Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wishing you a great holiday season!

Happy Holidays from MHAworks!

(Picture taken from our Tacky Christmas Sweater Party)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Clarity Charity 2012

MHAworks is both excited and humbled to be able to give back to our community. We are so happy to be able to donate to Clarity Technology Group's 2012 Clarity Charity, the Christian Life Home. The Christian Life Home provides a temporary, family-style home for six pregnant girls, ages 10-23, that is safe and caring, along with providing them food, health care and emotional support.

Big shoutout to Clarity Technology Group, Inc., who organized this fundraiser, with a goal to raise $5,000 for the home. You guys are awesome!

For more information about Clarity Charity, or to donate to this great cause, go to

Friday, December 14, 2012

Making this season a little brighter

Jennifer Turner and Mandy Norton of MHAworks turn on the Christmas spirit

MHAworks’ Jennifer Turner and Mandy Norton participated in this year’s Herman Miller We Care Event for the Boys and Girls Club of Raleigh. Over 150 children attended this year’s event. MHAworks, along with other local architect firms, organized and provided materials for the kids to make Christmas wreaths, door hangers, necklaces, cards and other crafts. The kids were very excited to give their crafts as Christmas presents to their parents. 

In addition to the craft making, Santa was there to take photos.  Other special guests featured a magician and the Chick-fil-a cows. Jennifer and Mandy were happy to help spark the kids’ creativity this holiday season.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Telling their story through a Christmas tree

The Sacrificial Poet Project decorating the TTC tree

At this years’ third annual Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge, MHAworks is proud to sponsor an upcoming Durham nonprofit organization, the Sacrificial Poet Project.

Founded in April 2011, the Sacrificial Poet Project is a faith-based, arts-focused nonprofit organization assisting teens in expressing themselves through the written and spoken word. MHAworks is both excited and honored to help an association with such a unique concept to publicize its cause.

Stemming from their ultimate purpose, the Sacrificial Poets Christmas tree runs with a theme of telling your story. From the wood-carved microphone ornaments to the fresh blank pages of composition books, this tree calls for onlookers to speak their mind. Printed on red ribbon repeats the mantra: “Every word you speak is a mnemonic device to help the universe remember you, don’t let yourself be forgotten…

The Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge supports nonprofits by having 60 organizations decorate Christmas trees in some way representing their cause. Votes from the community are collected through the lighting of the trees on December 7th until December 22nd. After the voting, six winners are awarded from $1,000 to $5,000 to support their organizations. You can check out all of the decorated trees at Diamond View III or go to to cast your vote. Thanks to American Tobacco for organizing the Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge and raising awareness for Durham nonprofits!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

MHAworks sponsors nonprofit social media training session by Facebook

On Tuesday, November 27, MHAworks sponsored a nonprofit training session presented by Facebook. In an effort to enhance their interaction with volunteers, advocates and donors, dozens of nonprofit representatives attended the seminar. Brook Oberwetter and Melissa Oppenheim of Facebook led the interactive training session with best practices and real-world applications of social media tactics to better represent their organizations and connect with the community of Durham.

Facebook opened their Forest City Data Center in April 2012, and has since been involved with Triangle Community Foundation and NC Community Foundation to help make nonprofits throughout North Carolina aware of opportunities to grow and learn.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

ECU gets a spacious, new tutoring center for its students

In early September, East Carolina University, a repeat client of MHAworks, recently celebrated the opening of the Pirate Tutoring Center in the Old Cafeteria Complex with a presentation and ribbon cutting ceremony. Relocated from the Joyner Library, MHAworks renovated the interior of the Old Cafeteria Complex to expand and update the tutoring center.

With 5,000 square feet of renovation, plus alterations to a mechanical mezzanine, the new tutoring center provides students with spacious learning centers, individual workstations and a large group conference area. The design of the project was completed by May 2012, and the space was renovated while students were on summer break.

Albi McLawhorn, one of the partners of MHAworks and the lead at our Greenville office, reflected, “Working on this type of project for East Carolina University is exciting because it is at the forefront of how technology is changing and being changed by the learning environment.”

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Silver and Spurs for the staff of MHAworks

Albi McLawhorn of MHAworks with Virginia Pou and Wilson Pou of Engineering Source of NC
MHAworks recently attended the Ronald McDonald House Silver and Spurs 25th Anniversary Gala. Held at the Hilton in Greenville, NC, staff from our Greenville and Durham office pulled on their cowboy boots and spent the evening enjoying the festivities. With a western flair, the event featured live music, guest speakers, cowboy-inspired fare, and a silent and live auction, with all proceedings going to the benefit of the Ronald McDonald House.

Albi McLawhorn, one of the partners of MHAworks and lead of our Greenville office, commented, “You could tell the Ronald McDonald House put in a lot of work to give us a great night, and it was definitely a success! We were very glad to contribute to such an essential organization in our community.”

George Hining and Bethany Houston of MHAworks pose with Ronald McDonald
MHAworks was a Silver Sponsor to the Ronald McDonald House Silver and Spurs 25th Anniversary Gala. The Ronald McDonald House has raised over $30,000 in donations from the event, far surpassing their goal of $25,000.

Click here to see pictures of the event (provided by

Friday, October 12, 2012

SEEDS Teams with MHAworks to Create their New Community Center

We at MHAworks are so honored and ecstatic to announce that we have the opportunity to design the fully sustainable future home for SEEDS, a local Durham non-profit educational community garden, used for gardening and growing food. At the SEEDS' 9th Annual Harvest Dinner, project lead designers Richard Barlow and Jared Martinson and their families were able to join the SEEDS staff, donors and community members for this exciting announcement.

Jared reflects, “We are so excited and honored to lend a hand in shaping the positive growth of this community institution through the enhancement of their existing gardening, gather and education spaces.”

SEEDS, MHAworks, and our team made of Coulter Jewell Thames and CT Wilson plan to renovate the existing building, add a new parking lot and update the walkway from the entry to the garden on the corner of Gilbert Street and N. Elizabeth Street. 

Richard, Director of Sustainability at MHA, and the entire design team plan to supplement the entire design with sustainable practices such as solar and thermal panels, vegetative sunscreens, state-of-the-art building systems, storm water management, and much more!

"We are thrilled to have MHAworks as a partner in transforming our space at SEEDS.  The team we have been working with truly embraces our goals of creating a flexible, welcoming learning space that is connected to our beautiful gardens and the community around us," says Emily Egge, Excutive Director of SEEDS.

This project will provide SEEDS with the ability to both expand its efforts in helping the community help each other, but also reinforce and aggrandize its original message: gardening and growing food to teach the community respect for life, for the earth and for each other. As passionate as we are about local Durham, our designers and staff are truly moved by this opportunity to use our expertise to give back to our community.

If you’d like to get involved in community gardening at SEEDS or contribute to their fundraising, you can learn more at their website:

Monday, October 8, 2012

MHAworks Host Second Annual {Creative Food Drive} for Local Community

After a year of planning and anticipation, MHAworks held its second annual C.F.D. {Creative Food Drive}! Supporting the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and Housing for New Hope, C.F.D.  hosted local vendors, companies and non-profit organizations in its festival and competition. The sculptures created from the food items were an array of architectural gems, including a bridge, a volcano (complete with a bubbling center), the Land of Oz, a periodic table, and the stamping out of hunger.     

Best Overall: Stewart Engineering

Most Food Raised: Quality Education Institute of Durham

Most Difficult to Build: RB Engineering

Most Creative: RDK Engineers

People's Choice: Semprius  

First and foremost, we'd like to thank our volunteers for coming out and helping run the event - you guys rock! Second, we'd like to thank the community for coming out, enjoying the event and bringing items from their own cupboards to help the Food Bank and Housing for New Hope.

Frank Stasio of NPR was CFD's emcee, and our featured live music was Rebekah Todd, Saints Apollo and TreeHouse!

Also, we couldn't have done any of this without our Event Sponsors: ReverbNation, University Ford Durham, and Isis IT!

You can find more pictures on the CFD website or CFD Facebook!

Friday, October 5, 2012

MHAworks' 25th Anniversary Kick-Off Party

25th Anniversary Kick-Off Party

MHAworks has reached a milestone in our firm’s history – we’re kicking off our 25th year of bringing commercial architecture to North Carolina. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we hosted our 25th Anniversary Kick-Off Party at our downtown Durham office across the street from the Durham Blues Festival.

With family, colleagues and clients, the blues festival serenaded our staff and guests while we enjoyed food, drink and good company. To see pictures of the event, check out our Facebook page:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Meet MHAworks' newest team members

MHAworks is quite proud to be able to say we’ve hired fresh, new talent over the last quarter! As our company and work base continue to expand, so does our experienced and accomplished group of professionals.

James McWhorter, AIA, brings to MHAworks over seventeen years of experience in design and architecture. His versatility and sharp attention to form stems from his background in the fine arts as a commissioned sculptor.

Matthew Johnson, AIA, recently relocated from Milwaukee, WI, brings a passion for the blending of architecture and technology to our Greenville office. His experience ranges from project concept to completion in retail design and development.

Kerri Floyd is MHAworks’ front desk receptionist and the first face you see when visiting our Durham office. With over twelve years of experience working in the construction industry, she brings organization and clarity to our firm’s fast-paced environment.

Bethany Houston is our new Marketing Coordinator and assists in the business development and marketing department. From reinforcing MHAworks’ brand image to coordinating company charity events, she brings experience in content creation, marketing strategy and design.

We are very excited to have fresh faces and new ideas around our two offices!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DYP Monthly Mingle Tomorrow!

MHAworks will be co-hosting the DYP (Durham Young Professionals) June Monthly Mingle at 604 W. Morgan restaurant in downtown Durham tomorrow night from 5:30-7:30pm!

We will be talking briefly about CFD and how you can get involved, plus we will be introducing our new surprise partnering charity!!

Free food and drink are provided so come on down and mingle the night away!!

For more information visit the DYP site here:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Modular Services Company Features MHAworks

Modular Services Company has featured one of MHAworks' projects for UNC Hospitals on their products page for Method Headwalls!

Monday, April 16, 2012

UNC HEFA ACHE Triangle Healthcare Executives' Forum

(Left) Brian Maxwell, MHAworks (Right) Ray Lafrenaye, UNC Hospitals

April 12, 2012, UNC Healthcare Executives’ Student Association held their ACHE Triangle Healthcare Executives’ Forum Dinner at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, their topic of discussion was on the Emergence of Cancer Centers.

Among the panelists, consisting of hospital department heads such as Vickie Byler of Rex Cancer Center, Carolyn Carpenter of Duke Cancer Institute, and Ray Lafrenaye of UNC Hospitals, was our very own Brian Maxwell.

The purpose of the event was to provide an open dialogue among professionals in the Healthcare industry on a current relevant Healthcare topic, as well as to raise funds for HESA members to attend their annual professional development event, ACHE Congress.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nurture Gathers Testimonials from Revit “Super-Users”

Nurture by Steelcase recently released an article called How Do You Use Revit? Testimonials from Revit "Super-Users" about the use of Revit as today's top Architecture and Design tool. A leader in Healthcare Furnishings, Nurture has recently produced 3D Revit models of their entire catalog, making it much easier for architecture firms (such as MHAworks) to create a space using their products.

Nurture highlights Jennifer Turner, the Director of Interior Design at MHAworks, as a major user of Revit over the past 11yrs. “Using Revit models and families from Nurture has saved us time,” Jennifer said, “by allowing us to simply download the model, add it to our library and place it in our project. This enables us to easily change materials in our models and render a finished image in a shorter amount of time.”

Check out Nurture's Article!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ron-A-Thon 5K and the Red Nose Fun Run!

"Runners pounded the pavement in uptown Greenville today for the second annual Ron-A-Thon 5K Run.
Eastern North Carolina's Ronald McDonald House sponsored the event with the help of ECU sororities and fraternities.

Nearly 140 people participated in the 5-k race and 20 people ran the Red Nose Fun Run -- one mile course created for casual walkers and kids.

All proceeds will go to help the local Ronald McDonald House, which is a national organization that gives families with seriously ill children a place to live while the child receives medical treatment at a nearby hospital.

'We're hoping to raise about $4,000,' said Cathy Ahlschlager, the community outreach director for the Ronald McDonald House. 'Of which every penny of that is going to stay locally to help families of Eastern North Carolina that need to come to the Ronald McDonald House when they have a child that needs medical treatment.'

In the past 25 years, the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina has served nearly 25,000 families in need."

MHAworks was there, red noses and all, to run in the 5K and support the Ronald McDonald House of Greenville!

Source: Katie Banks, Eye Witness News 9

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Building the Hospital of Tomorrow

April 12, 2012, marks the 18th annual UNC Healthcare Executives’ Student Association & ACHE Triangle Healthcare Executives’ Forum Dinner at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.  The topic will be the Emergence of Cancer Centers.  Among the panelists, consisting of hospital department heads such as Vickie Byler of Rex Cancer Center and Ray Lafrenaye of UNC Hospitals, is our very own Brian Maxwell.  The purpose of the event is to provide an open dialogue among professionals in the health care industry on a current relevant health care topic, as well as to raise funds for HESA members to attend their annual professional development event, ACHE Congress.

This dinner is THEF and HESA’s biggest fundraiser of the year and is much needed, as they are facing significant budget cuts at both school and university levels.  This is accentuated by the increased number of students who are interested in attending Congress this year.

MHAworks is happy to be a participant in this event and wishes the UNC organization the best of luck.

Please come join health care professionals, UNC students, and us Thursday April 12th as we support the cause.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Shortbread Lofts are moving forward

The Town Council unanimously approved the Shortbread Lofts, a 7-story, apartment complex on West Rosemary Street Monday night, saying it will bring more people downtown and offer more rental opportunities for residents.  Shortbread Lofts will include 85 apartments, 121 parking spaces and a first floor of retail.

Mayor Pro Tem Ed Harrison said the Shortbread Lofts supplements new downtown buildings.
"I think all those add up in making this a 52 week 24-hour downtown. That's what I like the most about this project," he said.

Council member Penny Rich applauded the modern design.

About 20 people spoke about the project Monday, most were supportive, and said it would add needed housing for students and relieve pressure from the neighborhood's surrounding downtown.
"I think this is a step in the right direction," said Paul Snow, a Chapel Hill resident who plans to move downtown.  "We really need downtown density and also dense housing projects that are walkable and bikeable to the university."

Jim Norton, director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, supported the project and said the project conforms to all the town requirements.
"We believe the Shortbread Lofts is exactly the type of project downtown needs," he said. "It enhances our residential base."

Construction on the project is scheduled to start in June.

Read more about the council's discussion on the project in N&O at:

Read more here:

Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 CFD

Well it is official, the 2012 C.F.D. date has been released...Drum roll please...Saturday, September 22nd!  Put it in your calendars, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Will and Pop's at MHAworks!

Will and Pop's food truck is outside our office today! Come on down and grab yourself a delicious gourmet grilled cheese! They will be here at 501 Washington St. Durham, NC from 11am to 2pm!