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United Vaccines New Facility

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Verona, Wisconsin

United Vaccines, a manufacturer of veterinary biologics, had outgrown their space and needed to expand at a new site. GBA explored various site layouts with the company so it could combine offices with a manufacturing plant, with room for further expansion later if needed.

GBA then developed a project plan, a preliminary budget and estimates for the relocation costs. GBA also provided detailed design including site development, core and shell, and tenant finish, utilizing precast building components to give the client an attractive solution that was faster and would require less maintenance over time.

United Vaccines’ new offices are housed within a two-story building that is attached to its 50,000-square foot manufacturing space, which includes Biosafety Level 2 and 3 laboratories, warehouse space, and shipping and receiving docks.

For GBA, one particularly rewarding aspect of the project was working with United Vaccines to create a new building that met very technical and specific manufacturing needs but also created an aesthetically pleasing space for the office interior and exterior.

Although the project consisted of two distinct spaces, some of the materials used on the exterior of the office building (glass, brick and metal) were continued to the production portion of the building, to visually tie the two areas together.

A staff member at United Vaccines who enjoyed interior design also served as an important point person for GBA’s architects in choosing the finishes, which ranged from more typical items such as chair fabrics and carpeting to the more unusual, including:

  • A large screen in one conference room “flies” in the center of a wall-sized whiteboard. United Vaccine staff wanted a screen and a whiteboard in the room, but only one wall was available for both.
  • GBA worked with a graphics designer to create a wall with phrases that United Vaccines staff compiled, adding a touch of inspiration to the space.

Project Elements

  • Manufacturing (BSL-2 and BSL-3)
  • Laboratories
  • Office
  • Warehouse

Process Design

  • USP water
  • High quality steam
  • Clean, dry, compressed air
  • Liquid nitrogen

Equipment Procurement

  • Equipment URS, specification and bid packages
  • Lyophilizer
  • Autoclave
  • BSL safety cabinets

Considerations for Live Virus

  • BSL-2 & BSL-3 Process Labs
  • Kill Tank
  • HVAC



United Vaccines, Inc.


50,000 square feet






East Village Parking Garage

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Kansas City, Missouri

GF Properties Group, the owners of the Federal Aviation Administration/Central Regional Division offices in downtown Kansas City, MO, called on GBA for help in designing a parking garage for FAA employees. The FAA had requested an adjacent parking garage to make employees’ days a little easier.

Located at the intersection of Cherry and Tenth Streets, the garage was one of the first new structures within Kansas City’s East Village Development, a newer mixed-use neighborhood in the northeast section of the downtown loop. It was going to help set the tone for the neighborhood, so the garage not only needed to be functional, it had to be attractive, too.

First, the function: The parking garage accommodates approximately 340 cars. GBA’s designers utilized a single-helix design, which tends to be easy for users to understand and offers more flat (as opposed to sloped) parking and better visibility, for safety.

Second, the design: It can be challenging to create an attractive parking garage. The structure is the length of a city block and needed to be scaled so it didn’t look out of place or overwhelm the surrounding area. GBA architects found a happy medium by combining walkable scale and downtown scale in the design.

Other design elements:

  • Decorative architectural precast concrete elements
  • Decorative aluminum perforated panels to serve as screens
  • Landscape features to provide amenities for pedestrians at the street level

GBA’s team also introduced design ideas to help bring the overall cost of the structure down significantly. For example, the facility has passive ventilation (no HVAC) but was designed with extensive natural ventilation so its users can be comfortable for the short time they are in the garage. GBA also combined cast- in-place and precast elements, to capitalize on the virtues of both and create an economical building.


GF Properties Goup, LLC

Project Size

100,396 square feet
Three levels
340 parking spaces

Completion Date


Woodend 1 Industrial Building

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Edwardsville, Kansas

GBA was selected to provide designs for Woodend 1 Industrial Building with contractor MW Builders. The team completed construction in February 2014, with tenant improvements completed within a few months of full occupancy.  Members of the GBA team provided architecture services for this design-build project.

The project sits on a 40-acre park with two building shells that include flex space for distribution, warehouse and manufacturing space in addition to office space. The Class A industrial warehouse in Edwardsville, Kansas, is near Kansas City’s major interstates.

Project Elements:

  • Cross-dock design
  • Drive-in loading
  • High-bay storage
  • 32-foot clear height
  • Conventional steel roof system
  • Tilt-up concrete construction

Van Trust Real Estate, LLC

Project size

367,100 SF

Completion date


Interior of Johnson Controls Manufacturing Facility

Johnson Controls Manufacturing Building

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Riverside, Missouri

GBA provided a fast-track approach for the design and construction of Johnson Control’s new seat manufacturing plant. In order to have the facility up and running quickly for the client, the entire project was designed and built within nine months. The facility is located on a 25.5-acre site in Horizons Industrial Park and the building received LEED Silver certification.

The state-of-the-art facility manufactures seats for the Chevrolet Malibu produced at the General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas, as well as for the Ford F-150 produced at Ford Motor Company’s Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

Building Design:

  • 16,000-SF office and support space
  • 154,000-SF manufacturing space
  • 28-dock loading area

Sustainable Design Elements:

  • Structural load-bearing pre-cast sandwich wall building envelope system
  • White TPO roof membrane
  • Sunshades
  • Use of regional materials
  • FSC certified lumber
  • Low VOC paints and finishes
  • Job site recycling program initiated throughout design and construction

Johnson Controls, Inc.

Project Size

170,000 SF

Completion Date


Spencer Creek Streambank Improvements

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St. Peters, Missouri

In 2012, the city of St. Peters, Missouri created its Stormwater Master Plan (SMP), which laid out a blueprint for projects and defined best practices for stormwater management, reductions in pollutant loading and improvements in water quality. This blueprint included the Spencer Creek streambank improvement project. The highly-developed project area encompassed the main channel of Spencer Creek, which runs through Spencer Creek Park and is a tributary to Dardenne Creek. The site’s four-cell 12’ by 12’ box culvert was classified as undersized in the Dardenne Creek hydraulic model. The reach from the park to the culvert showed evidence of significant bank erosion and debris jams. Street flooding was also present adjacent to the park.

GBA’s Water Environment team evaluated the entire project extent, which includes a 3.5-square-mile drainage area. GBA utilized fluvial geomorphology techniques to identify three distinct energy regimes along the creek. The stable threshold sections with low overbanks and healthy riparian properties were left alone. Sections of the channel exhibiting high streambank erosion, or within proximity to trails, perched storm sewer outfalls or sanitary sewers, were modified to create flood benching and rock toe revetments. Rock vanes were used in the lower section at an acute bend on the creek to nudge high shear stress flows away from the eroding outside bend. Deep rooting native seed and plants were planted in disturbed areas to provide long-term soil protection. Additionally, the city established an invasive species management plan for the entire project corridor for three years following construction.

During these evaluations, the project team also reviewed the box culvert that was originally classified as undersized by the city’s 2012 SMP. However, a revised model created by GBA showed that the current culvert would have the capacity for such an event and would not need to be replaced. This discovery changed the direction of many of the project’s improvements, including using the project budget that would have been used to design the culvert expansion for an elevated boardwalk.

The Spencer Creek steambank improvements included leaving the culvert in place, approximately 3,600 feet of streambank stabilization and riparian renovation improvements, upsized storm sewers and an improved trail system. Additionally, two aerial sanitary sewer crossings that were close in proximity were included in the project to address debris accumulation and deterioration of wooden support structures.


City of St. Peters

Project Size

3,600 linear feet

Completion Date

August 2015 – April 2017

Wabash Avenue Reconstruction

Posted on Posted in Project

O’Fallon, Missouri

GBA performed conceptual, preliminary and final design for the LPA administered reconstruction of Wabash Avenue. The design consisted of a wider roadway section, grade changes, intersection realignment, sidewalk, drainage improvements, channel improvements and bridge replacement. Before reconstruction, the corridor consisted of substandard clear zones, poor intersection geometrics, unconnected and non-ADA compliant pedestrian facilities, and an undersized and hydraulically inefficient bridge structure.

The full design for the reconstruction included 1,800 linear feet of major collector asphalt with new concrete. This included the wider roadway section with the addition of left-turn lanes and a new sidewalk.

As part of a roadway improvement project, GBA also assisted with the resizing of a culvert replacement and replacing the water main along Wabash Avenue. The water main replacement design included approximately 2,200 feet of 8- to 12-inch water pipe, a creek crossing and three cross-street connections. The culvert replacement involved developing a hydraulic model to size the proposed culvert for the appropriate design event for the no-rise condition.

Construction for this project was completed in 2017 using a combination of staged construction and road closure.


City of O’Fallon, Missouri

Project Size

1,800 linear feet

Completion Date



2018 MO/KS Chapter, ACPA Excellence in Concrete Paving Award – Municipal Streets & Intersections

orbital in the Telecommunication room

Mission Critical Internal Expansion

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GBA provided all architectural and engineering design associated with the preparation of construction documents for this mission critical internal expansion, which involved converting 5,000 square feet of shell space into telecommunication and data center power equipment-ready space. A new electrical service, standby diesel generator and air-cooled chillers were added to support the new equipment. Additionally, office areas were converted into warehouse space, the roof and windows were replaced and the site was modified to accommodate the new generator location.

Elements of this project included:

  • 5,000 SF of internal expansion with 3,700 SF of raised floor
  • Conversion of 4,000 SF of office space to a warehouse
  • New 2,000A 480/227V 3-phase utility service
  • 2,000kW sound attenuated standby diesel generator and belly tank
  • Two 2,000A automatic transfer switches and mobile generator tap box
  • New low voltage distribution switchboard
  • Two 210 ton nom. air-cooled chillers with provisions for a third future chiller
  • Six downflow and two upflow Liebert CRAC units with provisions for future CRAC units
  • Expansion of first-floor preaction and clean agent zones, EWFD and VEWFD in new equipment spaces
  • Expansion of steel roof platform to accommodate new roof-mounted chillers
  • Concrete foundations and pad at the new generator
  • Title 24 energy compliance and seismic bracing
  • Failing aluminum storefront windows replaced with energy-efficient aluminum curtain wall window system
  • End-of-life modified bit roof system replaced with new SBS modified roof system with a white reflective cap sheet

Nationwide telecommunications provider

Project Size

Two-story, 47,600 SF of existing space

Lane Enterprises Manufacturing Facility

Posted on Posted in Project

Temple, Texas

GBA provided architecture and MEP design services for Lane Enterprises, Inc. a storm-water pipe manufacturing facility in Temple, Texas. The 64,000 sf tilt-wall building consists of office space, manufacturing, storage and an additional space that will be utilized when the company is ready to expand its manufacturing process. The main manufacturing area includes a 12.5-ton bridge crane, and the building is designed for an additional bridge crane to be added in the future.

An important aspect to the client was letting natural light into the manufacturing area. GBA took advantage of the building height and added clerestory windows to the manufacturing area and the manufacturing expansion area. 

The site of this project includes over 10 acres of gravel storage yard for the storm-water pipe the facility produces. An existing rail spur provides the ability for raw materials to be delivered by train.

GBA was hired by the design-build contractor, MW Builders. GBA worked closely with MW Builders to create an economical building that met the clients’ needs.


Lane Enterprises

Project Size

41,250 SF warehouse/manufacturing facility
2,800 SF office

Completion Date

December 2018

Keg 1 O’Neal Distribution Facility

Posted on Posted in Project

Temple, Texas

GBA provided architecture and MEP design services on Keg 1 O’Neal‘s new distribution facility in Temple, Texas. The beverage distributor required a large walk-in cooler, warehouse space with racking and truck docks, office space, covered outdoor storage and an indoor repackaging area for its new building. Functional and economic value were important aspects of this project for Keg 1 O’Neal that the GBA team kept in mind during design.

Aesthetically, the building connected with its southern setting through natural stone and earth tone accents on exterior walls. Due to the project’s proximity to a major highway and frequency of client visits, it was important to have a visually-appealing design.

A key interior space was the training room in the center of the office area. GBA brought in natural light to this room by popping the roof up and incorporating a series of clerestory windows. In addition to bringing in natural light to this room, the high ceiling also added a secondary roof plan on the outside of the building, bringing additional visual interest to the exterior.

Early in the project, the team decided to work in the same building information model (BIM). Within Revit, the BIM software GBA utilizes, architects and engineers develop 3D models that bring a concept from 2D lines on a page to reality. Working within the same model allows coordination between the various building systems. Additionally, the team used Revit’s keynote feature to its full potential, which helped increase efficiency during the construction document phase, while also eliminating conflicting information on the drawings.

In addition to internal collaboration, GBA also worked closely with the project’s general contractor, MW Builders, to develop a design that would meet the owner’s budget. Throughout the conceptual design phase, documents were provided to MW Builders for review. This led to a visually interesting design that was also cost effective.



Keg 1 O’Neal, LLC

Completion Date

March 2019

Project Size

109,758 SF

Retaining wall at 6200 Nieman

Nieman Road Storm and Turkey Creek Tributary Improvements

Posted on Posted in Project

Shawnee, Kansas

GBA used creative solutions to provide the study, design and construction inspection of the 6200 Nieman Storm and Turkey Creek Tributary Improvements for the city of Shawnee, Kansas. The project began with a preliminary engineering study (PES) to investigate the flooding of Nieman Road and businesses along Tributary 63 of Turkey Creek. After the PES was completed, GBA worked with Johnson County Stormwater Management Program (SMP) to secure funding for culvert and creek channel improvements. With these funds in place, GBA and the city worked to set the following goals for the project:

  • Eliminate the 100-year storm event flooding of adjacent businesses
  • Increase culvert capacity at Nieman Road and replace the structurally deficient culvert
  • Reduce the 100-year storm event flood depth to less than 7 inches at Nieman Road
  • Replace a structurally unstable wall along a private parking lot

With the project located in a heavily developed and traveled location, and with other municipal improvement projects ongoing at each end of the 6200 Nieman project, GBA focused on coordination early and often.  These coordination efforts included working with:

  • Adjacent business owners
  • Adjacent projects and consultants through the “Nieman Now!” effort
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • Complicated utilities

When completed, the project included:

  • 15,000 square feet of concrete soldier pile and cast-in-place retaining walls up to 23 feet tall
  • 200 feet of storm sewer placement with backflow prevention due to backwater potential
  • Seven new curb/grate inlets for proper drainage of streets and parking lots
  • Street profile adjustment up for utility relocation
  • Sanitary sewer realignments for proposed improvements and buyouts
  • Completion of USACE permitting and mitigation of stream impacts

The creative solutions used throughout this project now benefit citizens with both aesthetic and safety improvements. The project provided a new green space and a city park due to a building removal. Throughout the corridor, sidewalks were added along the street for pedestrian access. Additionally, the undermined building and failing wall that were considered unique challenges were also considered to be safety concerns to the general public. Removing and replacing these structures provides long-lasting improvements to public safety. Lastly, the aesthetic appeal of the finished product is much greater than before construction, improving quality of life to the citizens of the area.


City of Shawnee

Cost/Project Size

PES: $45,170, Design: $635,476,
Construction Phase Services: $498,659

Completion Date



ABC Heart of America, Excellence in Engineering Award, 2018
ASCE KC Chapter, Engineering Project of the Year Award, 2018
ACEC Kansas, City Public Improvement Award, 2018