. In this role, Stempien will support Ruby’s ongoing growth in the structural engineering industry by adding his business development, problem solving and project development expertise.


Integrated Design Solutions, an architectural and engineering firm located in Troy, is pleased to announce the promotion of eight staff members: Michael D. Barden, LC, IALD to senior associate from associate; Thomas B. Carron, PE to senior associate from associate; Matthew R. Perez, PE, LEED AP BD+C to senior associate from associate; Michael G. DelPup, AIA to associate; Mark Reaves, AIA, LEED AP BD+C to associate; Joseph L. Schwartz, PE, CGD, LEED AP BD+C to associate; Brandon Sundberg, AIA, LEED AP to associate; and Theresa M. Valdez to associate. Triangle Associates, Inc., Grand Rapids, recently announced the following: Scott Atkinson has been named as project manager in the firm’s Jupiter, FL office; Andrew Hilger has been hired as project engineer; Steve Pierson has been hired as superintendent; and Jill Meendering has been named as their accounts payable/accounting assistant.

“Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

The Board of Directors of John R. Burt Enterprises is pleased to announce the promotion of Tom Hollingsworth to executive vice president of John R. Burt Enterprises family of companies. The John R. Burt Hollingsworth Enterprises family of companies includes Duro-Last® Roofing, Inc.; Plastatech® Engineering, Ltd.; Oscoda Plastics®, Inc.; and TIP-TOP® Screw Manufacturing, Inc. Hollingsworth will continue his current role as president of Duro-Last and will assume responsibility for quality control, procurement and Research & Development (R&D) for all John R. Burt Enterprises family of companies. Somat Engineering, Inc., an infrastructure solutions provider headquartered in Detroit, recently welcomed Matthew Germane, PE as environmental group manager. Germane brings over 30 years of environmental expertise working throughout Michigan and Ohio.


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MAY 2013


CORPORATE NEWS For the tenth consecutive year, Triangle Associates, Inc., Grand Rapids, has been named one of West Michigan’s 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For by the Michigan Business & Professional Association. Each company’s entry was judged on its human resource practices by an independent research firm. Nominees were evaluated in a number of categories including communications; community initiatives; compensation and benefits; diversity and multiculturalism; employee education and development; employee engagement and commitment; recognition and retention; recruitment and selection; and work-life balance. Canton Township-based Plumbing Professors, a 24-hour service plumbing, sewer repair and epoxy pipe lining company, has been awarded a pipe lining contract by the Lucas County Sewer & Water Department in Toledo, OH for work to be performed in historic Ottawa Hills. The contract calls for re-lining a deteriorated sewer pipe located under Indian Road; the epoxy pipe lining process will repair the sewer line without having to shut down the road or excavate the sewer line. Also, Plumbing Professors has announced the addition of WDFN "The Fan" 1130-AM to the growing list of radio stations carrying "Plumbing Professors Radio," a weekly radio show focused on plumbing, sewer and drain problems. The show airs every Saturday from 11am to 12 noon EDT



on both WDFN 1130-AM Detroit, and WSPD 1370-AM Toledo, OH. The show allows Plumbing Professors to talk directly to their clients throughout southeast Michigan, northwest OH and southwest Ontario, Canada. Listeners can get answers to their plumbing, sewer and drain problems by calling 888-424-8880 during the show. Elzinga & Volkers Construction Professionals, Holland, is pleased to announce that for the sixth year in a row they have been selected by the Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA) as one of ”West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Company to Work For.” The 2013 winning companies were assessed by an independent research firm that reviewed a number of key measures in various categories. The winning 101 companies now compete for 11 elite awards, one granted for each of the categories listed above. In 2012, Elzinga & Volkers was recognized as an Elite award winner in the Community Initiatives category. Elite Awards further recognize the top 10 percent of the 101 Best and Brightest winners. This designation is given to one company in West Michigan that shows the deepest commitment to improving the local community, while providing encouragement and time for employees to participate in a meaningful way. Elzinga & Volkers has been a 101 Best and Brightest winner for the last six years and an Elite Award winner in three of those five years and hopes to continue that tradition.

“Voice Of The Construction Industry”®


CAMTEC, the training & education division of CAM, offers a wide variety of classes, seminars and presentations on all aspects of construction. All sessions are available at the CAMTEC facility in the CAM headquarters located in Bloomfield Hills, or can be taken to the field on jobsites and office settings, etc.

Please submit all calendar items no less than six weeks prior to the event to: Amanda Tackett, Editor: May 7, 2013 – Energy Conference and Exhibition 2013 Suburban Showplace Collection, Novi, MI Hosted by DTE Energy and the Engineering Society of Detroit, this 16th annual conference is designed to educate small to large commercial and industrial businesses on energy technology, products and services that will assist them in successful energy management. The 2013 conference will focus on “Energy Efficiency” and will include several seminars and presentations. Sponsorships and Booths are available. Cost to attend is $35 Student Rate; $65 ESD Members; $85 Non-Members; $139 to become a Member of ESD at ½ off, which includes a oneyear subscription to Crain’s Detroit Business. For more information, contact Tim Walker, ESD Director of Conferences, 248-353-0735 or visit

July 25-28, 2013 – American Society of Concrete Contractors – Concrete Executive Leadership Forum The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL To register or for more information, visit or call 866-788-2722 September 12 – 15, 2013 - American Society of Concrete Contractors – Annual Conference Sheraton Columbus at Capital Square, Columbus, OH To register or for more information, visit or call 866-788-2722

PROJECT MANAGEMENT INSTRUCTION - May 9 & 16 - Scheduling & Planning (2 sessions) - May 23 & 30 - Contracts & Purchase Orders (2 sessions) - June 3 & 5 - Project Management & Supervision (2 sessions) - June 6 - Project Accounting - June 13 - Project Closeout SAFETY & HEALTH TRAINING - May 2 - Advanced Accident Investigation (MTI) - May 6 & 8 - OSHA 10-Hour for Construction (2 sessions) - May 15 – First Aid, CPR, AED - June 11 & 12 - MIOSHA 10-Hour for Construction (MTI) (2 sessions) For CAMTEC Registration Form, Tuition Pricing, Policies and Procedures please visit training and education.

May 17, 2013 - Michigan Mason Contractors’ Association Spring Meeting and Golf Outing The Majestic at Lake Walden, Hartland, MI Join the Michigan Mason Contractors for their Spring Meeting and Golf Outing. Topics discussed will include the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); BIM; and Right to Work. A shotgun golf outing will follow the meeting with a box lunch served on the course. For more information, call (231) 463-4572 or visit May 31, 2013 – SMWIA Local Union #80 Training Center Open House Local Union #80 Training Center, Warren, MI All are invited to attend the Sheet Metal Workers Apprentice Training Center Open House. Become informed and educated about the purpose and function of the Sheet Metal Apprentice Program and Training Facility. Emphasis will be on technical advancements, safety programs, and apprentice curriculum based on specific industry segment education. Focus on HVAC; Residential & Light Commercial; Architectural; Service; Testing, Adjusting & Balancing; and Restaurant Equipment. The day-long event will run from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. For more information, call (586) 9795190 or e-mail Visit us online at

Insight, Oversight and Foresight to Build on Your Success An internationally recognized, top 100 U.S. firm, Doeren Mayhew provides construction companies with insight into their businesses, oversight to ensure best practices and foresight for what’s ahead. We invite you to see how we can help you capitalize on the opportunities and navigate the challenges specific to the construction industry. Visit today.

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MAY 2013




ADVERTISERS INDEX Ace Cutting Equipment................................................27

Environmental Maintenance Engineers..................25


Aluminum Supply Company/

Facca Richter & Pregler, P.C. ........................................40


Aoun & Company ..........................................................35

Hartland Insurance Group, Inc. ..................................43



Michielutti Brothers ......................................................35

Better Bolting ................................................................27

Next Generation Services Group ..............................41

Bratic Enterprises, LLC ..................................................43

North American Dismantling Corp. ........................33

Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

Oakland Companies ......................................................30

Marshall Sales ............................................................6


Union Local #1 ........................................................31 Butcher and Butcher Construction ..........................12


CAM Affinity ....................................................................23 CAM Comp ......................................................................37 CAM ECPN ......................................................................46


CAM Magazine ........................................................36, 41 CAMSAFETY....................................................................IBC CAMTEC


C.A.S.S. Sheet Metal ......................................................19


C.E.I. Group LLC ..............................................................15 CSM Mechanical ............................................................44 Cendrowski Corporate Advisors ..............................IFC


Connelly Crane Rental Corp. ....................................IBC Cummins Bridgeway........................................................9 DRC Contract Cleaning Restorative Drying ..........20 Detroit Dismantling ......................................................14

G2 Consulting Group ....................................................33

Oakland Metal Sales, Inc. ............................................39 Operating Engineers Local 324....................................7 Plante Moran PLLC ........................................................11 R.L. Deppmann Co. ........................................................38 Rick's Portables ..............................................................20 Roofers Local 149 ..........................................................21 Roofing Technology Associates, Ltd.........................10 SMRCA


Scaffolding Inc.................................................................21 Shaw Electric....................................................................36 Sheet Metal Workers Local 80....................................BC Spartan Specialties ........................................................26 Testing Engineers ..........................................................35 Unistrut


Valenti Trobec Chandler, Inc./ Griffin Smalley & Wilkerson....................................5

Detroit Terrazzo Contractors Association ............IBC




Doeren Mayhew ............................................................45

“Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

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MAY 2013


May 2013 CAM Magazine  

Safety Tool Kit: 2013 Michigan Construction Deaths on the Rise; Marketing on the Level: Emerging Trends Can Make Your Website Work Harder; S...

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