FISK Corporate Headquarters
Houston, Texas
Stephen Blanchard | CM Option
Building Statistics

Building Name: Fisk Corporate Headquarters
Location: 10855 Westview Drive; Houston, Texas 77043
Occupant Name: Fisk Electric Corporation
Size of Office Building: 37,780 square feet
Size of Fabrication Shop: 16,380 square feet
Number of Stories above Grade: 2

Fisk Logo

Fisk Logo - Provided by Fisk Electric


Owner: Fisk Electric Corp.

Architect: Gensler

CM/GC: Tutor Perini Corporation

Structural Engineer: Walter P. Moore

MEP Engineer: Fisk Electric Corp.

Civil Engineer: DevTex Engineering LP

Landscape Architect: SWA Group

Electrical Contractor: Fisk Electric Corp.

Mechanical/Plumbing Contractor: TDIndustries

Construction/Building Systems Information

Construction Start: November 21, 2011
Construction Completion: October 5, 2011
Cost Information:
            Total Project Costs: $12.8 Million
Project Delivery Method:
            No conventional delivery method is truly accurate in this case due to the relationships between the building owner, designers, and principal contractors.  Fisk Electric is the current owner, MEP designer, and electrical contractor for the project.  However, after deciding to build a new building, Fisk Electric was sold to Tutor Perini Corp.  Tutor Perini then removed the originally contracted construction manager from the project and decided to act as the in-house CM/GC.  Therefore even though Fisk is the owner of the building, Tutor Perini is the owner of Fisk as well as the acting Construction Manager on the project.  The remaining non-principal contractors were contracted via the traditional Design-Bid-Build delivery method. 


Fisk Electric’s new Corporate Headquarters Building is located just outside of Beltway 8 in Houston, Texas in an area known for supporting small industrial businesses and office buildings.  Flanked on all sides by varying office buildings, warehouses, and hospitals, Fisk’s Corporate Headquarters did not have a specific type of building or natural environment that the architectural design needed to conform to.  However, Gensler did have the opportunity to create a unique design because of the available space on the property and the desire for two separate stand-alone structures.  One structure needed to be a two story office building while the other needed to be an optimal fabrication shop.  Unfortunately, many aspects of Gensler’s original design that included artificial shading and other architectural elements were ultimately value engineered out. 

Gensler’s final architectural design for the office building is a two story facility separated by company divisions.  The lower floor is designated for corporate representatives, accounting, human resources, and conference rooms.  The upper floor will be utilized by Fisk’s Houston Office Commercial Division.  Both floors have very similar floor plans which include a row of exterior facing offices surrounding the circumference of the rectangular building along with communal workstation locations in the centers of the floor plans.  All exterior offices have a horizontal window strip which allows natural light to enter the space and the inhabitants to be connected to the outdoors.  A large lobby and exterior overhang was placed on the south entrance of the building in an effort to direct visitors to the appropriate entry locations.

The fabrication shop has a very simple architectural design due to the obvious functionality of the space.  Fisk’s new fab shop is a large, windowless square structure that will serve as both a storage and pre-fabrication space.  It does have some architectural skylights and large, southern facing doors that will allow natural light and ventilation to enter the space. 

Figure 1

Figure 1 - Detail Provided by Fisk Electric


Major National Model Codes:

  • Building Code: 2006 International Building Code with City Amendments
  • Structural Code: 2006 International Building Code
  • Plumbing Code: 2006 Uniform Plumbing Code
  • Mechanical Code: 2006 Uniform Mechanical Code
  • Electrical Code: 2001 National Electrical Code
  • Fire/Life Safety Code: 2006 International Fire Code
  • Accessibility Code: 1994 State of Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS)
  • Energy Code: 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, ASHRAE 90.1 2007
  • MISC. Code: Houston Sign Code

Zoning Code: Houston, Texas does not have zoning codes.


Historical Requirements: There are no historical requirements for this building.


Building Facades (Office):
Gensler Architects decided to implement two different types of building facades at the Fisk Corporate Headquarters building.  The first type is a simple glazed aluminum curtain wall that horizontally wraps both the first and second floors of the office building.  The second type of building envelope utilized on the project is a brick veneer that ties into steel studs and works to break up the horizontal curtain wall strips and designate between the two floors. 

All the information regarding the glazed curtain wall can be found in specification section 08 44 13 and it is described within this section as aluminum framing members supporting specified performance glazing.  The brick veneer enclosure consists of face brick, a fluid applied membrane air barrier, glass-mat gypsum sheathing, steel studs, and min-fiber blanket insulation.  For a typical façade detail see Figure 1. 

Building Facades (Pre-Fabrication Shop):
Due to the functionality of the Pre-Fabrication Shop, the building façade was designed to be very simple, yet durable.  It consists simply of a masonry wall that has a layer of elastomeric paint on the exterior side of the wall.  For a typical facade detail see Figure 2. 

Building Roof (Office & Pre-Fabrication Shop):
Both of Fisk’s new structures utilize the same simple roofing system.  It simply consists of an outer Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) modified bituminous membrane layer followed by roof insulation that sits directly on the metal roof deck.  Due to the project’s location, a more expensive, durable roof was not required.  In select locations, clear skylights were implemented to allow natural light to enter both spaces.  For typical roofing details see either Figure 1 or Figure 2. 

Figure 2

Figure 2 - Detail Provided by Fisk Electric


Sustainability Features
While the original design included many sustainability features, a vast majority of them were value engineered out of the final design to save on initial costs.  Both the external shading and outside air/toilet exhaust heat recovery systems were removed.  The project team also removed any attempt at LEED certification.  However, some sustainability features were kept in the design to help the building’s energy efficiency such as the previously stated dual pane low E glass that was installed in the curtain wall system.  Motion and vacancy detectors were utilized in an attempt to limit energy consumption within spaces when they are unoccupied.  The MEP engineer on the project also implemented CO2 sensors to control the outside air dampers and in turn reduce the level of outside air intake when possible.


Fisk ’s new Corporate Headquarters is primarily a structural steel framed facility.  Walter P. Moore designed the framing system specifically to combat lateral loads and provide stability under gravity loads by implementing what they call a “Lateral-Force Resisting System” in the office building.  This system is comprised of two parts.  First, the engineer designed steel braced frames consisting of steel diagonal members, steel columns and connecting steel floor beams.  He then completed the design by implementing two structural diaphragms located on the second floor and roof levels that are completely attached to all steel floor beams and roof members respectively.  The second floor diaphragm is a composite slab that contains shear studs and rests on a 2” deep, 18 gauge composite metal deck.

Due to its simplicity, the pre-fabrication shop was simply comprised of steel columns and a LH roofing truss system that ties into W18x35 beams spanning between the steel columns. In order to hoist and install the steel members in both the office building and fabrication shop a 50 ton crawler crane was employed by Tutor Perini.  This crawler crane was stationed in the area between the two buildings where there was plenty space for steel laydown and safe crane operation.  From there, the crane could easily move from building to building as required and lift the members directly into their final positions. 

Mechanical System
Fisk’s Corporate Headquarters project’s Mechanical System is comprised of large packaged rooftop units, fan powered terminal units, and exhaust fans.  The office building houses two large 55 and 60 ton rooftop units that can both supply up to 16,000 CFMs of air to the offices below.  These rooftop units are connected to 37 fan powered terminal units which distribute the air to the offices for which they are responsible.  Three exhaust fans are also housed on the office roof and ventilate the bathrooms and janitor’s closets.  This segmentation of the distribution system allows greater comfort control of each individual area along with the potential for energy savings when those areas in question are not exposed to direct sunlight.  It also eliminates the need for a mechanical room because all the units are either housed on the roof or within the dropped ceiling. 

Unfortunately, the fabrication shop does not have the same type of A/C capabilities as the office and is simply comprised of one small 3 ton, 1200 CFM rooftop unit that supplies air to the prefabrication shop offices.  The rest of the space is ventilated via fifteen 5600 CFM fans. 

Fire Protection
In an effort to provide adequate fire protection for the building and its inhabitants, a 100% coverage wet-pipe sprinkler system was specified to be designed by the sprinkler contractor awarded the job.  Due to the building size and classification, no other building fire suppression elements are rated by IBC 2006 Table 601. 

Electrical System
Drawing on their obvious history in commercial systems, Fisk Electric designed a relatively cheap, yet efficient electrical system for their new Corporate Headquarters.  The system requires a demand service of 608.7 kVA.  It is supplied via a 480V utility feed that travels through an 800 amp transfer switch directly into the building’s main 800 amp distribution board.  This distribution board then splits the supply into two different feeds; one 150 amp feed services the fabrication shop and other miscellaneous equipment, while the other feeds the second 800 amp distribution panel board within the system.  It is from this second distribution board that a majority of the facility’s power requirements are supplied.  All of the smaller panel boards that are directly supplied via the two distribution boards are rated at 480/277 volts and primarily service the equipment and lighting loads.  They also supply power to the 120/208 volt panel boards by passing through step-down transformers located within close proximity of their location. 

The Fisk Electric Corporate Headquarters project implemented two different redundancy systems within their electrical system.  The first is a 230 kW generator that they are transferring from their previous location to the new project site.  This generator ties directly into the main service feed to the building and can be used to energize the necessary loads during an outage.  The second redundant feature can be found in the small data center located on the second floor of the office building.  Within this data center resides a small UPS system which will provide uninterrupted power to the data center equipment in the event of an outage intermediately while the generator powers up. 

The telecommunications system located within the new Fisk Electric Building is typical of any office building of a similar size.  The only exception to this is the data center located on the second floor.  Due to Fisk’s intimate knowledge of telecommunication systems, they decided that it would be beneficial for them to store and manage all their digital information onsite rather than pay for it to be stored at a remote facility.

There is one elevator as required by code for handicap access to the second floor of the building.                


"Note: While great efforts have been take to provide accurate and complete information on the pages of CPEP, please be aware that the information contained herewith is considered a work-in-progress for this thesis project. Modifications and changes related to the original building designs and construction methodologies for this senior thesis project are solely the interpretation of Stephen Blanchard. Changes and discrepancies in no way imply that the original design contained errors or was flawed. Differing assumptions, code references, requirements, and methodologies have been incorporated into this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design"

This page was last updated on 1/9/2013, by Stephen Blanchard and is hosted by the AE Department ©2012/2013