Project Highlight: T-Mobile HeadquarterS:

This lighting project at T-Mobile Headquarters required innovative problem solving from multiple MacDonald-Miller departments, resulting in a job we can all take pride in (and see) as we drive west on the I-90 after dusk. The task began as a proposal to replace the temporary lighting fixtures of the T-Mobile headquarters in Bellevue, Washington, with the goal to update the iconic magenta halo surrounding the building. At the time, there was a temporary stage lighting system of power cords draped across the ground and mounted to scaffolding.

The original plan called for the installation of the light fixtures directly mounted to the building, some with an elevation of 110’ above the ground. However, challenges arose with the larger fixtures for higher locations, with some fixtures weighing nearly 100 lbs. each. With this plan, the integrity of the building exterior would be compromised, and the potential future headaches would be huge – water seepage, paint matching, expansion and contraction of the sealant were just some of the concerns. This method was going to require multiple trades, and trips, over the side of the building to complete the install. With no scaffolding available to work from, it was going to require the crew to work from bosun’s chairs, and safety was our primary concern!

The morning of the proposal presentation, a decision was made to find an alternate method of doing the entire project without risking the building or crew. A conceptual design was put together using custom-made brackets fabricated by our prefabrication shop. This alternate method would allow for the majority of the installation to be done working from the safety of the rooftop. Most conduit, wiring and mounting hardware are done to the top and the back of the existing parapet walls. Each of the five buildings at the site, Newport 2, Newport 4, Newport 5, Newport Terrace and the Newport Pavilion, has a different configuration and would require adjustments to be made to the brackets and overall installation. Many of these adjustments came “on the fly” during the installation of the work.

The new bracket design for the fixtures allowed them to be adjusted so the light cast could be changed in or out. The initial test installation was conducted and approved as installed, and the project was underway. Once the rough-in of the power and control wiring was far enough along to allow for “real world” testing, it was determined that the fixture lenses would need to be changed for the overall appearance of the design. This change would require the removal of the fixtures and brackets to remove and replace the lenses. Two different types of hoists were needed, swing stage scaffolding and a gantry hoist were used to do both.

The hoist and scaffolding were needed to be picked up and installed two additional times after the initial install, as well as moved from building to building during the project. Even more challenges came up when it was determined that all the anchors would need to be drilled outside of normal business hours. The crew gave up many early mornings and most of their weekends during the summer to meet the challenge.

It would not be possible without: Brian Wheeler (PM), Greg Sukraw (Electrical Superintendent) Mike Cordova (Foreman), Troy Andersen, Matt Bucsit, Zach Edson, Joel Jenkins, Mark Lesmeister, Brian Lyne, Ryan MacFarlan, Jose Martinez, Nick Papke, Ian Toms and Eugenio Vila, who took care of all of the field work with help from prefab shop, Scott Haugen, the Purchasing Department, the Tool Room and the Safety Department. Office support was handled by Dan Freyling, Ed Adams, Stephen Wilson, Rachelle Hartley and many others. This was another amazing display of MacMiller team ingenuity and execution! This project truly shows the diversity of what we can do as a team when multiple departments all have a significant contribution to a project. Well done to everyone who played a part in this project’s success! – Ed Adams, Electrical Operations Manager

Photo credit: Patrick Lindsay

Share this post

Categories: General

We make buildings work better.