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Tishman Construction Co. Managing Project in Boston’s Financial District

Fri March 11, 2011 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Tishman Construction Corporation of Massachusetts (TCC-MA) is nearing the completion of a project that will provide Verizon Communications Inc. with its own dedicated systems infrastructure for network communications equipment within the historic, 18-story New England Telephone & Telegraph Building at 185 Franklin St. in Boston’s financial district.

Simultaneously, Tishman renovated more than 200,000 sq. ft. of office and administrative space on four floors of the building, where Verizon maintains its base of operations in the Boston area. Known for successfully managing the complexities of construction, TCC is part of AECOM Technology Corp., a Fortune 500 provider of professional technical and management support services for government and commercial clients around the world.

Timothy McGonigle, real estate, design and construction specialist of Verizon services operations, Verizon Massachusetts Inc., said of the project: “We are pleased with the progress at 185 Franklin St., where Tishman has managed the complexities superbly, as they have on the hundreds of Verizon projects they have completed for us throughout the region. Tishman has coordinated with us and with multiple tenants in the building judiciously so that the project is being completed without disrupting power or any operations in this fully functional, occupied building.”

Tom Erickson, senior vice president of TCC-MA, added: “Careful planning and coordination with Verizon, the city of Boston, and the building tenants have been key to completing this fast-paced technology infrastructure and tenant improvement project. We are paying special attention to the historical significance of this famous building during our work. Moreover, we’re pleased that Verizon has selected us once again to execute an important high-tech project.”

Tishman Construction personnel are separating Verizon Communications’ mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems from those that serve the overall building, in order to give Verizon its own dedicated systems on floors that house its office spaces and its network communication equipment. This is critically important to Verizon since it requires uninterruptible, 24/7 service every day of the year for its operations.

Tishman’s overall services include conceptual budgeting and schedule analysis, materials evaluations, phasing studies, comprehensive value engineering services, project buy-out and complete construction management during the construction phase.

Tishman is working on the project with architects Visnick & Caufield Associates, Perkins & Will and Juniper Russell & Associates, as well as consulting engineer WB Engineers. The building’s owner is Commonwealth Ventures in a joint venture with Kennedy Associates.

The New England Telephone & Telegraph Building, built in 1947, rises 298 ft. in Boston’s financial district, overlooking Post Office Square Park. It is in the process of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic have made the logistics of delivery and storage of construction materials an on-going challenge. Tishman personnel managed deliveries on precise schedules and accommodated pedestrian access around the building to minimize inconvenience.

Another challenge is working over live telecom space. This meant that Tishman project managers had to coordinate the protection of Verizon switchgear and large telephone switchgear batteries. To accommodate these procedures, Tishman built scaffolding out of wood (instead of metal scaffolding, which could arc with the batteries) over the entire work area.

An additional challenge for Tishman was that the work had to be done within a fully functional office building. To accomplish this, the Tishman team coordinated two construction shifts, day and night, to avoid affecting the other building tenants and to work in network areas during a low-volume time of the day. Verizon called this “safe time”.

The project’s scope of work also included the installation of two 1-megawatt generators on the roof, a 350-ton cooling tower, seven new air-handling units, and vast amounts of infrastructure to support the new systems. The roof had to be reinforced in order to support the additional weight.

Other work in the building included:

• Interior building alterations on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors, and the 14th floor roof to build out HVAC and electrical infrastructure to provide ownership separation to isolate Verizon space from the rest of the building.

• New air-handling units on floors 1, 2, 3 and 4 and an associated ductwork distribution system, and DDC controls to serve existing and future Verizon equipment, with ventilation for battery areas.

• New fuel pumps in the basement with supply and return piping to the 14th floor generator modules.

About Tishman

Construction Corporation

Founded in 1898, Tishman Construction Corporation is currently managing construction for the 1,776-ft.-high One World Trade Center in New York and the new headquarters for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. Tishman is part of AECOM Technology Corp., a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. A Fortune 500 company, AECOM’s approximately 52,000 employees serve clients in more than 100 countries.

For more information, visit

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