Avalon Bay Communities (AVB) received the 2018 Gary E. Bird Horizon Award for their innovative fire suppression methods at the 38th annual International Risk Management Institute, Inc., (IRMI) Construction Risk Conference earlier this month.
Michael Feigin, AvalonBay’s chief construction officer, and Jeffrey Hutchens, AvalonBay’s senior director of safety, accepted the award on behalf of the company’s innovative loss prevention program, designed to eliminate construction site fires on wood frame multifamily projects.
The award, sponsored by Travelers, is presented annually to recognize a demonstrated commitment to improving construction risk management through the implementation of innovative, cost-effective, and efficient risk management techniques.
“It’s an honor to be recognized with this prestigious award when our efforts are a result of wanting to do the right thing for our industry, associates, trade partners and residents,” said Feigin.
“We are now sharing our efforts with industry groups and our REIT and multifamily peers in the hope that we can make the entire industry safer for everyone.”
In his remarks, Feigin recognized M-Fire Suppression, Inc., which has worked with AVB on projects to help defend high-density wood-frame construction sites from the risk of fire.
“We commend Avalon Bay for this great honor and for its innovative leadership in defending high-density wood-framed buildings from the risk of fire,” said Steve Conboy, chairman and founder of M-Fire Suppression.
“Avalon Bay’s use of the newest technology, a UL GreenGuard Gold certified chemical, prevents the advance of fire to lower the loss of complete buildings under construction.”
Since 2009, large fires – many of them unfortunately attributable to arson – have destroyed 45 major housing projects nationwide, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and resulting in the death of two construction workers earlier this year in Denver.
M-Fire held a breakout session at IRMI with Lockton Company and Insurance Underwriters to introduce them to Mighty Fire Breaker to lower the risk of loss.
IRMI’s Vice President of Construction, Jennifer Lee, commended AVB’s focus on four key pillars that use a combination of innovative building processes, new technologies, and a novel wood treatment to help reduce and/or eliminate structural fires.
“Their approach goes above and beyond the immediate addressing of the issue,” Lee said.