In June of this year, a baseball cap ignited a fire that raced through a 55+ condominium filled with seniors. Placed on a light stand, the hat sparked flames that fed on hoarded possessions, causing extensive fire, smoke, soot and water damage to more than 80 units from the 11th floor to the basement. 

Prior to the fire, building residents were stressed by nearby civil unrest and protesting in the city. Some residents were economically troubled as well, living on a fixed income and receiving housing subsidies. Given the building’s vulnerable population, the extensive reconstruction tasks and the pandemic conditions, Paul Davis of Greater St. Paul and Minneapolis knew its team faced a challenging project. Further, project timelines were tight. The team would complete the $2 million project within six months, knowing that the displaced seniors needed a speedy return to safety and normalcy.

“One of the most important considerations is safeguarding the high-risk seniors against COVID-19 from project start through completion,” says Andy Banas, Emergency Response Team Leader for Paul Davis of Greater St. Paul and Minneapolis, who adds that lack of fire-resistant barriers in the forty-year-old concrete building increased the fire damage. “Accordingly, we have been extensively utilizing personal protective equipment to outfit the numerous workers completing demolition, decontamination and rebuilding. We have also been carefully following our company’s strict procedures and guidelines to reduce contamination risks.”

Anderson cites an impressive number of supply types and usage rates during the project: 300 to 400 N95 masks per month, many boxes of disposable gloves daily and many dozens of Tyvek suits weekly. Paul Davis team members also are carefully adhering to the company’s multifaceted TouchLessService™ program. The program’s initiatives include, for example, decreasing touchpoints between customers and team members. New signature and electronic document technologies eliminate the need to share devices or writing implements. New online platforms reduce the need for in-person planning by allowing virtual tours, measuring and mapping. In sum, TouchLessService maintains strict safety for employees, partners and customers from first contact through project completion to reduce virus risk at all times.

The project remains on track to be substantially completed by the end of the year. Paul Davis has maintained the brisk pace, strict protective protocols and high quality of work on an enormous project while they coordinated deftly among a large group of partners: construction subcontractors, insurance carriers, inspectors, homeowners’ association representatives, property managers and residents.

“The very fragile and distressed population living in these condos is particularly vulnerable, which made ours the perfect company to tackle this important project,” says Andy Banas.“Paul Davis is delivering the extraordinary care they need to recover from these traumatic and life-changing events.“ The company’s motto – This Is No Time For Second Best® – seems especially vital during projects as complicated as this one.