News

The Birmingham Section started 2015 with a political reception at the Murray Building Co. jobsite at the old Merita Bread Bakery. More than 150 members were in attendance with city and state officials. Everyone enjoyed a tour of the site as well as barbecue from Joe McNabb and Hendrix Chevrolet.

2015 Build Alabama Awards Honorees

Thirteen contractors from across the Alabama AGC chapter are set to be honored with BuildSouth Awards at the seventeenth BuildSouth Awards Banquet, Jan. 16 at The Club. Projects in 13 categories from Alabama to Hawaii, were recognized by judges as the most outstanding completed in 2014.

Also at the banquet, three contractors were honored for their jobsite safety and their efforts to make the construction industry safer.

Bagby and Russell Electric, Mobile; Hollis and Spann, Inc., Dothan, and Sentry Heating and Air, Inc., Birmingham, were honored with the BuildSouth Excellence in Safety Award.

The Alabama AGC Associate Board started the safety award in 1999 as a way to recognize “contractors who place their employee health and safety programs at the center of each project.”

“We can all be proud of the results of these contractors’ efforts,” said Alabama AGC CEO Billy Norrell.  “The results speak for themselves: major reductions in overall injury rates and lost-time injuries. Beyond the money and time saved, the efforts of these contractors are protecting lives.”

The BuildSouth Awards competition is open to all Alabama AGC full and specialty contractor members. Projects are awarded in building construction, design/build, highway construction, international, construction management, heavy industrial construction and municipal utilities construction.

Projects are judged on multiple criteria, including:

  • Meeting the challenge of a difficult job
  • Excellence in project management
  • Innovation in construction techniques or materials
  • State-of-the-art advancement
  • Sensitivity to environment and surroundings
  • Contractor’s contribution to the community

 

Specialty Contractor
New Construction

S&S Sprinkler Company LLC
Mobile, AL
Airbus FAL Central Utilities Plant
Mobile, AL

The CUP Fire Protection system is a critical part of the $600 million Airbus FAL Central Utilities Plant. The system is powered by 3 diesel fire pumps that can provide 3,500 gallons of water per minute. Two water storage tanks were erected to hold a combined volume of 840,000 gallons. A specially designed water filter system allows water from Mobile Bay to feed the tanks. This technology not only filters the water, but it returns any byproducts including sea life, back to the bay. The system was integrated into the current plant safety procedures to give the client the ability to control the CUP through their computer network if needed. During installation of the system, all the waste was disposed of with environmentally sound methods. All cutting oil was captured and held for reuse on other projects. Utilizing environmentally friendly methods with cutting edge technology and experienced field personnel, the CUP Fire protection system was delivered on time and on budget.

 

Specialty Contractor
New Construction

Bright Future Electric
Birmingham, AL
Grabow Outdoors
Fultondale, AL

The owner of Grabow Outdoors was running out of space to meet his current demands and his expanding product line. A new facility was needed. The owner's objective was to build a new 13,500 square-foot retail space. Within this space was room for an indoor archery range, custom finishing shop, and retail space for apparel and firearms. Bright Future Electric had a long standing design-build relationship with the selected contractor, Anderson Belcher. Because this project was all new construction it required new site lighting, distribution equipment, lighting and power, and fire alarm systems. The owner chose to use a large amount of salvaged materials for finishes, which brought a great deal of difficulty to the construction. Installation was coordinated carefully to prevent damage to the new look the owner envisioned. The result is a striking new retail area.

 

Specialty Contractor
Renovation

Forestry Environmental Services, Inc.
Birmingham, AL
Genetta Stream Restoration -- Phase II
Montgomery, AL

The Genetta Ditch in Montgomery was renovated with a wetland to treat run off storm water. The focus of this project was to turn an abandoned commercial building lot into an educational learning park near the wetland. After site excavation, a reinforced concrete slab over the existing Genetta box culvert was installed along with a stainless steel cable handrail, brick planters with natural limestone caps, and brick paver steps. The permiable paver system looks ordinary but below the surface is a series of underdrain pipes and layers of gravel that store and filter storm water run-off. An on-site rain garden made with a silva cell planting system helps remove phosphates and suspended solids from the water. Value engineering on other key elements allowed the budget to cover an additional planter, a walkway around the entire wetland, and an access road for the city's maintenance crew. This project is also intended as the cornerstone for redevelopment along Fairview Avenue.

 

Specialty Contractor
Renovation

Marathon Electrical Contractors, Inc.
Birmingham, AL
Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport
Birmingham, AL

Marathon Electrical coordinated all power distribution swap-overs at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport, including 11 airline moves, three moves by the Transportation Security Administration, and two moves by airline operations. The Birmingham airport had to remain operational with a continuous power source throughout the 42-month project. A temporary power distribution system was designed along with a schedule of planned shut downs. Methods and procedures for each activity were drafted and shared with the general contractor, the Birmingham Airport Authority, and Alabama Power Company. Power distribution layouts were drawn up for field personnel to follow, and all of the information was modeled in a Building Information system. The modeling improved certainty, safety, and the opportunities to pre-fabricate or pre-assemble systems off-site. Panel boards, receptacles and fixtures were able to be assembled in a controlled environment and brought to the site. The result was a successful modernization project for the Birmingham Airport Authority and the City of Birmingham.

 

New Building Construction

Juneau Construction Company
Atlanta, GA
University of Alabama Student Center
Tuscaloosa, AL

Juneau Construction Company built the University of Alabama Student Center while also building the adjacent Presidential Village II Student Housing facility. To keep work on track, an Apple TV connection streamed scheduling information from iPads directly to a large screen television during meetings. Up to 400 laborers on site completed the new 135,000-square-foot Student Center just in time for the academic year. The new space provides ample room for free weight and fitness machines, group exercise studios and two basketball courts. New features include a gymnasium floor that can be used for indoor soccer, hockey and other activities; a 40 foot free standing rock climbing wall; and a 25,000 square foot storm shelter. In addition, it also houses the locker rooms, coaches' offices and training facilities for the UA rowing team. A FUEL smoothie bar, coffee kiosk, sandwich shop and market can also be found inside the Student Center.

 

New Building Construction Under $5 Million

Pate Landscape Co., Inc.
Montgomery, AL
Wind Creek Casino & Hotel
Wetumpka, AL

Pate Landscape Company completed the landscape and irrigation around a 2500-space parking deck and the 20-story 85,000-square-foot Wind Creek Hotel & Casino. As home to ceremonial burial grounds this is one of the most sensitive archaeological sites in Alabama. In some areas work had to be done by hand, even to raise the grade of the burial mound for proper drainage. Over 14,000-square-feet of grass pavers were installed along with eight inches of compacted imported limestone. Some of the plants also had to be shipped in from as far as south Florida. The two-wire decoder irrigation system from Rain Bird is the largest and most sophisticated in central Alabama. Using wells instead of the municipal water the system provides cost savings to the casino that will pay for the wells within a year and a half. Despite the wettest summer in 10 years, and record-setting cold temperatures for four days, the project was completed without a single lost time accident.

 

Building Construction Renovation

BL Harbert International
Birmingham, AL
University of Alabama Ferguson Center Addition & Renovations
Tuscaloosa, AL

The original Ferguson Center Student Union building, also known as the "Ferg," was completed in 1973. The building presented many challenges like structural basement beams that were not included in the drawings, and damaged hydronic lines with leaking valves. Asbestos abatement was required as well as updates to all the mechanical and electrical utilities. The renovations upgraded the building to a campus hot-water and chilled-water system. Emphasis on safety allowed The Ferg to remain fully operational throughout construction. A pedestrian tunnel was designed and built to protect students, faculty, staff, and construction personnel. Work was completed on schedule even when a sprinkler subcontractor cut an active water line flooding the below- grade campus bookstore, food court, and common area. The Ferg now houses more on-campus dining options, the University Store, a Great Hall with fireplaces and skylights, a career center, conference rooms, multipurpose classrooms, and office space for six departments including the Office of the Dean of Students.

 

Building Construction Renovation Under $5 Million

Vance McCown Construction Company
Mobile, AL
La-Z-boy Furniture Galleries
Mobile, AL

A 12-foot ceiling was an absolute requirement for the La-Z-Boy franchise designers. An ideal twenty thousand square foot retail building in the heart of the city would only accommodate a 10-foot ceiling. The existing roof had to be raised twenty six inches. However, the bar joists were already welded to plates cast into the masonry block wall. Instead of cutting the bar joists free, the masonry bond beam was cut free from the wall and lifted along with the roof structure. The main support beams were twenty feet long, so each end could be jacked one half inch at a time. The total jacking time to lift the roof deck was two and a half days. When a new reinforced concrete beam on top of the masonry wall was formed and placed, the structure was lowered back onto the wall. The total process was completed on schedule and under budget. The effort also gave new life and purpose to an existing structure.

 

Construction Management New

Amason & Associates, Inc.
Tuscaloosa AL
Richard A. Curry Environmental Services Complex
Tuscaloosa AL

A tornado destroyed the Richard A. Curry Building and Tuscaloosa’s waste removal and recycling infrastructure. Before erecting a new environmental services complex more than 5,000 cubic yards of concrete debris had to be removed from the site. Subterranean structures, pits, and massive concrete foundations from the original carburetor plant were crushed and hauled away in over 350 dump truck loads. The new complex is designed to operate 24 hours a day. It houses a 60,000 square-foot processing area, an Eddy Current separator, a recycling education center, a storm shelter for employees, and a vehicle and equipment fueling station. Translucent exterior wall panels provide so much daylight that almost no electric lighting is needed during the day. Exterior window treatments reduce summer heat loads on the buildings. Efficient and effective, the new Environmental Services Complex diverts more than 40,000 pounds of recyclable material from the local landfill every two weeks. It squarely points Tuscaloosa in the direction of long term environmental and economic sustainability.

 

New Design Build

BL Harbert International
Birmingham, AL
Mercedes-Benz Logistics Center
Vance, AL

The Mercedes-Benz Logistics Center supports the receiving, handling, and sequencing of 2.9 million parts a day. Design-build was the approach to building this 935,000 square-foot center in just 10 months. Over 6,500 concrete trucks and 41 major pours were required to cover the 42 acres of concrete paving. The size of the building pad gave subcontractors a lay-down area to prefab their joist bays and erect 60,000 square-feet of panelized steel per day. A helicopter needed only 115 minutes to install 18 rooftop air handlers. A 400-ton crane would have needed 7 days to do the same. During this project, the new CARE online safety program was used. Even subcontractors were included in safety training. Every aspect was meticulously planned and implemented to prevent any delay to the production of Mercedes’ best-selling model series, the redesigned 2015 C-Class.

 

Design Build Renovation

CNMS Joint Venture
Naval Engineering Command-Hawaii (NAVFAC)
Hickam, HI

The four joint venture partners in this project: Caddell Construction Company; Nan, Inc.; Manson; and Samsung all worked to upgrade the Hickam Hotel to an ultra-sophisticated command and control center, while at the same time preserving its historic value. The Hickam Hotel was a soldier barracks that took twenty-seven direct hits including one 500-ton bomb during the massive Japanese offensive on Pearl Harbor. The building survived and became the Pacific Air Command Headquarters. In Phase 2 of this project these "sacred scars" had to be identified, cleaned, and integrated into the new renovation. One-of-a-kind quarry floor and wall tiles were painstakingly removed, cleaned and reinstalled. A more compact MEP system allowed room for cutting-edge security, communications technology, and a new maximum security space that is acoustically treated and protected with Electromagnetic Interference shielding. The Pacific Air Command Headquarters is now one of the most sophisticated military command and control centers in the world.

 

New Heavy Industrial Construction

Brasfield & Gorrie LLC
Birmingham, AL
Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station-Civil 1 Substructure
Cheyenne, WY

The new Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station is a green-field power generation facility. The future plant and its combination wind/gas system will take up only 40 acres of the 276-acre site. In this phase, all site development and earthwork was completed. Part of that work included installation of all underground utilities, deep foundations and piling, and all concrete foundations for the facility. Approximately 42,000 linear feet of underground piping were placed. The amount of welded carbon and stainless steel piping required a detailed weld mapping process that documented when each weld was made and inspected. The work was completed ahead of the original bid schedule. Wind energy production is continually expanding in Wyoming. This project is necessary due to Cheyenne's growth and current aging facilities. Once completed the power plant will provide electricity for approximately 39,000 Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power customers and for 68,000 customers of Black Hills Power.

 

Highway Construction Renovation

Dunn Construction Company
Birmingham, AL
Alabama Highway 280
Jefferson/Shelby County, AL

Highway 280 is utilized by over 97,000 vehicles each day. They routinely come to a standstill during rush hours. In response, intersection improvements were made from Hollywood Boulevard to Doug Baker Boulevard. The project was the first of its kind in Birmingham to modify the driving lanes to both dedicated turning lanes for entering adjacent roadways and U-turn lanes for entering the parallel lane moving in the opposite traffic direction. The challenge of the project was to work safely under high-traffic conditions. Median and paving operations were often performed at night. An Adaptive Traffic System was installed which monitors the traffic and adjusts the signals in real time in order to reduce congestion. To reduce the ambient noise of the traffic, the entire project area was overlaid with Open Graded Friction Course. After sodding and landscaping, the work on Highway 280 was completed 30 days ahead of schedule with no fatalities, OSHA-recordables, restricted day cases, or lost-time accidents.

 

New Municipal Utility

Brasfield & Gorrie LLC
Birmingham, AL
Dodson Chapel Equalization Tank and Wastewater Pump Station
Nashville, TN

This is a part of the Clean Water Nashville Overflow Abatement Program. The Dodson Chapel project is the first to address sewer overflows and an aging wastewater infrastructure. Work included a new wastewater pump station and equipment; a new 11 million gallon wastewater storage tank; a new grinder structure; as well as other systems. Construction could not interrupt the existing wastewater operations even when rock blasting was required to remove 37,000 cubic yards of limestone for a new 11 million gallon equalization tank. An on-site rock crusher turned the stone into pipe bedding, backfill, and under-slab stone. Digging was also done to install a Deep Well Geothermal System that circulates refrigerant and transfers the temperature of the earth's crust as a heat source in the winter and as a heat sink in the summer. Chipped trees cleared from the site were used as mulch for erosion control while a unique pervious concrete pavement that drains quickly minimizes storm water runoff. Utilizing environmentally friendly construction the project was completed ahead of schedule while maintaining the daily operations of the station.

 

Municipal Utility Renovation Under $5 Million

Craig Construction Company
Florence, AL
Cypress Creek Low Head Dam Improvements
Florence, AL

The original dam was built with a deep pool of water for the intake on the Cypress Creek Water Treatment Plant. A low head dam would be safer to the public, functional for the water treatment plant, and allow for a fish passage. The renovation required diversion of the creek so sheet piling and a sand bag cofferdam were used. Two six-inch pumps ran for three-months to dewater the site on the first half of the dam construction. The new design required wire-sawing of the existing dam to create a longer weir length. A state-of-the-art air-bladder adjustable weir was installed. This technology is used on manmade kayak courses to create different water flows. A new creek bottom was created with grouted boulders that hold back the creek while giving fish a habitat and passage to the upstream side of the dam. The work improved conditions and achieved a natural look to the creek bed.