Major Projects: The Ups and Downs of Elevator Replacement

From an outside perspective, we have seen at least two broken elevators and closed doors for the past year. It is easy to complain about elevator wait times. From this limited perspective, it is hard to know just how much work has gone into the new elevators and just how complex the repairs are that have been made.

Last week I went behind the scenes and followed Mr. Roger Ishmael, DGS’s master electrician who oversees this project. He showed me the inner workings of the elevator motors, which needed to be completely taken apart, requiring new bearings and pieces soldered back onto it individually. When you think of how an elevator works, you typically picture in some steel rope pulling a car up and down a shaft, or whatever we see in the movies. What we don’t think about is the thousands of feet of wiring that needs to be fed from the ground to the top of the building from generator to motor. This is achieved by feeding ropes of wires through housing pipes that go multiple football field lengths through the building.

Roger has been working for DGS for three years after spending 20 years working as a senior electrical inspector for Associated Builders & Contractor’s (ABC). When asked why he chose this career path, Roger simply stated, “I just love electrical. I’ve done this my whole life and it’s a growing industry. You get to learn new things every day!”

I asked Roger about the most challenging and monumental projects he has worked on during his career. Roger has worked on projects like the Ritz-Carlton in Baltimore, as well as the Four Seasons, in which he was the lead inspector for both projects. At DGS, Rogers’s largest job has been the elevator project which has been a top priority for his team. But the largest project of his career was completing the electric work for Johns Hopkins Hospital, which took six years.

Roger has been hard at work and looks forward to the elevators being up and running in due time; once the cars receive new state of the art generators as well as other new parts which will be routinely serviced. Although we cannot always see it, an incredible amount of work has gone into completely refurbishing the building’s elevators and the shafts in which they operate. Thank you Roger Ishmael for your, and your colleagues, hard work!

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