Browsing Sustainability

The Green Screen

Click for larger image

The Green Screen at the Reeves Wiedeman Company HQ on Main Street is growing strong.  The screen, half covered in the middle of the seasonal growth period, exemplifies the steps people can take to reduce their impact on the earth.  Helix implemented this design feature to help the project reach LEED Gold certification.


5 September, 2010 | Recognition, Sustainability

Helix Bikes/Walks/Carpools its Way to First Place!

A few weeks ago we shared with you that Helix was taking part in the Green Commute Challenge; a regional competition hosted by the Mid-Amaerica Regional Council aimed at removing vehicles from the road during peak times – which in turn positively impacts the city on rather unfortunate ozone days.

45 teams, and 1,158 people participated in the challenge, effectively saving:

  • 607,658 miles of driving
  • 562,042 pounds of emissions
  • $328,743 in driving costs

Helix came out on top of Small Employers, and overall ranked third in participation points when compared to all competitors! Way to go, team Helix (and take that, competition). Well done to all participants for taking part in a two-month event that sought to positively impact not only our environment, but our city. If you’re curious about what your own commute costs you in dollars, and how it effects the environment, take a look at the emissions calculator, provided by KCATA.


12 August, 2010 | Art, Sustainability, Thought Leadership

Design Work Begins on The Museum of Prairiefire

The mixed-use Prairiefire at Lionsgate development will be located in Overland Park along 135th Street

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City

Helix has begun schematic design on The Museum at Prairiefire which will serve as a cultural landmark in Southern Johnson County. What is unique about this museum? It will house the first and only remote branch of New York’s famous American Natural History Museum (featured in the film A Night at the Museum). The American Natural History Museum will be displaying 20 popular and highly acclaimed traveling exhibits in our area over a ten year period. Look forward to visiting our city’s newest cultural landmark while visiting the other attractions in development for Prairiefire at Lionsgate on 119th between Nall and Lamar. www.celebrateprairiefire.com


11 August, 2010 | Helix People, Sustainability

Helix Bikes/Walks/Carpools its Way to the Top of Green Commute Challenge

Helix continues to rank #1 in small business total miles saved for the Mid-America Regional Council’s Green Commute Challenge. This challenge aims to remove vehicles from the road during peak commute times and during ozone season (July and August) in Kansas City. The contest promotes carpooling, public transportation, bicycling, walking, and telecommuting by issuing points for total miles saved while doing these activities. So far Helix has saved 1,640 miles of driving. The Green Commute Challenge overall has saved 251,499 miles of driving, 232,619 pounds of emissions, and $136,061 in total driving costs. We want to congratulate and thank all of our “rivals” in this challenge for their participation and commitment to reducing Kansas City’s carbon footprint during the month of July. Let’s make August even more effective!

To learn more, visit http://www.marc.org/rideshare/challenge/


Historic O.H. Dean Building Renovation Incorporates Geothermal Technology

Construction continues on the renovation of the historic O.H. Dean building at 3635 Main Street. The Reeves-Wiedeman Company purchased the building and is making it their new headquarters. It’s a really great thing to see a 125 year old company move its headquarters back into KC’s urban core, where it was started.

These construction progress photos show an element of the building we are very excited about; those black tubes you see sticking out of the ground are actually the water loops that the building will use to heat and cool itself. By taking advantage of the constant ground temperature of 55-57 degrees, the building’s mechanical system will be super energy efficient. In all, 24 wells are spaced along the rear parking lot of the building, and each well is 300 feet deep! Energy savings will offset the added capital costs of this system in 5 years; after which the savings keep accumulating. When your intention is to buy a building and hold it long term, ground source heat pump systems are the way to go. And, the energy tax credits available today can make the payback even shorter.


Newly Released Vitagraph Tops the Box Office Charts

As Shirley Helzberg’s third big production in 10 years, the historic Vitagraph Film Exchange Building at 17th and Wyandotte proved to be her most challenging. Fighting through city reviews, permits, and TIF financing approval, Shirley persevered to create a true work of art in Crossroads. The call sheet included a utility pole disappearing act, new set lighting, and a long scene where a very cool parking garage just seemed to emerge from nowhere!

This is not the Vitagraph’s debut appearance. It has been associated with the film industry for years as a Warner Bros. warehouse/distribution facility. Today, however, the building’s leading anchor tenant role will be played by the Kansas City Symphony. Helix’s Trudy Faulkner and Jay Tomlinson who have worked with Shirley on prior productions will once again be added to the credits of another successful preservation of Kansas City history.

(more…)


20 May, 2010 | Sustainability, Workplace

Reeves Wiedeman Company Moves to Midtown

When the Reeves Wiedeman Company decided to trade its current location in Lenexa for the historic OH Dean Building at 37th and Main, they turned to Helix. We designed the 14,000 square foot, 2-story structure into this plumbing supply wholesaler’s corporate headquarters and showroom. RWCO utilized historic tax credits and will be pursuing LEED Silver certification. Helix’s Joe Jimenez, Ryan Hunter, Jay Tomlinson, Kathy Kelly, and Mason Hansen worked with Project Solutions (a division of JE Dunn) to complete the project.


Missouri Bank Wins Green Project of the Year

Winning the Associated General Contractors of America “Green Project of the Year” award was an exciting accomplishment for Helix and the rest of the construction team who turned a dilapidated mechanic’s garage into a cutting edge Crossroads Missouri Bank branch. Helix and HarenLaughlin Construction collaborated to produce a LEED Gold project – only the 4th Kansas City building to achieve this feat. While significant structural surprises popped up as construction progressed, the project still finished ahead of schedule and under budget. view article

As a side note, Mainstreet Theater renovation popped up as a finalist under the “Specialty Contractor” division. view article


Dale Duncan Presents to the United Nations

On March 18-19, Dale Duncan visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York and made a presentation on sustainable development of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) model village centers to world leaders at the Infopoverty World Conference. This conference was organized by The Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication in the Mediterranean and the World (OCCAM). According to Dale, the trip was a huge success and big step toward solving global poverty issues.

Backing up a bit for some history… In the last 10 years, the UN, in their quest to reduce world poverty, has developed ICT model villages for impoverished and disadvantaged communities. The current model stresses the importance of satellite connectivity and e-services among other ideas.

Recognizing that sustainable development in these models is the next obvious step, Helix and ACI (Affecting Change International) developed a model for a village center made of discarded shipping containers. Breaking the concept into three separate functions – medical, educational, and sustainable – Dale presented the efficiencies and economy of housing these functions in self-contained, durable units. Among the initiatives discussed were ways to provide tools for conserving water, managing wastes, and providing distance education to remote communities. His ideas stressed the importance of adapting the contents of each village center to regional needs via partnerships with organizations that have existing relationships with the communities served.

The team members working on this project included David Neeley with ACI and multiple Helix associates: Dale Duncan, Lora Everett, Trudy Faulker, Linda Glazier, Sarah Godfrey, Bryan Gross, Ryan Hunter, Erica Muhlenbruch, Mark Neibling, Jacob Palan, Carly Pumphrey, Andrea Regnier, Shawn Sanem, Dustin Schafer, Curtis Simmons, and Kristine Sutherlin.


2 of 212