Brasfield and Gorrie

One element of education that should never be overlooked is the learning environment where lessons are taught. A student’s surroundings can be important in making a first impression as well as making them feel comfortable as they learn. And the importance of educational structures has not gone unnoticed by Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors.

“In education design and construction, both time and budgetary constraints can often make or break a project,” the company says, adding that its portfolio includes K-12 and higher education projects. “We put our more than 40 years of experience and strong set of value-analysis services toward delivering the best educational facilities possible, on the timetable and budget a school system or university requires.”

The company is applying that experience to the new Drug Discovery and Bioengineering project for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, S.C.

The project consists of two buildings adjacent to each other that will together span 240,000 square feet.

The Drug Discovery building, which will stand six stories, will be a pharmaceuticals testing center with two teaching labs and four floors of wet labs and support areas. The Bioengineering building, which will stand four stories, will feature lecture halls, auditoriums, wet labs and support space.

“Having broken ground on the hard-bid project in July 2009, Brasfield & Gorrie is slated to complete the project in 24 months,” the company says, adding that it is also seeking LEED Silver certification.

A Success Story

Based in Birmingham, Ala., Brasfield & Gorrie specializes not only in general contracting, but also construction management and design/ build services. The company’s history goes back to 1964, when founder Miller Gorrie acquired the construction assets of the Thomas C. Brasfield Co. In 1967, Gorrie gave it the Brasfield & Gorrie name.

Brasfield & Gorrie says it has built a reputation as one of the leading contractors in the nation. The company has full-service branch offices in Birmingham; Atlanta; Dallas; Jacksonville and Orlando, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Raleigh, N.C.

It ranks No. 215 on Forbes’ list of privately held U.S. companies and is No. 27 in Engineering-News Record’s list of the nation’s top 400 contractors. Gorrie’s son, President and CEO M. James Gorrie, commented in a statement that the firm is dedicated to providing the finest quality in preconstruction and construction services.

“Construction is truly a service industry and we understand that in order to enjoy growth and continued success, we must remain committed to serving our clients,” he said. “Our vision for the company is to be the best general contractor in the United States.

“As we look toward the future of the company, one thing we know for certain is that we intend to continue the tradition of excellence upon which Brasfield & Gorrie was built,” he added. “And, our people are the reason we will be successful.”

Leader in Green

The MUSC project’s goal of LEED certification reflects Brasfield & Gorrie’s own involvement in green building. “As society increasingly understands the importance of being good stewards of our environment, the construction industry is challenged to develop innovative, earth-friendly building techniques,” Gorrie said.

“Brasfield & Gorrie has proven itself a leader in green construction, working to become a more environmentally friendly community partner, inside and out,” he said.

For instance, the company has implemented regular community litter pick-ups, green lunch-and-learn sessions, corporate recycling programs and sustainable practices across its business.

Additionally, when the plans for its headquarters were developed, Brasfield & Gorrie says it established LEED certification as one of its goals and made it the first LEED-certified corporate office building in Alabama. “As a result of these efforts, our clients, our employees, our projects and our communities benefit from the positive impacts of sustainable design and construction,” its says.

More than 225 of its employees have become LEED accredited professionals. “In addition, Brasfield & Gorrie boasts an impressive portfolio of LEED buildings,” the company declares.

The company has built more than 40 sustainable buildings, including tenant refits and mixed-use developments.

“This experience has provided us the pre-construction expertise to successfully deliver economical and efficient sustainable facilities, regardless of size or scope,” it says.

Eliminating Issues

To build its projects right, Brasfield & Gorrie says it uses building information modeling (BIM).

“BIM is proactive, saving time and eliminating potential issues before they happen,” the company says, noting that BIM speeds tasks, including quantity surveying.

In addition, the process is green friendly. “BIM can help determine natural lighting patterns and works with green building software to identify energy optimization possibilities and potential LEED points early in preconstruction,” Brasfield & Gorrie says.

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