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Big-D Construction gets federal building pact

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Big-D Construction has been named general contractor for an upcoming $20.5 million renovation of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, 125 S. State.

The General Services Administration said the work will include "seismic updating" to make the building more stable in the event of an earthquake, along with a process called "reskinning" that will cover the building's exterior.

To reskin, the existing precast concrete panels will be removed so the contractor can attach new seismic bracing to the concrete frame.

This "cross-bracing" — known as unbonded braced frame or UBF — is said by the GSA to be the state of the art in seismic technology.

"There are only a few buildings under construction in the United States that use UBFs," the agency said in announcing the project. The technology has been used in Japan for about 15 years.

The project also will include replacing out-of-code electrical wiring as well as heating and cooling ducts that contain PCBs (polychlorinated bi-phenyls). The interior will be updated in the building's lobby area.

The renovation is expected to take 14 months and will be done while the building is occupied.

The facility houses several federal agencies, including the offices of Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett and Rep. Jim Matheson, the Department of Veteran Affairs, Wasatch-Cache National Forest and the Bureau of Reclamation.