Building supply dealer Meek’s tapped for massive Pensmore project

Meek’s Lumber and Hardware has been involved in some really big jobs in its 93 years, but its work with the Pensmore Estate in Springfield, Mo. — which, at 72,000 sq. ft. will be the fourth-largest structure in the United States when completed — is the granddaddy of them all.

Meek’s, which will supply Andersen windows, roof LVL beams, shingles and other supplies, was chosen in part because of its reputation in building supply materials in Missouri, as well as the relationship it has forged with Joe Huff, owner of Huff Construction, and the brother of Pensmore owner Steve Huff.

“I’ve lived in the Springfield area most of the time since the mid-1970s and have had many business dealings with Meek’s, all favorable,” Joe Huff said. “Meek’s has the resources to invest a great deal of time sourcing many uncommon building products that can be hard to find.”

Tom Buckner, district manager for Meek’s, added: “Pensmore was looking for one company that could source the vast majority of building materials that it needed for the project, and we are known for that one-stop shop.”

Huff’s primary business dealings have been with Tom Maher, who works in Meek’s Nixa, Mo., yard. “Tom has been a very valuable asset in the construction of Pensmore,” Huff said.

The Pensmore Estate, slated for completion in 2013, is constructed largely of three ultra-strong building materials — Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs); steel beams; and Boise Cascade Versa-Lam engineered wood beams and joists, which are manufactured at the right moisture content to eliminate twisting, shrinking and splitting, according to Denny Huston, VP sales at Boise Cascade Engineered Wood Products.

The concrete structure contains millions of additional reinforcing agents, tiny “Helix” steel spirals produced by PolyTorx of Ann Arbor, Mich. The twist-shaped fibers interconnect the concrete throughout and make the building much stronger and more durable.

The site of the Pensmore Estate is 90 miles from Joplin, Mo., scene of the horrific category 5 tornado in May 2011. Pensmore had been in the planning stages long before the Joplin tornado, but is designed to withstand a storm of that magnitude, Joe Huff said.