JE Dunn Construction is working to finish construction on one of the tallest buildings in Midtown Atlanta before the fall semester begins at Georgia Tech in August. The mixed-use development will serve as a student living community.

Square on Fifth (SQ5) is a 25-story student living community with eight floor plans, luxury finishes, various amenities, a craft coffee bar in the lobby, two floors of offices, a rooftop pool and event space. The building is the only student living community located on Tech Square, a multi-block neighborhood in Midtown Atlanta. Views of the 50-yard line of Bobby Dodd Stadium and the entirety of the Russ Chandler baseball stadium can be seen from the rooftop terrace.

SQ5 developers – Gateway Development Services, South City Partners, ELV Associates – say the $51 million building breaks new ground in its location, design and vibe. “SQ5 is designed to elevate the living and learning experience for undergrads and grad students,” the developers say. “Located at Fifth and Spring [streets] in Midtown, and with access to Georgia Tech via the Fifth Street Pedestrian Bridge and the Tech Trolley, the Square has become a hub for entrepreneurial research labs and technology startups by masterminds from Georgia Tech and the rest of the world.”

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After nearly 40 years, J Reynolds & Co. Inc. has set itself apart with its service, owner Matt Skipper says. “We really try to communicate and ensure the customers are satisfied with the products they get,” he says.

Saginaw, Texas-based J Reynolds specializes in commercial roofing and water proofing projects across the United States. Founder Jerry Reynolds started the company in Chicago in 1976 and opened a Dallas office in 2002.

That year, Reynolds partnered with Skipper, who now owns the company and manages its sole office from Saginaw. Currently, it employs a staff of 145 and serves a customer base that includes hotels and the service industry.

“We do a ton of work for high-end hotels,” Skipper says, noting that it has a successful track record in roofing these locations, despite the level of difficulty. “You have many patrons inside and you have to be accommodating to many people.”

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Working closely with complex systems over the years sometimes enables problem-solvers to see a better solution. So it was that Jeff Weston, a principal of IMEC Mechanical, formulated a more sustainable solution for heating and cooling buildings. With his partner, Ian Hall, their company, IMEC Mechanical, has been installing mechanical systems in commercial structures for decades.

“We have worked on a ton of lab work,” Weston declares. “If it’s complicated lab work done in British Columbia, there’s a good chance IMEC was involved. We enjoy the challenge of design/assist or design/build for complicated mechanical systems, and we’ve got a reputation for doing very high-quality, high-value work. During the design and installation of many complex projects, it was a natural progression for us to simplify the systems, where it was prudent, and make them more efficient.” 

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Gateway Construction Co. takes a different approach to managing its construction projects. “It’s all about creating a great team, starting with our architectural, design and engineering partners to our suppliers and subcontractors,” President Matthew Wilson declares. “Most importantly, we always encourage the client to play an active role as a team member. This keeps everyone focused on the real goal: adding value to the client’s organization.”

Gateway Construction has spent many years building an effective team of architects, engineers and subcontractors. By using the same team on the majority of its projects, Gateway is able to build more cost-effectively while keeping quality high and minimizing the time required to complete each project. Being business owners and real estate investors themselves, the managing partners of Gateway realize that time and cost are crucially important to any organization.

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Movie company MGM used to boast in the old studio days that it had “More stars than there are in the heavens.” Although that no longer is the case in Hollywood, it looks like it is true of Fiber Creations when it installs a star field of twinkling points of light in the bottom of a swimming pool or the ceiling of a home theater. “We’ll put 400 to 600 stars in the floor of a swimming pool, and it is an absolutely stunning look,” declares Rhonda Sheerin, co-owner, founder and vice president.

Fiber-optic lighting can be used to create dramatic effects, such as indirect lighting changing colors and water seemingly being illuminated from within. “We have a customer that designed his swimming pool in the shape of a violin,” Sheerin relates. “The next phase of that pool is going to have each of the notes on his violin set up to play with different illuminators, so that when he turns on music, the notes will play on the violin and they will have different colors. A programmer is working on that project now.”

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Buildings frequently are seen as permanent structures, but in certain situations, making them mobile can be advantageous. This is just one of the many advantages of ClearSpan Fabric Structures. They use a rugged, all-purpose Hercules Truss Arch manufactured from high-quality, USA-made, triple-galvanized structural steel tubing to resist rust and corrosion. 

Covering the steel is lightweight fabric with a strong, patented weave that is treated to resist weather and ultraviolet UVI rays. The fabric also can be flame-retardant and carries a 20-year warranty. The metal frames and supports are warrantied for 50 years. Another advantage that creates mobility for ClearSpan Fabric Structures is that they can be installed directly on the ground with little to no site preparation. 

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Kimberlee Driggs well knows the ups and downs of the construction industry. “There are many challenges,” she says of owning her site work firm, D2 LLC. “Don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy – it’s not, and it’s certainly not for those with thin skin.”

Driggs’ work ethic, and the turnaround in the company’s home market of Washington, D.C., since its founding in 2012, have helped the company navigate the industry’s peaks and valleys. “We have a hardworking team,” she says. “The market is finally beginning to show some positive signs, and we hope to benefit.”

Much of Driggs’ industry knowledge was gained working alongside her husband since 2000. Prior to jumping into the construction industry, she worked in commercial real estate sales and leasing.

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Metal buildings have gone far beyond the days when simple steel structures were put up in a few days for additional storage. Nowadays, metal building systems are an important part of a design/build solution for warehouses, commercial and industrial buildings. 

This is the market in which Cedar Falls Building Systems Inc. prospers, working primarily within five counties in west-central Wisconsin. In addition to offering products from Butler Manufacturing, the company’s structures also utilize other materials and methods. 

“Oftentimes, it’s not that black and white,” President Mark Lewis declares. “On every project, we meet with the customer to help figure out what they need exactly, whether it’s how much of something they need to store, how they’re going to move a product through it or the types of equipment that go in. We design structures to suit their needs exactly. Every single one is unique.

Read more: Cedar Falls Building Systems Inc.