The Association of General Contractors (AGC) of New Mexico announced that The University of New Mexico’s Chemistry building renovation, completed last year, was deserving of the best “Construction Management-at-Risk” award for 2017.

This $16.5 million project included major HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and electrical infrastructure upgrades, with renovated laboratories, common gathering areas and office spaces.

“This is the 27th year we’ve recognized and awarded member submitted projects based upon the complexity and challenges of the construction process. The Best Buildings Awards celebration honors the best in commercial construction and is attended by the industry’s top construction professionals, public and private owners, dignitaries and business community leaders,” said Patrick Thomas, the current AGC president.

Renovating an occupied building proves challenging because normal, everyday activities must continue such as research and teaching. Michael Reid, group manager with Planning, Design & Construction (PDC), is well versed in executing these large projects on the campus where safety and efficiency are the top priority. = He explained that collaboration is key with the building occupants during all phases of the project from beginning to end.

“This project was very complex, and we had a strong, positive relationship with the construction company and the building occupants. We were all successful because of the total commitment from everyone involved in this project,” Reid said. 

Because of this investment, UNM students and faculty can now collaborate in modern labs that are both energy efficient and comfortable. A ventilation system was installed to greatly improve the air quality and efficiency in the lab spaces, and LED lighting can now be found throughout the building. Flexible gathering spaces were designed to promote collaboration between students, staff and faculty; a trend that can be found in all of PDC’s new construction and renovation work on campus.

To learn more about PDC, visit the UNM Newsroom.