Social Security Administration building, Birmingham, AL

Serving as construction manager for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), we successfully oversaw the construction of a $135 million, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certified office complex to house the Social Security Administration.

The facility is a result of a public-private partnership between Opus and GSA. Located on the edge of Birmingham's Civil Rights District, the facility's placement has historical significance for the City of Birmingham. Home to 2,200 Social Security Administration employees, the facility encompasses 587,000ft2 of rentable space and includes a 1,765-space parking garage. At approximately 100,000ft2 each, the first two floors include a large glass "main street" area that offers employees a clear view of downtown Birmingham and the historic district. Employees also enjoy conveniences such as a fitness center, high-tech mail center, full-service cafeteria, child-care center, credit union and auditorium. The building's remaining space is contained in an eight-storey tower which is set back away from the street to give a less intrusive appearance. With employee safety and security in mind, the building also incorporates security measures in accordance with government guidelines.

The building has a ‘green' roof, spreading luscious vegetation across 85,000ft2. A canopy covering the five-story parking garage serves as water collection system for recycling rainwater for landscaping irrigation. These features are not only Birmingham firsts, but are just a couple of the many environmentally friendly design elements which led the building to achieve LEED Silver certification.

As part of our role to reduce cost and schedule impacts, we: Reviewed designs, oversaw the contractor and specialty consultants, oversaw the permitting process, met and reported to government authorities, continuously monitored budget and schedule, oversaw commissioning, submittals and reports; and managed changes throughout the process. As a result, there were less than 80 approved change orders totaling less than $200,000.

We provided the following services:

  • Project management
  • Construction management
  • Cost management
  • Schedule management
  • Quality assurance

Construction began in December 2005 with an official completion date of January 2008 (one month after the original schedule, but in accordance with the revised schedule). We delivered the project in accordance with the revised schedule, within budget and with unused contingency dollars.


  • 2008 McGraw-Hill Construction's Best of the Best award
  • 2008 South Central Construction News Best Public Project
  • 2008 CMAA Southeast Project Achievement Award