JP Morgan Chase embarked on a $20 million renovation of their Chase Tower office facility in downtown Rochester, New York. The purpose of the renovation was to consolidate 850 Chase employees in the 27 story, 427,000 square foot high rise. The upgrade would include refurbishment of office spaces, new electrical throughout, and state-of-the-art data and voice technology.
O’Connell has been providing electrical and communications services to the Chase Tower for over 30 years. We were a natural fit for this renovation project. O’Connell subcontracted with The Pike Company to provide full electrical construction and communications systems for the building. Our contracts totaled $6.9 million and the work was completed in 18 months.
The electrical construction portion of the project was comprehensive, involving renovation and updates to 13 floors of the building’s electrical, and UPS systems.
Our communications work encompassed 16 of the building’s 27 floors. Work included build-out of over 3500 Category 6 Systimax voice and data connections, a 24-Strand Fiber Optic and 50-pair Category 3 copper communications backbone, 16 telecommunications rooms, design and construction of the tower’s new data center, and a building-wide card access system. O’Connell also installed the tower’s new fire protection system.
Time Warner’s regional electrical facilities needed major upgrading to accommodate business growth and assure uninterrupted quality service to customers. The project was deemed ‘mission critical’—success being vital to the company’s goals and objectives in the region.
Retrofitting the existing structure with electrical upgrades and additions posed unique challenges. Time Warner awarded O’Connell a $2.5 million contract for electrical work to provide standby emergency power generation and an uninterruptible power supply system (UPS).
Equipment installations included: three 750 kw generators (with provision for additional generators), five generator control cabinets, a 400kVA UPS system with control cabinet (with provision for three additional systems), additional distribution panels, a thousand lineal feet of 225 amp busway, power logic switching and metering and a paralleling switchgear package.
Additionally, O’Connell contracted to render start-up and commissioning services on the new and upgraded systems. The new work was integrated into Time Warner operations without interruption to customer service and backed by a 3 year warranty.
The Guaranty Building, in Buffalo, New York, is recognized worldwide for its groundbreaking engineering, architectural design, and celebrity. It is heralded as one of the first modern skyscrapers, being constructed with an entirely steel frame. Designed by renowned American architect, Louis Sullivan, mentor to Frank Loyd Wright, the Guaranty Building embodies modernism with influences of Art Nouveau and the English Arts & Crafts movement. The twelve-floor structure exemplifies Sullivan’s creed that “form follows function” and is elaborately decorated with ornamental features inside and out; one of his trademarks. The Guaranty Building opened its doors in 1895.
Hodgson Russ Attorneys have been instrumental in preservation initiatives surrounding this National Historic Landmark for more than three decades. When the opportunity arose, the firm purchased the building as a means for consolidating their headquarter operations into one location. Recently, Hodgson Russ implemented an extensive renovation and restoration of the structure to both modernize the facility and ensure that the Guaranty Building remains a testament to past ingenuities and one of the nation’s great architectural treasures.
O’Connell is often contacted for historical renovation projects, where craftsmanship and attention to detail are paramount. We have broad experience working on high-profile, historical landmarks and renovation and restoration projects. As one of America’s most important architectural landmarks, the Guaranty Building ranks among our most prestigious.
O’Connell was hired early-on to consult with the project’s architect and engineer in helping create budgets and determine the renovation specifications contractors would bid against. We fine-tuned budget numbers against a progressive series of drawings until they were at 100%. Exclusive from the bid package, O’Connell was entrusted with renovating the front exterior of the Guaranty Building as well as the front interior atrium, two showcase areas that Hodgson Russ did not want to leave to chance with an unfamiliar contractor. After the bids were in, O’Connell came away with a contract for $2.4 million.
The scope of electrical construction involved demolition and gutting of all existing electrical infrastructure before constructing new power distribution and emergency backup systems, lighting, safety, and security systems, communications, audio visual, and a data control center. On one Saturday we orchestrated the shut down of Pearl Street, a main city thoroughfare, to enable access for a crane to lift a 350KW generator onto the roof.
The historical renovations for this project are the real story. After more than 100 years, much of the Guaranty Building’s original interior and exterior ornamentals had been preserved. Protection of these assets during demolition and construction was vital. Great care was taken to prevent damage to the exotic woods, hand-cut tile, granite, stamped terra cotta, brass decore, facades, and fixtures which were restored to stay true to the building’s original design and styling.
Approximately 3000 square feet of decorative stained glass adorns three ceilings of the building’s main lobby and adjoining atrium. O’Connell installed an advanced technology LED backlighting system that allows for patterned and section illumination as well as dimming control. O’Connell workers systematically removed each original 6’ x 6’ section with painstaking care, immediately protecting and storing them until they were reinstalled.
O’Connell removed the large original brass gas lanterns mounted on the building’s exterior and converted them for electric usage. Inside, we also converted the gas lamp fixtures that hang from the lobby ceiling into electric. O’Connell installed lighting in the elevator shaft of the first few floors that incorporate an open-design where the elevators and background can be seen through a combination of glass and brass.
Tenant move-in was sequenced with the renovation schedule, starting with the top floors, in addition to the newly renovated basement that was converted into a high-end kitchen and dining center. O’Connell facilitated each Hodgson Russ relocation into the building through round-the-clock Friday evening to Monday morning schedules so employees would have seamless transitions with no down-time. Special practices were employed to help ensure the safety of both tenants and workers in a construction environment that was partially occupied.
The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer. They own and operate nearly 2000 warehouse-designed stores worldwide that average 105,000 square feet of floor space. The company established its maintenance and store upgrade program to ensure each facility received the necessary regular maintenance, upgrades, and modernization services to keep them current and safe. Geographically, qualified contractors were screened and certified to perform maintenance, upgrade, and renovation services at The Home Depot stores. Additionally, contractors are on call for emergency service and repairs when such situations arise.
O’Connell service technicians have been providing The Home Depot stores with facilities maintenance, renovation, and emergency electrical services since 1997. We work at 30 stores across New York State from Albany to Buffalo, Binghamton to Massena. O’Connell services electrical, security, and communications systems at The Home Depot Stores providing scheduled service, upgrades and add-ons, and facilitating repairs, moves, and resets as needed.
Our technicians saved one store $30,000 by being able to repair a large oil-filled pad-mounted transformer that had been damaged by a forklift—something a less diversified contractor could not do—saving the company from having to buy a new one. When power was lost at another store, O’Connell technicians were on the scene in 45 minutes and had the situation diagnosed within an hour. We rerouted power through emergency backup systems to get the store quickly back online then repaired the problem affecting primary power in four hours time.
The scope of work and systems we address at The Home Depot stores is broad and varied involving installation and upgrade, modification and retrofit, removal and relocation, replacement and repair, and preventative electrical maintenance and testing of the following: service, conduit, cabling, and wire, lighting (interior & exterior), fire, life safety, surveillance, and security systems, switchgear and transformers, equipment and motor controls, standby generators, UPS, and transfer switches, temperature controls, variable frequency drives, and more. We also provide around-the-clock emergency service response across all systems and for power failures.
O’Connell has built a long-lasting mutually beneficial relationship with The Home Depot through the consistent demonstration of excellence in customer service and craftsmanship combined with dependability and versatility, delivered in both a safe and professional manner.
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