Brice Builders Executes SRM Project Amid COVID-19

After several months of design work, and the hiring of a three-person field crew, Brice Builders (BRB) has kicked off field construction to repair three hurricane-damaged headquarters buildings at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB). Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Tyndall AFB is home to F-15 and F-22 fighter squadrons and is an important test and training location for the US Air Force. In October 2018, Tyndall AFB was hit by the eye of Hurricane Michael— a Category 5 storm with sustained winds greater than 160 mph. Every structure on the base sustained damage or was completely destroyed. One year later, BBL was awarded a two-year $17.3 million Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization (SRM) contract from the US Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District to support critical renovations at the AFB.

Site Superintendent, Mike Rudd is at the helm of field work. Working with foreman Jake Muirhead and two laborers, the team recently kicked off site preparation work including securing of the material storage yard and staging of materials, as well as installation of the underground drain lines as preparatory work for new roof construction (see photos). Over the course of this 18+ month contract, the BRB field crew will support the work of major subcontractors performing roofing, masonry, electrical, HVAC and plumbing.

No sooner had work begun when the COVID-19 pandemic reached our shores. Fortunately, the Tyndall AFB SRM contract has been designated as essential, so the work will continue. In addition to following the COVID-19 guidelines provided by Brice Safety Director, Kirk Fisher, BRB went a step further to ensure site safety by purchasing two direct-read infrared thermometers to monitor the field crew for fever. “We weren’t directed by the client. But as a project team, we thought this was a good idea to ensure early detection/identification,” said Project Manager, Sean Fitzpatrick.

Every morning during the daily toolbox meeting, temperatures are taken for all field personnel, whether BRB or subcontractor staff. The readings are recorded in the safety meeting records. Anyone with a temperature of 101 degrees will be sent directly to the doctor. To make things extra challenging first thing in the morning, the thermometer readings are in Celsius—because that’s all that was available.

Site Safety Officer, Ken Keeler, uses a direct-read infrared thermometer to monitor the field crew for symptoms of COVID-19

Effectively managing jobs amid the ever-evolving landscape of COVID-19 safety guidelines has been challenging to say the least. Brice project managers alike are kept on their toes, ensuring compliance with the latest updates or identifying best practices in the absence of direct guidance. BRB’s proactive approach to ensuring the health and safety of the construction team at Tyndall AFB is exemplary and demonstrates the kind of safety culture we strive to build every day at Brice.