IBEW Local #104 has served New England communities for over 100 years, installing and maintaining high-voltage electrical power transmission lines above/below streets and along high-tension utility corridors. After 100 years of growth, an internal study identified that the current facility would not be able to service membership adequately going forward. Space, technology and additional parking for growing membership was required that could not be provided at their current site. Having worked with UDA Architects in the past on interior renovation projects, IBEW Local #104 turned to UDA for help identifying sites that could take them through their next 100 years.
After evaluating several sites, IBEW Local #104 selected an existing commercial property straddling the border of two different municipalities. Benefits to this site selection included acquisition cost, ability to accommodate future growth, and highway accessibility for membership. Potential drawbacks to this selection included dealing with the regulatory agencies of both municipalities potentially increasing the time for approvals and construction.
UDA reviewed several options to IBEW Local #104 regarding the selected site weighing budget, facility size/quality and ease of development prior to initiating design. and the client selected a strategy that maintained construction within one municipality only. This strategy minimized zoning complexity and maximized future development opportunities for IBEW #104 for the remainder of the parcel.
The new facility houses offices for the union’s business operations and 3rd party safety organization, a member assistance center, and a double-height meeting room/training center with advanced A/V and communications systems for live streaming union meetings to affiliates throughout New England.
How do you choose an architect? When IBEW Local 104 set out to design a new building, we could not fathom the level of detail and informational foresight needed to head into this endeavor. UDA Architects, helped draw out of us the very best version of the new facility for our 1,300 members we represent. Keven Uniacke and his staff (we worked a great deal with Tim Fitzroy, [a project manager], who was fantastic as well) patiently walked us through the process and was with us every step of the way taking what was in our hearts as imagination, to paper, design and completion. With the level of caring expertise we received, and the way our facility reflects it, we would not entertain anyone else to help us in any future projects.