Simpson Gumpertz &
Location: Waltham, MA
Electrical value: $700,000
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SG&H) is a nationally
recognized structural engineering firm. Projects they have
include the Spaceship Earth attraction at Walt Disney World's
Epcot themepark, Simmons Hall at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, and the New York State Capitol Building.
outgrew their headquarters in Arlington, Massachusetts and
needed more space, preferably on a single floor. They leased
a 55,000 square foot space in need of complete overhaul at
the former Ratheon plant in Waltham.
Selected by the general
contractor, Spaulding and Slye, MEI was the preferred
electrical contractor for the job. The
move of over 180 employees was scheduled months in advance
a target date of Labor Day weekend. This deadline meant just
16 weeks from demolition to occupancy, setting a very, very
fast pace with MEI teams putting in overtime at night
and on weekends.
The building’s interior was left bare
with exposed steel I-beams rising from the floor to the 24-foot
The design featured an open ceiling concept - a great challenge
because nothing is hidden. With all wiring and equipment
must be pleasing to the eye. Ventilation ducts are visible
and fluorescent light fixtures dangle from the ceiling.
Power distribution is by exposed cable tray with cables visible
behind transparent partitions. Primarily, EMT conduit and
cable tray were used as wiring methods.
All on one floor,
the space had to function on multiple levels – office,
research lab, training facility and art gallery, creating
a tremendous design opportunity for MEI to provide state-of-the-art
lighting appropriate to each area. Rather than a standard
with 2x4 drop-in fixtures and duplex receptacles throughout,
every area was like a separate job - each with a special
lighting design and power distribution. For example, lighting
library is a unique low voltage cable track; that is, electrified
cable pulled taut with small fixtures hanging from it.
question, distinctive, creative lighting resulting from teamwork
defined this project. The architect went to
great lengths to find the right fixtures for each area and
with us to achieve the effect the design called for
when the fixture was finally hung. Cable-hung HID fixtures
followed curved walls some 15 feet below. Low voltage track
was suspended 15 feet from the roof in circular patterns.
the end of the project, daily on-site coordination and adjustments
took place between MEI and the architect to ensure the
look the client wanted was achieved.
The move took place as scheduled, and the Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
firm is thriving in its attractive, functional new headquarters.