St. Louis CNR – March/April 2022 Edition

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F E AT U R E S COVER STORY PAGE 16 Cultivating Success: Cannabis facility construction demands precise control systems By Kerry Smith

PUBLISHER Michael Chollet 314.956.0753 EDITOR Kerry Smith 618.225.2253 SALES Gene Keeven Advertising 314.368.7357 Marshall Girtman Advertising 618-694-0237 PRODUCTION Tripp Co. Creative, Inc.

ISSN 1045-3792 CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review, as the Voice for the Construction Industry in the St. Louis Trade Area, has nearly 4,000 subscribers with an average of eight readers per copy. No material in this publication may be reproduced in any fashion without explicit written permission from the Publisher. CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review (ISSN: 1045-3792) (USPS:988-340) is published bimonthly for $32.00 per year by Visio, LLC. Back issues are available for $5 per copy. Periodicals-class postage paid at High Ridge, MO and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: 1038 Walnut Terrace - Byrnes Mill, MO 63049 ​ ditorial material under bylines E expresses the opinions of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the policy or opinions of this publication. Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement of the product advertised or listed nor statements concerning them. ©2020 Visio, LLC

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MERV-13 Filter Demand Spiking as Occupants Return to Office Buildings By Kerry Smith

‘Electrification of Everything’ Spurring Increased Renewables By Kerry Smith

Educators, Recruiters Say ‘Great Resignation’ is Real By Kerry Smith



01 02

Perspective: The Electrification of Everything By Michael Chollet

Edwardsville CENTER Features NHL-Regulation Rink, Indoor Running Track By Kerry Smith


Law: COVID-19 Causes Breaches to Construction Contracts: Which Party Bears the Risk?


Sales: The Market is Alive: Shake off the Rust and Get Back Out There


Automotive LED Lighting Manufacturer Builds New Headquarters



By Tyler Schaeffer

By Tom Woodcock

By Kerry Smith



The Electrification of Everything This past October, I volunteered to help my daughter and her family with a move from Memphis to Colorado. My daughter and son-in law, both physicians, were making the move to take over a family medicine practice in the small town of Canon City. With two cars, two young children and three pets to juggle, I stepped in as a kid-wrangler and third driver. My daughter and I took their 18-month-old son and two cats in an SUV stacked high with household possessions that didn’t make it on the moving truck. My son-in-law packed their five-year-old daughter, more household stuff and a giant black dog named Dozer into his Tesla sedan. As you might imagine, rolling cross country in a fully electric car requires a bit of advance planning. When I volunteered for the trip, I hadn’t given much thought to where EV charging stations might be and certainly had no idea how they work. Turns out, though not as widely available as one might hope, they are readily discoverable online. Though there aren’t nearly as many as there will be in the future, there are enough to make a cross-country trip in a reasonable amount of time. We stopped every 3-4 hours for about 45 minutes which, with small children and pets in tow, was just about perfect. Tesla charging stations, it seemed to me, were in odd places— tucked behind restaurants and hotels and on the edges of out-of-the-way parking lots. Not at all the obvious and highly visible close-to-the-highway placement of regular gas stations. My son-in-law told me that when he bought his car, he bought a recharging package that provided free recharging at Tesla charging stations. Other Tesla owners without this perc pay about $10 per charge. Some EV critics like to say “Electric cars don’t run for free.” True enough, but they’re at least $45 closer to free each week than my conventional gas-powered vehicle. It had been many years since I last made the drive to Colorado. Much of it makes one ponder the courage of pioneers crossing the prairie in covered wagons through beautiful territory filled with hidden dangers. One significant but not-sodangerous feature in the treeless landscape of western Kansas was a proliferation of electric wind turbines. With quite a few hours of drive time to think, I ultimately reached the conclusion that electricity is something of a superhero in human history. Whenever we reach an impasse that looks like big problems for future civilization, electrical technology jumps ahead. Many years ago, my extremely science-forward brother asked if I knew much about LED

technology. I admitted that I didn’t. His quick response was “You will!” and he was dead right. LED was a frontrunner of green tech and it’s exciting to see others like solar, wind power and high-efficiency appliances and HVAC systems become industry standards. The topic of solar power for home use is an interesting study. With a perfect southern exposure on the back of my house, I have been considering the addition of solar panels since not long after we moved in 10 years ago. Two things have postponed this project; frugal me is waiting for better tax incentives and practical me is watching the technology advance so quickly that I worry today’s installation will be obsolete in just a few years. I’m normally pretty tech-forward and quick to jump on advancements, but in this case, progress is happening so fast that it seems reasonable to think something even better is just around the corner. As a whole, the industry sector focused on electrical power is fascinating to watch. To my earlier point, EV charging stations are popping up across the country. Construction of data centers are another area of tremendous growth and investment in advanced technology. Intel recently announced a $20 billion project in Columbus, Ohio that expects to create 7,000 construction jobs and up to 4,000 permanent jobs with annual salaries of $135,000. Just the electrical portion of a data center project like Intel’s totals $1 billion to $2 billion, according to Tommy Davis, Jr., Chairman and CEO of TD4 Electrical, LLC. Mike Seger, Vice President of Renewable Energy at Aschinger Electric, a Guarantee Electrical company, says the number of solar energy projects across the region and the state is increasing, thanks to Missouri voter passage of Proposition C, the Missouri Clean Energy Act, in 2008. The legislation created a renewable electricity standard in the state, requiring utility companies to increase their usage of renewable energy annually until 15 percent of the energy used in Missouri is renewable. The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) St. Louis Chapter Manager Kyle McKenna says there has never been a better time to be an electrical contractor because renewable opportunities are so abundant. That’s powerful good news!

Mike Chollet, Publisher St. Louis CNR Magazine

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022



Edwardsville CENTER Features NHL-Regulation Rink, Indoor Running Track Construction will finish in May on a state-of-the-art ice rink and one of the only 175-meter elevated competition tracks in the area at The R.P. Lumber CENTER in Edwardsville. Located along Governors’ Parkway a half mile east of Illinois Route 157 and adjacent to Edwardsville High School, the $11 million project is being built by S. M. Wilson & Co. with design by Chiodini Architects. Construction began in March 2021. 2

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The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


A 45,000-square-foot indoor ice rink built to official NHL regulations is a focal point of the new facility. Tight construction parameters challenged the project team as members worked to install some six miles of pipe in a serpentine fashion beneath the rink slab without leaving any imperfections in the slab that could affect safety and performance on the ice.

Other project partners include G&W Engineering, B32, Oates and Associates, McClure Engineering and Alper Audi. The complex is named in honor of major donor and long-time business owner Robert Plummer. S. M. Wilson Senior Project Manager Kerry Lorts says the 65,000-square-foot facility consists of a 45,000-squarefoot indoor ice rink, fitness spaces, a 4,000-square-foot teen center and rentable meeting spaces for more than 100 guests. The National Hockey League-regulation ice rink measures 200 feet by 85 feet with a corner radius of 28 feet, and with each goal line 11 feet from the end boards. “The bleacher seating will accommodate up to 650 people,” Lorts said. “Suspended above the year-round rink is a 20,000-square-foot, four-lane, elevated, 1/8-mile running track with a lined rubber flooring that has the feel of an outdoor running track.” Supply chain challenges necessitated logistical problem solving, according to Lorts, with regard to the project sequencing. “We ordered 90 tons of steel roof joists and girders in February 2021, but they didn’t arrive until August 2021,” he said. “The girders span 120 feet apiece and support the roof over the ice rink. We braced all of our tilt-up panels to the outside so we could continue to work inside while we waited for the joists.” Tight construction parameters specific to the NHL-regulation rink also challenged project team members, Lorts said. “The specificity of the ice slab itself and how it has to come together provided another healthy project challenge,” he said. “There is approximately six miles of pipe that serpentines back and forth underneath the rink slab. If there were any imperfections in that slab, the thickness of the ice would vary and affect safety and performance.” Some 7,000 gallons of liquid refrigerant run through the mechanical piping beneath an NHL-regulation rink floor. The mechanical systems technology closely resembles that which exists in large-scale refrigerators and air conditioners. In addition to the piping, layer and elements of the rink include: 1) the skating surface, 2) a chilled concrete slab, 3) vapor barrier, 4) insulation, 5) subsurface heating system, 6) sand and gravel base and 7) heated ground thaw piping. “We performed all of our work over the top of the ice before we poured the rink,” said Lorts. “We painted the deck above, installed the heating, ventilation and air



CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

conditioning above (the rink) and hung the lighting so we were then able to pour the rink slab in a finished environment.” S. M. Wilson hired a New York-based ice rink/refrigeration contractor and utilized a cadre of local ironworkers, laborers, carpenters and finishers. Fitness areas and additional exercise machines will be situated along the corners of the running track. Chiodini Architects Principal and Project Director Michael Chiodini and Director of Design Greg Uphoff oversaw design of The R.P. Lumber CENTER. Chiodini said the vision for this project began with former Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton. “We began this endeavor in 2016 based upon the vision of Hal Patton,” said Chiodini. “Then the pandemic hit. The City of Edwardsville had the foresight to get the RFQ (Request for Qualifications) out in February 2020 to keep the project going. Robert Plummer stepped in and made the financial commitment to see this project through to fruition.” A cutting-edge refrigeration system is evident in The CENTER’s design, according to Chiodini. “This facility has a state-of-the-art, zero-emissions ammonia system as its source of refrigeration,” he said. “The HVAC and dehumidification systems are also state of the art.” The facility’s design also features a series of glass garage doors to enhance the area known as the Teen Center. Design of an outdoor patio with an indoor/outdoor space to host pingpong, firepits and other amenities as a multi-function, multi-use environment is also part of the Teen Center. Chiodini Architects has designed and renovated rinks in St. Louis and across the U.S. over the past seven years. Lorts, too, credits Patton for the foresight and commitment to funding the project via grants and private donations. “Hal pushed hard for this project and was passionate about it happening,” Lorts said. “Initially the vision for this facility was its purpose as an indoor ice rink and teen center,” he added. “But during the project’s evolution, the idea to add an indoor track became a reality, and that allowed the City of Edwardsville to apply for various grants and continue to grow the scope and scale of the project.” The exterior of The R.P. Lumber CENTER consists of tilt-up concrete panels that contain three inches of

Suspended above the year-round indoor rink is a 20,000-square-foot, four-lane, 1/8th-mile running track with a lined rubber flooring that has the feel of an outdoor running track. Bleacher seating accommodates up to 650 fans to cheer on the athletes. concrete, two inches of insulation and eight inches of structural concrete. The insulation layer, Lorts said, is a common feature of indoor ice rinks in the Midwest to help keep the rink in optimal performance condition. The façade design includes a series of colors, patterns and cultured stone around the main entrance for an upscale feel. Lawrence Fabric and Metal Structures fabricated and installed six canopies for the project. Project Manager Greg Overturf said the canopies feature an I-beam-style perimeter gutter channel surrounding an assembled and mechanically attached deck pan system. Each canopy is supported by the building structure at the rear with galvanized steel upper support rod assemblies and wall flange plates. The

canopies are designed to function with the light fixtures. Greenspace adjacent to the indoor rink is reserved for planned construction of an outdoor-only rink with a lid in the future. High school athletes from Edwardsville District 7 and the surrounding school districts will be able to utilize the ice rink, track and teen center, as will the community. The CENTER is the third of the city’s three-part Better Place to Play campaign. In 2016, construction of the Leon Corlew Park and Splash Pad by Highland-based Korte & Luitjohan Contractors completed. In 2020, the Plummer Family Sports Park was completed by Bridgeton-based Byrne & Jones Construction.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022




COVID-19 Causes Breaches to Construction Contracts: Which Party Bears the Risk? The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely unpredictable in its effects on businesses. On March 16, 2020, at the very beginning of the pandemic, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 2,997 points – the largest single-day point drop in history. By the end of 2021, however, the stock market had fully recovered and reached new record highs. At the beginning of the pandemic, the concern focused heavily on rampant unemployment and need for increased government benefits. More recently, the job market has been measured by the number of available jobs that remain unfilled. One of the most noteworthy – and perhaps not immediately predictable – consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic was its exposure of the fragility of our global supply chains; many businesses and industries experienced unprecedented delays in obtaining needed products and supplies. The breakdown in the supply chain coupled with drastic changes in consumer demand caused wild inflationary swings in the pricing of certain products and commodities. These swings in the availability and affordability of certain goods and services caused many businesses finding themselves unable to fulfill contractual obligations made before the beginning of COVID-19. Which party bears the risk of pandemic-caused inability to fulfill the terms of a contract? Parties may allocate the risk of unforeseen circumstances in what is known as a “force majeure,” or escape clause, in the contract. “Force majeure” is a French term that means "greater force." A force majeure clause allocates the risk if performance becomes impossible or impracticable especially because of an event or effect the parties could not have anticipated or controlled at the time of contracting. If the contract does not allocate risk through a force majeure clause, the common law provides several related defenses that may excuse performance due to unexpected causes: impossibility, commercial impracticality and commercial frustration. • Impossibility is the most stringent standard and excuses a party’s performance only when its performance is rendered impossible by an act of God, the law or the other party. Unforeseen difficulties, however great, will not excuse performance. • Commercial impracticality will excuse a party when an occurrence of a superseding, unforeseen event prevents performance, not within the reasonable contemplation of the parties at the time the contract was made and that goes to the heart of the contract. • Lastly, commercial frustration may excuse performance when the contract’s principal purpose is frustrated without fault by the happening of some event, the nonoccurrence of which was a basic assumption on which the contract was made.

This column is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein should be treated as legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.


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Should a company find itself unable to fulfill its obligations under a contract due to COVID-19, looking to a force majeure clause as well as the defenses listed above provide potential avenues to escape liability for the COVID-caused breach of contract. Although COVID-19 has been with us for two years, the caselaw providing guidance on the applicability on typical force majeure clauses and these defenses is not fully developed and often has limited applicability to the specific facts in such cases. As such, none of the options above provide a sure-fire solution to an otherwise innocent party unable to meet its contractual obligations due to COVID-19. The complications caused by COVID-19 have also inspired many companies to revisit and rethink the negotiation of their contracts to include greater protections for the risks of pandemics and their collateral consequences. Concepts such as pandemics and government shutdowns will surely be expressly appearing in future contract escape clauses. Additional rights for cancellation and for delay based on such events will also be appearing in such contracts. On the other hand, parties to contracts concerned about the other side’s potential delay or inability to perform due to unknown consequences of a pandemic will also wish to obtain protections in their contracts. There are many new and creative contract options for both sides to consider in a post-COVID-19 world. Hopefully COVID-19’s effects on businesses will soon be a thing of the past. But, before memories of this time fade, businesses would be wise to ensure they protect themselves contractually from the risks of a severely disruptive pandemic or similar event in the future. Any contracting parties unable to fulfill their contractual responsibilities due to COVID-19 or wishing to negotiate a new contract with an escape for unforeseen circumstances caused by the pandemic should contact their attorney to explore available options. Tyler C. Schaeffer is an attorney with Carmody MacDonald and concentrates his practice in business litigation. He works closely with businesses including construction companies in disputes, including contracts, business tort, financial restructuring and bankruptcy, and consumer protection. Contact Tyler at or (314) 854-8645.



The Market is Alive: Shake off the Rust and Get Back Out There Well, I hate to say, “I told you so,” but I told you so. The minute pandemic-related restrictions were beginning to be lifted, outside sales activity started picking up. Zoom is fading. The desire to meet face to face is once again taking center stage. The new normal didn’t quite happen as predicted. Whoever said the handshake was going away obviously had no idea how business works, or he simply doesn’t know how people prefer to interact. We are now coming back to the way it was. The big question is: Were you working your sales effort properly before the pandemic took center stage? The past two years have seen sales efforts deviate from tried-and-true methodology. People scrambled to find ways to stay connected to their customer base and often resorted to digital communication. Since so many took this route, a lot of sales individuals simply melded into the white noise of social media, video conferencing and electronic communication. The introverts amongst us loved it; they said, “It’s the way to go. We’ll never have to go to the office again and interact with other humans.” Sorry, wrong. The point is this: People want to interact with others. Psychologist after psychologist attests to this fact. Therefore, we need to structure our sales efforts and aggressively implement them. Time to go back to blocking and tackling, covering the basics. The first step is to make sure your information gathering system is in place and up to date. This will help you in reaching out to potential targets and give you a home for the customer information you collect. The next step is to determine which organizations and associations you want to engage with. Remember, your first criterion in making this selection is the degree of customer involvement present in the group. Focus on customer-rich environments. People are heading back toward these organizations to restart the interaction process. Skipping this step can lengthen the amount of time it will take you to reengage with your customer pool. The next step is to set your customer targets. These can be existing customers you need to retain or grow, or new targets who

haven’t used your product or service in the past. The one thing I promise you is that you’ll see there’s been a personnel changeover in many of these firms. Also, keep in mind that a contact is a person, not a company. Relationships you’ve held onto during the shutdowns and restrictions should be the first face-to-face meetings you schedule. Make sure all is well with those who have hung in there with you. Then move on to the true development of sales. Set a high level of activity and see as many people as possible. Letting competitors get out ahead of you can result in lost opportunity. The floodgates are open. You need to shoot right out of the gate. This can create an initial advantage for you. The old adage; “You snooze, you lose” is a reality in this scenario. The final step is to actually close the business. Our economy is all over the place currently, and legitimate sales opportunities need to be secured as quickly as possible. Between the financial and political landscapes, the level of uncertainty is increasing. This can slow down construction spending at any point. Nailing down projects you’re being presented now can go a long way in getting over any slowdown. The supply chain and raw material cost factors are real. They have significantly affected efficiency on construction projects. Using these factors as a closing strategy is actually a good idea during this period of time. You’re simply taking a factual situation and relaying it to the client. If the client waits on a project, it may not hit the client’s schedule or your client may end up paying higher prices due to escalating material costs. This is absolutely acceptable sales behavior. The ultimate point: Now is go time. Don’t be lulled to sleep by the past two years of sales hibernation. Shake off the rust, clean the machine and blast off from the starting line. If you need a refresher, get out those old sales videos or books and hone your approach. True professional businesspeople understand the critical role sales plays in their businesses. It’s only the most important aspect of any business. Why on earth would you wait on full implementation the minute it is possible? The market is alive. Tom Woodcock, president of seal the deal, is a speaker and trainer for the construction industry nationwide. He can be reached via his website,, or at (314) 775-9217.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


MERV-13 Filter Demand Spiking

as Occupants Return to Office Buildings


With office building

in New York, where its governor required shopping malls to upgrade to MERV-13

(HVAC) systems were utilizing MERV 8

filters as a condition of reopening. As

tenants focusing on indoor

filters, an inexpensive, easily serviced

guidance rather than a mandate, the

air quality in the wake of

air filter that traps common airborne

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

pollutants. But now as businesses

recommended that all businesses improve

COVID-19, mechanical

gradually reopen and workers head back

their central air filtration systems with

contractors are leveraging

to the office, those responsible for their

MERV-13 filters.

health are increasingly choosing higher

owners, landlords and

technologies, vendor/ distributor relationships and

Many building owners and landlords

degrees of air filtration to combat the

began an ambitious conversion of their

spread of the coronavirus.

mechanical systems to accommodate

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency

higher-numbered MERV air filters that

creativity as they battle an

Reporting Value. At the start of the

could screen microscopic particles,

industrywide shortage in

pandemic in Spring 2020, some cities

according to the PHCC. By mid-2020,

and states mandated the use of higher-

commercial demand for MERV 13 filters –

grade MERV air filters; such was the case

those also capable of controlling airborne

higher-rated air filters.


Prior to the pandemic, office buildings’ heating, ventilating and air conditioning

CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

1/3 square - slight modification to fit our size of 4.58

bacteria and most pollutants released through sneezing and coughing – had spiked. Whereas MERV 8 filters could catch some 90 percent of mold spores, hair spray and dust, MERV 13 filters offered accommodate the more advanced filters. For office building owners, the pandemic presented the ideal time for these air filtration upgrades since occupants were working from home. But for vendors and distributors of highergrade MERV filters, the demand spurred a sizable shortage of MERV 13s. “There was a great demand for MERV 13 filters,” said Chris Currie, vice president at Charles E. Jarrell Contracting Co., Inc. “The higher the MERV rating, the higher the pressure drop. When you install that higher-grade filter into a fan that has limited capabilities, the smaller fan motors in most HVAC systems don’t have enough surplus capacity to handle the pressure drop. So, it often requires a system modification or most likely an oversized system,” he added. “The oversized systems and their parts and pieces are hard to come by.” Other technologies exist to aid building owners in maintaining healthy levels of air quality. One of these is bipolar ionization or BPI. Currie says the concept behind BPI is introducing electrical probes into the supply and/or return airstream so that any microparticles floating past these charged electrodes will adopt their positive or negative charges. Then when those particles become

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charged, they’ll stick to each other. The larger collective particle, comprised of individual

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


particles that glom together, either drops out of the air or is filtered

protein coating of the SARS-Coronavirus, but the FDA says its

by a lower-grade MERV filter (such as the MERV 8).

published data is limited as to how effective UV wavelength, dose

“Bipolar ionization has been around for at least 20 years, leveraged by medical facilities, art museums and other institutions,” said Currie, “but now it has broader application.” Two years ago, when COVID-19 first hit, Jarrell Contracting was busy responding to customers asking for verification of their outside air quantities to bring their buildings into step with CDC

and duration is on destroying COVID-19 airborne contaminants. The PHCC and Currie agree that the building and mechanical codes by which specialty subcontractors must abide, the codes governing the ventilation systems in new construction as well as retrofits, take years to evolve. “Code changes can take 10 years to take effect,” Currie said.

guidance. “We verified their outdoor air quantities with a balancer

“On one side, there’s the mechanical codes which govern how we

and then increased those quantities as much as we could to satisfy

ventilate buildings. On another side, the energy code governs how

CDC guidance,” he said, “but most buildings don’t have enough

much power that a specific form of energy can emit. Mechanical

existing heating or cooling capacity to handle those conditions on

contractors and owners frequently discuss the balance between

the coldest and hottest days of the year. From March through May

a system with more horsepower that requires more BTUs of

and from September through late November, over-ventilating is

heating to ventilate a space or to recondition and chill outside

possible, but eventually you’re getting to the point where you’re

air with a system that’s more energy efficient but may not meet

bringing in too much outside air.”

ventilation specifications and goals. One thing is true: The amount

High-frequency filtration, such as MERV 13, 14 or 16 filters, dominated customer discussions with owner-occupied office buildings, Currie said, and led to discussions of BPI and other

of ventilation air per the code requirements is always changing depending upon what we learn about occupational health.” Specifying air handling systems for commercial projects can be

remedies to ensure that the building was safe to be reinhabited by

difficult given constraints of mechanical codes and energy codes,


according to Currie. “Mechanical contractors want to bid a project

Ultraviolet light or UV is another technology that building

in a way that makes them competitive in today’s marketplace,” he

owners and mechanical contractors bring to bear. Germicidal UV

said. “But if one contractor bids construction of a 50-ton piece of

light is harnessed to keep HVAC systems free of mold and other

equipment to over-ventilate and it employs technologies such as UV

contaminants. According to the Federal Drug Administration,

and BPI when another contractor bids a 40-ton piece of equipment,

UV lighting and UVC radiation is capable of destroying the outer

the former is more costly than the latter. It necessitates knowing the owner’s goals.”




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The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


‘Electrification of Everything’ Spurring Increased Renewables St. Louis-based electrical contractors are delivering more renewable energy projects than ever before, confirming that sustainable electricity sources are diversifying the traditional fossil fuel-based grid. “It’s that vertical integration of being able to do all aspects of commercial electrical service,” said Streib Company President Tom Streib. “Through turnkey installation we’re able to provide alternative energy solutions as the market continues evolving.” Beyond LED lighting retrofits for energy savings, commercial electrical contractors are busy installing and equipping building owners with electrical vehicle charging stations. Streib says a growing number of companies across St. Louis are opting


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

to provide EV charging stations for employees and many are migrating their fleets of company vehicles to EV. “Electrifying company vehicles is a growing trend, no doubt,” Streib said. “Whereas transitioning buildings to all-LED lighting is a great energy savings that building owners can realize up front, EV is more of a long-term investment. Companies are seeing that compliance coming down the pipeline and many are trying to stay in front of it.” A number of municipalities are also embracing the trend, modifying their existing ordinances to include EV, according to Streib. “Cities are making sure they’re at least building EV stations to be able to handle the migration,” he said.

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Kaiser Electric Project Manager Steve Dickens says his company is currently working for Nissan in Herculaneum, installing EV charging infrastructure for the automaker as part of the automaker’s global $17.6 billion electrification strategy that includes the rollout of 23 EV models by 2030. Solar panels on roofs of large industrial and large commercial buildings are becoming much more commonplace in St. Louis’ landscape, according to Dickens. “These are gaining popularity as a supplemental source of electricity,” he said. “A number of our commercial and industrial customers are working with the utility companies specific to energy usage and solar. There are points in time – peak periods – when solar panels are producing more energy that their building is using. Excess energy gets pushed

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


back out onto the grid and credited back to the company.” The question of how best to deliver the platform for innovative technologies is always at the top of electrical contractors’ minds, says Tommy L. Davis, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of TD4 Electrical, LLC. “Data centers across the country exemplify a tremendous investment in this space,” Davis said, noting Intel’s recent announcement of a $20 billion project in Columbus, Ohio that expects to create 7,000 construction jobs and up to 4,000 permanent jobs with annual salaries of $135,000. “Even a chip at some point is electrified and transfers electricity,” he added. Just the electrical portion of a data center project like Intel’s totals $1 billion to $2 billion dollars, according to Davis. He agrees that solar projects in St. Louis and nationwide are increasing exponentially. Davis references BJC HealthCare’s partnership with Ameren Missouri in 2019, the first project under the utility’s Solar Partnership program, which added 4,500 solar panels covering the equivalent of two football fields to the top of a 3,000-space BJC employee parking garage on Duncan Avenue near the Cortex District in midtown St. Louis. The project, says Davis, is sending 1.8 megawatts of renewable energy to the grid. “The footprint extends beyond the garage itself,” he said. Mike Seger, vice president of renewable energy at Aschinger Electric, a Guarantee Electrical company, says the number of solar energy projects across the region and the state are increasing, thanks to Missouri voter passage in 2008 of Proposition C, the Missouri Clean Energy Act. The legislation created a renewable electricity standard in the state, requiring utility companies to increase their usage of renewable energy annually until 15 percent




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CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

of the energy used in Missouri is renewable. “Due to passage of Proposition C in Missouri, solar projects have definitely picked up,” Seger said, noting that most raw materials used in manufacturing solar panels are produced in Asia. As technology advances, so does the ability to produce more power out of the same-size solar panel at a lower price. Aschinger Electric was part of Ameren Missouri’s Community Solar ground-mounted solar project on the west side of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. “Ameren has been and is a great driver of a lot of renewables,” said Seger. “It has set the market standard in our area and has helped the industry grow.” Regarding developer-led solar projects and their projected investment returns, Seger says the conversation is dominated more by financials than by the topic of sustainability. “It’s very much a financial sale to owners,” he said. “They’re buying an asset (the solar array) so there needs to be a clear financial return since everyone is on board with carbon reduction and sustainability goals. PayneCrest Electric is also actively involved in renewable projects. President Ryan Freeman says the electrical contractor performed some of its first early scaled renewable work in the early 2000s in the Southwest. “It was really the only geographic area of the U.S. that was investing in solar at that time,” he said. “But lately we’ve seen a substantial trend of renewables government subsidies, incentives and technologies that are migrating toward the Midwest because the pro formas are finally starting to make sense for these developer-led projects.” Reduced first costs of solar panels are also supporting the migration, Freeman added, as are increased panel efficiencies. “The developer-led opportunities seem to be significantly larger than the ones owned and operated by utilities,” he said. “Developers are better equipped to acquire the large parcels needed for extensive solar arrays. The private sector appears to be more nimble in that space.” The Electrification of Everything, according to Freeman, points to a sizable shortage of power generation capacity in the not-toodistant future. “If 10 percent of vehicles on the road are electric by 2030, we’re going to have a significant shortage of U.S. capacity,” he said. “That’s a topic that’s not gaining enough attention. I don’t think people truly understand what this means for the grid. The cold snap in Texas last year showed us how vulnerable we are to these challenges. There’s going to have to be an enormous investment in power generation. The question remains: Can new renewables coming online keep pace with demand, or will we have to grow power production from both renewables and fossil fuels sources? It’s going to require public, private and public-private investments.” National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) St. Louis Chapter Manager Kyle McKenna says there has never been a better time to be an electrical contractor because renewable opportunities abound. “As a society we’re moving away from energy sources like oil, coal and natural gas and moving toward solutions that tie directly into the electrical grid,” said McKenna. “Many organizations, both public and private, are now looking to our industry to deliver renewable projects of all sizes.”

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The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022





Owners, contractors and designers of cannabis facilities point to the unique nuances and complexities of delivering cultivation, processing and dispensary projects from start to finish. The “Gold Rush” race to secure a limited number of state operating licenses challenges owners and their design-build project teams to think smart, understand state regulatory in the state where their project is and master the precise systems requirements that a facility must have to produce healthy, diseasefree crops, keep them secure from theft and merchandise them to grow maximum sales revenues.

MO and IL Cannabis History

As of January 2022, Missouri is one of 33 states authorized to grow and sell medical marijuana. The state has at 60 licensed cannabis cultivation facilities. Missouri also has 248 medical cannabis facilities but no adult-use/recreational dispensaries. In November 2018, Missourians passed Amendment 2 to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, tax marijuana sales at four percent and spend the dedicated tax revenue on health care services for veterans. In late 2019, Missouri began awarding licenses to labs, cultivators, producers and dispensaries. Illinois is also authorized to grow and sell medical marijuana, and in 2020 it became the 11th of 17 states to legalize adult-use/ recreational cannabis. As of January 2022, Illinois has 21 licensed cultivation centers and 110 adult-use dispensaries. In 2021, the state generated $1.38 billion in cannabis revenues, an 85 percent increase from 2020. Forecasters say the Illinois cannabis market will reach $1.5 billion by 2025. “The states will continue to roll forward with medical marijuana and adult-use licensing,” said Bradford Goette, CEO and managing partner of Nirvana Investments LLC in Fenton and board chairman of the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association. Nirvana Investments opened the first two medical cannabis dispensaries under the brand name N’Bliss in Missouri during October 2020. “But when safe harbor, safe banking acts come into being, this will tip it (the process of adult-use licensing) and speed up the process. This is much like alcohol was back in the 1920s. It’s all about lifting prohibitions. Right now, cannabis is still a cash-heavy process and that’s a risk. We want to eliminate the movement of


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

cash (in transporting product) and be normalized to be able to use normalized haulers.”

Precision Control Systems

Most of cannabis cultivation – some 92 percent in the U.S. – is done indoors. Precision-based control systems that keep humidity and temperature at exact degrees are essential. “Cannabis cultivation is unique to other plants that are grown indoors,” said Andy Poticha, lead principal of Northbrook, ILbased Cannabis Facility Construction (CFC), a division of Mosaic Construction. “The sensitivity of the cannabis plant is so much different than that of traditional agricultural crops. One degree of temperature and one percent of humidity can absolutely affect the quality and growth of the (cannabis) product.” CFC has built more than 70 cultivation facilities, processing centers and dispensaries in 12 states since 2015, including the Fairview Heights ASCEND dispensary and the Justice Grown dispensary in Valley Park. Understanding how to design, engineer and build the control systems to produce, maintain and protect the product is crucial, according to Poticha. “It’s so highly regulated by the state,” he said. “Security is the number-one factor. In nearly every case, you’re talking about surveilling every square inch of a facility and having offsite backup tied into the state police. Then you add biosecurity, everything from controlling mold to controlling pests to controlling anything that is on your person that you might unintentionally bring into the room, onto the plant or the product. Cannabis is of immense value – often millions of dollars per crop – as compared with other agricultural crops.” Security systems specific to cultivation facilities, said Poticha, are two-fold: 1) to make sure no one inside the facility is stealing product and 2) to protect the plant or product from being stolen by outsiders. Mechanical systems’ precision requirements are tight in the construction of a cannabis facility, according to Poticha. “In the construction of standard industrial and commercial buildings, a range (of building systems performance) is acceptable,” he said. “But in this industry, that range is very specific and much narrower. Both mechanical and electrical trades are critical on these construction projects, as is their comprehensive understanding of controls and how each system – electric, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), security and more – is interrelated. Since this is a relatively new industry, rules and regulations are emerging and changing constantly, many of which affect how these projects come together.” CO2 management is another critical facet of cannabis facilities’ sophisticated mechanical systems. Knowing how to engineer a system to inject the optimal amount of CO2 into the grow environment to enable plants to mature naturally is key, as is the process of monitoring these levels. Ankur Rungta is co-founder and chief executive officer of C3 Industries (C3I). The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company launched in Spring 2018 with an indoor cultivation facility in Portland, Oregon, and is now nationwide with cultivation, processing and retail licenses in Missouri. “Our preferred approach to the construction of cultivation facilities is to build them from the ground up,” Rungta said. “We’re very much real estate developers in this space. We try to approach these projects like any other large-scale industrial development.” Strong civil and structural engineering teams are necessary for these projects, said Rungta. The firm secures local firm expertise whenever possible but generally works with the same national design team. “When we look to engage a general contractor, we typically like to work with a local company, typically a medium-sized firm, on our projects, which generally range between $10 million to $20 million.” Rungta agrees it’s essential to hire mechanical and electrical contractors skilled in the specificities of cannabis facility construction and operation. “These projects have fairly complex MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) components that are cannabis


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The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


specific,” he said. “It’s crucial that teams get this right or the owner will experience huge operational problems such as mold, contamination and temperature control impact on yield and quality control.” Rungta urges owners and their project teams to design, engineer and build as efficiently as possible, particularly because regulatory requirements impacting construction and operation of cannabis sites are in constant flux. “There is a tendency over-engineer these systems,” he said. “Anyone who is looking to develop a cannabis facility should be looking at it through a value engineering lens.” Construction of a 40,000-square-foot cannabis processing facility on a five-acre site in O’Fallon, MO continues at a swift pace, says Rungta. ARCO Construction is building C3I’s facility here; ARCO also built C3I’s 15,000-square-foot processing facility in St. Louis. “Building a cannabis manufacturing (processing) facility is akin to building a chemistry lab,” Rungta said. “We take the cannabis biomass – the plant material – and extract the active ingredients, such as CBD and THC oils, each of which produces a different product. It’s extremely hightech with a lot of safety considerations.” Kyle Laughlin, business development manager at ARCO Construction, says one of the biggest value-adds the builder offers is its ability to get to market. ARCO has built more than one million square feet of cannabis facilities nationwide. In

Missouri, the contractor has constructed two cultivation and two manufacturing facilities plus a handful of dispensaries. “Since we’re a national firm, we’ve got projects occurring in a number of states,” Laughlin said. “From a permit review standpoint, we’re familiar with the states’, local municipalities’ and government agencies’ permit review processes and requirements. The more fluidly a contractor is able to work with inspectors and municipalities, the more smoothly a project will flow.” For example, understanding the permitting requirements for the massive pump systems that cannabis cultivation facilities require but one facet of these projects that is essential for keeping a project humming, according to Laughlin. “We like to back up and know upfront the intricacies of the product that the growers have,” he said. “What are their cultivation strategies, process and full design? This is one of the most important steps for us because it alters how we look at the mechanical systems as a whole. Trying to figure out what environment the growers want, more than anything, is where we put our time and effort in the most.” Working with MSOs – multiple state operators – underscores the necessity of the contractor being fluent in each state’s regulatory and permitting requirements. “We anticipate the national cannabis market, both medicinally and


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CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

recreationally, to challenge the craft beer market,” said Laughlin. “ARCO plans to be a long-term player in this market.” Kadean Construction built Missouri’s first cannabis cultivation facility and is under contract to design-build six cultivation and manufacturing facilities in St. Louis. Kyle Wilson, director of project development, said the firm is one of the founding members of the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association. BeLeaf Medical Co.’s Earth City dispensary is a Kadean project. There are definite similarities between building a beer manufacturing/ distribution warehouse and building a cannabis facility, says Wilson. Kadean projects include both markets. “Making sure you have a temperature set point that keeps the beer from being skunky, is similar to the precision required of a cannabis grow facility,” Wilson said. “In both processes, you’re fighting humidity, making sure you have enough power and choosing building materials that do not promote the growth of mold, all the while you’re operating as efficiently as possible.” Working with clients who are harvesting 52 weeks a year, $1 millionplus worth of crops per cultivation room, is common, according to Wilson. “Lighting is another extremely precise, sensitive part of the equation,” he said, “because you often have lights operating 12 to 18 hours per day. To create the necessary environment in which cannabis plants will thrive, it requires an immense amount of power and an immense amount of cooling and dehumidification to offset heat from the lighting as well as the humidity. The technical ability to be able to dial in and be exact is critical.” J.E. Foster Building Company has constructed five cannabis facilities over the past two years, including three N’Bliss dispensaries, one of which is a combination dispensary, transportation and manufacturing facility. President Joshua Foster says owners and developers in this market must be comfortable with risk. “We designed and built the first dispensaries that opened in Missouri,” said Foster. “The state licensing approvals didn’t come out until the third and fourth weeks of January 2020. Most entities held off on moving forward with facility design and engineering because they couldn’t get a permit without license approval. But my client moved ahead and paid for design prior to licensure approval. Being forwardthinking and risk tolerant in this swiftmoving market is definitely an advantage,” he added. Combining the high-security, strict access-control environment with one that is acutely sensitive and responsive to air purity and (dispensary) odor control

makes these construction projects complex. “Even though most of the product is packaged, there is still an odor element,” Wilson said. “The HVAC systems really need to have odor control added to them. It’s a combination of air exchanges and air purifiers.” Cannabis transportation facility construction, according to Wilson, involves secure exterior garage doors for loading/unloading and an intricate security system with its sights constantly on the dock doors, vehicles and operators. Foster sees the next wave of cannabis construction to include retrofits of existing buildings. “Potential renovations of buildings initially built for medical cannabis are likely to come into play once Missouri and other states also license recreational cannabis,” he said. “It will change the landscape dramatically.” Clayco Ventures, Inc. (CVI) has been working in the integrated engineering, design and construction of cannabis facilities since August 2019. Market Sector Leader and Senior Principal Ron Jones says although societies have been growing crops since as early as 5500 B.C., simulating an ag environment indoors is an entirely different animal. “People have done outdoor agriculture for eons,” Jones said. “Now you’re replicating that environment indoors and there are a thousand variables. We’re still learning how those variables interact

Fertigation systems that deliver the optimal water and nutrient mix to cannabis plants are critical. Owners often possess a broad base of grow side expertise but less experience in project delivery knowledge regarding how to lay out a facility from design and engineering to construction. Project teams must understand the owners' strategy, what they're going to do with the equipment and the precise room size, people, product and waste flows before an initial layout comes into being.


The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


within an artificial system that not only replicates it but improves upon it.” In many traditional manufacturing processes, there are welldefined, repeatable machines making parts and pieces. “Here, however, you’re actually dealing with a living organism and all the variability that goes with that,” said Jones. “All systems have to function in complete lockstep.” CVI builds cannabis projects nationwide. Jones anticipates that the industry will ultimately fall under federal regulatory oversight rather than state-by-state compliance. “Forward-looking people are designing their buildings to meet those future (federal) regulatory standards,” he said. “At this stage, it’s a business decision. At some point in time, it will be a regulatory requirement. The question is: How do you balance that business decision with future regulations? It’s the Wild Wild West. We see everything from owners who have built a business to venture capitalists, investment banks and others.” The very scale of the cannabis industry is growing rapidly, adds Jones, regarding the size of the facilities being constructed to the pace of project delivery. “Because cannabis cannot be traded across state lines, there are limits as to the square footage of a facility,” he said, “but once the interstate commerce is allowed, we’ll see those facility sizes increase.” Indoor facilities currently range from 50,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet and smaller, according to Jones, with greenhouse cannabis grows occurring on parcels spanning one to three acres. “Fertigation systems that deliver the optimal water and nutrient mix to cannabis plants are critical,” he said. “What we find, sitting at the table with these owners, is a broad base of knowledge focused on the grow side, but what they typically don’t bring to the table is project delivery experience such as how you lay out a facility from design and engineering to construction. From a design standpoint, CVI’s approach is inside-outside. Understanding the owner’s


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

strategy, what they’re going to do with the equipment, and then moving on to room size, people, product and waste flows and then designing an initial layout. After all this is accomplished, we move on to mechanical systems and lastly to the building shell.” Selection of the greenfield site upon which the planned facility will be built is critical but often overlooked, Jones said. Joe Kozlowski is vice president and director of project development for Reed Construction, a firm that builds cultivation, processing and extraction facilities, labs and dispensaries in 10 states including Missouri and Illinois. Pricing the design of the project, he says, is an intricate process. “Cannabis facilities are generally more expensive per square foot than are very technical, high-end healthcare build-outs,” Kozlowski said. “The price of construction knocks it out of the park, as do the extremely precise mechanical systems, electrical systems and controls.” Large cannabis growing operations, he says, typically involve central operations plants with a series of custom air-handling units on the rooftop. “It’s often a packaged unit that’s custom built to provide a significant amount of cooling throughout the growing rooms,” said Kozlowski. “And even though the lighting is LED, there’s a tremendous amount of heat being emitted. You’re pumping in probably 10 times the amount of cooling that you would pump into a standard office construction build-out.” Lighting controls and HVAC are often intertwined and controlled together, he says, in treating the indoor environment to closely resemble an outdoor growing environment. “This intertwining of systems is proprietary to any type of indoor farming operation,” he said. “Building healthcare facilities involves similar strict system tolerances but with indoor, vertical farming the systems have to all work together. The amount of power consumption and water demand is staggering.” About water consumption, Kozlowski says cannabis cultivation facilities don’t just have a main water line that runs continuously. Rather, a lot of large indoor grow operations have a rainwater capture system that pumps into their facilities to utilize fertigation systems, trapping any condensates from mechanical systems into a separate tank to be recycled and reused. The larger the plants grow and mature, the more light and water output they require. “Owners can take a (financial) killing over the long term if their operations aren’t highly efficient,” he said. “They’re constantly seeking to become as energy efficient as possible.” Miles of piping, cooling towers and chiller plants keep growing and manufacturing operations running. Kozlowski says a 100,000-square-foot facility, as an example, dictates approximately five miles of piping and ductwork. Verve Design Studio Principal Geoff Crowley’s firm designs fully vertical cannabis facilities, meaning operations that include cultivation, manufacturing and dispensaries. Verve assists clients in navigating the facility licensure application process, which demands detailed, highly technical design plans. The design firm has four operational cannabis cultivation facilities with manufacturing spaces and 15 dispensary projects in Missouri with many more projects around the country. “To most cannabis facility clients, it instantly becomes apparent how technically difficult the application process is,” said Crowley. “We received a handful of clients’ Missouri applications where owners were trying to show 30,000 square feet of canopy on their applications but didn’t have enough back-of-house space. Once we worked with the client applicant on particulars, together we realized that they needed less than half that square footage.” Cannabis facilities require distinct design aspects, says Crowley, which must be articulated early in the proposed project. “Understanding every step that the plant must go through is essential to the project’s overall success,” he said. “It’s way beyond building a room, installing an HVAC system and bringing in the plants.” Predesign must account for the intricacies of every stage of plant growth, from flowering to trimming and drying. “Dealing with

all those numbers from a design standpoint is a must,” he said. “Calculating the insulation value of the walls, sealing the rooms and making sure air exchange is identical so that all the plants are producing the same are examples of the design specificities that are integral to a successful project.” Designing a reverse osmosis system, recapture system, plant watering system and storage tanks for mixing the fertilizer are also part of the work Verve performs for cannabis clients nationwide. Design of dispensaries’ secure vaults is arguably the biggest security issue, said Crowley. “Some are full-on GSA (General Services Administration) vaults. These vaults hold the finished product that is packaged and ready to be sold.” Christi Johaningmeyer is co-owner of Architextures SP, a WBE company in St. Louis. Her design firm provides full-scope architectural and interior design services for commercial and hospitality clients and has provided architectural services to 28 dispensaries over the past two years. “We help attorneys and cannabis companies with the required drawings they need to submit with their licensure applications,” said Johaningmeyer. “And once they get their licenses, it’s a mad dash to see which dispensary gets its permit drawings and interior designs done first.” Architextures SP assists clients who are either building from the ground up or who have bought an existing retail building – such as a TGI Fridays restaurant or a Mattress Giant – and plan to retrofit it to serve as a cannabis dispensary. The firm’s first cannabis dispensary project involved retrofitting a former Jiffy Lube oil change location in Las Vegas into a dispensary. “It’s really about taking the client’s brand and incorporating it into the interiors and exteriors of each building they’re going into,” she said. “Their specific demographic at that location inspires the design. Is it a neighborhood concept, or is its purpose to attract soccer moms? Every dispensary design relates to that location’s unique audience.”

Architextures SP has joined with Verve Design Studio and J.E. Foster Building Company on several cannabis development projects. “Lighting controls and acoustics is a major facet of what we do,” Johaningmeyer said. “It’s especially important that your product is illuminated and displayed correctly,” she added. “There’s a stark difference between the mirrors and lighting in Saks Fifth Avenue versus that within Walmart. Both the mood and the experience are huge priorities in each cannabis brand – and that’s what makes our clients stand out. We are looking for the repeat customer.” Lisa Reed, founding principal at Envision Lighting Design LLC, echoes the importance of lighting and merchandising cannabis retail outlets. “It involves a lot of integrated lighting and small jewelry case illumination with tiny luminaires,” Reed said. “Use of color through RGB lighting and soft-glowing surfaces is key. Cultivation lighting is a whole field of expertise onto itself. The topic is so important that the Illuminating Engineering Society recently published a recommended practice and standard for horticultural lighting.”

"It's really about taking the client's brand and incorporating it into the interiors and exteriors. Their specific demographic at that location inspires the design. Is it a neighborhood concept, or is its purpose to attract soccer moms? Every dispensary design relates to that location's unique audience."


Clayco Ventures Inc. is a Construction Management entity affiliated with Clayco, Inc. providing a full range of project delivery services to the indoor grow market. The CVI team includes experienced project executives and project managers with decades of experience in the design and construction of indoor grow facilities that exceed clients’ expectations. The team also prides itself on having a lasting, positive impact on the communities in which our projects are built.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


Educators, Recruiters Say ‘Great Resignation’ is Real By KERRY SMITH

In the wake of what many have dubbed the Great Resignation,

industry execs took a serious look at the way in which their job

construction educators, trainers and employers are adapting their

morphed – from hands-on construction project work to dialing in

messaging to recruit and retain professionals to fill the gaps left by

for yet another Zoom meeting – and lost their passion. According

many who have left the industry since March 2020.

to a recent Deloitte Consulting LLP survey, more than 90 percent

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 400,000

responded that “pandemic exhaustion” played a prominent factor

U.S. construction jobs are unfilled, a good percentage of those

in their decision to leave. “Rethinking their relationship with work”

openings created when long-time industry workers decided during

was another popular response, with COVID-19 safety concerns,

the pandemic that they no longer wanted to keep working. This

related childcare and schooling concerns and “virtual burnout” as

pandemic exodus represents roughly six percent of the total U.S.

other oft-mentioned reasons.

construction workforce of seven million. The reasons are varied, according to BLS data and industry workforce surveys nationwide. At or near the top of the list is that the Great Resignation also served as the Great Realization:


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

As the pandemic reshaped the economy, so it has reshaped the workforce. And with industry workforce needs increasing due to the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, construction companies

– as well as design and engineering firms – are seeking as many qualified bodies as they collectively fulfill the demands that major roads, bridges and mass transit projects will need. Joel Burken, Ph.D., department chair of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, also serves as chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Department Heads’ Coordinating Council, overseeing a committee of nearly 300 members from engineering departments nationwide. Burken sees manifestation of the Great Resignation in the proactive, creative strategies engineering and construction firms are employing to recruit Missouri S&T graduates. “The Great Resignation is real,” said Burken, whose department includes 600 students across three engineering disciplines. “There’s a noticeable shifting of the workforce due to retirements. At the same time, employer demands are rolling in. Our placement rate at graduation is just over 96 percent. I’m getting phone calls from employers saying, ‘We need four transportation engineers as soon as we can get them.’ Most of our May 2022 grads secured jobs by January, many with multiple offers and opportunities.” From wastewater infrastructure to transportation to structural design and beyond, Burken’s department is fielding the abundance of requests for talent. “A number of our environmental engineering students have gone into the construction field because we’re so strong in that area as well,” he said. “We’re seeing companies proactively working to develop relationships with potential hires much earlier on. It’s fiercely competitive, more so than it has even been before.” Examples of companies’ efforts to tap into the pipeline of engineering grads earlier on, says Burken, include paid internships, even throughout the pandemic when interns could not work in person. Other one-on-one opportunities for students

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The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


“ Will the work draw from our existing talent pool and push back other projects and drive up the price of labor? If there’s not the workforce to do it, what’s going to happen? I’m concerned that there may be a shortcoming of talent for some of those projects and the result may be projects that are not performed at the level of quality our industry demands.”

to gain a real-world taste for the career path exist in the form of construction consortia partnerships between Missouri S&T and entities such as the Missouri Consortium for Construction Innovation. Nine companies are regularly involved in this partnership, which offers employers name recognition and improved access to engineering students. “Individual consortia companies sponsor a Night to Network,” he said, “that affords a greater capacity for the company to project their culture and value proposition to graduating students.” Companies are eager to gain from this exclusive

What Is Success?

opportunity, he added. In addition to the loss of bodies in the industry comes the loss of decades of knowledge and experience that these senior players have amassed and contributed. Burken sees the magnitude of that loss becoming even more palpable as the $1.2 million federal infrastructure bill kickstarts more than $500 billion into engineering and construction projects specific to roads, bridges and other modes


of transportation. “That infrastructure money has to be spent within a certain timeframe,” he said. “Will the work draw from our existing talent pool and push back other projects and drive up the price of labor? It’s a great opportunity for students but tough for companies. If there’s not the workforce to do it, what’s going to

Before we start any project, we ask ourselves the question, “What does success on this project look like?” Two epiphanies evolve from that question: 1.) We realize that success, whether that’s a satisfied customer or meeting a tough deadline is a process, not a destination. 2.) We recognize that we need to savor, and applaud the little victories of our team along the way, as well as acknowledging shortfalls and acting to improve the process.

a shortcoming of talent for some of those projects and the result may be projects that are not performed at the level of quality our industry demands.” Chris Gordon, Ph.D., is associate dean of the School of Engineering at Southern

It’s human nature to believe we’ll be more successful later than we are at any given moment. We should always be growing and trying to be better than we were before. Tony Robbins calls it CANI: Constant And Never-ending Improvement.

Illinois University Edwardsville. He

At Drilling Service, we’ll celebrate all our team’s successes – not just the big ones. As always, we’ll own and learn from our mistakes and have the courage to try new things. Our future and that of our customers, depends on it.

been growing for at least a decade.

Number two in “Murphys’ Laws,” the creed under which we operate is: “Plan for success before we ever set foot on the job.” | PHONE: (314) 291-1111 24

happen? I’m concerned that there may be

CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

says the demand for engineers and other construction industry professionals has “We’ve seen this demographic trend coming for some time now,” said Gordon. “It’s one of the reasons we launched our Construction Leadership Institute almost 20 years ago. CLI is an accelerated executive education program that spans

nine Fridays. We’re focused on equipping existing construction

looking for people,” he said. “What we’re seeing is a vast migration

industry professionals to gain the skill sets needed to move into

from skills to leadership potential. We’re finding that transitioning

management and ultimately into executive roles.”

military personnel not only have proven (construction) industry

With regard to degreed engineering programs at SIUE and

experience, but they’ve demonstrated true leadership – something

Missouri S&T, both universities know how critical the right

that’s way more difficult to teach in the field. Companies continue

recruiting message is in order to gain students who will fill much-

to learn that they can’t put technical people on the front lines if they

needed spots in companies. Rather than inviting prospective

don’t also have leadership ability.”

students to enroll in engineering, their recruiting messaging takes on a much broader tone. “We’re not only recruiting those who wish to study engineering,” Gordon said. “We’re recruiting problem solvers.” Burken agrees. “We’re inviting students to enroll and learn how they can change the world.” Sources of available construction industry talent hail from many directions. One organization, Recruit Military, is helping plug thousands of retiring military personnel into civilian roles including those in construction. “It’s the Great Resignation, but it’s also the Big Renegotiation from the employer’s perspective,” said Justin Henderson, senior vice president of sales and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “The commercial construction industry in particular is seeing the gap widening exponentially. Currently there are 630,000 individuals in trade-based training. Out of those, there are 130,000 graduates but 41,000 of them are going into the residential sector. That leaves a huge gap for commercial employers to fill.” Henderson also refers to the workforce trend as the Great Migration. “Construction firms aren’t looking for skill sets. They’re

In his national recruiting role, Henderson sees the greatest exits by middle management. “The pandemic definitely gave middle management time to evaluate risk vs reward.”

“ It’s the Great Resignation, but it’s also the Big Renegotiation from the employer’s perspective.” The commercial construction industry in particular is seeing the gap widening exponentially. Currently there are 630,000 individuals in trade-based training. Out of those, there are 130,000 graduates but 41,000 of them are going into the residential sector. That leaves a huge gap for commercial employers to fill.”

Rather than inviting prospective university students to enroll in engineering, schools' recruiting messaging is changing and becoming more broad, inviting students to problem-solve and change the world.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


AUTOMOTIVE LED LIGHTING MANUFACTURER BUILDS NEW HEADQUARTERS Diode Dynamics’ modernistic manufacturing hub in St. Charles affords workers and visitors expansive views into its process, its products and its people. Built by Contegra Construction, the automotive LED lighting manufacturer’s new space spans 70,000 square feet with room to double that footprint. Its sleek look and layout, courtesy of Remiger Design, is a nod to Diode Dynamics’ culture, says Chief Executive Officer Paul McCain. “As we began the design process for our new headquarters in St. Charles (in Fountain Lakes Commerce Center), I thought it was important to keep a very transparent look to the building to mirror the transparency of our company culture,” said McCain, whose firm began in 2006 and was previously located in two separate buildings in Earth City. “Our company values include teamwork. The design and construction of this new headquarters allows us to see each other and interact regularly.” Diode Dynamics’ nearly 90 employees moved into their new workplace in late


December 2021. Construction began in mid-March, according to Contegra Construction Project Executive Dennis Araujo. “The facility is comprised of three major components,” said Araujo. “Office, warehouse and manufacturing space. The office space totals 18,000 square feet with 37,000 square feet of warehouse and 15,000 square feet of manufacturing space.” A unique facet of the office space layout, McCain says, is that it spans two floors with views into the manufacturing area. The design and construction feature contemporary aluminum frames and glass, offering a clear view of the manufacturing space from the secondfloor boardroom as well. “Integration of the second-floor mezzanines provide an overlook into the lobby and into the manufacturing space,” McCain said. “Our 2,500-squarefoot breakroom features floor-to-ceiling overlook windows from the mezzanine level.”

CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Beyond the direct views into Diode Dynamics’ two-story lobby and manufacturing areas is an up-close glimpse of the assembly process where engineers see their concepts being produced in real time. “On the first floor, adjacent to engineering, is our circuit board assembly line,” McCain said. “Our engineers have windows to look directly into the production process and provide fast support when necessary.” Another unique facet of the building’s construction is a 100-foot-long, darkroom tunnel utilized in testing the light output from vehicle headlights. “By rotating headlights on specialized equipment, we can map out the entire output pattern as a means of measuring and compliance testing,” said McCain. “It’s a tunnel equipped with black-out curtains to test for light spread and ensure that the pattern of the light – as emitted by various automotive vehicles – meets all department of transportation and engineering standards.”

By KERRY SMITH The warehouse area is equipped with 30-foot-clear ceiling heights and higher. Two drive-in doors allow a variety of automakers’ vehicles to enter a test garage, where their components are evaluated to make sure the headlight lamps and assemblies Diode Dynamics is manufacturing will fit and function before the products go to market. Seen from the front of the building, these roll-up garage doors are built entirely of glass. Creative applications of Diode Dynamics’ corporate colors accent the building’s interior and exterior. Examples of this creativity are linear LED fixtures in the corridors and exterior canopy supports accented in red. “Remiger Design did an excellent job of pulling in our accent color in a very nuanced way,” said McCain. “In addition to our signature red, designers incorporated four different shades of grey. It’s a bold look but one that will stand the test of time.” Construction of the building’s core and shell is load-bearing tiltup concrete wall panels with a conventional steel frame and a light thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply roofing membrane. In addition to Contegra and Remiger, project partners include BAX Engineering, SSC Engineering, Kaemmerlen Electric, O.J. Laughlin Plumbing Co. Inc., Wiegmann Associates and Bi-State Fire Protection Corp. The project was financed by the Bank of Franklin County and is supported by the Missouri Dept. of Economic Development, the 504 loan program of the Economic Development Council of St. Charles County, and the City of St. Charles, MO.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


C O M PA N I E S S. M. Wilson & Co. and the Missouri School Board Association announce the winners of the SKILLED Centennial Awards competition, awarding $1,000 to high school students with ideas on how to inspire their community. As a builder of more than 65 Missouri schools and to honor the firm’s 100th year, S. M. Wilson partnered with MSBA to launch the first SKILLED Centennial Awards. Stemming from S. M. Wilson’s trademarked construction career education program, SKILLED®, the awards challenged high school students throughout the state to think of an idea to improve their community and motivate others to build and create. The awards were sponsored by S. M. Wilson and, an online resource to connect job seekers with quality jobs. With submissions from districts across Missouri, two student groups were selected to receive the firstplace cash prize. Illinois American Water’s new operations center in Jerseyville, being built by general contractor Helmkamp Construction, broke ground in February. The 16,000-squarefoot center will consolidate field operations, administrative and operations support staff in a single location. The design-build team on this project also includes architect M+H Architects, civil engineer Heneghan & Associates, structural engineer SSC Engineering and mechanical engineer Custom Engineering. Building a large, complex hospital project requires a large, complex team of people with varied experiences, talents and backgrounds. McCarthy’s all-woman project team is working together on the design-build team for construction of the new 16-story inpatient hospital tower at Barnes-Jewish Hospital along Kingshighway at Barnes-Jewish Hospital Plaza in St. Louis.

International. Midas was previously honored by Marriott, winning the Partnership Circle award, but this marks the first time in Midas’ history that the company has won these prestigious awards. Midas received the Developer of the Year award, which honors companies with a proven ability to grow with Marriott’s portfolio in the U.S. Midas also received a Best Opening award for its Aloft Charlotte Airport hotel based upon exceeding its guest satisfaction, occupancy and revenue per available room goals and index. Kadean Construction has significantly expanded its industrial sector work over the past year with $327 million in new logistics facilities projects now underway, totaling more than 6.7 million square feet at 15 locations around the country. The 15 projects include five new facilities in the St. Louis area, three in Kansas City, four in Pennsylvania and one each in Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia. All are scheduled for completion in 2022. These 15 industrial projects are large, Class-A warehouse and distribution facilities incorporating sustainable design and construction features. McCarthy Building Companies has been honored with a 2021 Safety Award for Excellence by the National Association of Home Builders and its official safety sponsor, Builders Mutual. McCarthy also received the Excellence in Mental Health Advocacy Award for a construction company in early February during the 2022 International Builders’ Show. The Safety Award for Excellence recognizes individuals and companies working to achieve exemplary safety and health programs in the construction the industry.

Koplar Properties, led by Sam Koplar, has unveiled a vertical building project on the parking lot his family has long owned at the southeast corner of Lindell and Kingshighway. The tower, which will be the second tallest in the Central West End at 30 floors in height, will complete a 7.5-block stretch of Kingshighway overlooking Forest Park. Plans call for the tower, named Albion West End, to include 293 luxury apartment units, 340 parking spaces, two ground floor retail spaces and amenities for building residents.

Terracon announces it has acquired Wang Engineering Inc. (Wang) of Lombard, IL, which specializes in geotechnical engineering, construction inspection and materials testing services. Over the past 39 years, Wang has provided geotechnical services to a wide range of clients throughout the U.S. including state and federal government. A subsidiary company, Wang Testing Services, Inc., has been sold separately and was not purchased by Terracon as part of the acquisition. Wang Engineering and Terracon will continue to work with Wang Testing Services, Inc. as a teaming partner.

Midas Enterprises has received two CONNECT 2022 awards from Marriott

Spellman Brady & Company collaborated with O’Toole Design on the interior design


CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

for the newly constructed Hawthorne Inn, an assisted living facility owned and operated by Liberty Village of Jerseyville. Spellman Brady was responsible for the selection, procurement and installation of the project’s furniture, artwork and accessories, in addition to serving as the senior living design consultant for the team. Cohen Architectural Woodworking is seeking to add more than 25 managerial and production employees to its team. Lawrence Group announces the spinoff of its construction division into a separate entity, now known as Integrate Construction Partners. The new commercial construction company offers design-build, construction management and general contracting services. Lawrence Group will continue to provide its core design services – including architecture and interior design – through its three offices nationwide. Lawrence Group, which has had a construction division since 2004, has seen its construction division grow substantially through client relationships and its own affiliated real estate projects. Tennessee-based Vita Residential partnered with Holland Construction Services on the construction of a new $41.2 million apartment complex in O’Fallon, MO, and is now eyeing a second development in Swansea. The Jewel Apartments is comprised of more than 248,000 square feet across 10 apartment buildings and a total of 240 apartment units. IMPACT Strategies has completed two tenant finish projects at the Fenton Logistics Park in Fenton. The first project is a 39,000-square-foot expansion for BASF; the second is a 2,100-square-foot tenant fit-out for Curology. The BASF expansion utilized adjacent vacant space to add 18,000 square feet of general storage and 21,000 square feet of aerosol storage. The aerosol storage space required special fire rating requirements for two interior overhead doors and fire shutters, as well as 21,000 square feet of drop ceiling with hold-down clips. IMPACT Strategies recently completed renovations for a new office and warehouse location for TEAM Industrial, a worldwide leader in providing fully integrated industrial service solutions including highly specialized inspection, condition assessment, maintenance

C O M PA N I E S and repair services. Construction on the renovation project was completed on schedule in five months. The newly renovated 67,000-square-foot facility, located in Edwardsville, was previously vacant warehouse space. IMPACT Strategies, along with architect Remiger Design and owner’s rep JLL, repurposed the space to fit TEAM Industrial’s unique needs. Keystone Construction Company has received the St. Louis Concrete Council’s 2021 Quality Concrete Award for work at The Factory entertainment venue in Chesterfield. The first performance venue to be built from the ground up in the Midwest in more than 20 years, the 52,000-square-foot, tilt-up building was constructed using more than 50,000 square feet of interior slabs and more than 40,000 square feet of concrete tilt-up wall panels. In total, 6,346 cubic yards of concrete and more than 300,000 pounds of rebar were used in nearly every structural application possible. The developer was The Staenberg Group. The concrete subcontractor was Fenix Construction Company. Green Street Real Estate Ventures and its affiliate companies celebrate their official move into the companies’ new headquarters located in The Grove neighborhood in the city of St. Louis. The move combines six companies under one roof to include Green Street, Green Street Building Group, Green Street Property Management, Emerald Capital Strategic


Advisors, HDA and O’Toole Design Associates. IMEG Corp. announces the acquisition of Sitton Energy Solutions, an Illinois-based energy management firm and leader in building performance analysis throughout the Midwest. Founded in 2007, Sitton has a team of 12 engineering consultants and energy specialists and has offered building performance solutions, commissioning, retro-commissioning, energy audits and utility consulting services in O’Fallon, IL, St. Louis, Kansas City and the surrounding areas for nearly 15 years. Cardinal Ritter Senior Services, South County’s largest independent and assisted living nonprofit community, has broken ground on its new Mother of Perpetual Help memory care community expansion. The $6.5 million, nearly 20,000-squarefoot development will feature two separated homelike neighborhoods of 13 residents each for a total of 26 residents. The expansion project differs from more medically intense dementia care programs. Features include a natural environment with cutting-edge technology to help mitigate the effects of “sundowning,” a state of increased confusion and restlessness for those with dementia which begins or worsens as daylight starts to fade. The Station at St. Peters Luxury Living, a new upscale, 180-unit multi-family development in St. Peters, has received zoning and site plan approval. The project

is being developed by St. Louis-based Mia Rose Holdings. Construction is scheduled to begin in the Q2 2022 and complete Q1 2023. HDA Architects has completed the $44 million AC Hotel in the Central West End. The seven-story building totals 94,300 square feet, has 192 rooms and is the first AC Hotel to enter the St. Louis market. The offers a state-of-the-art fitness center, meeting and event spaces, and a curated food and beverage program inspired by the hotel's Spanish and European roots. The interior design of the hotel has sleek modern decor, touches of natural wood and clean marble throughout the lobby and guest rooms. Emerald Capital Strategic Advisors, a Green Street Real Estate Ventures affiliate, closed on financing for Elevation, a $6 million mixed-use development located within Kevin Bryant’s Kingsway District in the Fountain Park neighborhood on Delmar Boulevard. Funding for the project includes $6 million in New Market Tax Credits in addition to debt and Property Assessed Clean Energy financing. Emerald Capital principals Matt Drinen and Luke Pope sourced and closed debt financing with IFF and Elm Tree Unity Debt Fund to support the catalytic project. St. Louis Development Corporation provided $6 million in NMTC allocation. US Bank was the NMTC investor.

IN MEMORIAM Donald R. Carmody, founder and long-time principal at St. Louis-based law firm Carmody MacDonald P.C., died peacefully on December 19, 2021, from cancer. He was 79 years old. Don is survived by his wife Pat, three sons, three grandchildren and countless close personal friends. Don founded Carmody MacDonald in 1981 with Leo MacDonald, Sr., Jack Hilton and Tim Wolf. Since its founding, and with Don’s leadership, the firm has grown to become one of the largest single-office law firms in St. Louis with 85 employees, including 55 attorneys. Don received his Bachelor of Science degree from Spring Hill College in 1964 and his law degree in 1967 from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He concentrated his practice in business law, banking and finance, and real estate. Don served as vice chairman of a Missouri banking corporation and was a past chairman of the Bar Association’s Legal Issues Affecting the Disabled Committee.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022


PROMOTIONS Following the sudden passing of company founder and CEO Charles “Chuck” Poettker in July 2021, Poettker Construction expedited its strategic succession plan and restructured its executive leadership team, naming Keith Poettker as chairman and CEO, Ryan Poettker as president, Kimberly Luitjohan as executive vice president and CFO, and Jonathon Carroll as executive vice president and COO. Six employees were promoted to vice president positions. They are Philip Pingsterhaus, VP of finance; Tracy Millard, VP of human resources; Eric Kraeger, VP of information technology; Kevin Poettker, VP of business development; Corey Noder, VP of risk management; and Walker Gusewelle, VP of project management. Cohen Architectural Woodworking announces Tim Bornemann has been named COO. Helmkamp Construction Co. recently promoted several members of its project management team. The most notable of these was the promotion of Senior Project Manager Kyle Ogden to project director. Other changes to the existing team include

the promotion of Project Manager Jeremy Sneddon to senior project manager. Estimators Andy Reynolds and Nathan Knackstedt were both promoted to senior estimator roles. McClure Engineering has promoted team leader Steve Dietiker to the position of principal. Tarlton Corp. announces the 2021 promotions of three members of its operations team – Brian Julius, John Phinney and Andrew Picha – to project manager. Holland Construction Services announces the promotion of long-time employee Paul Gansauer to vice president of preconstruction. WINCO Window Company has promoted John Iffland to product specialist. Tarlton Corp. has promoted Holly Kinney to controller.

Derek Brauer has been promoted to executive vice president of procurement at The Korte Company. Jason Weiss has been named executive vice president of operations at The Korte Company. Tyler Unterbrink was promoted to vice president of field operations at The Korte Company. Todd Korte will begin his role as executive chairman of The Korte Company after serving 21 years as the company’s president and CEO. Brent Korte, The Korte Company’s former COO, has been named the company’s new president and CEO. In the 63-year history of The Korte Company, Brent Korte is only the fourth individual to hold this title. Ralph Korte, Vern Eardley and Todd Korte preceded him in this position. Castle Contracting, LLC has promoted Tanner Bunch and Charles Danner from project engineer to senior project engineer.

Holland Construction Services announces the promotion of Katie McCutchen to CFO.

H O N O RS/H I R E S S. M. Wilson & Co. Virtual Design & Construction Technology Manager Jamie Berzon has received her Certificate of Management-Building Information Modeling. St. Louis-based specialized environmental services firm Wellington Environmental announces the hiring of Molly Pryor as its new EPA scheduler and client liaison communications manager. Estimator Logan Reynolds joined Helmkamp Construction’s growing estimating department. Austin Reams, another new addition to the team, joined Helmkamp as an assistant project manager. Mechanical contracting firm Haberberger Inc. announces the addition of four new team members. John Polette has joined as a plumbing service project manager; Mark Dressel has been hired as a project manager; Jason Stoesz has joined the


Building Information Modeling/Visual Design and Construction group as BIM/ VDV manager and Sam Bender has been hired as an estimator. Carson Green has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. as a field engineer. Tarlton Corp has hired Michael Trettel as director of strategic markets. RoofTech and PaveTech Consulting, Inc. add Keith Myers as vice president of business development. Wellington Environmental announces the hiring of Tracy Mueller as its new director of contractor networking. Melissa Denton of O’Fallon, MO has joined Wiegmann Associates as service dispatcher. Castle Contracting, LLC has expanded its St. Louis team with the hiring of Mark

CNR St. Louis Construction News and Review -

Reizer as senior project manager and Matt Holley as business development manager. WINCO Window Company announces that Matt Mehringer joined its sales and marketing group as an account manager. IMPACT Strategies has grown its field staff by three, adding Ron Reed as a superintendent and Brett Fechte and Corey Liszewski as carpenters. Kristyn Newbern has signed on with McCarthy Building Companies as director of business development. Kristy Hess joined Commerce Bank as senior vice president, division manager of commercial real estate. Oculus Inc. has hired Lilly Touchette as a marketing assistant.

A SSOCIATIONS Chris Klemaske with Sundek National Accounts has been elected first vice president of the American Society of Concrete Contractors for 2022. Elected vice presidents were Paul Albanelli, Albanelli Cement Contractors, Cory Lee, Martin Concrete and Maizer Ouijdani, Conco. Aaron Gregory, Gregory Construction, was elected treasurer. Heather Brown, MTSU; Peter Emmons, STRUCTURAL; and Keith Wayne, Wayne Brothers Companies, were re-elected directors. Newly elected directors are Greg Hryniewicz, Hyde Concrete; T.R. Kunesh, Somero Enterprises; Marc Ness, DPR Construction; and Ashley Stamper, DANKO Concrete Construction. Chesterfield Sports Association has finalized its purchase of a 10.87 plot of land at 150 N. Eatherton Road in Chesterfield Valley for the future home of St. Louis’ first world-class, indoor volleyball and basketball complex. The multi-court, 97,000-square-foot fieldhouse will attract an estimated 900,000 visitors each year to its clinics, camps, leagues and tournaments. More than 1,000 youth athletes will practice and train during the week and over 2,500 athletes will play in league and tournament games each weekend. Keystone Construction Company has begun sitework in preparation for construction. Mia Rose Holdings is the developer. The architect is mw Weber Architects and the civil engineer is Stock & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc. The project team is targeting an early 2023 opening. The National Council of Structural Engineers Associations announces its 2021 NCSEA Special Awards honorees. The NCSEA Special Awards are bestowed on individuals who exemplify outstanding service and commitment to the association and to the structural engineering field. Awards include the James Delahay Award, the NCSEA Service Award, the Robert Cornforth Award, the Susan M. Frey NCSEA Educator Award and the Susan Ann “Susie” Jorgensen Presidential Leadership Award. As automakers continue the transition from internal combustion engines

to electric vehicles, the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection is offering guidance to communities on building supportive EV infrastructure and chargers. The Electrical Connection is a partnership of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association. The partnership helped pioneer the national Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program to ensure reliable planning and installation of EV chargers and infrastructure. The St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association has named Kyle McKenna its new executive vice president. NECA represents more than 150 electrical and communications contractors located in eastern Missouri. All NECA contractors are signatory to collective bargaining agreements with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. NECA partners with IBEW Local 1 to form the Electrical Connection. McKenna succeeds Douglas R. Martin, who led NECA for more than 40 years. The 2022-2023 Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis Governing and Arbitration Boards were sworn in at the President’s Reception held in mid-January. Officers are President Brian Smith, John J. Smith Masonry Co.; Vice President Brett Lampkin, Lampkin Masonry, Inc.; Secretary Luke Siebert, Heitkamp Masonry, Inc.; and Treasurer Nick Frisch, Frisch Masonry, Inc. Trustees include Ken Booth, Leonard Masonry Acquisitions, LLC; John Foley, Swanson Masonry, Inc.; Scott Masterson, B & K Tuckpointing Co.; Tom Schmitt, Superior Waterproofing & Restoration Co., Inc.; and Dan Toenjes, Toenjes Brick Contracting, Inc. Arbitration Board members are Brian J. Grant, Grant Contracting Company, Inc.; Dan Grass, Heitkamp Masonry; Thomas L. McDonnell, George McDonnell & Sons Tuckpointing Co., Inc.; Jeffrey D. Schmidt, JDS Masonry, Inc.; and John J. Smith, Jr., John J. Smith Masonry Co. Spec Mix celebrated its platinum anniversary and hosted the world's largest, most prestigious masonry competition in mid-January at the World of Concrete expo in Las Vegas, NV. Participants in

the challenges include highly skilled masonry apprentices, mason tenders, block layers and world-class bricklayers. Award winners include Bricklayer 500 JT Payne and Jeff Head, Kenneth Foeste Masonry; Fastest Trowel on the Block Chris Cain and Eric Heberle, John J. Smith Masonry; Masonry Skills Competition First Year - Ben Reimer, Heitkamp Masonry; Second Year - Chase Morfeld, John J. Smith Masonry; First Place Third Year - Josh Rehme and Patrico Masonry. The Home Builders Charitable Foundation Wannstedt presented a $15,000 donation to St. Joseph Housing. The donation will go toward the interior renovation of a house on South Grand in St. Louis City to help cover flooring, drywall and plumbing costs, a house that will become a home for a deserving family. St. Joseph Housing Initiative’s mission is to create vibrant communities through affordable quality housing where low- and moderate-income families can thrive, prosper and build wealth. The Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) announced its 2022 officers and board of directors for the statewide association representing contractors and suppliers in 110 counties throughout Missouri. Sean Thouvenot, vice president of Branco Enterprises, Inc. has been elected chairman of the board. Thouvenot has served on the AGC of Missouri board since the merger with AGC of St. Louis in 2015. Other AGC of Missouri officers for 2022 are: chairman-elect of the board – Tom Huster, KCI Construction Company; secretary/ treasurer – Andy Ernst, Pace Construction Company; and immediate past chair – Scott Drury, Bloomsdale Excavating Co., Inc. Also serving on the 2022 board of directors are highway & transportation division chair – Steve Bubanovich, H. R. Quadri Contractors, LLC; building division chair –Michael Kennedy, Jr., KAI Enterprises; and Steve Sellenriek of Sellenriek Construction, Inc. who recently was elected chair of AGCMO’s new utility infrastructure division.

The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry MARCH–APRIL 2022






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A.C.T. Metal Deck Supply



Architextures SP






Charles E. Jarrell Contracting



Chiodini Architects



CK Power



Clayco Ventures Inc.



CMW Equipment



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Custom Home Elevator



Drilling Service Company






Guarantee Electrical Co.



J.E. Foster Building Company



Kaiser Electric



Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures



Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council



Negwer Materials



S M Wilson



Sielfleisch Roofing



Streib Company



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314 421-2460

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