Built in 3D
Architecture alumni specialize in 3D modeling for major New York City construction projects
KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 7, 2016) — With their hands on the pulse of New York’s construction industry, Chris Stailey and Jacob Mashburn have worked on some of the city’s top building projects such as the World Trade Center, Madison Square Garden and Hudson Yards.
The 2010 architecture graduates say they feel like a valuable and vital enterprise in the city’s regrowth, a huge boon to the city 15 years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Stailey and Mashburn, fellow college classmates in Southern Polytechnic State’s architecture program, were enticed to New York City after graduation by job prospects during the economic recession. The pair worked for an electrical contracting firm for several years before launching their own construction engineering firm, Agon Coordination, in 2013.
“Our company is on the engineering side of construction,” said Stailey. Their firm specializes in Building Information Modeling (BIM), an intelligent 3D model-based process that provides insight to help plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.
Agon – named for the suffix of shapes – provides BIM coordination. Their firm is one of only a handful of companies in the nation that specialize in a cohesive approach to BIM.
“It’s a very niche market and one of the reasons why we are succeeding is because there are not many people who do it,” said Mashburn. Agon is striving to be the one-stop shop for coordinating all of the building’s systems such as electrical, mechanical and plumbing.
The Agon team works as consultants between the general contractor and owner at the early design phases of building to ensure that the architect’s and designer’s needs are vetted and work with the various systems. Once the architect produces a 3D model of the building, Agon’s role is to “fill” the building, using 3D modeling, with each of the imperative systems.
“We are like the quarterback who ensures that everything goes as planned,” Mashburn said. “We understand architectural code and we are able to communicate that to the trades.”
The World Trade Center projects, which are among the most recognizable construction projects in the past century, encompass four high-rise towers, a transit hub and a memorial for the lost. The Agon team recently provided coordination support for the retail components of Towers 1 and the transportation hub.
“The World Trade Center has been one of our biggest moments early in our careers,” Stailey said, smiling. “But what a job to learn on.” Because the technology embedded within the buildings is classified, the Agon team had to obtain security clearance to work on the projects.
“At our last company, we became the team that stepped in to take care of the major problems. We quickly became the face of the company we were working for,” Mashburn said about deciding to start their own company.
Their Southern roots – both Stailey and Mashburn are originally from Cobb County – are infused in their company values, with a handshake providing their promise of integrity on project completion.
“With our training and the way we were taught at Southern Poly, we take a comprehensive approach when we look at buildings. We think about it conceptually and spatially and find real-world solutions."
Agon plans to expand their company into the Atlanta construction market, and have recently hired a 2014 Kennesaw State architecture graduate to join their team. The company has four full-time and four-part time employees.
Stailey added, “We may have strayed from architecture, but we’ve taken our knowledge and spread it into another field. Architecture is relevant to what we do every day.”
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.