Ruggles, a rockhopper penguin at the Shedd Aquarium, never knew Low Voltage Solutions was in the building! Working mainly at night and behind the scenes, LVS took on the Shedd’s IDF renovation project with minimal disruption. The project included upgrades in 11 technology rooms on three different floors. LVS is the preferred data subcontractor for the Shedd.
Nick Byrne, Project Manager – Special Projects Division for Turner Construction, comments on the uniqueness of the IDF renovation and the role of LVS foreman Jeff Duschene. “Jeff had an incredible success rate to get them back up and running (each day). We replaced the patch panels and we had to unplug everything and plug it back in. Jeff worked a lot of nights from midnight to 8 a.m. in order to do the work. All of the monitoring goes through the data infrastructure in the building so if something gets unplugged and not plugged in—that could be an issue.” Also, LVS had to replace patch panels with live ports, requiring careful coordination with Shedd IT and facility teams.
Annual visitors to the Shedd reach about 2 million. It’s imperative that the nonprofit continuously run mechanical equipment in the labs, HVAC systems, card access and ozone generation security, computers for ticket sales, phone technology, and building automations systems connected to animal cages, pumps and animal life support. LVS met the project goals with minimal service disruption.
Aside from the daily foot traffic, the Shedd posed another serious challenge that made it an even more unique project: the aquarium is comprised of three different buildings built at different points in time. The resulting layout is like a maze. “He really knew his way around the building,” said Byrne. “It (working with LVS) made my job coordinating easier. They trusted Jeff … he has been there for years helping out with different projects for the Shedd.”
The IDF renovation project ran from May to September of this year. While it was Byrne’s first time working with LVS, he said he liked that Jeff came in early during the planning process. Sitting with the people from the Shedd and asking questions right from the start in a difficult project like this makes a difference. LVS’ expertise and knowledge on past projects and existing relationship with the Shedd’s IT staff helped make the renovation process go smoothly.
“I would recommend LVS to future clients and coworkers and invite them to work with LVS in the future,” said Byrne.
The Shedd Acquarium IDF Renovation Project: