Austin in the News

2013 ALA Design Awards

Bob Davidson, FALA, AIA, LEED AP, Chief Architect for The Austin Company, was selected as a judge for the 2013 Association of Licensed Architects (ALA)Design Award Program.

Davidson, along with four other judges, reviewed 96 entries and selected projects for the following honors: 23 projects were awarded an Award of Merit, 13 projects were awarded a Silver Medal, and 5 projects a Gold Medal, along with the with the Don Erickson Presidential Award as the top honor.

Click on the link below for more information on the Award Program and the 2013 honorees:



Visit Austin at IPPE 2014!

The Austin Company will be attending and exhibiting at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) on January 28-30 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. We look forward to another great show this year and hope to see you there!



Plastics: Emerging Economies Signal Opportunity for Growth and Exportation

In this article for Trade & Industry Development, Frank Spano and Susan Riffle examine emerging trends in plastics, site selection and facility planning, and take a forward look at materials, applications and technology impacting this dynamic industry.


Plastics impact nearly every industry and whether we see or use the actual products or not, plastics have a profound effect on our daily lives. Plastics’ numerous applications across a wide range of industries include major end-use markets, such as: Packaging (bottles, film, cups), Building and construction (pipe, siding, insulation), Consumer and institutional (toys, housewares, medical), Transportation, Furniture and furnishings, Electrical and electronics (W&C, computers, appliances), Adhesives/inks and coatings, and Industrial machinery.

Plastics firms encompass niches from health and well-being, nutrition, shelter and transportation, to safety and security, communication, sports, leisure activities and innovations of industry. As the third-largest manufacturing industry in the United States, this sector continues to contribute significantly to the nation’s economy. Read more using the links below.


November/December 2013 Digital Issue of Trade & Industry Development


Webinar Recording: Introduction to Bakery Processes


Leaders in Building Better Bakeries

The Austin Company had the great pleasure of sharing some of our bakery building experience in the September 2013 issue of Baking&Snack magazine. This issue was featured at the recent International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), where Austin also enjoyed being a vendor.

In Expanding for Greater Flexibility (p. 26-35), Mike Pierce, Austin’s President, provided insight on how bakeries are building cleaner environments, and how design and construction teams are being challenged to deliver facilities that meet changing standards through the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).  In addition, Mr. Pierce commented on the escalation of sustainable design features as more bakery projects are being submitted for LEED® certification. Finally, as baking companies are facing increased costs, Mr. Piece described recent facility trends to build more bakeries that may be smaller, but more flexible to adapt to future needs. 

In Building Successful Projects (p. 57-59), Mr. Pierce was interviewed by Senior Editor, Shane Whitaker, in this Q&A: Construction Management article on how the design-build method promotes a team environment and provides for faster project schedules and fewer issues. Here, Mr. Pierce contends that the most important aspect of the project is that the baker is on a team with his or her selected design and construction professionals. Design-build fosters this collaborative approach and is a method in which the team is selected based on qualifications.      

Educating the Industry (p. 151-156), covers the latest Baking Industry Forum’s (BIF) project on “The Five Ps of Training.” After conducting research, BIF presented their findings on the ROI of training at the BEMA annual meeting in June. The presentation was broken into five sections – the “Ps” of: problem, preparation, presentation, performance and preservation. As a member of BIF, Mr. Pierce helped to present the findings on “problem” at the BEMA annual meeting. The results of a BIF survey found that only 15% of the baking industry workforce is under age 35. Additional findings included a shortage of technical skills in the next five years, high turnover issues and lacking training processes, plague both bakers and suppliers. Recommendations and insight on the other “Ps” is included in the article.

We hope this information is helpful for you as you consider your next facility project. Learn more about Austin’s approach to the design-build method and our experience designing and constructing Baking & Snack facilities.


The Austin Company Continues Growth with New Hires

Cleveland, Ohio – November 12, 2013 — The Austin Company, an international architectural, engineering, design-build, construction management and consulting firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, continues its growth in 2013 and is proud to announce the recent addition of several associates to their staff.

The following new hires joined the firm as of November 12, 2013:

In the Company’s Cleveland, Ohio, office…

  • Christopher Uguccini as Senior Electrical Designer
  • Andrew MacMillan as Purchasing Agent
  • Adriana Garcia as Accounting Technician

In the Company’s Irvine, California, office…

  • Lewis Roberson as Area Superintendent

In the Company’s Atlanta, Georgia, office…

  • Michael Stone as Field Engineer

In the Company’s Portage, Michigan, office…

  • Ed Hinkley as Manager of Steel Fabrication Services

In the Company’s St. Louis, Missouri, office for Austin Healthcare...

  • Tom Bice as General Manager
  • Bill Wendland as Director of Design
  • Jim Moore as Vice President and Project Executive
  • Bill Luciano as Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing
  • Scott Schultz as Vice President of Business Development
  • Mike Koncki as Recruiting and Human Resources
  • Rob Kerch as Sales Coordinator
  • Jodi Brunkhorst as Executive Assistant

Information about The Austin Company and current open positions can be found on Austin’s website at, or CareerBuilder at (direct link to Austin openings).


Webinar: Introduction to Bakery Processes

Charles Albertone, Industrial Engineer/Project Manager with The Austin Company, is hosting a webinar on "Introduction to Bakery Processes, From Concept Through Construction". Thursday, November 14 at 3:00 pm EST.

Learn more and register at:




Business Facilities Magazine Features Select Tennessee Certified Sites Program

Business Facilities magazine September/October 2013 issue cover story on pre-certified sites featured the Select Tennessee Certified Sites Program. The Austin Company's site selection division, Austin Consulting, is helping to administer the program and rigorous site certification process. Since the program's launch in June 2012, 22 sites have been certified in 16 counties across the state. Brandon Talbert, Austin Consulting Location Consultant, stated, "Each of these sites have been carefully evaluated in order to minimize development risks to potential end users." Read more at Tennessee's Pioneering Site-Certification Program .


National Fire Prevention Week: October 6-12, 2013 - Kitchen Fire Safety

Fire Prevention Week LogoNational Fire Prevention Week is October 6-12, 2013 

The National Fire Protection Association chose "Kitchen Fires: Get Cookin' With Fire Safety" as this year's theme. The goal is to call attention to the fact that more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home. Additionally, cooking is the leading cause of home fire injuries.

Read on and talk with your family about these kitchen fire safety tips to improve safety in your own kitchen:

  • Always use cooking appliances the way they were designed to be used. Follow directions when you install and operate appliances.
  • Never plug microwave ovens or other kitchen appliances into extension cords. Plug them directly into wall outlets.
  • Keep your stovetop, burners and oven clean.
  • Keep the area around the stove-top burners free of everything that burns: paper towels, grocery bags, pot holders, dish towels, etc.
  • Never wear loose clothing when cooking. Clothes can catch fire if they touch a gas flame or electric burner.
  • Never leave the room while anything is cooking on the stove. If you leave the kitchen for any period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Use the back burners when kids are nearby.
  • Turn pot handles and pan handles inward, so children won't pull them down from the stove.
  • Keep young children at least 3 feet away from the stove and from areas where hot food or drinks are being prepared.
  • Teach your kids how to prepare food safely and stay close to them while they learn to cook.
  • Keep a fully-charged ABC fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen, but don't store it in a cabinet above the stove.
  • Never use aluminum foil or metal objects in a microwave oven.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your house.

If a fire starts in a stove-top pan, put on an oven mitt, cover the pan with a lid, and turn off the burner. Never put water on a grease fire. If a fire starts in your oven, close the door, turn off the heat and call the fire department. If your clothes catch on fire, stop immediately, drop to the ground and roll over or back and forth to put out the fire. Treat burns by putting them in cool water for 3 to 5 minutes. If the burn is bigger than your fist, if the skin is blistered or charred, or if you aren't sure how to treat it, get professional medical treatment immediately.

SAFETY REMINDER: If you smoke, put your cigarette out if you feel drowsy or sleepy. Too many home fires are caused by smoking materials.

Learn more at:


Upcoming Tradeshows: IBIE

The Austin Company will be attending IBIE, held October 6-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada!

Visit us at IBIE Booth 11314 to learn more about our commitment to safety and receive your FREE First Aid Kit or Child ID Fingerprint Kit.