Rebirth of a Nation - Personal Note

Nov. 15, 2001
Hope for facilities professionals in the aftermath of disaster

As part of the interview that I had with Walker Lee Evey, we talked extensively about the human side of the events of September 11th. He spoke in great detail about how the escalators helped people evacuate the building more easily and quickly; and how the sprinkler system installed in Wedge 1 stopped the fire (with comparisons to the damage to pre-renovated Wedge 2).

Additionally, certain materials - such as the steel-reinforced framework installed against the exterior walls and the Kevlar mesh installed to control brick fragmentation in the event of an explosion - all aided in controlling the loss of life, as well as limiting the structural devastation.

"I am getting so many personal telephone calls, e-mails, and notes from people who survived … from people who were directly above where the aircraft hit the building," explains Evey. "[They] write me an e-mail and say, 'I don't have a scratch, not a scratch.'

"One person turned in time to see through the window this explosion and fireball emanating from the building right below - talking about the walls shaking, the windows shaking, the fireball hitting the window with this physical blast. And the window survived. It didn't even crack. [The individual tells me] how pleased and thankful they are that the building was renovated the way it was."

Products Used at the PentagonBuilding Automation: Johnson ControlsElevators/Escalators: Schindler ElevatorFire Sprinkler System: Viking Corp.Windows and Kevlar Mesh: Masonry ArtsList is not all-inclusive; items reflect Wedge 1 renovation.

Back to Business

As part of the recovery efforts at the Pentagon, companies such as Carlsbad, CA-based Holocom Networks have been called to assist in emergency operations to restore secure desktop networks to relocated Pentagon workers. "Holocom received a call at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, following the September 11th attack, requesting that we attend an emergency meeting," says Tom Mitchell, Holocom executive vice president. "We were asked to provide 1,000 secured desktop network systems … [and] were able to complete delivery within 15 days of that meeting. Over 300 of the systems have been installed to-date."

Mitchell, a retired Marine with 23 years of service, is proud to be a part of the team of contractors and suppliers working to restore and rebuild structures and services in the Pentagon. "It was fortunate that the Wedge 1 renovation had used a zone architecture network distribution. This minimized the loss of network connectivity, isolating it to only those areas most directly affected by the attack," he explains. Mitchell refers to the company's decision to reduce the cost to below its standard GSA pricing during the emergency renovation program as "being part of the team. It just seemed like the right thing to do under the circumstances."

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