IBEW Local 347 chose a high-visibility site off I-35 between Des Moines and Ankeny for the home of their new office and meeting hall. Originally located in a worn-down building near downtown, the electrical union took full advantage of their new location, creating a modest but modern billboard for the 100+ year old union and its 2200+ members.
The facility was designed with a timeless aesthetic and built to serve the next several generations of members with durable, cost-effective, and sustainable materials. Constructed predominately of exposed precast and steel, the design was meant to highlight the craft of the union tradespeople who constructed it. The design team’s constant coordination and careful attention to detail was rigorous through this design-build process.
The building was elongated N-S, taking advantage of its presence and visibility as well as maximizing daylighting to the office spaces placed between the larger programmatic elements of the meeting hall and workshop. This orientation is optimal for passive heating and cooling while reducing demand on the high-efficiency HVAC systems. LED lighting was installed throughout, exceeding the energy code by more than 40%, and the building’s 44kW/75amp photovoltaic array was designed to offset nearly all the facility’s energy usage during peak solar days.
The interior palette includes timeless and durable materials such as terrazzo, precast, steel, glass, and natural wood fir, thoughtfully composed to showcase the rich history and pride of the Local 347. The programmatic functions of dues, benefits, and member services are clearly arranged around a welcoming lobby that doubles as a pre-function space. All-member meetings are held in the flexible and adaptable meeting hall which can comfortably hold as many as 250 people. The lobby, meeting hall, and serving kitchen open onto the generous outdoor patio area that is utilized during meetings, cookouts, and other events.