ABC Pelican members and students receive national honors

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Pelican Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. this week took part in the ABC Convention 2019 in Long Beach, California, which includes the Excellence in Construction® (EIC) Awards, the National Craft Championships, Young Professional of the Year and the ABC Construction Management Competition (CMC).

ABC Pelican Members, students and representatives won a total of 14 awards at the annual convention, including the prestigious ABC National Young Professional of the Year Award, ten awards for world-class construction projects, one award for craft work in instrument fitting, and third place in the Construction Management Competition and third place in the estimating category of the CMC.

ABC Pelican Member Lance Arvel of GROUP Industries has been named the ABC National 2019 Young Professional of the Year. Of the 50 applicants, Arvel was selected as a top-three finalist and was interviewed by a panel judges this week about why he embodies the Merit Shop Philosophy. Arvel, a former chair of the ABC Pelican YP Group, also serves on the Board of Directors. Arvel has served on several chapter committees throughout the years and is a well-respected leader. The ABC and Louisiana community are better because of his passion for the construction industry and the merit shop.

I’m still in shock; I still cannot believe it,” Arvel said shortly after he received the award. “National Young Professional of the Year means a tremendous amount because the process taught me so much about who I am. My story shaped the man that I am today. What a great honor to represent my company and my ABC chapter, and I look forward to carrying the torch this year.”

The LSU Construction Management (CM) team, sponsored by ABC Pelican, took home third place overall and third place in estimating at the 2019 ABC Construction Management Competition (CMC). Preparation for the CMC began in January, when the team received an authentic request for proposal (RFP). Then, on Monday the team submitted their bid, drew out an addendum on Wednesday and took a written exam. LSU rose to the challenge by advancing to the top eight collegiate teams. After advancing to the finals, the LSU team presented their bid to and took questions from the judges.

The LSU CM team to place in the 2019 CMC includes: Brandon Brignac, Briggs Campo, David Morris, Courtney Tilly, John Davis and Annalise Rabito. Team captain and LSU CM Senior Brandon Brignac is proud of his team’s hard work and accomplishments.

This is three years of hard work between LSU CM and ABC Pelican, and the hard work has paid off in a big way,” Brignac said. “The judges said we were by far the most impressive school that they had seen, and that’s very gratifying for me. My team and I are grateful for this experience because it accelerated our careers and provided great networking opportunities. We’ve walked away from this with hands-on, real life experience.”

When asked the advice he would give next year’s team, Brignac said: “Seize this opportunity, because this competition sets you apart. It pays off with a profound accomplishment, exposure to the heavy hitters in this industry, and experiences you’ll take with you for the rest of your life.”

This was the second year for Briggs Campo, Senior in Construction Management at LSU, to be part of the competition team.

We’re constantly improving. Last year, we won third overall and made a plan that day last year to place overall and in a category. We achieved both goals, and for that I’m proud. I’m grateful for this experience because my communication and people skills are better. I learned countless life lessons in this competition.”

ABC Pelican Member companies received an impressive 10 awards for outstanding merit shop construction projects at the 29th annual Excellence in Construction® (EIC) Awards and the ABC Pelican EIC Awards Banquet in December 2018. Only 90 projects were honored at the national level, each show-casing the exceptional talent in our industry and the overall commitment to building safely, on time and on budget.

Donn Peterson, Vice President of GROUP Industries and Chair of the ABC Pelican Board of Directors, accepted GROUP’s national EIC Award in Long Beach.

It’s humbling to be recognized for meeting the prestigious standards set by our industry’s premier competition,” said Peterson. “But more importantly, it is a privilege to build a better and stronger Louisiana through innovation and quality. Tedious planning, execution and delivering of GROUP’s redesign of the City Hall Plaza was well worth the end result, regardless of the national recognition.”

The following ten ABC Pelican Member Company projects received chapter honors in December 2018 and national honors during Associated Builders and Contractors’ 29th annual Excellence in Construction® Awards celebration in California:

National Excellence in Construction Eagle Award Winners

Cajun Industries, LLC, HE-201D Replacement Project (Plaquemine): To increase operating capacity and overall efficiency at the Olin facility, Cajun was charged with the demolition, removal and replacement of a 500,000-pound heat exchanger located within a highly congested unit. The project was multifaceted from the outset and required over twenty thousand-man hours in over two months with a perfect safety record.

ISC Constructors, LLC, Honeywell UOP-DSG Electrical Upgrade and Lab Feeder Replacement (Baton Rouge): In October 2017, Honeywell UOP experienced a critical power failure on a 15KV main feeder that crippled operations for the entire facility. ISC was contracted to perform major facility upgrades, including relocating the temporary feeders to their permanent location, installing new feeders to other critical areas of the facility, and upgrading motor control center and spray dryer equipment.

MMR Group, Shell-Olefins Flare Gas Recovery Project (Deer Park, TX): MMR executed the electrical and instrumentation construction on Shell Deer Park’s Olefins Flare Gas Recovery Project. This refinery is among the largest in the US with a capacity of 340,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Construction lasted one year, MMR finished the project on time, with zero safety incidents, and under budget while battling the complications of Hurricane Harvey.

Triad Electric and Controls, Inc., Dow Gulfstream Poly B Train 3 Project (Plaquemine): Triad’s $44.8 million contract with Dow Chemical’s Gulfstream Poly B, Train 3 Project in Plaquemine, Louisiana increased in scope by 40 percent throughout the duration of the project. However, Triad was able to overcome significant challenges to complete over 800,000-man hours without any safety incidents and on schedule.

Turner Industries Group, Shell Tiger AO4 Heavy Transport (Geismar): The Tiger AO4 project at the Shell Geismar Chemical Plant in South Louisiana required more than 600 pieces of equipment shipped in from all over the world. Turner was called into action to receive seven pressure vessels and transport them to the Shell Tiger AO4 jobsite from the Port of New Orleans. All the vessels were delivered to the site on schedule with zero lost-time incidents and zero injuries.

National Excellence in Construction Pyramid Award Winners

EXCEL Group, Westlake VCM Control Building (Geismar): EXCEL demolished an existing warehouse and replaced it with new blast-rated VCM Control Room facility. The completed project resulted in a state-of-the-art facility, to replace its aging predecessor while providing countless enhancements to ergonomics, life safety, and operational capabilities. Through proven processes, EXCEL and its subcontract teams achieved over 19,500 incident-free manhours. 

GROUP Industries, City Hall Plaza (Baton Rouge): The redesign of City Hall Plaza satisfies a goal of Baton Rouge Central Green – to develop a network of greenspaces to link several downtown institutions. The improvements included the removal of underutilized and existing hardscapes and their replacement with a large green lawn, elevated crushed granite promenade and shade trees. The redesign also provides improved circulation and ADA accessibility throughout the City Hall and River Center Campus and allows the Galvez Stage to be used from both sides by covering the opening above the underground parking garage north of the stage.

MMR Group: BASF Geismar Electrical Reliability Project (Geismar): MMR provided electrical, instrumentation, construction and execution services for the BASF 700 Bus Replacement Phase of the Geismar Electrical Reliability Project. The objective was to increase capacity and reliability of an existing electrical distribution infrastructure by providing backup power to four existing substations, replacing aging switchgear, and installing new power feeders to mitigate the risk of legacy underground feeder failures. The project was completed on time and without injury.

Performance Contractors, Inc., Dow Poly B&D (Bay City, TX): Dow’s Poly B Train 3 and Poly D were two world scale high tech Polyolefins facilities that were built at the operations facility in Plaquemine, Louisiana. Performance provided over 3,000 employees, and installed 85,000 cubic yards of concrete, 12,600 tons of structural steel, 410,000 linear feet of piping, and over 1,500 pieces of equipment. This project was a critical component to the overall Dow Gulfstream initiative.

Turner Industries: Olin Plaquemine 2018 Turnaround (Plaquemine): This turnaround represented the first time since the 1980’s that the entire Chlor Alkali portion of the Olin Plaquemine facility had been in turnaround status.

The National Craft Championships also took place at the ABC Convention. Nine of the nearly 200 competitors were ABC Pelican craft students, and they competed in five of the 12 craft categories. Brian Gordon, ABC Pelican craft student and sponsored by ISC Constructors, Inc., placed third in instrument fitting.

This fierce competition goes from sun up to sundown and displays the exceptional skills, technical knowledge and safety practices of a craft professional,” said David Helveston, President and CEO of the Pelican Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors. “Louisiana’s finest represented our state’s construction industry well.”

These ABC Pelican students competed in the 2019 National Craft Championships:

--Electrical: Ryan Langlois, EXCEL Group; Devin Pourciaux, Ernest P. Breaux Electrical; Brady Thibodeaux, Ernest P. Breaux Electrical

--Instrumentation: Brian Gordon, ISC Contractors; Timothy Gros, ISC Contractors

--Millwright: Michael Cothern, Turner Industries Group

--Pipefitting: Alvin Allen, Jacobs Field Service

--Pipe Welding: Cade Garafola, Performance Contractors; Josephus Hutcheson, EXCEL Group

Contributed by ABC Pelican