What Does a Full-Service Architecture Firm Do?

Posted By Sapp Design – Jun 22 | 2020

Many people understand the role of an architect in a very limited way: blueprints, floor plans, and drafting tables. However, full-service architectural firms like Sapp Design provide a much wider range of services that can truly make a real difference for your construction project. 

Read on in today’s blog from Sapp Design to learn the answer to this common question: “What does a full-service architecture firm do?”

1. Guidance from the Beginning

A full-service architecture firm can provide expert guidance from the very beginning, so your vision for the design is fully manifested in the finished project. We can be there with you on the first site visit, to analyze the site and make sure the property is appropriate for your goals. From site selection to concept development and drafting, a full-service architect provides valuable guidance, right from the start.

2. Advanced Technology for Design Development

Sapp Design can create realistic, navigable, three-dimensional renderings of your architectural plans, so you can “try before you buy” and ensure that your architectural design is everything you imagined. Full-service architectural firms utilize cutting-edge technology to ensure every detail is fully planned and properly implemented.

3. The Experience to Keep Costs Under Control

There are hundreds of details that can go awry and become hung up during the construction process. This creates unplanned expenses and costly time delays. Many full-service architectural firms provide cost estimation and construction observation services, ensuring that the project budget is well-established and the construction proceeds according to your budget and timeline. 

4. Peace of Mind You Can Count On

Whether you are building a new location for your business or an academic building for your university campus, you want an architect who can provide certainty. You want certainty about your vision, certainty about your budget, and certainty about your timeline.

You might have investors with high standards. You might have local public officials with fixed completion date requirements. A full-service architectural firm can provide the certainty you need to fulfill the vision of your project, giving you peace of mind you can count on.

Sapp Design Is Your Full-Service Architectural Firm

We have more than 30 years of proven excellence in full-service architectural design in Springfield and Kansas City. Check out our gallery of featured projects to confirm our capabilities. Reach out to the team at Sapp Design to learn more about how a full-service architectural firm can make a difference for your project.

Basic Elements of Safe Room Design

Posted By Sapp Design – May 11 | 2020

Springtime in the Midwest means watching out for severe storms, high winds, and possible tornadoes. Since the May 22, 2011 tornado in Joplin, tornado safe rooms have been a major facet of architectural design. In addition, with recent changes in model codes, safe rooms are now required in most educational facilities.  In today’s blog from Sapp Design Architects, we discuss the basic elements of safe room design.

Design Considerations

Safe room design starts with the reason buildings have these rooms. These structures have two major purposes: safety and functionality to protect people from high winds, forces and debris associated with tornadoes or hurricanes. Safe rooms designed to FEMA guidance and ICC-500 Standards can provide near-absolute life-safety protection from the forces (250 mph winds) of an EF-5 tornado.  Safe rooms can be located and integrated anywhere on the main floor of a structure, in the lower level, or even as a standalone building if properly designed. 

Modern building materials and creative design allow for the inside and outside of a safe room to look like an ordinary office space, classroom, or gathering hall. However, structural design elements for safe rooms make them able to withstand extremely high winds as well as resist the forces from an EF-5 tornado. 

Reinforced Concrete

Reinforced or prestressed concrete is the industry standard for safe room design. This means pouring concrete into slabs that contain steel rebar grids or pretensioned steel at regular intervals and designed to utilize the strength of these materials in unison to create a wall capable of withstanding the winds and forces of a tornado.  

Safe rooms can be made of concrete poured on site or prefabricated, prestressed concrete panel designs that are poured in a facility and transported to the site and erected. Concrete filled reinforced masonry block is another popular construction type for safe rooms.   


Doors are a critical component of safe room design. Without proper doors, debris can puncture door assemblies. Manufacturers of safe room door assemblies must certify that products meet or exceed ICC 500 standards for the design and construction of storm shelters. Steel door assemblies must be tested to resist the impact and pressure created by the forces and debris that hits structures during a tornado. Not only must the door resist impacts, but the hardware, hinges, and joints also must be able to withstand the pressure and wind forces of a tornado.

Air Circulation and Lighting

Safe room design also includes essential air circulation and fresh air requirements to meet current codes.  Most safe rooms will have a generator to provide temporary emergency power for lights and ventilation in the event of power failures, however, care must be taken in the design of vents to keep debris and water out of the safe rooms.  Other forms of popular emergency power are a series of battery units. 

Safe Room Design From Sapp

Tornado safe rooms don’t have to be small. Our team can design your tornado safe room that can fit anywhere from just dozens to several thousand people/students.  Integration into schools or private facilities such as in a classroom wing, auditorium, gymnasium or other multi-purpose spaces can be seamless while providing much-needed protection for the occupants or community. We can also help your business or multi-family residential housing implement a safe room design built to current FEMA and ICC standards to protect those occupants. Contact Sapp Design Architects or call (417) 877-9600 for more information.


Posted By Sapp Design – Mar 24 | 2020

We are taking the necessary precautions recommended by the CDC and local officials. This is in an effort to do our part in keeping our staff, family, clients, and community safe. Although we are working remotely we are 100% operational and able to provide the same high level of service our company has always provided. Should you have any questions, contact us as usual by email or phone.

Maplecrest Elementary Ground Breaking.

Posted By Sapp Design – Jan 14 | 2020

On January The 14th Lebanon school district broke ground on a new gymnasium and cafeteria expansion at its Maplecrest Elementary School campus as part of a phased master plan.

Lebanon’s 2nd/3rd-grade school building had approximately 57% of the square footage required for their student population. In addition, the traditional classrooms lining the double-loaded corridors provided few opportunities for collaborative learning pedagogies.

The current renovations and additions are the first step in a multi-phase solution to utilize the existing structure but provide the necessary modern-day spaces (and a new identity) for the students and teachers.  Additions will include a 10,000 square foot ICC-500 rated Safe Room that doubles as a full-court gymnasium and performance space, complete with stage, protected stage lighting and A/V, drama storage, office, and telescopic bleachers.

In this first phase, the gym/Safe Room is joined to the existing school by a connector that will perform as a drop off / entry until the remaining phases connect back to the rest of the school.  Under the philosophy that the sum is greater than its parts, the connector serves more than circulation. It provides two additional collaboration stations in spaces that would otherwise act as corridors.  Attention to the walls and minimal alcoves provide opportunities for co-teaching, peer tutoring, and small group activities.

The addition of the gym allowed the existing cafeteria to take over the existing undersized multipurpose space and undergo a complete transformation into a multi-media center, continuing education space and expanded Commons.  Within the newly renovated walls of the cafeteria, hubs of spontaneous small group learning are docked around the perimeter.  Both sides of the space can function as two separate educational spaces for seminars.  Both spaces can be combined for district-wide staff development days.  Within the Commons, the focal wall acts as a Collaboration Station that includes A/V, bookshelves, display cases, and marker boards.   Large windows open to the once closed-off corridors of the past to create visual connectivity through the Commons.

“Lebanon has tremendous pride in their schools and this project is the result of the 2015 bond issue to construct the new Lebanon Middle School. As a result of that project coming in under budget, this project was made possible,” Campbell said. “So thank you, Lebanon R-3 stakeholders for making this dream possible today.”

Marshfield Aquatics

Posted By Sapp Design – Jan 1 | 2020

The Marshfield Aquatic Center was featured in Athletic Business! Our collaborating team of Lamp RynearsonToth and Associates, Inc. and Designers at Sapp Design Architects created a facility that provides something for all ages. From two thrilling water slides to the installation of a custom LED lighting system, this project really shines!

Marshfield Aquatic Center

Marshfield, MO 2020

Project Description


The major design goal for the new Marshfield Aquatic Center was to create a facility that provided something for all ages and programs. The final design created a facility that provides an interactive play structure for toddlers in a generous zero-depth area. Pre-teens and teenagers enjoy two thrilling water slides. There is also a floatable walk, current channel and diving board. Adults enjoy a large recreational space, with a shaded water bench. The pool can be accessed by an ADA ramp for therapy or physical disabilities. The concept of “universal design” was implemented throughout the project so that any user could enjoy the amenities. Lastly, the competitive swimming community is accommodated with a six-lane, 25-yard competition area featuring ample deck space. This is essential for managing large, weekly competitions.


The Marshfield facility really shines with the design and installation of a custom LED lighting system. The programmable system illuminates each pool, as well as the slides and deck sprays, creating a-one-of-kind visual display that really pops at night. The bathhouse was designed with the guest experience in mind. One wall features the capability to mount a screen for community movie nights. And the roof was constructed to support a second level so it can be used as a party deck for rentals.


The aquatic center was the first phase of a master plan for a new community center. Once the project is fully built out, there will be a recreation center, community gathering spaces, ballfields, park playgrounds and an expansive trail system.


Family Time

Posted By Sapp Design – Nov 10 | 2019

This year instead of doing the standard office Christmas party Sapp Design closed its door for the day and headed down to Silver Dollar City in Branson Missouri. We are a big family at Sapp Design and it was great to get to spend time with our co-worker’s families/significant others in order to put faces with the names we so loving talk about throughout the day at the office.

Seeing each other with our family is also a great reminder of why the work/life balance is so important and more than just a bullet point on a company mission statement but rather something that is always evolving and weaving an important cultural thread throughout Sapp Design.

ColorMix Forcast 2020

Posted By Sapp Design – Oct 21 | 2019

Sapp Designers welcomed in Sherwin Williams color of the year for 2020, Naval SW6244, a strong, brave, confident deep navy, at the Color Forecast on October 15th. The color of the year is a shade of sophistication that will be paired with natural tones and materials such as soft leathers, gleaming metals, and polished marbles. The trending color coordinates are mute gold, canary yellow, and kale green. In addition to the color of the year, Sherwin Williams forecasted five trendsetting color palettes: Mantra, Heart, Haven, Play, and Alive. Each pallet has a unique array of hues that establishes the overall theme of the year, “Color in Balance.”

Mantra is calm muted pastels coordinating together to influence a sense of minimalism, serenity, and sanctuary. We will see soft, warm neutrals highlighted with dusty rose, mauve, and teals. Clean lines with accents of natural elements and solids embrace the feeling of peace.

Heart is a twist on Mantra with a slight edge. The bohemian influenced palette is unique and modern with twists of emotion. Shades of clay neutrals with a speckle of coral is influenced by humanity.

Haven, Sapp Design’s personal favorite, is a phenomenal array of earth tones embracing heath and simplicity. The palette includes shades of warm greens, soft neutrals, and touches of bold confident hues of blue and yellow.

Play is truly unique with energy and joy. The bold hues in this palette create a dynamic collection with a base solid of whites. The palette includes blues, oranges, yellows, and pinks. Punchy Pink is still in trend but forecasted to plateau and evolve into a blush pink that would still be utilized as a fun energic vibe.

Alive is truly appealing with rich tones influenced by optimism and globalization. These tones are a celebration of positivity evoked with a sense of community. The deep tones of navy and olive paired with pink-under toned neutrals will make a bold statement in any space.

Overall, the design industry seems to be embracing colors and materials that influence positivity and comfort in the space. Sapp is excited to embrace and drive the new trends of colors and materials into 2020.

Link: https://www.sherwin-williams.com/architects-specifiers-designers/color/color-forecast/2020-color-foreca