Single Source Seals Deal
Catering to the Metropolitan’s high-profile, affluent, executive group of clients meant safety had to be assured. Plus premium security and fire systems were mandated by insurers to protect the complex’s high concentration of valuables. The $400,000 to $1.5 million condos also had to offer the utmost in convenience and amenities.
Another overriding requisite was maintaining the facility’s opulent aesthetic sensibility. After all, the Metropolitan’s architect was Louis D. Astorino, a man of international acclaim who designed the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at the Vatican, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s PNC Park and many others.
At the heart of accomplishing these objectives was providing the facility a real-time management tool to allow the building’s round-the-clock staff to meet residents’ needs and expectations. It would be a closely monitored environment in which events could be anticipated, occupancy confirmed, authorization validated and much more.
It became apparent to SSA that all of the electronic systems for the facility had to be designed with room for integration at all levels. This is when the integrator applied its all-inclusive design principles and petitioned the owner to appoint SSA as the project’s sole technology contractor (except the building’s fire alarm, which was installed by an electrical contractor).
“Illustrating that there would be a construction savings by eliminating redundant work while simplifying the overall process with one point of contact for all electronic technology, the developers saw fit to formally bring us on board,” says Sandulli, who served as designer/project manager. It took 12 months from initial contact to secure the $1 million contract.
Meeting Multitude of Needs
SSA began designing the system in November 2006, with the actual installation kicking off in April 2007. “Our work began the minute the foundation was poured as we had to direct trades to where our cabling would be routed, where power and conduits were needed and where panels were being placed,” says Sandulli.
Additionally, SSA had to coordinate with utilities such as telephone, cable and satellite since the integrator would ultimately be responsible for all associated wiring. Sandulli credits the architect and general contractor with facilitating a smooth, well organized process.
“Weekly meetings, close supervision and acute attention to detail made for an error-free project,” he says. “The general contractor maintained a no-tolerance rule for any trouble or disputes between trades. That alone made for a great working environment.”
Due to the custom nature of the individual condominiums, SSA did not achieve substantial completion until February 2008. Work continued through this past January.
“Ease of use and invisibility became our operative phrase,” says Sandulli. “Catering to an executive, professional clientele meant the building had to offer a technological infrastructure to meet the needs of those who may be managing companies or businesses. For many residents, technological readiness was a condition of the sale.”
One of the leading challenges of the project was simultaneously working with so many individual owners, each of whom had their own interior designer and required extraordinary attention to detail and accuracy. All the while SSA had to stay on top of the common building project.
The entire job required SSA to dedicate approximately 4,000 man-hours.
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