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  • Alabama Construction Giant Dead at 69

    Henry T. Hagood, Jr., 69, passed away Feb. 9 at his home — his family at his side — after a valiant battle with cancer.

                 The funeral will be Thursday at First Baptist Church in Trussville, where Mr. Hagood was a member. Visitation will be 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the church with the service at 12:30 p.m. Burial will follow at Jefferson Memorial Gardens.

                 Surviving Mr. Hagood are his loving wife Dot, their two children Jody (wife Molly), Kim (son Blake) and his brother Forest (wife Vickie).

                 The family has asked that contributions be made in Mr. Hagood’s memory to the American Cancer Society for use in kidney cancer research.

                 Mr. Hagood was a leader in the construction industry, serving as the executive officer of the Alabama Associated General Contractors for 45 years.  During that time he grew the association from a small group of contractors to an industry giant representing the entire state with assets of more than $100 million.

                 The Alabama AGC, under Mr. Hagood’s leadership, helped guide the industry through some challenging times, including labor strife in the early 1970s, contractor licensing and liability issues and workforce issues. Mr. Hagood’s foresight and energy helped to ensure that Alabama has developed the skilled workers it needs for its nationally prominent construction industry and the industrial growth that has led this state into the 21st century.

                 In the early 1980s, when insurance markets were in turmoil, the Alabama AGC formed CompTrustAGC, a self-insured workers’ compensation fund, to help stabilize the market and hold prices in check for the industry. The fund has become a dominant leader in the construction industry in Alabama.

                 Mr. Hagood also was at the forefront of the affirmative action issue, leading the Alabama AGC to form the Birmingham Construction Industry Authority in 1990. Since then – with Alabama AGC and industry support — the BCIA has worked tirelessly to help grow the minority construction community.

                 When Mr. Hagood, then 24, was hired to serve as executive director of the Alabama AGC in June of 1969, the association had been described as a “rather loose knit group of rather large GCs who speak with authority they don’t necessarily have.” Since that time, the Alabama AGC has grown to have offices in Florence, Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile and Pensacola, FL with a board of directors that includes contractors from all specialties and sizes and geographic regions of Alabama and the Panhandle of Florida.

                 Under Mr. Hagood’s leadership the AGC has grown to represent a diverse and important industry and it truly speaks with authority.

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  • Legislative up April 7, 2014

     

    Volume 22 No. 5                                                                                           April 7, 2014 

     

     The 2014 Regular Session ended on Thursday, April 3rd, almost a month earlier than required by the State Constitution.  The majority of members wanted to get out of Montgomery as soon as possible before there were any more indictments or guilty pleas.  Representative Greg Wren’s resignation and guilty plea on Tuesday got everyone’s attention and was the main topic of conversation through sine die.   Where all of this will lead is anyone’s guess, but everyone is watching.

     

     As to your industry and association, it was a fairly quiet session.  We followed some twenty bills, most of which did not pass or if they did, will have no effect on our members.  Two that did pass on the last day of the session do need to be noted.

     

     House Bill 24 was authored and driven by the Utility Contractors Association and was endorsed by AGC.  It was billed as prompt pay legislation but had its genesis in requiring that awarding authorities have any grant or matching funds on hand before a contract was put out for bid. They did get such language in their bill.  In addition, any pre-bid meeting will be at least seven days prior to the bid opening, there will be no changes to specifications within 24 hours of the bid opening, and the awarding authority shall designate a person to review the progress of completed work.  That person shall approve or deny the work progress within 10 days of the contractor submitting his or her invoice.

     

     Senate Bill 19 will allow an awarding authority to enter into a contract if an advertisement for sealed bids was submitted to a newspaper and the newspaper only published the advertisement for two weeks instead to the number of days required by law.

     

     Also, congratulations to the Construction Recruitment Institute. Their sunset bill passed with no problems and they are in business until October 1, 2018.  Their Board of Directors was increased as well and everyone hopes this will help the board carry out its duties.

     

     As stated earlier, this was a fairly quiet session for your association.  Thanks to all of those who we did need to call on to talk with legislators.  This is an election year and now that the session is over, I will be traveling the State making PAC contributions.  If you are contacted to attend an area meeting in conjunction with one of these events, please try and attend.  Your presence will be as important as the contributions.

     

     Until next time. . . . . . .                                                                                                                
    Chris Williams                                                     
    Director, Governmental Relations   
    “Legislative Update”               
     
    is another example of your
     Association dollar working for you!

     

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  • 2014 BuildSouth Awards Honorees

    Ten contractors from across the Alabama AGC chapter were honored with BuildSouth Awards at the sixteenth BuildSouth Awards Banquet, Jan. 10 at The Club. Projects in 13 categories from Birmingham to Dakar, Senegal were recognized by judges as the most outstanding completed in 2013.  

    The competition is open to all Alabama AGC general 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 were 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

    BuildSouth Awards Photos

    Minority Participation
    Goudy Construction, Inc.

    Goudy Construction, Inc. is a privately held, minority-woman-owned construction firm in Hueytown. This small commercial and residential company offers light commercial construction, commercial construction management, and residential construction and rehabilitation services. Their work not only integrates new and renovated housing into the fabric of the city, it also fosters partnerships with community development groups. The Goudy team has over 20 years combined experience partnering with planning departments, community development agencies, housing authorities and other development groups responsible for improving housing in Birmingham’s urban communities. The company’s work has been widely recognized. The Birmingham Construction Industry Authority voted Goudy Construction their “Spotlight Company” for February 2012 because the company consistently represents the certified building community in a positive way. Even Goudy’s subcontractors and suppliers contribute to the company’s emphasis on diversity, quality, and affordability in the housing market.

    Specialty Contractor
    S&S Sprinkler Company, LLC
    Evonik Flammable Liquids Warehouse

    A complete pre-action foam fire sprinkler system based on NFPA and plant standards was installed to accommodate the expansion of a warehouse at Evonik Degussa Corporation. Since this warehouse would soon house flammable and combustible products, Evonik Degussa Corporation needed expert guidance selecting an appropriate fire protection system. The current system was incompatible for the product that the company was going to put in the warehouse. In addition, the size of the expanded warehouse would exceed the ability of the existing equipment to pump water to all areas of the building if a fire occurred. Instead of expanding the current dry fire sprinkler system that was already installed in the warehouse, the recommendation was to install a pre-action foam fire sprinkler system to conserve space, manage cost, and maintain control during the cold weather. The Alcohol Resistant AFFF Foam used in the system resists cold weather better than a traditional wet or dry sprinkler system. Once the demolition of the existing system was complete, all waste was disposed environmentally. Even cutting oil was captured for reuse. This project was challenging but the pre-action foam fire sprinkler system is now in place allowing the customer to move forward.  

     New Design Build
    BL Harbert International, LLC
    New U.S. Embassy Compound – Dakar
    U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations
    Dakar, Senegal

    The new 10-acre embassy compound in the Republic of Senegal houses a four-story Chancery Building, parking garage, Marine security guard quarters, a utility building, a recreation facility, and three Compound Access Control buildings. The structures required reinforced concrete to withstand forced-entry. So a concrete batching plant was erected on site, along with a soil-testing laboratory. Adding over 110,000 cubic yards of structural fill keeps rainwater from accumulating on site, but it resulted in a non-porous area. The community did not have sanitary or storm water sewer systems, so ditches and piping were installed outside the compound to aid neighborhood storm water management. Inside, a wastewater treatment plant converts sanitary water to grey-water for drip irrigation. And when a well could not provide potable water, a desalinization system was built in a unique mezzanine addition to the utility building. Necessary updates to the local electrical infrastructure would not be complete for two years. But instead of buying diesel fuel to run generators, the compound was equipped with a photovoltaic panel system. Construction started in the same year as the 50thanniversary of Senegal’s independence, serving as a symbol of the continued partnership with the United States.

    New Building Construction
    Caddell Construction Co.
    Kirtland Exchange at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico

    The new shopping mall, or “exchange”, at Kirtland Air Force Base is one of the most advanced malls in the military retail system. A new access road was necessary but the underground utility drawings did not identify two gas lines that had to be rerouted. In addition, the soils were unsuitable in some areas and had to be replaced. Albuquerque had recently suffered from drought. Wind-borne sand had to be collected with industrial-scale site vacuuming. Despite the accumulation of dust, the polished concrete floors have exceptional flatness and levelness. When the steel structure was erected, it was discovered that steel columns extending to the roof had been cut too short but still installed and welded into place. To correct the roof inclinations, hydraulics simultaneously lifted the columns that were soldered in place with extensions at the base. Even with all the challenges, this is one of the safest and incident-free projects ever executed at Kirtland Air Force Base. The final design gives active and retired military customers a state-of-the-art information system, elaborate canopies that define store areas, and automated climate control that includes a super energy efficient HVAC system.

     New Building Construction Under $5 Million
    Moon Construction Services, Inc.
    Cognitive Fish Flume Plan – Phase 1

    The Cognitive Fish Flume is a large, concrete oval structure at the Engineering Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi. It is 40 feet long and 8 feet wide with a depth of 4.5 feet. Much like an aquarium race track, it circulates over 38,000 gallons of water. But the walls are equipped with eight, acrylic glass panels that scientists use to view and study Asian Carp. Flooding in the 1990s allowed the fish to escape private fish farms, enter the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, and harm these protected waterways. To build the flume inside an existing metal structure, the 10-inch-thick floors were removed. Pump pits were created but constantly drained of water since the water table was two feet below the finished floor elevation. It was necessary to remediate the top 12 inches of the sub grade, so cement was mixed with existing soil and topped with a thick layer of sand. All new concrete surpassed requirements by at least double the PSI required. And now, this first, out-of-state project for Moon Construction provides local scientists a method of exploring ways to control the carp, and has attracted researchers from around the globe wanting to see the world’s first indoor fish flume.

     New International Construction
    BL Harbert International, LLC
    New U.S. Embassy Compound – Libreville
    U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Libreville, Gabon

    Gabon is a small nation in sub-Saharan Africa positioned directly on the equator. The 10-acre site of its U.S. embassy is home to a Chancery Building, a Consolidated General Services Office building, a 7,500 square foot warehouse, a Utility Building for electrical power transformation and domestic water treatment, and three Compound Access Control facilities. The compound incorporates numerous sustainable features including energy efficient building systems, low-flow water fixtures, and recycled materials. The structures were built with reinforced concrete to withstand forced-entry, but they also used granite veneer, metal wall panels, glass storefronts, wood paneling, and an elaborate ornamental staircase. Many of the features were installed with unskilled labor. Because most of the local structures use only wood or concrete masonry units, the large scale cast-in-place construction was quite new.  Through consistent on-the- job training, the workers’ skill sets were elevated to meet the needs of the project. In the Chancery Building’s gallery the north and south elevations are fully clad in perforated wood veneer. Combined with the depth of the wood veneer ceiling beams, the space becomes an impressive venue for holding large embassy functions.

    New Construction Management
    Martin & Cobey Construction Company Inc.
    A New Hartselle High School

    The Hartselle High School project is a beautiful structure with a separate field house, tennis courts, concession building, band practice field, baseball practice field, football practice field, and running track. Inside every classroom is an interactive white board system. Students have computer technology available to them in the four computer labs, media center, or in each classroom via wireless signal. The auditorium has the latest technology in sound and theatrical lighting with touch screen controls. The school lighting system is controlled by occupancy sensors and can be controlled by remote from a laptop computer. The owner can also condition areas at different temperatures using the HVAC min-split system. The Hartselle High School Project was the third new school in Alabama to fall under House Bill 459 requiring every new public school to have safe spaces from storms. So, three separate storm shelters were built to accommodate over 1,800 people. The shelters were constructed with 5,000 psi concrete and reinforcing steel to withstand a lateral wind load of 250 mph. Even with these features, the project had the best price per square foot of any high school built in the state of Alabama in the last six years.

    New Municipal Utilities
    Russo Corporation
    UAB District Steam System, Package A-l, South Loop Steam Distribution System

    With the closure of Alabama Power’s coal-fired steam plant on Powell Avenue, UAB developed an alternate means to provide heating and sterilization to 29 buildings. The UAB District Steam System project included constructing a new state-of-the-art natural gas-fired steam plant, and over 20,000 linear feet of high pressure steam and return piping. Installing large diameter piping throughout a highly populated and congested urban campus could not halt the daily foot and vehicle traffic, nor could it prevent access to all university buildings, hospitals, offices, retail shops, and restaurants. Months of exploratory excavations and scans with ground-penetrating radar were needed to locate underground utilities. Then the project was broken down into manageable segments, and a written pre-excavation plan for each segment was submitted for review. The plan identified known underground utilities and obstructions, width and depth of proposed trench, method of shoring the trench, size of pipe to be installed, special scheduling requirements, and impact to the public. Now that the installation is complete, the University has a state-of-the-art control system that allows an operator to monitor the entire process from one centralized location.

    New Construction Management Under $5 Million
    Heavy Industrial
    Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC                                                                                                               Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility 

    The Raytheon Redstone Missile Manufacturing facility is 70,000 square-feet of fully automated missile assembly area, office support area, and two missile test cells. Each test cell is a cast-in-place concrete shell located down a 328-linear-foot precast corridor from the manufacturing facility. And this facility located on the Redstone Arsenal is also advanced because of its LEED-certifiable materials and equipment. The facility was constructed on a brownfield site. A crater, potentially containing contaminated liquid, was covered with filter fabric, filled with stone, and compacted to reach a 98% compaction level. An airtight geomembrane prevented any contamination from coming up through the slab and into the facility. To make the slab conductive, a specialized concrete mix of steel fibers was planned. After test slabs were examined, Brasfield & Gorrie found the alternative static-dissipative floor system better reduced the risk of electrostatic discharge. Overall revisions to the original design offer by Brasfield & Gorrie reduced cost by $9.1 million. Yet the facility still set a new standard in the field because its laser-guided vehicles can position missiles throughout the factory within one one-hundred-thousandth of an inch. The project is expected to bring 300 related jobs and economic growth to the Huntsville area.  

    New Highway Construction
    Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC/Cianbro Joint Venture
    Galveston Causeway Vertical Lift Railroad Bridge

    This channel was considered one of the most dangerous along the Intracoastal Waterway. So a joint venture of Cianbro and Brasfield & Gorrie tripled the width of the channel, demolished the original bridge, and erected a new bridge deck and railroad track. As the only rail access to Galveston Island, Texas, the tracks and marine channel remained active during the project. Only interfering sections of the arch spans were removed with a wire-saw, leaving strips directly under the active track. Explosives could not be used to remove the submerged abutment piers, so high frequency sonar and laser scanning technology provided underwater digital imagery of the piers. After 4-inch holes were drilled through each pier, two hydraulic excavators equipped with eco-friendly hydraulic oil and impact hammers completed demolition. Material barges, a trailer pump, and a pump truck with a placing boom poured new piers. A single barge floated a new bridge span to its final position and a four-point cable mooring system brought the bridge into square, with only 8 inches of clearance. Careful planning reduced driven pile lengths by nearly 5,000 linear feet, saved the project owner $420,000, and found a site to reuse old bascule span.

    Renovation Building Construction
    Blalock Building Company
    Additions and Renovations to Calera Middle School

    Voters who approved financial support for the district two years ago are seeing the results with the Calera Middle School. Instead of a block structure, the campus features CMU walls, brick veneer, hollow core for the second floor, wood trusses, and a standing seam roof. The new main building includes a board room, choral room, and specialty labs for Industrial Arts, Computer and Business courses, and an art studio. The expansion more than doubled classroom capacity with room for a media center and a new administration area. The gymnasium area and locker rooms were also rejuvenated. A new band room was added after the cafeteria was relocated to a building to the east which allows a new commercial kitchen and a new serving area. The campus renovation includes new parking, bus lanes for loading and unloading, as well as, new turn lanes and wider lanes in front of the school. The campus retained the existing football stadium, full-sized baseball stadium, and full-sized softball field. For the district, the new school is a necessary step to alleviating crowded classrooms in the Calera area, which is one of the fastest growing areas in Shelby County.

    Renovation Highway
    Interstate 20 Pavement Rehabilitation
    Dunn Construction

    The rehabilitation started at Interstate 59 and ended at County Road 74. The Alabama Department of Transportation allotted 180 working days to grade, drain, base, and pave this length of interstate. Along the 5.4 miles of interstate, 18 subcontractors were working on predecessor tasks for each other. Coordination was vital to complete both phases of work because in June and July alone the Average Annual Precipitation doubled. Efficiency was critical so concrete rubblization was used to demo the existing concrete pavement and allow for road bed processing. Global Positioning System controls guided the grading and paving of challenging cross slopes. Hydro demolition was used to separate the reinforced steel from the concrete for recycling. And a crew was assigned to maintain storm water runoff prevention systems and clean up construction debris throughout the life of the job. The project also included supplemental work to retrofit guardrails and bridge railings, repair concrete bridge decks, demolish lighting, and install signing and traffic counting units. Despite the challenges, the project was finished 27 days early on phase one and 31 days early on phase two. The rehabilitation of I-20 has significantly contributed to safe and expedient travel for commuters.

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  • Industry Leaders Inducted Into Alabama Construction Hall of Fame

    01.22.2014 More
  • 3 Contractors Honored For Safety

    01.22.2014 More
  • Construction firms expect growing demand in 2014 as contractors plan to start hiring but worry about worker shortages

    01.21.2014 More
  • Birmingham’s Recovery Appears to Be Restarting

    01.16.2014 More
  • The Alabama Construction Industry Hall of Fame 2014 inductees have been chosen.

    12.16.2013 More
  • BuildSouth Award winners have been chosen

    12.16.2013 More
  • Are you ready for the changes to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard?

    11.12.2013 More