Construction and Real Estate

ABC honors local building community with 31 awards

Ada-based Dan Vos Construction picks up four.

December 6, 2013
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The new North American headquarters for Gordon Food Service in Wyoming earned Dan Vos Construction a pair of ABC awards. Courtesy Dan Vos Construction

After winning the contractor-of-the-year award from the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan, Dan Vos Construction continued its streak by picking up four key honors from the Western Michigan Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors.

The Ada-based builder was the biggest multiple winner with two awards for its work on Gordon Food Service’s new North American headquarters. The judges awarded the firm the New Construction Excellence award for a project over $30 million and the Green Building Excellence award for a project that exceeded $40 million.

Dan Vos also picked up the New Construction Excellence award for a project that cost from $5 million to $10 million for the Perrigo EAO East Office Building, and the Best Renovation award for a project over $2 million for its work on Harvest Bible Chapel.

The new GFS headquarters was the most honored project. The ABC judges handed out eight excellence awards for it, with six awards going to subcontractors. Burgess Concrete, Kerkstra Precast, Secur Alarm Systems and Pleune Service Co. each received one award, and two went to Vos Glass for its interior and exterior glazing.

Other multiple winners were Erhardt Construction, Pioneer Construction, Rockford Construction and Lakewood Construction, which each won two awards.

Erhardt won Historical Renovation and Green Building awards for a project under $5 million for its work on Sophia’s House, which is owned by Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. Pioneer won twice for the GVSU L. William Seidman Center: for steel erection and for the general trades honor.

Rockford was honored for its work on the ADAC Automotive Paint Facility and for Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding. Lakewood Construction won in the educational construction category for Adams Elementary School and in the under $5 million construction category for Mindset Properties.

In all, ABC West Michigan handed out 31 awards. A dozen were for construction, new, green and renovation work, while the rest were for support categories.

“We had probably 225 folks show up, and it really was just a great night for merit-shop contractors to display their handiwork. It was a great event to highlight the successes that many of our members had this past year,” said Norm Brady, ABC Western Michigan Chapter president and CEO.

Brady, who took over the chapter’s top post in July, said it is gratifying for him to see the ABC awards displayed in the offices of its members. He said seeing the awards near the companies’ entrances shows how proud local contractors are of their work and how meaningful the awards are.

“It’s kind of fun to walk into a member’s office and see how proud they are to display these awards, and I’ll see a number of years posted. So it’s a way to recognize the accomplishments of the work of our members, and many of them enjoy the opportunity to highlight their work and to congratulate the employees who worked on those projects,” said Brady.

Often, honored projects also have won other prominent awards. That was the case for the Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. this year; the ABC judges gave the firm a Historical Renovation Excellence award for its restoration of the Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater. In May, which is historic preservation month in Michigan, O-A-K was a recipient of a Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation for its work on the opera house.

The Wolverine Building Group was recognized for its renovation work on the Spectrum Health BWC OB Triage, a project listed in the $1 million to $2 million category. Another construction excellence award went to the CSM Group, which won a Green Building Excellence award for Corporation Hall, a project that cost from $5 million to $10 million to build.

The ABC awards ceremony also puts the spotlight on subcontractors that specialize in areas that often don’t draw a lot of attention, such as roofing, electrical and security systems.

“There is a pretty considerable team of judges outside of ABC that go around and evaluate these things. These are folks who have an understanding of what a great lighting system is going to be about. It’s not just looking at the building itself, as they have an understanding of what went into making that happen,” said Brady.

“When you can get that type of judging from independent folks who understand what had to happen to bring that building to a reality, it means something,” he added.

Specialty winners not already mentioned were Buist Sheet Metal, Langerak Roof Systems, Parkway Electric & Communications, Brigade Fire Protection, Quality Air Heating & Cooling, Allied Mechanical Services, Northwest Kent Mechanical and The Bouma Corp.

ABC also honored safety-on-the-job with two awards. Elzinga & Volkers won the general contractor honor, while Thermal-Tech picked up the subcontractor award.

Brady said ABC has 408 members. He is hoping to add to that roster in the near future because his members have told him economic conditions are improving.

“So many of our members are saying, ‘Boy, we are really busy. We’re looking for people.’”

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