This new crane training facility supports IBEW Local 9’s vision of creating a state-of-the-art training center. The result is a place where all members can participate in hands-on, indoor crane training. This project is the fourth phase of development, on this campus, continuing Wight’s relationship with IBEW Local 9.

The 24,600 sf training center required an innovative structural strategy, including a 140’ clear span and a 55’ clear ceiling height requirement. An engineered loadbearing precast wall system is fabricated, with 66’-3” tall panels, weighing up to 70,000 pounds providing double duty structural support and exterior enclosure. This massive facility accommodates three crane and 24 pole climbing stations where apprentices and experienced journeymen alike are able to train indoors, at night and in inclement weather.

Located along I-57, the voluminous enclosure is also a branding opportunity for the union. Throughout the design, the innovative spirit of IBEW Local 9 was a driving focus. High efficiency lighting highlights a glazed corner of the building, which is illuminated to demonstrate the activity and learning taking place within the building.

Sustainable features are focused on reducing the building’s carbon footprint and providing a well lit space conducive to learning. A local precast company was chosen, by the design team, thus reducing transportation related carbon and specified CarbonCure in the concrete walls to entrap recycled carbon from factories into the concrete to produce a carbon negative material. Despite taking longer to construct formed footings, which use 45% less carbon, were incorporated into the design. Daylight studies were leveraged to optimize the placement and quantity of windows to maximize daylighting while minimizing heat loads and the need for electric lights during the day. Ultimately a semi-opaque and highly durable glazing panel was selected to allow uniform daylight to enter the building without creating distracting glare.

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