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AFE November/December 2013 : Page 11

EGS subcontractor TAI conducts eddy current testing at the Truman Building. Photo courtesy of EMCOR. then re-routed and distributed the power to several dedicated circuits, enabling the AV team to re-energize their equipment without a disruption to the event. For their quick action and a mission accomplished, the State Department presented EGS staff with a notice of commendation. The field-based men and women of EGS work behind the scenes every day, improving efficiencies and trouble-shooting unforeseen problems in the building systems that enable the government to run its facilities and programs. While the rewards can be great, the AV incident illustrates the pressures of government O&M contract work, which can go badly awry without a team of highly skilled specialists and a corporate support structure. Everything old is new again Federal buildings pose unique O&M challenges. For one, they oft en have a long succession of additions and renovations to historical buildings, along with multiple generations of HVAC and electrical systems. For instance, the State Department’s 2.6 million-square-foot Harry S. Truman federal building was con-structed by the General Services Administration (GSA) in two major phases: the War Department building in 1939 and the State Department extension in 1958. Th e building subsequently under-went numerous renovations over the decades since its completion, though it retains its eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Located in Foggy Bottom between C, D, 21st and 23rd streets, the building blends elements of classical and modern architecture — just as the electrical and HVAC systems blend old and new technology, like pneumatic and electronic controls. This is also the case with the President’s Guest House, or Blair House, which is part of the State Department contract EGS holds. Located across from the White House, this National Historic Landmark consists of four townhouses with a unified interior serving the needs of visiting dignitaries. It contains 119 rooms, including three formal dining rooms, two large confer-ence rooms, 14 guest bedroom-and-bath suites, a full kitchen, an exercise room, and an in-house laundry facility. Standing at 70,000 square feet, Blair House is larger than the White House. Since its original construction in 1824, the property has under-gone numerous exterior and interior alterations, including an November/December 2013 ■ Facilities Engineering Journal ■ www.AFE.org 11

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