On May 31, 2020, the KB Advanced Technologies (KBAT) team of Ron Roeder, Ryan Teumer, Ricky Arzu, Mike Guttello, and many others let out a sigh of relief as they successfully completed one of the most significant projects in KBAT’s 10 year[1] history. Nearly two years of careful planning, nine months of construction, 25 technicians at peak manpower, 17 floors, 492,000 square feet, 1.8 million feet of network cabling, full riser system installation, audio-visual cabling, security cabling, sound masking, and more. They finally did it. The project was a great success and a wave of accomplishment overcame the team.

KBAT was contracted by Northern Trust Corporation to completely overhaul their new office space at 333 S. Wabash in Downtown Chicago. The building is commonly referred to as “Big Red” and was previously the headquarters for CNA Financial. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Northern Trust plans to move 3,200 local employees to this location in the near future.

One factor contributing to the success of this project is the long-standing relationship between KBAT and Northern Trust. Northern Trust is a longtime client of KBAT, and Mike Guttello, General Foreman, has been completing projects on Northern Trust campuses in the Chicagoland area for more than 18 years. On this project specifically, Mike Guttello, Ricky Arzu (Project Engineer), Ryan Teumer (Division Manager), and Ron Roeder (KBAT President) began conversations with Todd Piccolo (Senior Vice President of Technology) from Northern Trust Infrastructure Services and Ed Chaplin from CNX Worldwide, a third-party communication system consultant, nearly two years prior to construction completion. Additionally, KBAT worked alongside Northern Trust, CNX Worldwide, Executive Construction Inc. (ECI), CBRE, and Syska Hennessey for months leading up to the project in order to assist with the design-build process, and to help better conceptualize how this project was going to progress from beginning to end.

KBAT installed and activated several systems throughout the duration of construction. Mike and his team worked with the Northern Trust IT group to install and activate the entire network system, which totaled nearly 1.8 million feet of network cabling. KBAT utilized pre-fabrication to rack and stack the cabinets prior to installation onsite. Once installed, KBAT technicians, with the help of the Northern Trust IT group, tested and turned up the network equipment to ensure it was installed and configured properly.

In addition, KBAT installed a full fiberoptic backbone riser system, wireless access system, and 17 floors of Cambridge DYNASOUND Sound Masking solution (nearly 2,000 speakers). In total, technicians spliced 1,080 strands of fiber for the backbone riser system. The team pulled nearly 455,000 feet of audio-visual cabling and 238,000 feet of security cabling. On top of that, the KBAT team assisted in transferring network equipment from the previous office to 333 S. Wabash.

Throughout the duration of construction, there were many key players onsite for KBAT, and this project could not have been a success without them.

  • Mike Wilkins, Foreman, served as second-in-command to Mike Guttello
  • Mario Nunez, Foreman, managed the teams pulling cable
  • Brian Burke, Foreman, helped install nearly 455,000 ft of audio-visual cabling
  • Sergio Meza, Foreman, led the sound masking installation
  • Ken Peterson, Foreman, assisted with the fiberoptic backbone riser system install
  • Eric Zielinski, Foreman, assisted with the fiberoptic backbone riser system install
  • Brian Bennett, Journeyman, spliced nearly 1,080 strands of fiber for the backbone riser system
  • Andre San-Roman, Security Technician, installed 238,000 ft of security cabling

[1] KBAT – Labeled as Kelso-Burnett communications from 1989 until quarter four of 2010, then became KB Advanced Technologies.