Building the Today Media Building Blog Phase 6

As our moving date grows closer, details are being completed to make our new building move-in ready. Under the coordination of Murphy Brothers Contracting, work over the last few weeks included:

Connecticut Thermofoam completed the acoustical ceiling section in the lobby
• electricians installed lighting, sensor switches, and wall outlets in the advertising area on the lower level and first floor
• Connecticut Thermofoam completed the wall patch work on the lower level
Polytemp installed flexible ducts and ceiling registers in the first-floor ceiling
• the installation of metal handrails in lower level entry and ramp areas
California Closets completed installation of new and repurposed furniture on second floor
Carpet Trends completed installing carpeting on the lower level
• the installation of wiring on the basement level and wiring for the fire alarm system
• completed the installation of the voice and data wiring
• Connecticut Thermofoam installed the ceiling in the rear stairwell on the first and second floors
Murphy Brothers Contracting completed the door installations on the second floor and installed the door jambs and doors on the first floor
• California Closets continues installing repurposed cabinetry on the first floor
• electricians completed the 800-amp electrical upgrade
• painters completed painting of the lower level
• Connecticut Thermofoam finished the framing, sheetrocking, and taping in the basement
• installed glass in all office partitions on the first and second floors
• roofers completed insulation around rooftop ductwork

Next on our agenda
Next, the installation of the final data and voice connections will be completed on the first and second floors, and lower level. Plumbers will install sinks and low-flow faucets in the rest rooms on the first floor, while on the lower level, the painting will be completed and Polytemp will finish installing registers. Carpet Trends will finish installing the carpeting on the stairway and entry ramp. Work also will continue on the basement level—Connecticut Thermofoam will prepare the walls for painting, Polytemp will complete the HVAC work, and Carpet Trends will complete the carpeting installation.

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Focus on… carpeting
Q & A with Gene Hopkins, service manager/vice president of operations,
Carpet Trends

Q. What is the scope of Carpet Trends’s involvement in this project?
Carpet Trends is responsible for all of the carpeting and carpet tile on all four levels of the building, as well as the vinyl tile work in the basement and all of the vinyl baseboards that are used to accent and complement the carpeting and walls.

Q. What styles and colors did you decide to use?
The architect’s selections range from carpeting with a tone-on-tone organic pattern selected for the first-floor conference room to 24-inch by 24-inch carpet tiles with an interesting random design. And, on the second floor, we mixed two carpet tile patterns together to form an arc pattern cut into the tile to add more detail and visual interest. We primarily used darker gray tones with some random light gray patterns interspersed through the carpet tile, so that the pattern would stand out. We wanted to make sure the patterns and colors all tie in.

Q. Were you also able to incorporate green elements?
The carpet tiles specified by the architect are manufactured by Shaw, which is known for its more versatile and environmentally-friendly products. The carpet tiles are made from recycled materials and have a higher recycled content, such as recycled yarns. Also, when the carpet tiles have reached the end of their lifecycle, they can be recycled instead of going to the landfill. The recycled materials can also be returned to raw material to manufacture new carpeting.

Q. What factors did you have to consider when completing the work?
Our primary considerations were the layout and the condition of the existing floor. We had to level off the floor in certain areas since the floor was not smooth enough to receive the new material. That meant patching over old adhesives and mastics (an industrial adhesive commonly used for floor tiles) from the prior floor covering to prepare it for receiving the new carpet installation. That’s something we couldn’t anticipate in advance before seeing the condition of the floor. We also made an adjustment to the carpeting on the stairway to minimize the possibility of tripping. Originally, the plans called for all one color on the stairway, but we recommended changing it to a different material to allow the eye to detect a contrast while walking up or down the stairs. We were able to use material left over from the conference room to use on the stairway and prevent a tripping hazard.

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Focus on… office furniture
Q & A with Amy Stillman, designer, California Closets

Q. What was your approach in outfitting our new building with office furniture?
Since we are responsible for the office furniture throughout the new building, we worked with Westchester Magazine to determine what worked best for the design of the new space. We built new pieces where needed and we also tried to repurpose as much of the California Closets furniture that we had installed in the Elmsford office as possible to avoid discarding usable pieces.

Q. What factors did you have to take into consideration in deciding what furniture needed to be built and what could be repurposed?
We worked closely with the architect, the other contractors, and Westchester Magazine to make sure all of the furniture installed in the new office space is as functional as possible for Westchester Magazine’s needs. To determine what could be repurposed, we examined each piece from the Elmsford office and decided what would fit in the new location and assess the condition of materials. We had to decide whether the furniture was both usable and functional for the intended person. That includes making sure there was enough space for storage, enough of a work area, and a comfortable work space overall. We also had to work around existing conditions in the new building, such as structural columns.

Q. It sounds like coordination was key. Was that challenging?
The timing was critical. It was important that the Westchester Magazine staff be able to keep working seamlessly before and after the move. It was important to time our arrival at the new location to make sure the space was ready for the furniture to be installed. We had to move the pieces from Elmsford that we were reusing and reassemble them in the new location, while also building new pieces as needed. It’s like working on a giant puzzle. But, putting the pieces in place isn’t necessarily straightforward. In many instances, the repurposed furniture isn’t going back into the same person’s office. Typically, we’re the last workers to come in on a project.

Q. Speaking of timing, is it also important to coordinate when you will complete the furniture installation?
Yes. The Westchester Magazine staff had to empty all of the furniture we planned to repurpose and make alternative arrangements, such as renting tables, in order to keep working for the several weeks required to move their furniture. At the same time, we had to focus on custom building any new pieces, and reconfigure the new office space on all floors. The idea is for Westchester Magazine to move out of the office in Elmsford on a Friday and come in to work on the following Monday and be able to work productively.

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