Miami-based Coastal Construction Group won the Innovation in Construction Award for its work on Lakewood Village in Palm Beach County at the Build Florida Awards, hosted by South Florida AGC. The 96-unit apartment complex was constructed using the RENCO building system of LEGO-like blocks, which Thomas P. Murphy Jr., Coastal Construction Group chairman, CEO and RENCO co-founder, says is stronger than concrete and more sustainable. A Feb. 22 statement from the companies noted that the connectable bricks and color-coded plans allow communities to construct more affordable structures more quickly. As ENR reported in August, RENCO manufactures a patented mineral composite fiber-reinforced building system utilizing interlocking blocks to create everything from structural walls to floors and roofs.

Patrick Erin Murphy, executive vice president for Coastal, was also honored as the Most Innovative Contractor of the Year at the RED (Real Estate Development) Awards Florida in January. The award recognizes Murphy’s contributions to the real estate and construction industries as well as his role in advancing technology within Coastal Construction Group.

 Residences at the Wynwood Plaza

Photo courtesy Shoootin

L&L Holding Co. and Oak Row Equities, with partner Shorenstein Properties and co-investor Claure Group, topped out the Residences at the Wynwood Plaza, a luxury apartment community being developed as part of a 1-million-sq-ft mixed-use campus in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. Designed by Gensler, the Residences total 509 high-end rental units featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and flexible layouts. The project is set to welcome its first residents in 2025. The structure will feature studios, one-bedroom units and two-bedroom units with high-end appliances and finishes and flexible layouts to accommodate working from home. The building will include a 26,000-sq-ft public plaza by urban design practice Field Operations that will feature a signature mosaic paseo winding through sculptures, art installations, native trees and other plantings. The space will be surrounded by 32,000 sq ft of retail and dining spaces. Residential amenities will include multiple connected and activated rooftops, a designated fitness area, a multipurpose sports court, two outdoor pools, sauna, cold plunge pool, glass atrium with co-working spaces, game lounge and more.

Cipriani Residences Miami

Photo courtesy Moss Construction

Moss Construction broke ground Feb. 13 on Cipriani Residences Miami, which is set to be the tallest tower in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood when complete in 2028. Developed by Mast Capital and designed by Arquitectonica, Cipriani Residences Miami will stand 950 ft above ground level, an 84-story nautical-inspired skyscraper at 1420 South Miami Ave. Featuring 397 residences, the building will include 50,000 sq ft of luxury amenity spaces, including a private restaurant and speakeasy, resort-style pool deck with cabanas and fitness center, a spa with sauna and treatment rooms, a wellness center, a children’s playroom and a pickleball court.

South Florida's 52nd Engineering Expo

Photo courtesy Suffolk

At the University of South Florida’s 52nd Engineering Expo in January, two Suffolk employees and USF College of Engineering alumnae shared with K-12 students the importance of STEM-related studies for those considering a career in construction. Daniela Farias (left) and Sofia Menacho Vargas (right) demonstrated how technology, robotics and AI are used in construction and showcased Spot the robot dog built by Boston Dynamics. Spot is programmed to walk Suffolk jobsites and complete image capturing and laser scanning to allow teams to better understand and visualize jobsites more safely and efficiently. Farias and Menacho Vargas both participate in Suffolk’s Career Start program, where college graduates rotate through estimating, project management and field operations for a two-year program providing on-the-job training and hands-on learning opportunities to help young professionals master the fundamentals of construction. They are currently working on the Residences at 400 Central, a 46-story condominium in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Professional services company GHD, which is expanding its presence in the Southeast, celebrated the opening of its office in Columbia, S.C. In a Feb. 14 announcement, GHD noted the state’s quickly growing population and said the firm has hired 14 local professionals who have been serving the municipal water market for decades in the area and opened a new office space in January in downtown Columbia near the State House. The firm plans to hire another 30 professionals through 2024 to support regional infrastructure needs in the water market. The new office follows the September 2023 announcement of GHD’s new engineering design office planned to open in Orlando in June, with plans to hire 100 employees in 2024 and 100 more in 2025.

Architectural Collaborative, an Athens, Ga.-based firm, has become the first architecture firm in the state to be certified as a B Corporation, it announced Feb. 7. Architectural Collaborative, or Arcollab, has embraced a commitment to sustainable design best practices, according to the announcement. Registered in Georgia as a benefit company, the firm includes formal commitments in its bylaws that incorporate positive social and environmental impact considerations in the charter of the business. Arcollab is the sixth B Corporation in Athens and one of the first 30 in Georgia, a certification conferred by the nonprofit B Lab, which evaluates companies based on standards of transparency, accountability and performance across five categories: governance, environment, customers, workers and community.