M+K Participates in Mattie Dixon Food Drive

A key aspect of our award-winning culture is our company-wide commitment to giving back. One of the charities we support in the Philadelphia area is the Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard, a fantastic charity that supports those in need located down the road from our home office.

In addition to volunteering at Mattie Dixon throughout the year, our team has regularly participated in Food Drives since we began partnering with them over 10 years ago. To make the event fun for our employees – and to ensure that we amassed as much food as possible – we turned it into a competition.

This year we divided our staff into six teams, incentivizing both teams and individual employees with prizes. We are thrilled to have exceeded all previous year’s donation totals, accumulating nearly 1400 pounds of grocery items! M+K supplemented this with a cash donation of $1.00 per pound, totaling $1400!

Thanks to all of our great employees for their generous donations, and thanks to Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard for all they do, day in and day out, to help those in need.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

Meyer Design | Luxor Bala Apartments

Luxor at Bala Cynwyd offers luxury apartments and first-class amenities in the Philadelphia region. True to their namesake, they aim to create a living experience typically found only at luxury resorts. Working with Westrum Development and the architects at Meyer Design, the building consists of a large 4-story wood framed structure on two levels of composite steel framing, which create space for over 160 units over full levels of amenity area and covered parking, not to mention courtyards, a pool deck, and front entrance balcony. With quick access to shopping and dining experiences the Philly Main Line is known for, it makes full use of its location, complete with sweeping views of the city skyline.

Finding naturally competent soil on site is not always a given, particularly in regions which have seen industrial activity and urban development for centuries. Our team recommended installing a network of rigid inclusions to stiffen the existing soil and allow for the use of shallow foundations in lieu of deep foundations. Knowing what to expect when working with these systems has become an essential part of our expertise in multi-family design projects.

It was a pleasure working with Meyer Design and Westrum Development on Luxor Bala Cynwyd, the first of 6 planned Luxor apartment projects across our region.

Stanley Martin Homes

Stanley Martin Homes, a single-family production and custom home builder founded in Maryland, has experienced rapid growth over the past 10 years. Currently operating in 12 metro areas across the Mid-Atlantic & Southeast regions, they have managed to achieve the fastest growth in the nation among large builders. In 2011, Stanley Martin ranked #77 on the Builder 100 list with 123 closings and have moved up to #21 with 3400 closings in 2021. For maintaining their high performance and strong culture even after years of extraordinary growth, Builder Magazine honored them with their ‘2021 Builder of the Year’ award.

Our relationship began in 2008, during the Great Recession, where our value engineering expertise got us in the door at Stanley Martin. At the time, they were a regional builder in the Washington DC area. Our team is proud to have grown along with them in nearly all their regional divisions over the past 15 years, providing structural designs for single-family homes and the occasional multi-family project. Sharing in their passion for excellence, our responsive client service and cost-effective designs continue to drive and expand our long-term relationship with Stanley Martin Homes.

M+K Celebrates its 20-Year Anniversary

Wow! Just, wow! On December 3rd, our employees and their spouses / significant others from all of our offices came together at Philadelphia’s iconic Franklin Institute to celebrate our 20-year anniversary. It’s hard to put into words how much fun we all had!

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The Black-Tie event began with photos on the red carpet and cocktails & hors d’oeuvres in “The Brain” exhibit. We then transitioned to the rotunda to have dinner in the presence of the larger-than-life Benjamin Franklin statue. Throughout the evening several employees took time to look back and speak about their experiences at M+K. They painted a fun, informative and heartfelt picture of our first 20 years in business. The formal event closed with Mike and Joe presenting an inspiring vision of the future for the firm. With most employees spending the night at the 5-star Logan Hotel nearby on Franklin Square, we hosted a catered after-party there which provided a wonderful opportunity to continue the momentum!

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It was such a joy bringing everyone together. This will be warmly remembered for years to come and will certainly have a home in the annals of M+K lore.

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It is with a combination of pride and humility that we reflect on this achievement and look forward to the next 20 years. We’re grateful beyond words for the wonderful relationships we have built and the trust that both our employees and clients have placed us over the years. Going forward, we’re looking forward to continuing to earn that trust – and hope that we all continue to grow and succeed together.

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Ginsburg Development Companies

With construction dating as far back as 1872, what was once the convent of the Episcopal Sisters of Saint Mary’s has been part of the history and heritage of Peekskill, NY for nearly 150 years. Built into the hillside overlooking the Hudson River, this century-old convent and chapel has been entirely restored in modern luxury as The Abbey Inn & Spa by Ginsburg Development Companies. While maintaining much of the timeless exterior, the reimagining of the interior for the luxurious suites, event spaces, and full-service spa has earned it the #3 rank on the “10 Best New Hotels” list by USA Today.

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This project combined the inherent challenges of designing large, non-uniform spaces with working off existing (and dated) construction. Century-old wood framed floors were reinforced to support various new, non-stacking bearing walls needed to accommodate the ambitious new layout. Catching up on decades of structural code compliance while designing for new heavily loaded spaces required integrating new steel framing, sometimes supported on a combination of existing rubble masonry and fresh concrete piers tied into bedrock. Never knowing what the field team would uncover certainly kept us on our toes.

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Our team enjoyed this unique adaptive reuse project with the team at Ginsburg, which was a big deviation from their typical “new construction” projects consisting of mid-rise and high-rise multi-family buildings.

Asher Slaunwhite Architects

When one of the oldest homes in Longport, NJ, was due for a long-awaited facelift, long-time client and high-end custom shore home specialist Asher Slaunwhite Architects was brought on to help save this turn of the century classic. Though many of the wants and needs of this renovation would require significant structural change, the plan from the beginning was to save as much of the existing structure and look as possible. The result is a fully modernized three story shore home with new full-height addition, roof deck, and entirely redesigned open-concept interior.

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We worked closely with the architect and GC (Buck Custom Homes) during the construction phase to get the trickier aspects of the redesign just right. To meet current building and flood codes, the house had to be lifted to allow construction of an entirely new foundation system. With a great deal of temporary bracing, new steel beams were installed into the existing wood floor system to create the desired open concept while keeping the HVAC system entirely within the floor depth. For our efforts in designing the brand-new feel of this home off the good bones of the original 1896 construction, our team was awarded the Outstanding Project Award for Single Family Homes by DVASE, the Philadelphia area Structural Engineering Association.

The Beechwood Organization

The Selby in Westbury is an expansive 500,000+ square foot 5-story building over 2 levels of covered parking in the heart of Nassau County on Long Island. A combination of luxury apartments and hotel rooms share top-notch amenities in this unique mix of residential & commercial space. The Beechwood Organization is Long Island’s largest homebuilder and developer of sophisticated lifestyle communities.

In addition to the typical complexity associated with parking structures such as ramps and a recessed pool, the mixed-use nature of the superstructure presented its own challenges in accommodating the wide variety of hotel and apartment unit types and amenity spaces. Designing a structure which could allow for these spaces was facilitated by the increased capacity afforded by the light-gauge framing. As with many of our larger multifamily projects, having light-gauge bearing wall design firmly in our wheelhouse allows us to keep up with these taller and more ambitious structures where wood framing may not have been feasible.

Working alongside Ismael Leyva Architects of Manhattan for the first time, The Selby is just one of several large multifamily projects our team has designed for Beechwood in recent years. In addition to our expertise with both wood framed and light-gauge metal projects, they’ve grown to appreciate our practical designs and honest, straightforward communication.

Virtual Games Live On, Post-Covid

Who knew what was around the corner at the beginning of March 2020? What initially was a shock to the system soon became a long-distance endurance race. Teams and ZOOM became essential tools for both business and social interaction.

Whether working in the office, competing at a company-sponsored event, or relaxing at a Friday Happy Hour, maintaining an upbeat and dynamic culture is central to our mission. Covid challenged all of this. But as the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”. We adjusted on the fly.

Our quarterly poker night seamlessly transitioned into an online event. Super fun virtual games like Drawful, Trivia Murder Party and Fibbage became staples. We even channeled our inner Vincent Van Goghs and held a part virtual / part in person ‘Painting with a Twist’ get-together. As an added perk we held lotteries to reward participation at the end of our virtual company-wide quarterly meetings.

Beyond the obvious benefit of these events, a key upside has been the enhanced cultural connection they have created between our four offices. So much so that, while Covid is going away, our virtual events are here to stay!

M+K Wins National Marketing Award

We’re really excited to announce that our new brochure came in first place in its category in the 2021 Zweig Marketing Excellence national awards competition!

We live in a fast-paced, headline and caption world, so we wanted someone to be able to review this brochure in a minute or less and walk away with an understanding of our core competencies and what makes M+K tick.

Over the past several years we’ve been working hard to optimize our brand and to up our marketing game as part of our company wide strategic growth plan. While this piece is intended to support targeted business development nationally over the coming years, its primary purpose out of the gate was to bolster sales efforts on the West Coast concurrent with the opening of our office in San Diego early last Fall.

Our team is proud of the achievement, thankful for the award, and looking forward to future marketing projects. We truly aspire to achieve excellence in all aspects of our business, not just our engineering services and culture. Congrats to our Marketing Team!

Dan Ryan Builders

Dan Ryan Builders is among the top home builders on the East Coast, currently operating in 9 states and 17 markets – from Pennsylvania to Georgia. While our relationship started with engineering homes for the Charleston, SC, market on the coast nearly 10 years ago, our team has both grown with DRB as they’ve expanded into new markets and have earned the confidence of their other divisions – to the point where we service the significant majority of their portfolio.

They have recently entered the Coastal Delaware market with 5 new communities under their DRB Coastal brand. Our team has extensive experience in this region and helped them develop local design standards and details. Anyone who builds in multiple jurisdictions understands the various “ism’s” and provincial nature that can literally come with the territory. Accounting for these factors prior to the first permit submittal can help avoid painful delays.

As material shortages continue to ripple through our industry, we’ve been working closely with their team to identify next-level value engineering opportunities and explore alternate options to ensure construction can continue with the materials that are available.