Burns & McDonnell, VanTrust showcase $80M HQ project

The $80 million project is a collaboration between Burns & McDonnell and VanTrust Real Estate.

The $80 million project is a collaboration between Burns & McDonnell and VanTrust Real Estate.

Dignitaries, local officials, and friends of Burns & McDonnell mingle on a glass-walled balcony overlooking a grassy courtyard in the center of the company's headquarters complex at Wornall Parkway. The 2,500-square-foot rooftop terrace, attached to the firm's new $90 million building, is a product of the cost efficiency of the project, added to the plan only once the team found out how much money it saved by employing the design-build method.

"Changes always happen during a project and typically those can mean added costs," said Lori Top, the Burns & McDonnell architect who led the design team. "Having an agile design-build team allowed us to make better cost decisions early in the project. We maximized the money we saved and put it towards areas that provide the most value to employee-owners, such as the pharmacy and the barista coffee bar. That's the beauty of integrated design-build."

The building features this 250-seat auditorium, 60 conference rooms and four large training rooms.

The building features this 250-seat auditorium, 60 conference rooms and four large training rooms.

The expansive building, developed by VanTrust Real Estate and designed, engineered and constructed by Burns & McDonnell, made its debut last week. The four-story 310,000-square-foot facility sits adjacent to the firm's world headquarters on an 18-acre site. The project increases the firm's headquarters by 74 percent and adds 1,400 employee-owners.

"This is much more than a nice new building," Burns & McDonnell CEO Greg Graves said. "It's our identity. We intentionally designed it to mirror the values and principles of Burns & McDonnell. For example, the glass wall around the first floor symbolizes our transparency as a firm. The open design and unique gathering stations illustrate our passion for partnership and collaboration. And hand-selected amenities illustrate our commitment to our employee-owners and making Burns & McDonnell the best place to work."

Perhaps the most impressive of a host of on-site amenities is a 20,000-square-foot STEM-focused child care center called MacKids Learning Academy. It has the capacity for 144 preschool-aged children and aligns with the design team's desire to create amenities that support a work-life balance.

These conference rooms feature sliding glass doors that open to the courtyard.

These conference rooms feature sliding glass doors that open to the courtyard.

Other amenities include a full-service pharmacy, an expanded health center, a credit union, a coffee bar with barista service, a 250-seat auditorium with the latest audiovisual equipment, 60 conference rooms, and four large training rooms. The open office space features adjustable desks and whiteboards peppered throughout.

The project team infused sustainable design throughout the process, reclaiming white marble from the Beth Shalom synagogue that once stood on the land. Midwest native Hackberry wood is used throughout the buildings for feature walls, veneers and ceiling panels. LED lighting paired with daylight harvesting allows for optimal energy savings. The 885-stall parking garage even boasts electrical vehicle charging stations.

A second $50 million phase would add a 150,000-square-foot four-story office building and a 668-stall parking garage, and would add 700 employees.

Check out more photos in the gallery below.