Posts in Category: Around the state

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)

Sustainable Florida announces 2016 Best Practice Award nominees and finalists

sustainable summit story

Sustainable Florida has announced the 2016 Best Practice Award nominees and finalists, including a couple new categories this year, including recognition for health care and universities and colleges. There are also awards for green building partnership and leadership.

Finalists are in bold.

Large Business

Waste Management Inc. of Florida
Gator Dining – Aramark / Pepsi
Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown
The Hertz Corporation
West Kendall Baptist Hospital

Small Business

Tembo Education
First GREEN Bank Ormond Beach
Nuovo Salon Group


City of Coconut Creek
Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) Conservation Crew
Pasco County Utilities
City of Orlando
Tampa International Airport
Florida Gulf Coast University
City of West Palm Beach
Central Florida Regional Planning Council


Waste Management Inc. of Florida
UF Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability (YELS) Program
Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown
Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) Conservation Crew
City of Orlando
Tampa International Airport
Florida Gulf Coast University
Jason Bell
Central Florida Regional Planning Council
Brevard’s Green Team


Gator Dining – Aramark / Pepsi
Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) Conservation Crew
Pasco County Utilities
City of Orlando
Tropical Ridge Fitness Park
Sustainable Tallahassee and LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival
Tampa International Airport
Florida Gulf Coast University
Central Florida Regional Planning Council
How Low Can You Go Challenge(Energy Reduction)
West Kendall Baptist Hospital


UF Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability (YELS) Program
Sustainable Tallahassee and LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival
Sustainable Tallahassee
Florida Gulf Coast University
How Low Can You Go Challenge(Energy Reduction)
Fleet Farming by IDEAS For Us
Brevard’s Green Team Org
West Kendall Baptist Hospital

Green Building

Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown
First GREEN Bank Ormond Beach
Castle Creek Elementary School
Tampa International Airport
Florida Gulf Coast University
Green Dwellings,LLC, Karen Adams, CEO
Brevard’s Green Team Solar Shack

Universities and Colleges

Gator Dining – Aramark/Pepsi
UF Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability (YELS) Program
Pasco County Utilities
Florida Gulf Coast University

Health Care

Jason Bell
West Kendall Baptist Hospital

The awards will be presented at the 2016 Working on the Green Sustainability Summit on Sept. 15 in Fort Lauderdale.

PREMIER Design + Build Group, LLC to lead construction of 420,373 Sq. Ft. Hialeah Gardens project

pdbgroup project

Bridge Development Partners, LLC has selected PREMIER Design + Build Group, LLC  to construct a 420,373 sq. ft. industrial facility featuring two new, state-of-the-art warehouses.

The new facility will be located in Hialeah Gardens on approximately 30 acres of land. Upon project completion, tenants will move into this strategically located speculative facility that can be easily accessed via US 27, Florida’s Turnpike, SR 826 and I-75.

Tenants will also benefit from the convenience and proximity of nearby sea and airports. Once PREMIER has completed construction, a local labor pool can be drawn from Hialeah Gardens and surrounding South Florida towns.

The state-of-the-art warehouses will feature Class A flexible warehouse configurations of up to 420,373 sq. ft. and leasing sizes from 20,770 sq. ft. One warehouse will provide 209,034 sq. ft. of rental space while the other will feature 211,339 sq. ft.

Building envelope materials will consist of concrete tilt-up wall panels, steel roof structures and glazing in anodized aluminum frames, and will feature a 45 mil, mechanically fastened, TPO roofing system. Storm water will be carried out via an onsite storm system and exfiltration trenches.

Each warehouse will feature 32 ft. clear-height warehouse spaces, approximately 75 truck dock positions, two drive-in doors, an ESFR fire protection sprinkler system and 1600 amp, 277/480 volt, 3-phase, 4 wire electrical service. A new parking lot with 449 stalls will be installed to accommodate both buildings.

Project completion is expected in the fourth quarter of 2016. Kirk Conners of PREMIER is the senior project manager overseeing construction and Ed Lebak is the superintendent. Bridge Development Partners is the developer. Wayne Ramoski and Gian Rodriguez of Cushman & Wakefield are representing tenants.

PREMIER has recently completed construction of Crossroads West and will also construct Crossroads South, which will mark the completion of the new and modern industrial park complex.

Kirk Conners brings energy, experience to PREMIER Design + Build Group, LLC as new senior project manager

kirk conners pdbgroup

PREMIER Design + Build Group, LLC has welcomed Kirk Conners as a senior project manager at the company’s Florida office. Clients will benefit from his more than 25 years of construction and project management experience as he helps them meet their business goals.

Conners’ extensive education began with his Bachelor of Science at the Florida Institute of Technology, followed by the completion of a Master of Science degree in engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Finally, he earned a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati – also in engineering.

“I’m bringing my best to PREMIER clients in Florida,” says Conners. “I’m excited about working with a great team in the state that I call home.”

Conners began his career in Ohio as a construction manager, but soon moved to the sunnier climes of southern Florida and embraced the role of project manager. He has been responsible for a host of industrial and commercial projects—one involved the development of a 26,000 sq. ft. major auto dealership for a major international auto brand. He also built a center for a world-renowned nonprofit organization. That project earned his team four Excellence in Construction Awards from the Construction Association of South Florida (CASF).

More project highlights include the construction of a telecomm facility built to withstand Category 5 hurricane-force winds; he also was responsible for the building of a university’s Graduate School of Business complex that was awarded another six CASF awards. Most recently, Conners helped design and build a state-of-the-art 3,100 sq. ft. addition to a medical research building in Miami.

“Kirk has years of successful projects to his name and our Florida clients will certainly appreciate his local knowledge,” says PREMIER vice-president Michael Pacini. “More than that, his decision making and leadership skills are a perfect fit for PREMIER standards. We are thrilled to have him on our team.”

Conners has extensive experience with P&L management, site development, civil engineering/infrastructure planning and installation, management and enforcement. He prides himself in being a problem solver who is inquisitive, adaptive and readily champions change. He also enjoys giving back to communities in South Florida.