Boston Contractor Brings Harvard Hall To Life


Harvard Business School’s Tata Hall is a 177,000-square-foot executive education facility, consisting of 179 bedrooms for visiting executives, 22 living group areas, and two state-of-the-art classrooms. Boston-based Sullivan & McLaughlin Cos. Inc. provided services including design/assist, value engineering, BIM/CAD coordination and multiple system coordination.


“In terms of design/assist, we were on board almost a full year ahead of time, which is the way Harvard Business School likes to do these larger projects,” said Mike Barry, project manager. “They like having key contractors on board early to make decisions, look at budgets and find ways to save money. It helps us, too, because it allows us to get started early on our prefab.”


Sullivan & McLaughlin handled the basic electrical work and the installation of a new substation; a rooftop photovoltaic system that is linked to an alternating current module that generates power directly from each solar panel; a new light-emitting diode (LED) lighting system (90 percent of the 4,000 light fixtures are LED); a curtain wall-controls system; fire alarm; telecom; security; audiovisual; and heating, ventilating and air conditioning control wiring. Ultimately, the project received LEED Platinum status.


“For us, the biggest challenge was the location because we were working on an existing campus,” Barry said. “[Executive education] is year-round, so we had to be quiet ... when executive classes were in session. There are a lot of important people in these programs, who are paying a lot of money for what they are learning, so we didn’t want to be distracting them.”


In addition, there was a day care center within 50 feet of a portion of the job site, thus requiring not only quiet work, but an extra focus on safety.


One of the project’s most interesting features was a 15-by-20-foot high-resolution video wall, the first of its kind in the United States.


“We partnered with a company called HB Communications,” Barry said. “The way it is set up is that, when you walk in, it looks like a wall panel, but it is a retractable screen, so, with the touch of one button, it folds into a recessed cavity.”


As resolution continues to improve, Barry expects to see more of these types of screens in the future.


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