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.

2017 BuildSouth Awards Honorees

Ten contractors from across the Alabama AGC chapter were honored with BuildSouth Awards at the 19th BuildSouth Awards Banquet on January 13th at The Club. Judges recognized projects in 10 categories located in Alabama to Morocco as the most outstanding completed in 2016.

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 and construction management.

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


1. Specialty Contractor, New

Moon Construction Services, Huntsville

Academy for Academics and Arts Theater Addition, Huntsville

The Academy for Academics and Arts needed a 500-seat auditorium that would double as a storm shelter. Tilt-up wall panels were the most economical but space between an existing structure and a row of mature trees was extremely limited. Concrete wall panels 46-feet tall and 12-feet wide were formed and poured the within the theater footers. Lifting each 120,000-pound panel required a 500-ton crane to reposition after almost every placement. Before the fourth wall was cast and placed, steel was erected, the orchestra pit was excavated, and slabs were poured. The massive steel roof structure was mounted to the top of the panels using embeds and welded bar joists. Precision forming on the wall panels created intricate reveals that resemble spotlights above the theater lobby, and door openings placed between concrete panels. The team created a shelter suitable for 1,300 people but also realized cost savings that allowed for other improvements to the academy.


2. Design Build, New

Caddell Construction, Montgomery

UAV Drone Complex, Ft. Bragg, NC

The new design-build, state-of-the-art Unaccompanied Aircraft Vehicle hangar and runway complex for the Army's Special Forces at Camp Mackall-Fort Bragg is among the most sophisticated of its kind in the world. Runways on the airfield continued to operate while paving a 13-inch concrete slab, 8 inches of drainage, and 8 inches of gravel along a new 5,000-foot runway. A 56,000-square-foot, pre-engineered metal building was erected as a primary hangar. New specifications for strength, smoothness, and slope of the hangar floor required a machine capable of paving an extra-thick, high-viscosity concrete mixture inside the hangar. But there was no room. The solution was a concrete pour from an on-site batch plant; meticulously hand smoothing each section pour, and constantly measuring floor smoothness and slope. The addition of a state-of-the-art fire suppression system and five new Ground Data Terminal Platforms provide the Army with everything required for the subtle control of the military's most advanced attack and surveillance drones.


3. Building Construction, New

Ben M. Radcliff Contractor, Mobile

Grand Bay Welcome Center, Grand Bay

Demolition on the 20-acre site included the relocation of artillery shells, monuments and other historical elements from the old buildings. The old facility also relied on three large sewage lagoons. This was the largest closing and draining of their type in Alabama. To protect surrounding waterways from runoff and erosion, multiple protections were used, such as contouring of grades, silt fencing, and sodding after storms. The new 12,000-square-foot facility was constructed with precast columns, stucco, sculpted brick, metal roofing, terrazzo flooring, and glazing. Features include bronze sea life statues located on the main plaza and marine-themed terrazzo floor in the main lobby. Structural, glazed-tile masonry units were colorized off site so they required no further finishing but provided hurricane resistance for the project. The welcome center contains numerous communications and technological features such as ALDOT provided Wi-Fi, making this project a crown jewel of welcome centers across the state of Alabama.


4. International, New

BL Harbert International, LLCBirmingham, AL

U.S. Embassy Compound, Rabat, Morocco

One of the biggest challenges of the U.S. Embassy Compound in Rabat, Morocco, was constructing the three-story Chancery Building partially underground. Due to height limitations, more than 327,200-cubic-yards of material were excavated, structural work started, and 118,000-cubic-yards of backfill material returned to the site. Once in place, a three-dimensional model helped coordinate installation and tie-ins of underground utilities. Located three miles from the city center, the compound had to complement the surrounding Moroccan architecture with monochrome zellij tile work, native plants, and local stone coping that was quarried, cut, and polished within 100-miles of the site. Inside the Chancery Building is an open area that extends from the basement to the roof, with curtainwall on both sides. Bridges connect the north bar spaces to the west bar spaces at each level. The compound also includes two underground parking garages, a Marine Security Guard terrace and a basketball court. Design and construction professionals from 17 different countries worked on the project, which recently achieved LEED Gold certification. It serves as a symbol of the continuing partnership between the United States and Morocco.


5. Construction Management, New

Brasfield & Gorrie, LLCBirmingham, AL

Coca-Cola Sales and Distribution Center

Chattanooga, TN

The first bottles of Coke were produced in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and 115 years later the company broke ground on a new Sales and Distribution facility. The facility was built on a 42-acre site surrounded by water on three sides that required a phased retention pond system to control storm water run-off throughout construction. Shrinkage-compensating concrete was used in the 231,000-square-foot warehouse, 40,000-square-foot office area, 59 loading docks, the wash bay and the print shop. Infrastructure improvements included the management of TOOT work on the Interstate-53 overpass bridge, the interstate ramps, and city roads. Construction scheduling was phased to match permitting and design so that delivery of state-of-the-art conveying equipment could be set. Moving such a fluid business without down time was a challenge, but all project milestone dates and a final completion date were met. In addition, the project was $1.3 million under budget and without loss of service to over 6,400 customers.


6. Design Build, Renovation Under $5 Million

Rives Construction Company, lnc.Birmingham, AL

Cahaba Brewing House & Taproom Birmingham, AL

Cahaba Brewing Company expanded operations by renovating a 21,000-square-foot building that opened in 1926 to manufacture cotton gins and was then retrofitted during World War II for the production of Naval warheads. Many of the original structures like overhead doors and skylights bring natural light to this state-of-the-art brew house and taproom facility. The exposed steel structure was cleaned and painted, the brick facade was restored, and torched reclaimed wood was repurposed for the walls and bar of the Taproom. Other original components like pop riveted steel in the structural connections had to be investigated by engineers and the contractor to ensure the structural integrity of the steel had not been altered throughout the years. Many of the state-of-the-art mechanical and plumbing systems for the brewing equipment had never been used in the state of Alabama. The custom-built brew house equipment was fabricated in Wisconsin and is the only American-made brewing equipment used by any brewery in Alabama. Transforming the vacant commercial building into a community asset won the 2016 Merit Award in Adaptive Reuse from the American Institute of Architects’ Birmingham Chapter.


7. Construction Management, Renovation Under $5 Million

Martin & Cobey Construction Co., Inc.Athens, AL

Limestone County CourthouseAthens, AL

The 1916 Limestone County Courthouse was the site of Judge Horton’s historic decision about the "Scottsboro Boys." Building upgrades and courtroom expansions required an onsite office for supervision across six different bid packages and three project phases. Staging was critical as the closest lay down area was two blocks away and courthouse activity was ongoing. Nonetheless, masonry walls that supported the floor system were replaced with scaffold shoring, new hand-dug footings, and structural steel columns and beams. Ground penetrating radar was used to locate the existing concrete floor joists to position new plumbing and conduits. The building was upgraded with state-of-the-art HVAC, electrical, data, and communication systems. Close coordination with the commission allowed a tax savings on materials, while all of the existing wood trim was removed, refinished, and reinstalled. Together the community saved a treasured piece of history that now better serves the public.


8. Building Construction, Renovation Under $5 million

B. H. Craig Construction Company, Inc.Florence, Alabama

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio Renovations Sheffield, Alabama

The address 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, Alabama was all that identified the structure when the studio's first artist, Cher, recorded there. Renovation of the iconic studios Muscle Shoals Sound Studio was critical to stabilize the building and return it to a working recording studio. Demolition began with the original control booth glass, lights, acoustical wall panels signed by various recording artists, and other pieces of equipment. To correct the leaking roof, trusses were shored at center span, 14-inch LVL beams were installed, and a new PVC membrane was applied. In the basement a joist was added to take the swag out of the floor where a grand piano set. The renovations were aided by world-renowned studio designer, Michael Cronin, and funded by Dr. Dre and his partner Jimmy Iovine of Beats Electronics. The birthplace of "The Swampers" has been brought back to life for fans and a new generation of musicians.


9. Highway Construction, Renovation Under

Dunn Construction Company, Inc.Birmingham, AL

1-459/US-11/Edwards Lake Road Interchange ImprovementsJefferson County, AL

The I-459/US-11/Edwards Lake Road interchange was a major intersection with high traffic volumes that resulted in bottlenecking, frequent near misses, and collisions. ALDOT decided widening each of the roadways would allow traffic to flow more freely during times of high volume. Lanes were added on each roadway in each direction. In addition, one lane was added on both the on-ramp and the off-ramp to Interstate 459. Allowing vehicles to continuously advance, make turns, and merge with traffic now creates a more even flow of traffic and reduces congestion. Open Graded Friction Course was used for permeability and drainage during wet weather. The material reduces the dangers of splash, spray, and overall maintenance. Multiple traffic control crews were on the project at all times and resulted in a total recordable incidence rate of zero over the 45,200 man-hours on the project. The project has received awards from both the National Asphalt Paving Association and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama.


10. Highway Construction, Renovation

Wiregrass Construction Company, Inc.Montgomery, AL

Perry Co. SR-5, 99-305-535-005-401Perry County, AL

Alabama State Route 5 in Perry County is a research project to develop recommendations for building roads in the "prairie soils" of Alabama's Black Belt. A partnership between the Alabama Department of Transportation's Materials and Tests Bureau and Auburn University tested 12 sections of road, each constructed by specialized subcontractors using non-typical roadway methods. The Sand Blanket Section included a geotextile encapsulated drainage layer connected to an outfall system. The Lime Columns Section included hundreds of tons of lime and asphalt patching installed in approximately 8,000 engineered holes through the roadbed. In the Vertical Moisture section, a quarter-mile-long treated fabric had to be hung and backfilled continuously along the shoulder. Each section was leveled and over-laid with an asphalt wearing surface that met specifications for line, grade, and slope. Embedded instrumentation coupled with wireless collection allowed every aspect of the project to be viewed in real time at an Auburn University over 130 miles away. This endeavor will produce valuable insight on roadways that will benefit Alabama for years to come.