Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Carpenters Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

As reported in the Boston Globe.
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters broke ground yesterday on a new office building that will house its headquarters and a training center in Dorchester.

The 24,000-member union will transform an existing industrial building at 750 Dorchester Ave. into offices, a bank, and an eye care center for its membership. The building will also include a trade school that will train about 2,000 students a year.

The 75,000-square-foot facility is expected to be completed by early 2010.

Monday, December 1, 2008

LEED Certifiable

Upon completion, the Carpenters Center will qualify for LEED Certifiable status. As part of the preparation for this, a Commissioning Study of the project is being done to review various energy-related categories, including HVAC, domestic hot water, and lighting. The consultant hired for this will make recommendations or approve plans for the equipment and will supervise the delivery and installation of those items.

Other ways in which the building will be eligible for LEED Certifiable status include: implementing a storm water collection system, which will collect and filter ground water and remove more than 90% of suspended solids before discharge in the City system; installing a heat reflective (white) roof; and installing low water use toilets.

“We fully understand and appreciate the intent of the regulations of the City of Boston and the Green Building Task Forces,” notes David Dow, NECLMP Special Projects.

“Building Green can add to a building’s cost, but adhering to these sustainability goals will provide us with dividends over the life or our building. Not only will we save on energy costs that may be far more expensive in the future, but we are providing our members and employees with a safe, clean environment to work in.”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What We Do - Mill Cabinet Production and Installation

The details and fine craftsmanship that go into creating the woodwork, cabinetry and décor in shopping malls, bank buildings, hotels and office buildings are created by shop and mill cabinet carpenters. They cut, shape and assemble wood products including molding and panels. They also fabricate store fixtures, which includes the use of metal, plastics and glass. From design and manufacture of custom pieces to on site installation, these are the carpenters that give your space the look and feel you imagine.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Who We Are - Union Town

This video, first intruduced at the 2008 NERCC Convention, is titled "Union Town," features members who are active community members.

Who We Are - 6 States, 30 Locals, 1 Council

This past weekend, the NERCC held a convention at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. Here's the video that opened the convention Saturday morning. It's a look at projects built by union Carpenters throughout New England.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What We Do- Training

When our highly skilled union carpenters complete a project, it ranks in quality on par with the top craftsmanship in the world. From soundness of construction to aesthetics of the finish, quality is our top priority.

With 24,000 well-trained men and women across New England, we guarantee a deep pool of qualified workers for every type of project. Our apprenticeship program continues to generate the workforce of the future. In fact, more than 6,000 carpenters are taught each year by nearly 100 expert instructors at our 15 training facilities. Those apprentices reflect the diversity of all the communities throughout New England, and they graduate prepared for a career, not just a job.

We're committed to providing well-rounded carpenters across the entire range of building disciplines. Therefore skill upgrades make up a significant portion of our educational initiative. There are more than 65 training classes available at no cost to our members, including some of the industry's most in-demand topics.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Carpenters Center wins final approval

The Boston Zoning Board of Appeals today approved NERCC plans for construction of the Carpenters Center, which will serve as the union’s headquarters at 750 Dorchester Avenue. The ruling follows the recommendation of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which approved the project last week. The ZBA ruling is the final approval needed for the project to move forward. After a review and comment period, the project will begin, with demolition of the existing building expected to begin before the end of the year.

The good: Company touts training, benefits in going union

By Denis Paiste
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
Sunday, Sep. 14, 2008

MANCHESTER - In an industry that relies largely on subcontractors, Spectrum Floors is trumpeting a new relationship with its workers, about 17 of whom are now members of Carpenters Union Local 118.

After about four months, Spectrum president Scott Richards, 48, said, "It's been a pleasant change."

Co-owner and project manager Jeffery Chandler, 37, said that, in the past, there was always a tug of war over money with subcontractors.

"Now it's not like that," he said. "We work as a team now as opposed to working against each other."

Carpenters Union Local 118 business manager John Jackson also is enthusiastic about the new relationship with Spectrum Floors. "They're a good company, and they've got some good people working for them," he said. "It's going to be a good relationship, so we're excited as well."

Being members of the Carpenters Union makes the Spectrum workers eligible for health insurance, a retirement program and extensive training programs.

"In talking to Scott and Jeff, that was one of the things they wanted to be able to do was to have a steady workforce and to provide them with things they felt their workers should have," Jackson said. "In New Hampshire, unfortunately, what happens way too often is the people in floor covering businesses are forced to work as independent contractors and, as such, they don't get benefits. They don't even get covered by worker's compensation insurance."

Journeymen make $23.10 per hour under the Carpenters Union contract, Jackson said. Local 118 has about 450 members. The local is part of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, which has 22,000 members.

There are business advantages for Spectrum through the union affiliation as well, Jackson said. "By being part of a health plan that's part of the union, they get the cost savings by being part of bigger plan." The plans covers employees at more than 1,500 contractors in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

"All these workers for us previously were subcontractors," Richards said. "We brought them in to become part of the union, and they're actually working, I consider, much more efficiently."

"It took us a while to come to this decision," he said. "For me, the turning point was seeing the training facility. To see what these apprentices have to go for, to do, before they can get their next level pay raise, it's pretty impressive."

In business since 1985, Spectrum Floors has a diverse resume of completed projects and has developed a specialty in flooring for health-care facilities.

During an interview at Spectrum's 1600 Candia Road offices in Manchester, Richards leafed through a photo album, stopping at a picture of a locomotive in Northumberland. "We did this black rubber floor in that locomotive," Richards said.

"This guy called me, he said, 'All I do is rehab locomotives, can you do it for me?' I was amazed," Richards said.

"How many people get a chance to do a train in their career? We did a helicopter for John Stabile. So there's been a few things," he said.

"We did all the work at Wiggins Air in Manchester. We did the work for FedEx corporate regional offices in New Hampshire," he said.

Spectrum is in the final phase of a project at Concord Hospital worth over $1 million and has been awarded a contract for Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro worth about $750,000.

It has done projects for Memorial Hospital in North Conway, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston as well as at the Legislative Office Building in Concord and numerous commercial office projects in Manchester.

Medical projects have higher margins, Chandler said.

Richards estimates there will be more than $1 billion of union construction in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont over the next year.

The union also offers safety and first-aid training. "They're doing everything in their power to make sure owners are getting the best people on the job," Richards said.

"When you hire a union contractor, you know that person has been trained in all aspects of flooring," Richards said.

Read the article on the Union Leader website.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Did You Know?

Heron of Alexandria created the earliest known automatic door in the 1st century AD during the era of Roman Egypt. The first foot-sensor-activated automatic door was made in China during the reign of Emperor Yang of Sui (r. 604–618), who had one installed for his royal library. The first automatic gate operators were later created in 1206 by the Arabic inventor, Al-Jazar

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Carpenters Center clears another hurdle

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) yesterday gave approval to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters for construction plans submitted for the union’s “Carpenters Center” at 750 Dorchester Avenue. The approval moves the project one vital step closer to the demolition and construction phase. The BRA is responsible for reviewing and approving virtually all planning and development in the City of Boston and making recommendations to zoning authorities.

Plans for the project will now go to the Zoning Board of Appeals, where final approval will be needed to start the project. If given, NERCC expects to begin work on the site before the end of the year.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Did You Know?

"As a construction material, wood is 4 times more efficient as an insulator than an equivalent thickness of cinder block, 6 times more efficient than brick, 15 times more efficient than concrete, 306 times more efficient than steel, and 1,770 times more efficient than aluminum."

Source: Oregon State University Wood Science and Engineering Department

Monday, August 18, 2008

Did You Know?

“There are a number of claims to the inventor of the pile driver. A mechanically sound drawing of a pile driver appeared as early as 1475 in Francesco di Giorgio Martini's treatise Trattato di Architectura. Also, several other prominent inventors — James Nasmyth, watchmaker Sebastiaan Valouè, Count Giovan Battista Gazzola, and Leonardo da Vinci — have all been credited with inventing the device. However, there is evidence that a comparable device was used in the construction of Crannogs at Oakbank and Loch Tay in Scotland as early as 5000 years ago. Otis Tufts is credited with inventing the steam pile driver in the United States.”

Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What We Do - Pile Driving / Diving

Often the first workers on site, pile drivers drive metal sheet piling to hold back the dirt during excavations; drive concrete and metal piling as part of the foundation system for large buildings; drive wood and concrete piling to hold up docks, wharfs and bridges; and construct slurry wall systems.

In some cases they work on off-shore oil rigs and as commercial divers involve din underwater construction. Pile drivers are also required to install heavy timbers and weld or cut large metal beams.

Friday, August 8, 2008

What We Do - Floorcovering

Installing carpeting, hardwood flooring and soft tiles and "linoleum-type" products made of vinyl and rubbers is the work of floorlayers. They install a wide range of decorative floor covering in commercial buildings, hotels, homes and churches. Union contractors and members are also available to install specialty flooring for hospitals, labs and computer environments.

A few years ago, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters worked with flooring contractors and major manufacturers of flooring products to develop a certification process for flooring installation. The INSTALL program (International Standards & Training Alliance) was designed to show that certified flooring installers were capable of the high quality work demanded by end users.

Every member who graduates from Local 2168's apprenticeship program is INSTALL certified and the leadership of the local is suggesting all members increase work opportunities by becoming INSTALL certified.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Did You Know?

"More concrete is used than any other man-made material in the world. As of 2006, about 7 cubic kilometers of concrete are made each year—more than one cubic meter for every person on Earth...More than 55,000 miles of highways in America are paved with this material."

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Union hammers out office plan

Scott Van Voorhis of the Boston Herald reported on the New England Regional Council of Carpenters new headquarters. His story, quoted below, can be read here.

Sporting wind turbines and an LED sign, IBEW 103 union's complex alongside the Southeast Expressway is a hard act to beat.

But it may soon have some worthy competition.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is pushing ahead with plans for a new headquarters and training center next to the bustling commuter highway.

While the carpenters' new spread won't open until 2010, the labor organization already has some temporary signage up with plans for a more permanent - and eye-catching - display down the line.

The 24,000-member labor group recently acquired the Archdiocese of Boston's one-time laundry facility at 750 Dorchester Ave. The group plans to renovate and expand the vacant building.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Who's Involved?

The first floor of the building will hold shop and training space for the Boston Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund. The building already has high ceilings, which makes it a good fit for the use. The JATC will also use space in the second floor for administrative offices and classrooms.The training center will be joined on the second floor by the Carpenters Vision Center, an office offering services of First Trade Union Bank and a representative of the Massachusetts Carpenters Combined Benefits Fund who will serve as a “help desk” for members.The third floor of the building will include the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program, organizing offices and some local union offices.

About the Carpenters Center

In February, 2007, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) purchased the building located at 750 Dorchester Avenue in Boston. The facility was once the home of the Dirigo Spice Corporation, and at another time it was used as the laundry facility for the Archdiocese of Boston. Upon completion, the new Carpenters Center will serve as the headquarters for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship Program and other affiliated entities. The new headquarters will replace a suite of leased offices the union now does business out of in South Boston as well as current training facility located in Brighton.

View Larger Map

ADD,Inc. is the architecture and design firm that was hired by NERCC, and Suffolk Construction as the construction manager for the project. Suffolk was recently named the largest general contractor in Massachusetts by the Boston Business Journal and has completed a string of medium and large-scale signature projects across the country.

The design of the building will provide three floors and 70,000 sq. ft of space. The existing second story walls and roof of the building will be removed and replaced with a structure that will hold a third floor. A parking deck will also be added, level to Dorchester Avenue and with spaces underneath, allowing for 90-100 total spaces. The design of the building should qualify it for LEED Certifiable status.

Rendering Picture

View from I-93.

The first floor of the building will hold shop and training space for the Boston Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund. The building already has high ceilings, which makes it a good fit for the use. The JATC will also use space in the second floor for administrative offices and classrooms. The training center will be joined on the second floor by the Carpenters Vision Center, an office offering services of First Trade Union Bank and a representative of the Massachusetts Carpenters Combined Benefits Fund who will serve as a “help desk” for members. The third floor of the building will include the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program, Local Union offices, and organizing offices.

The building should be ready for occupancy in early 2010.

View from Dorchester Ave.

Friday, February 1, 2008

NERCC buys property

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters closed on a building and property at 750 Dorchester Avenue in Boston that will serve as the future home of the Council, the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship Program and other affiliated entities.

Meetings will be held this week with an architectural team to discuss designs for renovating the two-story 45,000 square foot building. There will also be discussions in the near future with Boston City officials and neighborhood groups to win approval for permitting and design.

In addition to the Council and Boston JATC, other occupants of the building could include the New England Carpenters Labor-Management Program, First Trade Union Bank, the Carpenters Vision Center and satellite Fund office and possibly some organizing and Local Union offices.

“After more than a decade of looking, we now own a property that can be our home, a true Carpenters Center,” said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer. “While there is still work to be done, this closing marks a significant milestone in the process.”