Project Update: UMMC School of Medicine

July 21, 2016

Recently, we had the opportunity to head down the street and check out the incredible progress being made on the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s new School of Medicine. Here’s a look at what our team has been up to:

som_blog_image9Waterproofing membrane has been installed on the CMU back-up walls prior to the exterior brick being installed.


som_blog_image1A brick veneer is being installed along the south face of the building. Multi-modal study spaces will line the exterior of the glass overlooking the internal courtyard.


som_blog_image2The tour looks up at the mechanical catwalk area above the large auditoriums. This will allow service of the systems above the acoustically sculpted ceiling.


som_blog_image4View of the atrium stairs. This space will serve as the building’s central circulation area for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.


som_blog_image5The majority of the duct work and piping has been installed in the space above the ceiling in the public corridors. Finishes and exterior windows will be installed soon.


som_blog_image7Chief of Staff Brian Rutledge investigates the central atrium space and the student spaces around it.


som_blog_image8Members of the leadership group making final selections for the brick pavers that will be found on the building’s exterior, both in the plaza and courtyard areas.

pictured in header: The tour reviews progress in one of the large auditoriums. Each of these spaces will seat 200 students in a lecture format and will feature fixed tables and loose chairs to allow for group collaboration.


Warrior Bonfire Project

June 30, 2016

The Power of Plus_new

CDFL is proud to be partnering with AIA Mississippi and the Warrior Bonfire Program to bring metro area veterans a new meeting and event space. Located at Clinton’s Camp Down Range, the Bonfire Lodge will will host event weekends for veterans and their families, where they can enjoy lake activities, a challenge course, archery, and more.

While many area firms have a hand in the project, CDFL has taken on the role of design development, and is providing plumbing, mechanical, and electrical engineering services.

Visit the Clinton Courier for more information on the Bonfire Lodge and how to donate to the Warrior Bonfire Program.


Meet the Team: Robert Farr

June 28, 2016


Each week we’ll be introducing one of our new CDFL employees, or as we like to think of ourselves, the “us” in the Power of Plus. This week we are proud to introduce intern architect Robert E. Farr, III.

What unique attributes do you bring to the CDFL team?
Before joining the CDFL team I worked for Kurt Salmon, a healthcare consulting firm, and Cooper Carry, a large architecture firm both based in Atlanta. Whether it was presenting to a bond advisory committee, programming a new trauma tower or managing design and production for a international coffee chain, I have a broad base of experiences that will bring a different perspective to our team.

What would surprise us most about your job?
The level of collaboration that occurs on projects is always surprising. Working within the built environment involves much more than just lines on paper.

What is the best thing about working at CDFL?
I am very much looking forward to working with and learning from the CDFL engineering team. The ability to have multiple professions under one roof results in strong project results for our clients.

What do you spend the most time doing outside of work?
Trying to keep up with Robert; my wife Bethany and I have an active and fun two year old son who provides a wealth of entertainment.

What’s your favorite TV show?
Thomas the Train and Sesame Street are currently on a heavy rotation.


What We’re Reading on the Web

June 23, 2016

what we're reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

These Spirograph Lab homewares are a really fun trip down memory lane for those of us who spent much of our childhood squirting paint into one of these gizmos. The collection comes come courtesy of Taiwanese designer Shawn Yang and you should absolutely check them out!

This might call for a cross-country road trip, y’all: The Man Who Made America’s Magnificently Tacky Architecture Famous.

Speaking of road trips, though substantially more difficult to get to, and definitely not cheesy, the artist Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude have just unveiled an incredible art installation on Italy’s Lake Iseo. The nearly-two mile walkway will allow visitors to walk just a foot above the water and continues 8,000 feet through the streets of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. Very much worth a look even if you don’t plan on making it across the pond this month. More here.

Anyone else guilty of reading on their phone until they fall asleep? This somewhat discouraging (but extremely informative) infographic is an important read. [via]


Project Update: Affinity Health Group

June 22, 2016

The Power of Plus_new

Check out this drone footage from Affinity Health Group’s new medical campus in Monroe, Louisiana. Don’t forget to take your Dramamine. And, to learn more about the project you can find our case study here, and project updates here and here.


Meet the Team: Ethan Warren

June 9, 2016


Each week we’ll be introducing one of our new CDFL employees, or as we like to think of ourselves, the “us” in the Power of Plus. This week we are proud to introduce Ethan Warren.

What do you do at CDFL?
I am currently an intern architect, with plans to hopefully earn my license in the next few years.

What is the best thing about working at CDFL?
The best thing about working here is the atmosphere within the firm. Everyone acts like we are all one big family and is always willing to help each other out. Another great thing is CDFL’s ability to work on a wide range of projects at any given time, which means that as an employee you never get bored doing the same thing over and over again.

What do you spend the most time doing outside of work?
I like to be outdoors as much as I can. Whether it be cutting the grass, playing disc golf or grilling out with friends, I just love being outside. Of all those activities, my absolute favorite thing to do is play disc golf – which works out well as I live right next door to one of the best courses in the state.

What’s the last movie you saw?
The last movie I went to see was Captain America: Civil War.

How long have you worked for CDFL?
I have worked for CDFL for almost a month, and spent two years working in the profession while I finished my last few years of school.

What is your favorite lunch spot in the neighborhood?
It’s hard to pick a favorite but I would say Pig & Pint is my favorite because I love BBQ. A close second would be Taste of the Island. It’s not exactly in the neighborhood as it’s located downtown but it’s got the best ribs around.

What’s your favorite TV show?
My favorite TV show is House of Cards. Kevin Spacey is one of the best actors I’ve ever seen.



2 Mississippi Museums Project Update + Tours

June 2, 2016

MS Museums Blog Update 2

Last week CDFL was able to join members of the state legislature’s public property committee and staff from the 2 Mississippi Museums on a tour of the building. Scheduled to open December 2017, the 2 Mississippi Museums building will hold a state history museum as well as the country’s first state-funded civil rights museum. Here’s a peek into what we saw.

msm1View from the exterior of the building, which is part of Jackson’s Capitol Complex. The museum (left) is located adjacent to the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, another project in which CDFL is proud to have played a part. This area will eventually become a public space that will be used for concerts, weddings, and other events.

msm2From the entrance of the building looking toward what will be the museum gift shop.

msm3The epicenter of the civil rights portion of the building will hold a “This Little Light of Mine” art installation. The civil rights museum main gallery is nearly ready for exhibit installation. Additional exhibits areas are located off of this beautiful, natural light-flooded space.

msm4Another view of the future museum store (right) looking toward the Hall of History and history museum portion of the building.

msm8Lucy Allen, MDAH Museums Division director, guides the tour through the temporary exhibit gallery. This space will house traveling exhibits that have made their way to the two museums.

msm6CDFL’s Ann Somers reviews a floor plan alongside Project Manager and CDFL architect Chris Myers.

msm7From the second floor balcony, this view shows several of the history museum’s exhibit spaces.

msm10From the bottom of the public parking garage, these steps will lead up to the plaza shared by the 2 Museums and other Capitol Complex buildings.

Photographs courtesy of Hannah Orlansky


What We’re Reading on the Web

May 18, 2016

what we're reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

From Curbed, a look at the “underappreciated and misunderstood” relics of progressive American architecture.

Architectural Digest has a roundup of highlights from this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and the satellite events it’s spurred around NYC.

10 Typologies of Daylighting: From Expressive Dynamic Patterns to Diffuse Light

We’re mere weeks from the official start of summer; and hopefully for you, dear reader, plenty of summer vacation! If you’re planning a domestic voyage or you’ve got to be in another American city for business travel, don’t miss Bon Appetit’s food-inspired city guide. This editor might just plan her next trip around some of these finds! [via]

Happy weekend, happy reading!


What We’re Reading on the Web

May 12, 2016

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

It’s said that everything is bigger in Texas, and if you have personally questioned that conventional wisdom, then take a look at this article about a Texas school district’s $63 million stadium. It might just sway your opinion. PS: Yes, that’s correct – $63 million.

Book report time! Architectural Digest has some highlights from Annabelle Selldorf’s Selldorf Architects’ Portfolio and Projects.

From Fast CoDesign, the World’s Most Iconic Libraries, Reduced To Their Essential Forms.

Ikea’s new collaboration with Ingegerd Råman is nothing short of affordable, cool perfection.

Happy reading, y’all!


Trustmark Meridian Ribbon Cutting

May 11, 2016

Trustmark Blog Update

CDFL is pleased to share that we’ve successfully completed another renovation for Trustmark Bank. Earlier this month, we were on hand to celebrate with Trustmark as they cut the ribbon on their newly renovated downtown Meridian location. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Trustmark, one of our longest corporate clients. Congratulations!

For more pictures from the event, check out coverage from the Meridian Star.


What We’re Reading on the Web

May 5, 2016

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

From NPR, a great read (and listen!) on miniature homes being used to fight homelessness in lieu of the traditional shelter.

This zip line isn’t just an adventure, it’s an opportunity to time travel! Really!

With a record 16 Tony nominations, it’s safe to say that Hamilton has officially taken the world by storm — and that includes the architecture world! Check out this list of 7 iconic Alexander Hamilton sites open to the public.

This list of ways to successfully knock out your first 90 days in a new job is great, and is still pretty great even if you’ve been in the same position for awhile.


MDOT’s LED Retrofit + Interstate Lighting

April 27, 2016

Texture 1_Misc2

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has long understood the benefits of reducing energy costs by using technologically advanced lighting fixtures. Typically, interstate and state road intersection fixtures run 11-12 hours a day, dusk to dawn. Studies have shown that although traffic is reduced by almost 70% at night, more than half of all fatal accidents occur in the dark. Quality lighting at intersections that see traffic coming from opposing directions is necessary to reduce the potential for an accident. Normally, fixtures using an HID, high-intensity discharge, lamp source were used. These fixtures offered very good light output, reasonable color rendering, and long life – lasting upwards of 25,000 hours of operation before they failed. Unfortunately, these fixtures also consume a lot of energy, most of which is lost as heat. Additionally, at the end of life, these fixtures simply will not light. MDOT has wisely invested in an infrastructure of poles and lowering devices that are in good working order and can last for decades in the field. Reuse of this infrastructure is the most cost effective way to offset the initial investment in new lighting fixtures.

The fastest, most cost effective strategy for MDOT was to replace the existing HID fixtures on a one-to-one basis. This method includes using replacement fixtures that provide the same AASHTO and FHWA required lighting levels, in addition to using the same poles, wiring, and other infrastructure that are already in place. As a result, MDOT personnel could perform the replacements themselves, thereby saving the time and money associated with hiring an outside construction company. Two technologies have come to the forefront as the technology most suitable for one-to-one replacement applications. LED, or Light Emitting Diode, and LEP, or Light Emitting Plasma, fixtures have come a long way from their early days as a flashlight replacement to a technology that can outperform HID fixtures while using half the energy. The LED and LEP fixtures have failure rates measured from 70,000 to 100,000 hours of operation, with estimates of 25 years of useful life. Keep in mind that these numbers are called “L70” numbers. These numbers, referred to as “L70” numbers, indicate that the fixture will fall to 70% of its rated light output after this amount of time. It’s important to note that these fixtures won’t fail completely as their HID counterparts do, rather, they will simply be at 70% of their former output. This is very good news for fixtures located in remote areas far from easy maintenance.

CDFL was engaged to study the myriad of LED/LEP replacement options for HID fixtures which have recently become available. Our focus is on the state road (SR-304) that runs from Tunica County to the I-55 interchange in Desoto County, with a total of seven interchanges being studied. CDFL is providing a Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis to remove marketing data bias while vetting the analysis with a leading economist to understand the discount rates and projected inflation of energy rates, replacement and maintenance costs, and overall operating costs associated with staying with the existing technology verse replacement. Additionally, we are exploring options that would enable us to monitor the fixtures’ energy uses in real time in order to document the resultant energy savings. The results of the study will be presented to the district engineer of MDOT’s Northern District.


Meet the Team: Ben Fulton

April 19, 2016


We concluded our Meet the Team series some time ago, but since then we’ve had the privilege of adding a few new faces to the team. Each week we’ll be introducing one of our new CDFL employees, or as we like to think of ourselves, the “us” in the Power of Plus. This week we are proud to introduce mechanical engineer Ben Fulton.

What do you do at CDFL?
I am the new head of CDFL’s mechanical department.

What exciting thing are you working on right now?
I’m pretty much just diving right into everything going on at CDFL. Outside of the office, though, I just got married a couple of weeks ago – so I would say that’s the most exciting thing going on with me right now!

What do you spend the most time doing outside of work?
I spend most of my time outside of work with my wife. We enjoy spending time with our family and friends, watching college football, and hunting.

How long have you been in the profession?
I have been in mechanical engineering design with the same firm since I graduated from Mississippi State in December 2001. I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities as I move forward with my career at CDFL.

What is your favorite lunch spot in the neighborhood?
I would have to say Sal and Mookie’s. There are quite a few others that I have heard about and look forward to being able to try.

What new thing is happening in your field?
I think the biggest change lately is the focus on energy efficiency. Across all disciplines, there has been an increased focus on all of a building’s systems working together to produce the most energy efficient designs possible. This has led to major changes in the design thought process over the past few years.

What’s your favorite TV show?
Favorite show would be the Blacklist; gotta love some Raymond Reddington.


What We’re Reading on the Web

April 14, 2016

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

Architecture legend Zaha Hadid passed away recently, and to commemorate her amazing achievements and contributions to the built environment Architectural Digest has several pieces on her most famous work and her incredible life.

Great read from ArchDaily on how co-living and co-working are changing the way we think of space as a service commodity. And, while you’re checking that out, be sure and read up on mantle co.working, Jackson’s newest co-working space and a recent CDFL project.

7 Essential Lessons From The Harvard Innovation Lab

Book report time! Architectural Record has a brief review of Neil Levine’s new book “The Urbanism of Frank Lloyd Wright.” Be sure and check out their full book review section here.


Mississippi Heritage Trust’s MS Mod

April 13, 2016

The Power of Plus_new

This blog post and the accompanying photography comes courtesy of CDFL associate Chris Myers, AIA.

Earlier this month, Mississippi Heritage Trust continued its MS Mod project with a trip to the Delta. My wife and I were able to take part in a Saturday bus tour that hit sites in Clarksdale, Greenwood, Itta Bena, Indianola, Cleveland, and Mound Bayou, and was followed by an evening reception at Bill and Francine Luckett’s home in Clarksdale.

MS Mod is a project created by the Mississippi Heritage Trust that is intended to raise awareness of our state’s rich collection of mid-century modernist architecture. In a place known for its own brand of classical architecture, modern architecture is often misunderstood.

Last Spring, the project kicked off with a tour of modern buildings in Meridian and a tour of modern homes in Jackson’s Eastover neighborhood. The response was so positive, executive director Lolly Barnes decided to take the show on the road — specifically the flat roads of the Delta. Modernism hit the Delta in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s during a public construction boom where the clean lines and lack of ornament aligned perfectly with the need for simplicity and thrift. On top of that, the flatness of the Delta blends quite well with a long prairie-style elevation.

delta tour 1The Museum of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood | formerly Mississippi Petroleum

delta tour 2 The Museum of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood | formerly Mississippi Petroleum. A perfectly preserved mid-century office.

delta tour 3Delta Electric Power Association, Greenwood

delta tour 4Wade Equipment (Greenwood), a Delta-owned John Deere dealership, hired a firm partnered with famed modern Mississippi architect N.W. Overstreet to design its headquarters. His “lollipop” sign has become a trademark for the company, and can be seen throughout north Mississippi.


Delta State University (Cleveland) and Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena) both boasted major campus construction in the middle of the century. Modern principles applied to both the layout of these new buildings and the structures themselves.

delta tour 5Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena | Chapel

delta tour 6Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena | Library

delta tour 7Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena | Auditorium

delta tour 8Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena | Auditorium interior hallway

delta tour 9Mississippi Valley State University, IttaBena | Administration Building

delta tour 10Mississippi Valley State University, IttaBena | Cafeteria

delta tour 11Delta State University, Cleveland | Cafeteria

delta tour 12Delta State University, Cleveland | Cafeteria interior

delta tour 13Taborian Hospital, Mound Bayou


Having grown up in the Delta myself, near Marks and Crowder, it was nice to revisit the area as an architect and preservationist and view these familiar sites through a different lens. New construction hasn’t been common in the Delta for the past fifty years, and the condition of most of the buildings on the tour was a testament to preservation for the sake of economy. Even in cases where the buildings have been renovated and re-purposed, there was a certain respect paid to the original design.

At one point during the bus tour, Bill Luckett, mayor of Clarksdale; former gubernatorial candidate; attorney; philanthropist; and our evening’s host, mentioned that his good friend and neighbor Morgan Freeman would be attending the reception. After a lunch of fried chicken and grits at Mississippi Valley State University, that news pushed us through the remainder of the afternoon with a minimal amount of coffee.

The Luckett home, designed for the McNamee family in 1973 by Arkansas architect E. Fay Jones, is a testament to Jones’s training under Frank Lloyd Wright. The sprawling prairie style house appears long and low from the street, but the interior boasts mostly double high spaces including overlooks and lofts in most rooms, including the secondary bedrooms. The house is surrounded by beautifully maintained gardens of native plants with almost every room containing a door to the outside.

delta tour 14The Luckett Residence | Clarksdale

delta tour 15The Luckett Residence | Clarksdale

delta tour 16The Luckett Residence | Clarksdale

delta tour 17The Luckett Residence | Clarksdale

delta tour 18The Luckett Residence | Clarksdale

delta 19The author, pictured at the Luckett Residence, with Morgan Freeman.