Monthly Archives: September 2016

Judges meet to review CASF Craftsmanship Awards nominations

CASF logo

The Construction Association of South Florida (CASF) gathered 18 judges on Sept. 7 to begin the process of selecting this year’s Craftsmanship Awards winners. Over the next month, the judges will donate their time and expertise to individually evaluate the 119 nominations submitted.

This year’s judges are August Pujols, A.R.P. Engineering & Design Corp.; Adolfo Cotilla, Acai Associates; Pete Ebersole, Architectural Alliance; Kelly Mejia, Balfour Beatty Construction; Murray Bryntesen, Bryntesen & Associates; Kona Gray, EDSA, Inc.; Larry Martineau, FSMY Architects; Jim Moselund, Gulf Building, LLC; Art Kamm, KAMM Consulting, Inc.; Michael Miles, Kimley-Horn, P.E.; Bob Loucks, Loucks Engineering; Brian Sudduth, Miller Construction Company; Brett Atkinson, Moss & Associates; Dan Nolan, Nolan Construction Company; Norberto Rosenstein, Norberto Rosenstein Architect; Jeff Peal, Stiles Architectural Group; Andrew Youngross, Thompson & Youngross Engineering; and Henry Shawah, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

The Craftsmanship Awards started in 1958 with the goal of publicly recognizing and applauding South Florida region’s most skilled craftsmen. By recognizing outstanding work, CASF members show their appreciation for skill and quality workmanship.

This year’s winners will be recognized at the 58th Annual Craftsmanship Awards Banquet on Thursday, Nov. 10 at The Signature Grand in Davie. For information about attending the banquet please contact Jo at

Miami arts centre and residential tower recognized with two CRSI HONORS awards

Miami arts centre and residential tower recognized with two CRSI HONORS awards

The Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) has recognized two Florida projects among the 2016 CRSI HONORS Design and Construction Award recipients.

The Grove at Grand Bay in Coconut Grove (engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers) received recognition within the multi-family residential category.

The award citation says:

Terra Group teamed with celebrated Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG Architects, to bring modern luxury to historic Coconut Grove, Miami’s oldest neighborhood. Terra and Ingels envisioned a residence that would evoke luxury, but also fuse it with distinctly contemporary design. Grove at Grand Bay is a 310-foot, 23-story condominium building located in Coconut Grove, Florida. It is the first truly twisting towers in the United States with floor plates that rotate every three feet up to 39° at every elevation from the 3rd to the 17th floors, and includes 40-foot interior spans with up to 20-foot cantilevers. The core consists of composite shear walls to resist the torque generated by the sloping columns.

Aerial view of the completed Grove at Grand Bay towers. Photo courtesy of DeSimone Consulting Engineers, Miami, FL/Facchina Construction of Florida, LLC, Miami, FL

Ingels’ design creates two gracefully twisting towers that appear to be turning to capture the view as they rise to the sky. It is also the first structure in Coconut Grove to have achieved LEED Gold Certification.

As well, the Faena Arts Center in Miami Beach (DeSimone Consulting Engineers) won in the museum category.

Aerial view of the Faena Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Layton Construction, Sandy, UT

The use of a combination of steel sheet piles and an unreinforced concrete tremie slab, to construct a 22-foot deep underground parking garage that is a stone’s throw from the ocean and that is 3 feet above the ground water table, especially considering the tight site constraints which was also economical. This system created a “bathtub” which allowed the contractor to work in the dry.

The cylindrical portion of the building, located at the south end of the site, has the majority of its base truncated with a wedge cut away that contributes to create the plaza space facing Collins Avenue. The result is that the cylinder is cantilevered from the cube. This required that a significant portion of the cube be constructed to anchor the cylinder prior to shoring of the cylinder being removed. This sequence allows the weight of the cube to counteract the overturning forces of the cylinder. A finite-element construction sequencing computer analysis was performed to determine exactly how much of the cube had to be built before the cylinder was safely anchored.

CRSI says nationally entries were evaluated on the basis of: 1) Satisfaction of project goals, 2) Incorporation of innovative solutions, 3) Efficient use of steel reinforced concrete, and 4) Achievement of sustainability objectives.

“The buildings and other structures awarded CRSI Honors have all shown that steel reinforced concrete can be used in unique and beautiful forms. The material continues to be used by innovative owners, architects, engineers and contractors and we are pleased to present these awards,” said CRSI president and CEO David McDonald.

For more than 35 years, CRSI has recognized design and construction achievement by owners, architects, engineers, and construction managers across North America. This year’s entries represented a wide range of project types from all regions of the United States as well as Western Canada. Each of the selected project demonstrates excellence and highlights thoughtfully considered solutions brought to fruition through the efficient use of steel reinforced concrete.

Nationally, here are the projects projects (submitting organization is in parenthesis) CRSI has selected for recognition:

45 East 22nd Street, New York, NY (DeSimone Consulting Engineers)
Avalon Willoughby Square, Brooklyn, NY (DeSimone Consulting Engineers)
BAM South, Brooklyn, NY (Rosenwasser Grossman Consulting Engineers)
Grove at Grand Bay, Coconut Grove, FL (DeSimone Consulting Engineers)
Jasper-45 Lansing Street, San Francisco, CA (Louie International Structural Engineers)
Millennium Tower, Boston, MA (DeSimone Consulting Engineers)
Premier on Pine, Seattle, WA (Cary Kopczynski & Company)
Viktoria, Seattle, WA (Cary Kopczynski & Company)
100 East 53rd Street, New York, NY (Merit Award) (DeSimone Consulting Engineers)

AOI Global Headquarters, Sugarland, TX (Yong Architects)
Hollywood 959, Los Angeles, CA (Cary Kopczynski & Company)

SMUD East Campus Operations Center, Sacramento, CA (Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers, Inc.)
Earthquake Engineering Laboratory, Reno, NV (BJG Architecture & Engineering)

Parkland Hospital, Dallas, TX (Datum Engineers)

Faena Arts Center, Miami Beach, FL (DeSimone Consulting Engineers)

Provo City Center – Temple, Provo City, UT (Reaveley Engineers + Associates)

Granite Mountain Records Vault, Salt Lake City, UT (Ensign Engineering and Land Surveying)

Estrella UP at Grand Avenue, Surprise, AZ (Stanley Consultants. Inc.)

San Diego Rental Car Center, San Diego, CA (Austin Sundt Joint Venture)

For more information on this year’s CRSI HONORS Design and Construction Awards winning projects, visit

Top image: Aerial view Faena Arts Center under construction. Photo courtesy of Layton Construction, Sandy, UT

Moss & Associates celebrates topping out of Landmark South

landmark south

On September 8, Moss & Associates will celebrate the topping out of Landmark South, a $100 million residential project on 24 acres in Doral.

The property at 5955 NW 105 Ct., consists of twin, eight-story towers with 209 apartments each – for a total of 418 apartments. This project also includes the renovation of a four-story parking garage, which will provide more than 1,000 parking spaces for residents and future retail. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter of 2017.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Moss to contribute to Doral’s rapid expansion into the next commercial and residential epicenter in Miami,” Moss executive vice-president Scott Desharnais said in a news release. “It was a wonderful experience teaming up with Congress Group and working to bring their vision to life.”

Roger B. Kennedy Construction starts $41.9M of apartments in Seminole County

rendering the alexander

Altamonte Springs-based Roger B. Kennedy Construction says it has broken ground for two upscale apartment communities in Seminole County totaling $41.9 million.

Included are: The Alexander at Sabal Point, in Longwood, under a $28.4 million contract with Winter Park-based Alexander Investments International led by principal Kyle Riva; and The Residences at Seminole Commons, in Sanford, under a $13.5 million contract with Inland Atlantic Development Corp., Atlanta.

The Alexander, designed by Charlan Brock & Associates, Maitland, will be a three-story, 286-unit community located at 2662 Sabal Palm Way when completed in early 2018. The Residences, designed by ORA Architects, Raleigh, NC, and located at 1810 Rinehart Rd., will offer four stories and 175 units when completed in August 2017.

Image: Rendering of The Alexander at Sabal Point, courtesy of Charlan Brock & Associates

Ustler Development Inc. and KUD International Inc. expect approval for $90M Orlando campus project

UCF rendering

The University of Central Florida (UCF) has approved a memorandum of understanding between UCF, developer Ustler Development Inc. and KUD International Inc. to move forward with a $90 million project to include housing, education and retail space.

The project will go before the UCF Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 15 and is expected to receive a green light.
SchenkelShultz Architecture, Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Skanska USA Building Inc. — a team known as SSA/RAMSA/Skanska — are the designers and builders of the campus’ first $60 million academic building.

The MOU will identify the basic parameters of the parties’ responsibilities and commitments (which will ultimately be clarified and incorporated in a development agreement) and describe a mutually agreed upon process by which the parties will acquire information and arrive at agreements in furtherance of the development of the student housing/academic center project at the new campus.

Ustler Development Ltd. will develop the blue and yellow buildings at the bottom of this image (from UCF)

A portion of this new facility will be leased and built out by Valencia to house academic programs and related uses, and parts of which will be made available to Valencia students, through the UCF, for housing, parking, and student support purposes.

If approved, Ustler Development and KUD International can move forward with naming the project’s architect and contractor team, which then will pave way for local subcontractors to bid on being part of the development. “More details will become available after it’s approved, like timeline, project team and who to contact,” Ustler told Orlando Business Journal.

The project includes a 14 to 15-storey complex with 600-700 beds in apartment and dormitory style units ranging from two to four bedrooms; 40,000-50,000 sq. ft. designated for student support services and related uses; and an attached 600-space parking garage with ground-floor retail space for third-party tenants. Amenity and recreation spaces also will be included. It will be built on the northwest corner of Livingston St. and Terry Ave.

This development will be built alongside the new 15-acre downtown campus which will provide space for about 7,700 students. The campus is expected to create a $205 million annual economic impact and 2,000 new direct and indirect jobs.

Meanwhile, UCF says the campus project will take an extra year to complete.

“This really was the first chance for us to do a detailed analysis of the schedule,” UCF Downtown vice-provost Thad Seymour said to the Orlando Business Journal. “The 2018 date was put out early in the process that went through its ups and downs. As we engaged the architects and contractors, they dug into what needed to be done and how long it really was going to take. We didn’t want to build a schedule that was extremely tight, and we didn’t want to open in the middle of an academic year.”

Image: Rendering of new UCF downtown Orlando campus (from UCF)

The “union safety effect”: Canadians present message at Florida conference


The Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) is sharing its union safety message in Florida this week.

Attending the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) Annual National Health and Safety Conference in Kissimmee, Florida, OCS Director of Research Katherine Jacobs is part of a workshop presentation entitled Why Do Unions Matter in Construction?

During the session, basic data is being presented that proves a “union safety effect” does exist and the effect it has on the industrial and commercial construction sectors. In addition, best practices to sustain such results will also be discussed.

Joining the OCS in the presentation is Cindy Lewis from College of the Mainland in Texas and Dr. Ben Amick from Florida International University (FIU) and senior researcher with the Institute for Work & Health (IWH).

Research conducted in 2014 by IWH and funded by the OCS, the study examined data from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for the seven years between 2006 and 2012, encompassing 45,000 construction firms. Among the findings, the study showed that unionized workers reported 23 per cent fewer injuries requiring time off work than non-union workers. It also showed 29 per cent were less likely to suffer critical injuries – described as injuries with the potential to place workers’ lives in jeopardy. Furthermore, workers at unionized firms were 17 per cent less likely to experience musculoskeletal injuries (injuries or disorders affecting mobility, especially muscles, tendons and nerves).

“Creating safe and healthy workplaces is a core deliverable of the unionized construction industry in Ontario,” says OCS chief executive officer Sean Strickland. “We’ve recognized the need to move beyond simply saying unionized construction workplaces are safer, to actually proving that they’re safer.”

IWH has already started to investigate safety practices and procedures on actual construction sites to further unravel the union safety effect and to ultimately translate those findings into improved safety outcomes for all.

“Clearly the unionized industry has an effective model when it comes to safety training,” Strickland said in a statement. Practices and procedures and this second phase of research will shed light on those behaviours”.

The VPPPA is a non-profit charitable, member-based organization providing a network of more than 2,300 companies and worksites who have achieved or are striving for occupational safety and health excellence. The conference is bringing together safety and health experts from more than 400 different industries in their mission to create safer environments for their peers and colleagues.

The OCS was formed in 1993 as a joint labour/management organization representing 25 unionized construction trades and their contractor partners in Ontario’s industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) construction sector. Its mandate is to enhance Ontario’s ICI construction industry by developing relationships, facilitating dialogue, providing value-added research, disseminating important information to client groups and promoting the value of ICI unionized construction.

The IWH is an independent, not-for-profit research organization. It has been described as one of the top five occupational health and safety research centres in the world. Its goal is to protect and improve the health of working people by providing useful, relevant research. Research is conducted and shared with policy-makers, workers and workplaces, clinicians and health and safety professionals.

FGBC announces 2016 directors

FGBC shot

The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) has announced announced the results of its 2016 Board of Directors elections. The board is comprised of 25 directors, three representatives from each of eight affiliations, plus one representative from the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA). One seat in each category is elected annually by the FGBC general membership to serve a three-year term. Board members include:

Jeremy Nelson, owner, GreenGov, LLC, Orlando (At-large category)

Nelson is a consultant for local government sustainability programs, who has worked with and guided over 50 cities and counties.

Nate Ritter, director of sustainability, GreenBuilt Solutions, Orlando (Design and analysis category)

Ritter is a principal and founder of GreenBuilt Solutions established in 2012 to help builders, developers, and owners incorporate green building practices into their projects.

Gregory M. Hardwick, president, Hardwick General Contracting, Maitland (Development and construction category)

FGBC says Hardwick has more 22 years of experience in the construction business.

James (Jim) E. Barnes, assistant village manager, Village of Wellington (Governmental category)

Barnes joined the village in 2003 and previously served in several posts including director of operations, deputy director of operations, parks and recreation director, deputy director of environmental and engineering services, and assistant director of community services. He leads many of Wellington’s sustainability efforts.

Cindy Hall, president, EcoSolutions Marketing, Jensen Beach (Products category)

Hall currently serves as chair of the FGBC Programs and Promotions Committee and is a past FGBC president and board member. She is an independent consultant and account manager for small businesses as well as in independent sales representative for several hardscape material manufacturers.

Mike Bonts, president, Mike Bonts Public Relations (MBPR Group), Jacksonville (Public advocate category)

Bonts specializes in public relations, brand development and marketing communications to include media relations, special events and social media.

Board members will take their oaths and be inducted on Oct. 21 during the FGBC annual GreenTrends Conference at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL. Green building professionals from across the state come to learn about the latest best practices and stakeholders help develop the next level of green building standards.