A look back on 2019 BL Harbert International

Completed projects

In 2019, we completed 3,680,059 square feet of construction on sites across the globe, from Auburn, Ala. to Pristina, Kosovo.

Consulate Compound in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

The new U.S. Consulate Compound is situated on a 5.6 acre site in eastern Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The multi-building campus includes a chancery office building, a Marine Security Guard residence, a support annex and utility building, and facilities for the Consulate community.

Gilbert Advanced Manufacturing Facility

BL Harbert was proud to partner with Dynetics and Fuqua Architects to complete the sixth building on Dynetics' Huntsville, Ala. campus, the Gilbert Advanced Manufacturing Facility. It now offers a one-stop shop for its customers to design and manufacture products. Read more about the five major production areas.

Gilbert Advanced Manufacturing Facility - Huntsville, Ala.
New U.S. Consulate in Matamoros, Mexico

The new U.S. Consulate in Matamoros, Mexico celebrated its dedication on May 15, 2019. The new complex provides a secure, modern, sustainable, and resilient platform for U.S. diplomacy in Mexico. Read more.

When Work & Community Collide

The City of Homewood, Ala. has two brand new facilities for its citizens to enjoy. The projects were completed just in time for Summer 2019. The new Athletic Complex has two gymnasiums, eleven fields including baseball, softball and soccer fields, a six-acre multi-purpose field, covered batting cages, and eight tennis courts.

"We feel privileged to serve a community where many of our employees, live, work and play." - Johnny Garlington, President, U.S. Group
BL Harbert International was proud to serve as Homewood's Construction Manager on these projects.
New U.S. Embassy Compound in Pristina, Kosovo

BL Harbert International, alongside Director Davis of the Department of State’s Overseas Building Operations, the U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, and other U.S. and local officials, dedicated the new U.S. Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo on America’s Independence Day. Kosovo is one of the world’s youngest nations, yet over the last two and a half decades, the United States has been firmly invested in supporting and strengthening Kosovo as it develops its economy, improves its rule of law, and stabilizes regional security. The new U.S. Embassy will provide a safe, modern, and resilient platform for our important relationship with Kosovo for many years to come.

U.S. Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo
Jay & Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center

BL Harbert served as the Construction Manager of Auburn University's Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center, an 85,000-square-foot building that provides high quality, performance venues in support of musical, theatrical, dance, guest speakers and other events. The high-end facility includes a 1,200 seat multi-purpose performance hall, a 250-seat flexible venue, box office, catering kitchen, wardrobe and dressing rooms, and conference and support office spaces.

Innovation in Construction: SAM - This project is the first in the state of Alabama to utilize a construction robot named SAM (the SAM100 the Masonry Robot). SAM stands for Semi-Automated Mason and “he” laid bricks up to six times faster than a person — up to 3,000 per day. Operated through an iPad, SAM worked by utilizing a conveyor belt and robotic arm. He removed the repetitive task of laying bricks, while masons work around it to reload bricks and mortar into the machine around the bricks once they are placed.

U.S. Embassy Rehabilitation and Upgrade in Amman, Jordan
Watercrest Senior Living Community in Newnan, Georgia

Breaking new ground in the U.s. and around the world

The groundbreaking ceremony signifies a new start, growth, a new business venture or new idea coming to life. We love helping bring our clients' visions to fruition.

Top: 8West Mixed-Use Development in Downtown Atlanta; Middle Left: New Embassy Compound in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Middle Right Top: COPT 8800 Redstone Gateway Office Development in Huntsville, Ala.; Middle Right Bottom: MQ-25A ITT Hangar in Patuxent River, Md.; Bottom Left: new U.S. Consulate in Nogales, Mexico; Bottom Middle: U.S. Consulate in Hermosillo, Mexico; Bottom Right: U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico.

All Topped Out

Topping Out (also referred to as Topping Off) Ceremonies are often celebrated by raising a tree to the tallest point of the building. It is generally the half-way point of the project where we at BLHI celebrate the project's safety success.

Our Watercrest Senior Living project decided to include a basketball game at their Topping Out Celebration!

(Left) Our Airbus project signs and raises the last beam.

Fleming Farms in Huntsville, Ala.


Everyday, Every Task, Everywhere

Our project teams recognize safety throughout the year. The bottom right photo is our Qatar jobsite commemorating two million workhours without a single lost-time incident.

Our people

Our people are the core of our success. Their unwavering commitment to BL Harbert International continues to propel us forward into new and exciting territory.


A testament to our employees’ dedication to excellence and their commitment to quality construction has been the awards and recognition BL Harbert has received from our peers and industry publications this year. Below are some recent local and national accolades we have been honored to accept:

Every year, Engineering News-Record (ENR) recognizes and honors the project teams behind outstanding design and construction efforts. In 2019, two of our projects won Engineering News-Record's Global Best Project Awards! The U.S. Embassy in Harare won "Global Best Project" and the Consulate Compound in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico won the "Award of Merit."

2019 Associated Builders & Contractors of Alabama: Safest in the Industry Awards

  1. The Eagle Award for General Contractor-Category 2 — ABC’s premier safety program award for being the "Safest in the Industry."
  2. The Innovation in Safety Award for our CARE Program.
  3. The Community Impact Award is the first ever awarded by ABC Alabama. The Shades Mountain team was honored based on their near perfect execution of our emergency action plan.
ABC awards banquet in Birmingham, Ala.

2019 Award Winning Projects

  • Auburn University Graduate School of Business | Auburn, Ala.
  • Auburn University Jay & Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center | Auburn, Ala.
  • Dynetics Electronic Assembly | Huntsville, Ala.
  • Protective Life Cafeteria Renovation | Birmingham, Ala.
  • Simulator Integration Center | Camp Lejeune, N.C.
  • Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club and Residences | Kiawah Island, S.C.
  • U.S. Embassy Compound | Harare, Zimbabwe
  • West Homewood Park Renovations | Homewood, Ala.
  • U.S. Consulate Compound | Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
Dynetics Test Stand Project wins 2019 National ABC Award: After winning at the state level, ABC National recently honored the Dynetics Test Stand project for its excellence in construction.

the respect challenge Tour continues

In 2018, our International Group set out on a mission to celebrate diversity through the Respect Challenge Tour. To date, we have challenged more than 3,500 employees at our jobs in Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Niger, Qatar, Turkey and the United States. In each country, we learn something new about the people who live there and their customs.

In 2019, The Respect Tour visited Qatar, UAE, Turkey & Iraq.

The response is something we could never have imagined. The goal of the Respect Tour is to unite all BL Harbert International Group employees by learning our differences make us stronger. Throughout the Tour, every employee receives a Respect Challenge Coin and signs a banner, pledging to be respectful in the workplace and within their communities. With more than 8,000 employees worldwide, from 56 countries, speaking countless languages, we have a unique opportunity to make a global difference.

Respect Challenge Tour
"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." - Maya Angelo
Local college paints Respect mural in Erbil, Iraq

Spreading Harbert Hope

At BL Harbert International, we are motivated to leave communities in which we work a little better than the way we found them. With our geographic footprint spanning the globe, we have a great opportunity and responsibility to reach many people and places. We are genuinely thankful for those we meet along the way and hope we inspire each to spread Harbert Hope wherever they go.

Our 20th Annual Employee Golf Tournament brought together 200 people to raise funds for Magic Moments. Magic Moments is a wish granting organization devoted to creating magic moments in the lives of children in Alabama with chronically life threatening medical conditions. A magic moment allows children and their families to forget, even if just for a little while, the fear and pain of their illness. During the golf tournament, BLHI's Leadership Team also surprised Magic Moments with 100 free airline tickets to help ensure children's wishes come true.

Our team in Ankara organized, planned, raised funds, and contributed toward a significant renovation for the Saray Cocuk Evleri Orphanage. The Orphanage was in need of a facility that provided recreational activities. With the team’s generosity, the children of Saray Cocuk Evleri not only have a place to play sports, but also facilities aimed at building confidence, strength, responsibility, and determination. The new recreational spaces were dedicated during the Respect Tour in honor of our employees in Turkey.

The children of Saray Cocuk Evleri Orphanage enjoy lunch in celebration of their new athletic facility.

Inspired by one of our own employee's personal battle with childhood cancer, BL Harbert hosted it's 4th annual blood drive in Birmingham in February.

In March 2019, an EF4 tornado hit Lee County, Alabama. Twenty-three people were killed and nearly 50 people injured. Additionally, businesses and homes were blown away. With several of our employees' having ties to the area, we were moved to collect supplies for those in need.

BLHI's jobsite team in Matamoros, Mexico became friends of Himno A Tamaulipas school. Through that friendship, our team built a classroom building. In conjunction with the Respect Tour, our teams visited the school to meet the students and tour the new classroom. Our Birmingham executive team came across Julieta Peralto Soto. In a brief conversation, we learned that Julieta wanted to be a soccer player. Our team was inspired by her and chose to build the school a soccer field and dedicate it to Julieta.

When one of our employees learned of a single mom in a tough situation, she took action. A group of Harbert volunteers spent the day helping with major yard work, pulling overgrown ivy off the chimney, removing unwanted items, pulling up carpet, painting the front door, pressure washing, and putting dirt/pine straw around the foundation to help prevent water from running into the basement. Read more.

Our Huntsville and Nashville employees came together in September for the Greater Nashville Heart Walk in honor of one of our very own employees. The 3-mile walk took place on Vanderbilt’s Campus. Nearly $2 million was raised and over 10,000 people attended the walk on Saturday.

Our VA Lincoln team has made community outreach a priority during our time in Nebraska. This November, they helped out CEDARS — a local non-profit organization that helps under-privileged children find families, establish relationships, invest in their future, and give them an enjoyable childhood — in several areas of need.

It all began in September when BLHI joined forces with the Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity. For the two months that followed, Harbert volunteers put in countless works-hours building the Evans family home. From setting the structural beams, to running sub-fascia, and installing insulation board and house wrap, to spackling and painting. Week after week, we were all hands-on deck spreading Harbert Hope doing everything we could to finish the job well.

And on a crisp November afternoon, all of those weeks of hard work came to an end. All that was left to do was hand over the keys. In a ceremony, that included volunteers from BLHI and Habitat, it became official: Moneka Evans was a homeowner. And for the first time in their lives, she and her daughter Megan spent the holidays in their very own home.

Harbert Holiday Hope

Often all of the chaos of the holidays can cause us to forget what Christmastime is truly about. It's about spending time with friends and family and showing the ones we love just how much we care about them. It's a season of giving thanks for all that we have: our families, our health and our many blessings.

But not everyone is as fortunate, which is why this Christmas we planned to have our actions reflect our priorities by spending time corporately giving back to our local communities.

In Birmingham, employees gathered for lunch and participated in community service projects. The group activities included:

Feeding the homeless in Downtown Birmingham

Harbert Hope Team in front of Firehouse Shelter

Packing blessing bags to distribute to the homeless

Christmas shopping for the George Family

Employees gathered to present an offering of hope to the George Family.

Christmas shopping for a YWCA family

After all the presents are wrapped, team members made the delivery to the YWCA.

Assembling gift bags for the Arc of Central Alabama

Making ornaments for a local food bank's Christmas party and making Christmas cards to accompany the blessing bags.

Similar to the elves of Santa's workshop, employees buzzed around our office making cards and ornaments for those needing a little extra joy this holiday season.

But Harbert Holiday Hope didn't stop in Birmingham... the true spirit of Christmas and giving back spread through our offices and jobsites across the country and around the globe.

Over the course of two nights our Charleston, SC team served 195 patients and their families as well as staff members and pediatric nurses at the downtown MUSC Hospital.
Partnering with Doors of Hope, our Oxford, Miss. office recently did some Christmas shopping to help out a family in need of a little help this year.
The team at the Centre of Tallahassee in Florida spread Harbert Holiday Hope two ways this Christmas. First, they donated $500 worth of toys to the local Toys for Tots. Then, they helped a local 4-time cancer survivor who’s well-known for giving back to others and never asking for help. The Tallahassee team completely removed and rebuilt both the front and back decks and pressured washed the entire home, creating a usable outdoor space for the family.
Our Nashville office brought holiday cheer to the local VA hospital with gift bags for over 200 patients. Our Oxford office went Christmas shopping for a local family in need.
Our team at Fleming Farms joined the jobsite owners and held a book drive for local Huntsville children.

To all of our employees, thank you for everything you do to make this a successful, terrific place to work. To our contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, it's safe to say we couldn't do this without you. To our clients and partners, what we’ve accomplished together this past year is incredible. We're so blessed for the opportunity to work alongside you and help bring your vision to life.

2019 has been a year we won’t soon forget. We look forward to all of the exciting new opportunities that 2020 brings.