Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Creating Space Below a Former CBD Department Store

We are about 35% complete building The Sidewalk Film Center and Cinemas, which will be the year round home for the organization as well as their nationally acclaimed film festival.

The confined space of the project, coupled with the extensive rock excavation, requires both gas and electric powered equipment. This can create a potential hazard from fumes and emissions. This was solved by the construction of a containment area that is 100 percent sealed.

After intake of the air in the containment area, the project uses Hepa-Aire Portable Air Scrubbers, which clean the air before it is discharged to the atmosphere. Various monitors inside the work area and at the air’s exit point ensure C02 levels stay healthy both on the job site and for those breathing the scrubbed air outside the building at discharge points.

When completed, the project will maximize the remaining space within the foundation area and below a department store frame first constructed in 1923. The renovated building now also includes a first floor food hall, above and 6 stories of apartment living.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.