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Building Success: Apex Engineers 2023 Year in Review


Graphic with collage of projects and title of blog post with Apex logo.

2023 is over already?!? It feels like it was just yesterday that we were sipping margaritas at our 20th anniversary celebration! 🥳As we ring in the new year, we want to take a moment to reflect on our favorite moments from this past year and unveil where Apex is headed in 2024.


Photo of five principals at 20 year anniversary celebration

2023 certainly brought uncertainty and challenges within the industry -- post-COVID supply chain issues and economic instability led to construction difficulties and slowdowns. Nevertheless, our clients persevered. Our team worked with our partners and clients to create unique solutions, from utilizing new construction materials in design to solving construction problems on-site, all while remaining steadfast in our mission of positively impacting the landscape of where we work.


This year we celebrated twenty years of excellence in engineering with many projects, both big and small, crossing the finish line. We continued to forge ahead in the innovation space, leveraging the latest tech to enhance our internal processes and integrating the most recent design trends into our work.


In 2024, we look forward to continuing to build upon our success, delivering buildable, logical, and efficient structural solutions. Our dedication to responsiveness, integrity, and creativity remains unwavering, ensuring our clients receive nothing short of exceptional service.


Sports and Recreation




Looking Back -- I would be remiss if I didn't mention the KC Current Training Complex! That project was such an honor and privilege to be a part of on so many levels... from the groundbreaking aspect of helping create the first purpose-built training complex for a women's professional sports team in the Unites States to its industry importance as the largest mass timber project in the Kansas City area. This project was truly monumental for us and will be something we will be proud of for years to come.


On a slightly smaller, but no less important note, it was a rewarding experience for us to assist the Oskaloosa High School football team after they approached us with concerns about their leaning stadium light poles. By working with the school and observing some wind speed restrictions, we managed to ensure the players could safely finish out their season, before the lights would eventually need to be re-set in the ground.


Looking Ahead -- Over at Ball Arena in Denver, we designed the foundations for the new 'infinity' monument, signifying the infinitely recyclable quality of aluminum and Ball Corporations' continued commitment to making sports and entertainment more sustainable. Located outside the arena, it will be ready to welcome fans and visitors at the start of the year.


Witnessing firsthand how sports can positively impact a community -- from our office being able to participate in two Chiefs parades now to what the KC Current is doing for women's sports worldwide -- this is certainly one of our favorite sectors to do work in. By continuing to collaborate with partners and clients, we are excited to play a role in shaping the physical spaces where sports and recreation unfold, creating a lasting impact on athletes, fans, and communities alike.


Bryce Crady PE, Principal


Single Family



Looking Back -- With around half of our design work consisting of single-family homes, we could talk about houses all day. But we'll narrow it down to some of our favorite projects.


At the beginning of the year, The Jarvis Residence, a custom new-build, won a designKC Magazine award for Private Views. Its curtain wall design showcases beautiful views of the property behind the home. The Oasis won Project of the Year for its impressive renovation and addition, seamlessly connecting the home to the outdoor area -- talk about dream backyard.


Additionally, we worked with long-term clients to revitalize homes in the Plaza Heights and Westside North communities, infusing these iconic Kansas City neighborhoods with updated, modern, and unique aesthetics.


We also were excited about the opportunity to work on a couple of groundbreaking, net-zero energy homes. The Cross Cabin in Austin, TX, is not only breathtaking, but more importantly, is built entirely from plant-based, carbon-negative materials. Similarly, The Haven Studio, designed by KU Architecture students, is a solar-powered, net-zero energy, bio-based demonstration home. The growing momentum behind creating sustainable, environmentally friendly homes is something we are proud to be a part of, actively working to maximize the structural efficiency of these residences.


In Kansas City, MO, the recent adoption of the 2021 IECC energy code has been a focal point for us over the past few months. We're committed to ensuring that we are well-equipped to help clients work through these new codes, contributing to our community's journey toward greater environmental efficiency.


Lastly, Apex was able to help people who lost their homes due to the Marshall Fire in Boulder, CO. Teaming up with a local designer and homebuilder, we created various "model options" for homeowners to choose from, facilitating a swift and cost-effective rebuilding process.


Looking Ahead -- Our team has some cool projects in the works that will finish construction in 2024 -- notably a luxury home for a professional hockey player in Las Vegas and a house inspired by the iconic Alfred Hitchcock film, "North by Northwest" in Pagosa Springs, CO. It's always satisfying to see design elements come to life on site visits, such as the living room with vaulted ceilings and upper-dormer windows and the two-story, wood-framed spiral staircase pictured above.


We are continuing to see an influx of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), providing a cost-effective solution to add more living space to your property without having to purchase a new home. Furthermore, we've noted an increase in opportunities for affordable housing developments come through, with several projects already lined up for the upcoming year.


On a closing note, we want to thank our clients, from homebuilders to architects. Our single-family clients are some of the longest and strongest partnerships we have, and we look forward to continuing to work together, not only in 2024, but for many years to come.


Michael Brunin PE, Principal, Jason Gibson, PE, Associate & Dustin Stallings, Project Manager


Multi-Family + Mixed-Use



Looking Back -- 2023 was a very successful year for Apex in the multi-family and mixed-use sectors! We celebrated the completion of two luxury apartment complexes -- Urbane Luxury Apartments in Kansas City, MO and Switch in Kansas City, KS -- with a long-term client. Condos at 1208 Quitman Street in Denver, CO also completed construction in 2023. Boulevard Lofts, a new apartment building offering affordable housing, recently opened its doors for tenants, providing the first new housing in 30 years for residents of Downtown KCK.


Additionally, we have eagerly been watching construction progress of The Helm apartments. Located adjacent to the Kansas River, this development boasts a range of amenities, including a pool, dog park, onsite café, gym, and dog spa, promising to be a stellar addition to the flourishing Stockyards District.

Looking Ahead -- We are thrilled to be on the project team for several affordable housing projects set to complete construction in 2024.


Pascua Yaqui 9 is a five-story building that will offer 50 new apartment units, along with a fitness center, rooftop terrace, community space, and courtyard plaza for residents and community members on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation in Tucson, AZ. The Heroes Home Gate expansion project is a 24-bed facility that will provide a safe, healthy environment for homeless veterans in Kansas City, MO. Paloma Garden in Colorado Springs, CO will offer 125 affordable units to seniors.


We are enthusiastic about the influx of affordable housing projects coming through from our clients and are eager to play a role in contributing to the growth of communities, fostering well-being, and promoting resilience among diverse populations.


Logan Chamberlin PE, Associate

Retail + Restaurant




Looking Back -- This year, the retail and restaurant sector flourished, dedicated more than ever to crafting extraordinary customer experiences. One especially captivating restaurant concept was the My Neighbor Felix remodel project. Located just off I25 & Arapahoe Road in Centennial, CO, we worked with our client to turn the old Landry's Seafood into a chic, new, Instagram-worthy hot spot. Our favorite part of the project? The old lighthouse tower element turned into a geodesic dome skylight to fit the restaurant's theme.

On the retail front, we were excited to see the completion of Crown Point Center in Parker, CO. This 20,000 sq. ft single-story shopping center currently houses a Trader Joes, two restaurants, and an orthodontist's office.


Looking Ahead -- Apex has a lot of exciting restaurant and retail projects on the horizon. One project we are particularly excited about is the Glendale Entertainment District in Glendale, CO. This exciting development will feature a movie theater, restaurants, bars, shops, a resort hotel, and several outdoor plazas. We are also excited to see a new restaurant concept come to life in Downtown Denver's Dairy Block, B&B Butchers, an upscale steakhouse that will feature a basement speakeasy.

With a commitment to innovation, sustainability, and efficiency, our primary goal in the forthcoming year is to create structural solutions that not only withstand the test of time, but also elevate the overall aesthetic and functionality of the spaces we contribute to. We are eager to use alternative framing systems to navigate supply chain challenges and lower projects' carbon footprint. Concurrently, we're dedicated to advancing sustainable practices by embracing the concept of adaptive re-use for existing buildings. As we forge ahead, we look forward to not only meeting but surpassing the expectations of our clients, both old and new.


Matthew Umberger PE, Associate & Matthew Conley PE, Project Manager


Education



Looking Back -- Apex was a part of a few different teams that worked together on mechanical upgrades at different locations within DPS providing classrooms with air conditioning for the first time or upgrading systems to be more efficient. We also teamed up on a couple of occasions to provide structural building assessments of multiple buildings to help DPS determine how to repurpose those buildings for their ever-changing needs.


Apex also provided structural engineering expertise on a small addition at a Catholic grade school as well as peer reviewed a large addition for an elementary school in Dolores, Colorado. Lastly, the entry canopy we designed at Jardine Middle School wrapped up just in time for the school year!


Looking Ahead -- Apex looks to continue to grow our education sector by getting into higher education work while continuing to provide the great services we have always provided for the K-12 sector. Currently, we have a couple of projects on the books for 2024 and are excited for future opportunities.


Jared Lambrecht PE, Principal


Forensics



Looking Back -- 2023 was the first full year for Apex forensics as a group (a group of one, for now) dedicated to practicing engineering in structural forensics. It has been a year full of learning about the services needed in this area, developing new standards and practices, and building a book of business. Here in the Kansas City market, assessing foundation movement, both residential and commercial, is a significant area of need.


One of the more interesting issues we had an opportunity to investigate this year was the development of fungal decay (wood rot) in the wall and floor framing surrounding the indoor pool at a hotel in Topeka, KS. We worked with our client to determine the extent of the damage and determine the best approach to repairs which included strengthening existing floor trusses while working around existing plumbing, electrical, and HVAC elements within the floor.


Looking Ahead -- In 2024, we're looking to expand the breadth and complexity of the problems we're investigating and get a second engineer involved in forensic work regularly. Currently, we're investigating the deterioration of the exterior, wood-framed stair structures at a large apartment complex where the wood's surface has become "fuzzy" due to the absorption of deicing salts used on the parking lot and walkways. We're looking forward to investigating and solving many more interesting problems like the fuzzy appearance of wood structures in 2024!


Daniel Meyer PE, Project Manager


As we say farewell to 2023, and begin looking forward to what's next, we want to take a moment to express our gratitude for our partners and clients. It is our passion to work together every day to bring your ideas to fruition and positively impact our communities' landscapes together.

Cheers to 2024!🥂



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