ACI Boland Architects is looking for a Junior Team Member BIM/CAD Production Specialist

ACI Boland Architects is a growing design firm looking for an energetic hard working junior team member BIM/CAD and Production Specialist. This individual will be part of a design team and will focus on the production of Revit and AutoCAD files. The ideal candidate will be able to apply knowledge and expertise of BIM and CAD technologies to provide support and assist teammates in the use of design technology, and project coordination while maintaining related systems and helping resolve complex technical issues. Our firm is made up of wide variety of dedicated individuals who are crazy passionate about design, work hard together, continuously collaborate, and laugh a lot! 

This position would best fit a person who thrives in FUN, but fast paced, multi-tasking environment.  If you are interested in collaborating with others and working on a variety of project types, please send cover letter, resume and references to:


·         Assist with developing and updating company and client specific content such as Revit templates and families or AutoCAD templates and blocks.

·         Participate in weekly team coordination meetings

·         Support and monitor adherence to company standards within Revit and AutoCAD based projects in both the network file system and Revit Server

·         Assist with Revit work-set, phase and ownership of project model content following company standards and project specific requirements

·         Assist with the conversion of Revit models into .DWG format and the reverse

·         Assist with the clean-up of incoming .DWG and Revit data for efficient use within projects 


·         1-3  years’ experience working in Revit

·         Proficient use of Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)

·         Strong written and verbal communication skills

·         Ability to address issues in a timely manner

·         Ability to effective utilize technology to streamline work processes

·         Ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team

·         Ability to learn new technology and processes quickly

·         Prior experience in the Architecture field preferred

Due to the large volume of candidates, only qualified applicants will be contacted. No phone calls or agencies please.

A Sit Down with Santa

By Jessica Morrow, Marketing Coordinator
The holiday season is a special time of year. It’s a time to gather with our loved ones and create memories that last a lifetime. Most of us will never forget the conversations had with Santa as we sat on his lap and told him about the gifts we wanted on Christmas morning. These moments can be taken for granted by most, as they seem like a right of passage during this time of year. However, there are some families that know all too well the void that’s left from missing these memory-making moments. Whether it’s a child fighting through an early childhood developmental issue or families who have a little one that must spend their Christmas break in the hospital, rather than playing outside with friends. There are families throughout the Kansas City Metro and beyond that could use an extra dose of Christmas spirit. 

ACI Boland Achitects very own, Greg Highbarger, took it into his own hands to provide children and their families with a sense of normalcy and joy during their tough time by acting as Santa. This being the 20th year that he has donned the Big Man’s red suit, I sat down with Greg to get to get to know more about why he started this tradition and what he has learned about the Christmas season over the years.  

JM: Greg, 2014 marks the 20th year that you have acted as Santa for children throughout the metro, who may have not otherwise had the chance to see him. How did you initially get involved?

GH:  I was asked by a colleague, who had a special needs child, if I would be their Santa for their Holiday party.  A favor for a friend turned into a true passion.

JM: Why do you continue to volunteer your time year after year?

GH:  Simple:  The joy I give and, more importantly, receive doing this is immeasurable.  It is the kick-off to my holiday season every year!

JM: Do you have a favorite memory?

GH:  Several years ago I was approached by one of the families about their son.  Apparently he was not the best at eating his vegetables (who is?).  They asked if I could mention his eating shortfall during his visit with Santa.  I did and it worked!  Still eating the vegetables today and Santa is getting ALL the credit!  I would be remiss if I also failed to mention the countless responses I receive about the joy their child had in visiting with me as Santa.  Many of them will only “go to” me as their Santa.  With many of these kids, that is truly special!


The Original Form, The Redirection of Function

by Colleen Cassidy

The ‘Super Flea’ building is a lost gem in the midst of Kansas City. It has intrigued me through its social context and its extreme shift in uses from past to present. Upon seeing it, I could not look past the stained concrete, rusting metal, and blue tarp hanging in the broken windows. I saw barbed wire, cinderblock walls, and fenced in doors pushing out all opportunity of human interaction. I questioned why a building like this even continued to stand.

Yet upon closer observation, I realized this building once had a beautiful life of its own. Its value was legendary in its prime. It was a brand new, 2 million square foot department store full of possibility for both workers and shoppers alike. Vast amounts of windows allowed light to flood in while people bustled about the many floors. The facade was clean, white and crisp, and a breath of fresh air in the turn of the century. Fancy, circled designs crowned this massive, majestic structure beckoning for all to enter Montgomery Ward. 

In 1914, it was the largest building West of the Mississippi and was home to over 3,000 employees. It was once a face of promise, growth and glamour. It is now the epitome of ‘form follows function’. Square footage and sheer size were obviously valued over intricate detailing and extensive material use. The repeated grid pattern between the building and windows allows an overemphasis on the vertical and horizontal, a key principle of design during this time. The building is true to its materials and is not trying to achieve anything other than a space for a department store. Land around the building was used to continue this movement. Grain silos sit off in the distance and a sturdy, red-bricked building stands across the street. It was the turn of the 20th century, new architecture was developing, and the machine aesthetic of industry brought hope and promise.

When it was first built, it was a feat of size and industrial power that I’m sure was a gloating accomplishment for all architects and builders involved. A marvel of their careers. A piece of architecture that was clean, and industrial, and exciting to newcomers. And now - a decaying mass that has been reclaimed by locals as an open space for a weekend flea market. The space was inhabited due to a need, not because it was a thriving architectural space. While the outside may have lost its identity, the local thrifters have given it a second chance at survival, even if it’s only a couple days out of the month. They have given it new meaning, a redirected function.

The message here - architects strive for an innovative form that pleases a client in its function. However, none of us can predict the life of our buildings and the functions they may serve, even long past our own time. Our structures may outlast us, but there is no telling how they will be re-appropriated, re-inhabited or the ways in which they will evolve through the test of time. Is it the form or the function that allows a building to dive or thrive? Or is it ourselves that lose interest in finding a new function for an existing form and need others to give it new life in an unexpected way?

Meet a Member - Scott McMullen

Interviewed by:   Mike Brown
It was the day of an all office lunch party and all you could hear are sounds of laughter.  Scott McMullen took jeans Friday to a level that, simply put, will be unmatched for some time.  He shows up dressed head to toe as arguably the greatest movie character of all time.  You guessed it, Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation, dickey and all! Before his recent knee injury, Scott spent most of his time outside of work “tearing it up” on the volleyball court.  If you ask him if his playing days are over, he will tell you with great reluctance that his future volleyball days will have to be enjoyed vicariously through his two young daughters, Sophie and Corinna.  Scott has been with his son, Connor, every step of the way lately as he will be making a big decision on where to go to college!  Connor also happens to be quite the athlete as he is considered one of the top ranked discus throwers in the region.


MB: Hey Scott, would you be ok with me interviewing you for our newsletter?

SM: Absolutely!  Can we discuss politics?? (Inside joke as our political views are wildly different, but I like him all the same)

MB: I really don’t want the entire interview to revolve around your knee, but I will do so if necessary.

SM: As long as we don’t talk about architecture the whole time.

MB: Let’s talk music for a moment, shall we?  Ready…GO!

SM: If it was sung in the 80’s, I probably know it and like it.  Although, I do believe “Rush” is arguably the best band ever.  I have gone to four Rush concerts in my life, all of which were with my son, so there’s that…

MB: Fair enough.  Let’s switch gears for a moment.  Given your house full of athletes, you must have an opinion on modern day sports.  Let’s start with the 2014 Winter Olympics.

SM: Can I just share my extreme dislike for Men’s figure skating?  There’s something about the hair and the outfits that really gets me.  I just can’t get into it.

As we are watching Olympic ski jumping Scott randomly says, “I mean, it’s like jumping off a building with a plan.”

MB: One question…LeBron James or Michael Jordan in his prime?

SM: It really all depends on the other four guys on the floor.  I will say that LeBron would not be doing what he’s doing today if Jordan didn’t do what he did yesterday.

MB: Well said.  With your permission, I would like to revisit the topic of Architecture for a moment.  What is it about this profession that excites you?

SM:  Well, I really can’t imagine doing anything else as a career.  I enjoy solving problems through design detail.  Also, not that you asked, but I think it’s important to note that I always keep in mind that I am drawing for the contractor because ultimately, they are the ones who are going to build it.

MB: Please share with me and rest of the audience 2 fun facts about you.


1.       My two favorite SNL skits involve Christopher Walken.

2.       I enjoy using carpet samples as doormats because when they get dirty I can just throw them away.

MB: Thank you for your time, sir.

March Madness Fun Facts

by Suzie Apel
The Men’s NCAA Tournament usually brings both excitement and disappointment to oh so many and so far 2014 has not been the exception, especially when MU doesn't even make the tournament and both K-State and KU lose in 1st and 2nd rounds.    

We thought we would share some interesting facts and history about the tournament that brings a breadth of emotions not only here in our office, but around entire country.   The following information is according to and the

Against the Odds
The odds of filling out a perfect bracket are one in 9,223,372,036,775,808. (that’sQuintillion)

Taking the Court
It’s been a long tradition that the tournament champions have cut down the nets to take home, but since 1986, the winning school has also been given the hardwood court too.  Many sell and/or auction off pieces to fans.

Only seven times has a team won the National Championship with a perfect record.  San Francisco 1956, North Carolina 1957, UCLA 1964, 1967, 1972, 1974 and Indiana 1976.

The record for most overtimes in single game is four, and it happened twice, once in 1956 and again in 1961.

Uncharted Territory
A No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 seed.  However, No.15 seeds have beaten No.2 seeds six times, with the 2 most recent in 2012, Duke losing to Lehigh 70-75 and Norfolk St beat Missouri 86-84. (see Worst College Upsets below)

Player to Coach
These individuals have won a NCAA Championship as a player and a coach:  Joe B. Hall, Bob Knight, and Dean Smith.

Cinderella Story
The lowest seed ever to win the NCAA Tournament is Villanova as a No. 8 seed in 1985.

Best of the Best
One time has all four top seeds advanced to be in the Final Four.  That’s when Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA and Memphis met in 2008.

Small Dance
The 1st NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was held in 1939… and consisted of only 8 teams.

Worst College Upsets
Duke, Duke, Duke. Duke has the distinct honor of being the most-frequently upset team in NCAA tournament history, having been upset 19 times since 1985. Nineteen times! The next closest is Oklahoma, with 14.

Project Sneak Peak

by Duane Cash, Project Manager

AND THE JOURNEY CONTINUES!  Heading into the home stretch, Pittsburg State University’s new Center for the Arts, will be opening this fall.  This has been an exciting project for the team at ACI Boland Architects.  

The curtain wall enclosing the grand lobby is nearly complete and work in the performance spaces inside are progressing. Drywall and paint is beginning in the "back of house” spaces and asphalt paving will start soon on the exterior. Exterior insulation is being applied on the south elevations in preparation for the metal panels to come shortly. 
Stay tuned over the next few months for more exciting images as this building races to the finish line.
ACI Boland Architects – It’s about the Journey.

For additional details or to make a financial pledge you can visit:

More Than Meets The Eye

~ by Colleen Cassidy

 “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. While this may be a widely known and commonly used phrase, we never take a moment to truly grasp its significance. Just as the quote suggests, we all have different definitions of what is truly beautiful. To some, it may be the vivid pigments of wildflowers outside the window or a mountain vista capped with snow. For others, it could be walking into an architecturally designed space in which natural light floods the walls. Beauty can also be as simple as seeing a smile on the one you love. 

But no matter the person or their definition of beauty, one commonality lies amongst them all: sight is one of the most valuable and precious gifts one can have, which is why so much dedication, time, advancement and technology has been invested into the field of optometry and eye care. Even the kick-off of the New Year highlights the extreme importance of eye care with January serving as National Eye Care Month. But beyond the importance of check-ups, surgeries, eye health and the professionals that make it all happen, there’s another essential piece that sometimes goes unrecognized: the buildings in which optical medicine is practiced.

Just as technologies and discoveries continue to advance the field of eye care, so do the facilities that house these medical practices. There is a dynamic parallel beginning to emerge between medicine and design, in that modern medicine seeks to be mirrored by a modern enclosure. The healthcare profession is integrating design aesthetics within its architectural spaces that celebrate the innovation being performed within. One could say that healthcare is beginning to reconcile the dichotomy that you are “either a product of you environment or your environment is product of you”. The inspiration of modern medicine should be reflected in its built environment while the built environment should inspire the continuation of advanced medical practices. As opposed to one or the other, they instead need to function harmoniously as products of one another.

                   Moyes Eye Center, Kansas City, MO

The key factor in this movement is preparation for the future. Modern aesthetics in a facility can engage us with sleek lines, pre-finished metal panels, 3form acrylic and custom patterned wood ceilings. The greatest challenge however in healthcare design is integrating a realistic space plan that addresses both current and future needs. This can be more complex than it seems. A hurdle amongst owner and architect is the architect understanding the owner’s current program spaces versus the needs and sizes of future program spaces. The architect’s role is to collaborate with the owner on their desires for tangible spaces and surfaces with the intent of applying those desires to future functions. A building, especially in healthcare, is only affective as long as it is usable.  The architect and the owner must clearly understand the facility’s intentions from the beginning in order to avoid functionality flaws and unusable spaces down to road. The architect in part must function as a sort of liaison between an owner’s current space needs and the expectation of the future space use. 

An essential set underlying of elements must be executed when designing a place for modern medicine: space efficiencies, quality of light and scale. While all these design principles may seem commonplace in theory, it is astonishing how many of these critical pieces are disregarded. The true challenge is breaking free from old habits and understanding the needs of the current world. An example of this is steering free from the traditional “airport waiting spaces” in which people are lined in a room much like rows of livestock. Instead, a waiting room should be considered as a room within a room, an area of congregation in which social interaction or individual reflection can take place. It should evoke an extension of one’s living room.

A connection to nature and light brings an aura of calm and connection to one’s surroundings, alleviating the once sterile and disconnected feel one would have in previous bunker-like hospital halls. Anticipating any form of procedure is stressful and distraction from that discomfort is craved, whether the patient sees it or not. But bringing natural light and connection to nature in an eye clinic presents another obstacle in design. Visitors are in a fragile state. Whether it’s an infection, recovery from surgery or dilation, most people within the clinic will have sensitivity to direct light but also do not want to be enclosed in a dark, depressing space. This can be overcome with some simple design techniques such as framing windows or curtain walls with 12-15 foot setbacks from the building exterior. This introduces an overhang to provide proper shade for indirect natural lighting and conjointly composes an opportunity for exterior coves and patios to be used throughout the day by visitors and staff members alike. This technique also allows for greater spans of fenestration to render a heightened scale in avoidance of cave-like interior.

Medicine is a beautiful benefaction in life. It enhances, strengthens and preserves the integrity of our well-being and of the ones we love around us. It reveals solutions we may have never conceived and transforms the phrase improbable to probable. But the conquests of healthcare are silent; demure in spirit. Medicine is sometimes taken for granted. It is sometimes seen as an expectation instead of a miracle.

At the core of it all, the beautiful gift that medicine gives back to our lives and our bodies is the same gift that a building can provide to its users: function. Whether it’s modern medicine or modern design, beyond their boasts, claims and appearances, what makes them beautiful are their abilities to bring function back into our lives. 


January 2014 Fun Fact

Give Your Muscles and Your Productivity a Boost ~ by Christine Parisi, Interior Designer

Did you know when you take a step you are using up to 200 muscles?  Walking is one of the best ways to start a healthy exercise plan and easy to implement into to work day.  It not only helps to maintain a healthy weight but also lifts your mood, strengthens your bones and improves your coordination.   Walking along with the exercise ideas below can easily become part of your work day.  Just 30 seconds of an excise activity can help your concentration, creativity and productivity.  So get up and stretch out with these fun activities:

Fun Fact Apple.jpg
  1. Take a couple of walking laps around the office
  2. Do push-ups, sit-ups or jumping jacks while your computer is loading.
  3. If you have stairs in your office, take a couple of trips up and down.  If you are really in for a challenge, climb up and down the stairs as many times as you can during your lunch break.  Try to add a flight a week.
  4. Take a lap around the office doing walking lunges.

More than 38% of people choose weight loss as their new year’s resolution, chances are you are not the only one in your office with this resolution.  So grab a coworker and start internal work-out plan or an internal weight lose/fitness challenge.  When starting your regimen, don’t forget to drink plenty of water and to eat healthy. 


Here are some additional resources to help you walk your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Spreading Christmas Joy

Each year ACI Boland Architects looks forward to participating in the We Care event which benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City.   It's our way of spreading a little holiday cheer and as a bonus we get to spend time with some awesome kids!

Kids get crafty at We Care Christmas Event 

(click on above title to link to article and pictures)

On Wednesday, December 11, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City members were treated to an afternoon filled with Christmas spirit! For the 13th year, the Herman Miller and John A. Marshall group have partnered to provide the annual We Care Christmas event. Thirty cities across the country host the We Care event each winter to spread Christmas joy and provide the opportunity for children and youth to create Christmas gifts for their friends and family.

This year’s We Care event brought together fourteen architecture and design firms from across Kansas City. Each firm set up a booth in the gymnasium of the Thornberry Unit and selected a Christmas craft to complete with the kids. Club members got to pick and choose which craft projects they wanted to do and traveled from booth to booth with help from the elves, We Care event volunteers. The crafts ranged from scarves and hot chocolate mixes to ornaments and decorations. The whole afternoon was filled with laughter and smiles.

In addition to the craft booths, kids got their faces painted with various Christmas characters and themes. They even got the chance to talk with Santa, who stopped by to help spread some Christmas joy.

Cast Your Vote!

ACI Boland Architects is honored to have been selected as a finalist in the 2013 Healthcare Design Remodel/Renovation Competition! The Saint Luke’s Neuroscience Institute remodel project is going to be published in the December 2013 issue of Healthcare Design.   This is a HUGE honor for both us and our client Saint Luke’s Hospital.

A jury of experts reviewed all projects, the field was narrowed to the top 10 in each category, and then the jury ranked the top 10  to determine the 3 finalists in each category.

The projects are now posted on the website and ready for YOUR VOTE. The ‘Best in Category’ will be determined by our readers. Starting today, you’ll be able to vote at through August 20.  

ACI Boland Architects Achieve Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Status

To further integrate with our clients Lean Six Sigma initiatives, members of ACI Boland Architects staff completed 39 hours of direct instructor training of Lean Six Sigma Green Belt for healthcare followed by successfully passing certification tests.  A healthcare design project in this era of transformation provides the opportunity to design space to advance quality care, improve patient experience, and provide operational efficiencies. Many of our clients are utilizing Lean Six Sigma methodologies as means to discover better ways to advance their organizations in this transformation environment.

It is exciting to put these tools to work for our clients! We are currently engaged with two clients using Leans Six Sigma tools as part of the design process. If you would like to learn we can use Lean Six Sigma for you design projects please give us a call.

Interiors Department Wins Impromptu Design Competition

A recent contest was held and sponsored by Mohawk Flooring and DalTile promoting some new products. 

Designers were given an hour to put together a product design scheme in an hour.  

Interior Designers Sarah Anning and Christina Parisi decided to play on the name of the carpet "State of Mind" for their scheme and write-up.

LIVE THE DAY: Taking it from Day to Night

As spring begins to hatch, ladies are making the transition with outfits that go from day to night with bright, flirty & fun pops of color.

Warm & cool neutrals will get you through the work-day, but in order to spice up your evening you’ll need to toss in a vibrant clutch or sassy lipgloss. 

Keep that ‘little black dress’ as your baseline and epitomize the high power–meets-high polish of the city’s chicest with the latest trends in accessories. 

Your style reflects your  State of Mind.