“The business story of the multiple divisions represented at these sites is remarkable,” noted Greg Scheu, Region Manager, NAM, in greeting employees. “Since 2001-2002, ABB has grown, here, to four times its size. This new office site and the complete renovation of the manufacturing site are a great statement about how the teams here work, of who you are – and how you are helping customers succeed. These buildings mark the beginning of the next chapter.”
He noted that the new site at Discovery Parkway also “lifts the ABB brand image visibly in a town of fierce competitors.”
The new, white, three-story building at the Discovery site features large, lit ABB logos on all four sides, and sits on the highest promontory in Wauwatosa, noted Aaron Aleithe, the General Manager and Vice President of Drives and Controls, who was the master of ceremonies and profiled significant milestones achieved as the building construction/re-construction were underway. “We know that approximately 60,000 travelers pass the building daily on I-45, bringing a lot of recognition to our brand.”
Incredible Safety Achievements
Huntzinger, the general contractor who built the new site, logged 50,000 hours of construction with zero lost-time accidents, according to Aleithe. Meantime, at the manufacturing site, employees built more than 135,000 drives throughout the renovation, achieved a 98% on-time delivery record, without any accidents. “It’s a testament to your work and dedication,” Ron Tucker, DM division manager, NAM, told attendees, "and I congratulate you on this achievement."
Entrance of Light
At both facilities, there is a generous wrap of fenestration around the buildings that allows sunlight to reach the center of interior spaces. “The days of only the offices and rooms near the windows receiving light are gone,” said Aleithe. All the lighting also is controlled via sensors that reduce or turn off the interior lighting, as more sunlight enters the spaces.
The building at Discovery Parkway is Silver LEED certified, and incorporates ABB drives and controls throughout the HVAC system. Unique acoustic tile also creates a quiet work environment for personnel in their cube spaces, while offices at the interior of the building feature sliding doors that close for work sessions and conversations. Tiled pavers on the exterior of the building allow rainwater to be collected and sent to reservoirs that support wildlife throughout Innovation Campus. The Campus is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, who also has a presence at the 90-acre site via a business accelerator, and future businesses yet to be announced. ABB and the engineering and business schools have plans to work together, as developments at the new campus continues to get underway.
At the manufacturing site on Glendale Blvd., the renovation included expansion of capacity on the manufacturing floor, the addition of new offices, conference rooms, work spaces, and large expansions of the training rooms and café. ABB engineers also designed a state-of-the-art Class 100 Clean Operating HVAC Room that makes it easy for application engineers to showcase the progressive HVAC building systems that ABB automation solutions and experts help design for end users. “We have a $120 billion opportunity in this market,” noted Scheu; “our future is very bright.”
Captains, Co-Captains and employee volunteers from the Employee and Customer Teams also were honored, as part of the events. The teams worked for nearly two years to identify critical needs and wants of customers and employees utilizing the new/renovated sites. A significant achievement of the teams includes Collaborative Work Spaces placed throughout the buildings, where employees can gather at any time to discuss customer and production needs, and make decisions as rapidly as possible.
“We want employees to work cohesively, share what they know, unhook from their offices, and work in the cafes and shared spaces,” said Aleithe. “We know there is strength in teamwork, and the collaborative spaces make achieving that easier.”