Hotel Forty Five in Macon Earns First Place in AGC Build Georgia Awards

May 3, 2022

Hotel Forty Five, a historic, adaptive-reuse project, earned first place honors in the Associated General Contractors (AGC) 2022 Build Georgia Awards. A uniquely restored piece of Macon’s history, the 11-story art deco-style hotel offers visitors a bevy of five-star amenities with original, preserved finishes throughout the building.

Innovative Construction Techniques

Bringing an outdated property back to life is an exciting and rewarding journey. The century-old building contained many surprises and hidden conditions, including secret walls and rooms, a banker’s vault with 30-inch concrete walls, and differing elevations between two buildings, pieced together during an ambitious, vertical addition in 1941.

To successfully correct the differing elevations and house the new MEP and plumbing components, the basement was cut in half to build an elevated floor system and divide it into two separate stories. This created a confined crawl space where concrete footers and tons of steel had to be manipulated into the building and put into place.

Choate Construction Hospitality Builders Macon Hotel Forty Five
In-progress: new basement floor system

The building never had a structural model so it was important that the team had an accurate depiction of how all the steel would fit in the tight crawl space. These models were a critical tool and ensured nothing was re-worked after materials were installed. After scanning the existing conditions to make sure everything would fit, the team modeled all the steel and structure from the CAD files. The models were updated with each scheduled scan while steel was erected, to accurately coordinate with field conditions and tolerances. As a result, there were no change orders on an elevation, steel, or concrete issue.

Safety Considerations in the Hotel’s Construction

Coordinating over 100 workers while erecting an open staircase right up the middle of 11 floors of the building was a huge safety consideration. Choate’s award-winning,  OneLife (I changed the link to go to the award’s page) program focused on both technical and behavioral aspects of safe construction.

Choate Construction Hotel Construction Macon Hotel Forty Five
Safety logistics plan located on every floor

An activity hazard analysis was performed daily, which was no small feat considering the number of subcontractors on the site at once. Additionally, Demetrius Smith, Choate Superintendent, held a weekly site-wide safety meeting with the team while the foremen were required to hold daily meetings with each of their team members.

Choate Construction Hospitality Builders Macon Hotel
Demetrius Smith, Choate Superintendent

“We were on our own island. Demetrius had traffic all the way around him and only one street was blocked for staging,” explained Alan Dixon, Project Manager, IDP Properties. “Not only did he have to worry about the elevation of the building, but he had to worry about downtown traffic all day. He did  a great job keeping our fencing and barricades in place.”

Learn more about this exciting, adaptive-reuse project here.


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