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January/February 2005 IBEW Journal


High-Tech Features

The new building not only features the contemporary design and clean lines common in modern architecture, it is also equipped with the latest electrical and communications systems. State-of-the-art voice-data-video lines represent a significant upgrade to the internationals computer networking infrastructure, reducing the need for some travel by allowing for videoconferencing among International Officers across the continentresulting in further cost savings and increased efficiency.

Patrick Kevan, first year apprentice, Local 26.

Energy management at 900 Seventh Street is also light years ahead of the systems used at the old I.O. Sensors automatically divert heating, cooling or lighting resources from unoccupied rooms and "smart" technology allows engineers to control the system from off-site, saving on energy costs. Security has also improved in the move. IBEW employees gain access to the building via electronic "key fobs," which store security data. Employees need the fobs to enter and exit the building, as well as inside to enter work areas and elevators.

A new IBEW exhibit area and archives will tell visitors of the proud history and traditions of the IBEW and show how the Brotherhood became the force that it is today. Located on the meeting levelone floor below ground levelthe archives will be more interactive and dynamic.

Union Pride On the Job

Pictured is Freestate Electrical Services Company employee and Local 26 member Antonio Moreno.

In December 2004, scores of workers pulled long hours to complete the IBEW floors by the January 21 move-in date. Workers were laying tile and carpeting, painting walls and hanging doors. Around 30 IBEW members were scattered across the site, installing lighting fixtures on ceilings and counters and completing the electrical service. They also ran cabling and installed computer equipment to ensure that the I.O. would be up and running on its first business day in the new building, January 24.

Members of Washingtons Local 26 did much of the electrical construction, but the project also provided work for travelers. Richmond Local 666 member Chris Caricofe and Sidney Stanley, Local 24, Baltimore, said they enjoyed the camaraderie with other trades workers. Stanley said planning and organization are better on all-union projects.

William Drabic, Local 70 member installing primary cable.

Project Superintendent Warren Hall of Buch Construction said the project has proceeded smoothly, considering the tight schedule and number of subcontractors on the job. The fact that the subcontractors knew they would be working with fellow tradesmen made for a friendly competition, Hall said. "When you get a union job like this, all of the other union trades always want to send their best," he said. "Everybody sends their top people, and weve got some pretty good outfits we deal with."

Hall said after all of the disparate pieces have been laid in place, things start coming together suddenly toward the end of a project. "Its like a tornado: it slowly gathers on all sides and then it starts to flow together."

Local 26 member John Whitmire installs
overhead lighting on 11th floor

A few tenants have taken occupancy of their new space in the building but, employees and visitors should expect months of continuing construction. Crews will do their best to limit workday disturbances, said Larry Neidig, Senior Executive Assistant to the International Officers.

A building dedication is planned for the spring, Neidig said.

"We see the new building as a symbol of the 21st century IBEW. Our Brotherhood is dynamic, forward-looking and technologically advanced. Our new International Office embodies all those qualities and should inspire pride in all of our members, not just as a place where union business is conducted, but also as a symbol of the commitment to excellence that is reflected throughout all the branches of this great Brotherhood of ours."

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A Brief History of
Our Buildings...


"The heart and soul of the
IBEW is found in union halls
and work sites throughout
North America, but the symbolic home of the Brotherhood is the International Office. We are pleased that our new building
is a fitting symbol of a union proud of its traditions
and committed to a
progressive future,"
-- IBEW I. P. Edwin D. Hill