Skip to main content


Fort Wayne

Industry Axis

Needham Team Participates in Sporting Clays

Needham DBS Team Photo

The Concrete Promotional Group (CPG) held their annual Sporting Clay event on September 13, 2023. The event was held at Powder Creek Shooting Park in Lenexa KS. Eleven employees of the Needham DBS Kansas City Office participated. It was a great opportunity to spend time together outside the office environment as well as networking with other companies.

2023 Summer Internship


It was our pleasure to welcome Dakota Payne to our team for a summer internship. We all really enjoyed his great attitude, passion for learning, and willingness to dig into all aspects of what we do here at Needham DBS. It’s a wide array, often with many hats to wear, and he was up for the challenge!

We had some great opportunities both in the office and on jobsites. Dakota played a major role in inventory and QC for steel deliveries on some of our large projects in central Virginia this summer. He gained some valuable knowledge about steel construction, tilt-up construction, structural engineering, steel detailing and project management.

Continue reading

Lilly RTP 2022 Tilt-Up Achievement Award Winner


Needham DBS and T&T Construction wins a Tilt-up Achievement Award for Lilly RTP. 

The project is a $474 million development spanning over 750,000 SF across 11 integrated buildings. Features of the development include a 240,000 SF three-story manufacturing facility, a 200,000 SF two-story medical device and packaging facility, a 105,000 SF two-story administration and laboratory building, a 95,000 SF refrigerated Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) warehouse, and a fully functioning central utility plant. This project is a complex of buildings that are interconnected by a common corridor, which is 22 feet by 750 feet. There are six buildings adjoining the corridor from both the north and south, totaling a 324,847 SF building footprint with 688,392 SF of floor area. The project is a multi-level pharmaceutical production facility with floor level changes and pass-throughs between buildings. The Owner was committed to building a facility that was state-of-the-art and would carry their needs well into the future.

Continue reading

Hand Named President of the TCA Board


 The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA)—the global authority for the tilt-up concrete construction industry—announced Karen S. Hand, PE, as the newest president of the TCA Board of Directors. 

Karen has served on the TCA Board of Directors since 2018 and the Executive Committee since 2020. For each of the past four years, she was named a “Top 20 Influencer in the Tilt-Up Industry” by the TCA and was the 2022 recipient of the David L. Kelly Distinguished Engineer Award.

Continue reading

Stech Promoted to Engineering Manager


Jeremy Stech, P.E., has been promoted to Engineering Manager of the Lenexa KS office. Stech has 20 years of experience with Needham DBS. He holds an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Architectural Engineering Technology from Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska in December 2002. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Kansas in December 2015. He graduated with honors and was recognized by the civil engineering department staff, receiving the “Outstanding Graduating Senior in Civil Engineering” award.  

Jeremy has demonstrated his leadership skills, consistently gaining trust with internal and external clients. He brings experience with his project management, structural engineering and steel detailing background giving him a unique approach to economical and efficient building design and strengthens our Concurrent Design and Detailing approach to steel deliveries. We are thrilled to have him lead the next generation of engineers.


COVER-BLOG1 Bundled and Tagged

Another example of the unique solutions that Needham DBS can bring to the table! Extended lead times have made a traditional welded bar joist option difficult to fit into an aggressive construction schedule. Needham DBS, in partnership with Marko Metal Systems, supplied an alternative cold formed steel joist system for the project. The system uses an all-bolted system of standard roll-formed components that can be assembled in the field. This approach cut at least 10-12 weeks out of the traditional joist procurement process, allowing an on-time start to tilt-up and steel erection in March.

Joists are assembled on site and then bundled and tagged for staging. The steel erector will panelize the joists into a 6-joist system with all bridging completed on the ground provides safe and stable erection.

Continue reading

Needham DBS Delivers to Russell Davenport Industrial Park

Needham DBS Delivers to Russell Davenport Industrial Park

Needham DBS has delivered steel for the new 251,100 square foot building for Russell Davenport Industrial Park. The steel is part of a design-build package that was engineered, detailed and fabricated by Needham DBS. All the conventional steel products arrived mid-January and about half of the girders, joists and deck arrived the last week of January. The remainder of the steel is scheduled to arrive on site by mid-February.  The project is the first building in the 95-Acre industrial park.  Additional buildings for the industrial park are already in the works and will soon follow.  

Needham DBS Delivers to Crystal Distribution

Needham DBS Delivers to Crystal Distribution

Needham DBS delivered the remaining structural steel to Crystal Distribution in Waterloo Iowa.  The project is an expansion to the existing facility and consists of six building sections: an office, east dock/defrost section, operations section, west dock, freezer/cooler section and an engine room.  The final shipment of steel, 140 tons, arrived via eight trucks to the site January 25, 2022.

Needham DBS 2021 Summer Interns


Needham DBS hosted one, two, THREE summer interns for 2021.  Chelsea Lewis returned for a second summer as the seasoned intern, she is pursuing her Master's in Architectural Engineeing at K-State. Blake Walker is a student at University of Kansas seeking a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.  Alexanderia Birlingmair joined us from Iowa State University, also seeking a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.  It was a pleasure to work with these three interns collaborating on projects.  During the summer we visited Insteel Wire Products in St. Joseph, MO and visited project sites.

Needham DBS Delivers Long Span Joists

MaranathaJoist 101 Foot Long Joists

Needham DBS delivered long span steel joists to Maranatha Christian Academy in Shawnee, Kansas by way of a 90-foot stretch trailer.  The 101-foot long DLH joists for the gymnasium were delivered on January 17, 2022 with special permitting for a 90-foot stretch trailer and a 10-foot rear overhang.  A second truck hauled additional long span joists on an 80-foot stretch and a 20-foot rear overhang.  The massive joists will span across the gymnasium at 10-foot on ceter to support a 3-inch deep metal roof deck.

Needham DBS Supplies Test Frames for Research Project

DSC_1986-Edit-r-768x960 Full Scale Panel Testing

Needham DBS designed and supplied the structural steel test frames for full scale composite insulated wall panel testing. Needham DBS, a charter member of the TCA, worked closely with the University of Nebraska Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction's Marc Maguire, PhD. The researchers, contractors, engineers and vendors worked out the loading requirements and the functionality of the test frames to perform the panel testing. Needham DBS was also responsible for the foundation design to anchor the test frames as well as communicating the panel design and detailing requirements for the panel contractor to build the panels.  

Design Build Steel, the "DBS" arm of Needham DBS, supplies structural steel products for all project types.  It was a pleasure to work on a unique project and donate the materials for the advancement of the tilt-up industry. 

Continue reading

We Rise to the Challenge.


Needham DBS 2019 Advertising Campaign - Ad 2

We Make Field Calls.


Needham DBS 2019 Advertising Campaign - Ad 1

Needham DBS: Fort Wayne 2021 Christmas Dinner


Needham DBS' Fort Wayne Office celebrated the success of 2021 with a year end Christmas Dinner.  The dinner was held in the Boardroom at Ruth's Chris Steak House in downtown Fort Wayne on December 11, 2021.


We Keep Projects Moving Forward.


Needham DBS 2021 Advertising Campaign.


Needham DBS Sponsors TCA Virtual Convention


Needham DBS is a proud sponsor and exhibitor of the 2020 Tilt-Up Concrete Association Virtual Convention. 

Due to meeting restrictions, the TCA chose to hold a virtual convention for 2020.  Using Virbela as the platform, the TCA created "The Aggregate" where convention attendees created avatars of themselves bringing a human element to the virtual world.  The avatar concept allowed for real time interaction with other attendees.  Needham DBS team members had a lot of fun particpating in games, attending technical sessions, visiting exhibitors and networking with others in the industry.  Needham DBS is looking forward to seeing everyone LIVE next year in St. Louis! 

Brewood Joins SEAKM Officers

Todd Brewood has been elected Vice President of the Kansas City Chapter of SEAKM. The appointment is for the 2019-2020 year. The role of the VP is primarily to provide support to the chapter President and to work with the other committee members in organizing the monthly chapter meetings. Todd hopes to help encourage SEAKM membership growth, and to find useful and interesting topics to share and discuss at the monthly meeting.  Needham DBS heavily supports participation in industry organizations and appreciates Todd's committment to further the profession of Structural Engineering.

Todd started his term by attending SEAKM’s Annual Meeting in Wichita, KS on Thursday, April 25, 2019.  The meeting was held at the Wichita Advanced Learning Library.  Presentations included the Oklahoma State Capitol masonry restoration, steel cracking during galvanization, engineering software packages concerns and wrapped up with partially-composite tilt-up panels by Needham DBS' Jason Blankenship.

Continue reading

Keeping the Construction Pipeline Filled


While construction continues as essential business in most states, Needham DBS has concerns that the construction services supply chain is being disrupted. As leading indicators to construction activity, the Architectural and Engineering services sector must keep the pipeline filled with new and active design to prevent downturns in the second and third quarter construction projects. There’s a tremendous amount of fear in the country and the next few weeks will only add to that anxiety as many of the hot spot areas around the country reach closer to their peak. Experts say that those areas may not start to see relief until the third week in April and much of the country may not be back to work until early June.

Needham DBS has been busy working through the backlog of projects that were lined up going into the COVID-19 pandemic. The approach is to work through that backlog as quickly as possible to free up opportunities that require “speed to market” resources, either services or materials. Architects and Engineers should be procuring new work to keep the pipeline primed but many new projects aren’t kicking off due to owner uncertainty or restrictions in commercial real estate lending.

Continue reading

Masked Bandits


Employees relocated to home stations on Monday, March 23, 2020 ahead of the Kansas City metro stay-at-home orders. In a rare sighting, two masked bandits were found colluding in the Needham DBS conference room. CFO, Susan Fox Sherry and President, Karen Hand, geared up with makeshift personal protection equipment, met with Chairman Jeff Needham for a debriefing and critical planning meeting.

Kansas City Metro "Stay At Home" Order

The Kansas City Metro counties on both the Missouri and Kansas side of the state line have issued a "Stay At Home" order effective March 24, 2020.  All employees in the Lenexa KS office are being transitioned to home based operations immediately.  All employees are most easily accessible through email.  

Needham DBS anticipates the Fort Wayne office will quickly follow and several employees are already home-based in preparation for that order.