We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 Project of the Year (Medium) award…..

04 May 2020

The Cosmos – Madison, WI

One of the most complicated and largest projects ever taken on by Endres Manufacturing Company, the Cosmos is a magnificent high-rise, eight-story building located in the Capitol East District on the 800 block of East Washington in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. The Cosmos is a state-of-the-art facility that is a 148,000 square foot building that houses both office and retail space and the three-story Sylvee; a 2,500-person capacity concert venue and the location where Endres held their 2018 holiday party.  Endres supplied all of the structural steel as well as the stairs, railings, and other miscellaneous metals. The project consisted of 1,000 tons of steel and 5,400 labor hours to produce. The project was detailed in Design Data’s SDS2 program. The fabrication was done using machinery from Peddinghaus. Some of the other Steel Plus suppliers they used were Fastenal and Sherwin Williams. 

The building was filled with challenges. From the beginning the pressure was on from the general contractor to lower Endres’ price. They have a great relationship with the general contractor and are in close proximity to the project site. The contractor preferred to use them but had a lower number from another fabricator. Here is the direct quote from an e-mail with their customer:

“We have a couple steel guys really close to the budget number that we’re carrying, that I gave you yesterday. But one of those suppliers hasn’t performed well in the past and the other one we’ve never worked with. We’d really prefer to work with Endres on this project, so you’re the only steel shop getting this opportunity.”

Endres was extremely proud to be given this opportunity because being the supplier of choice for their customers is something they take great pride in. They agreed to match the low price and warned the whole company that this job could not afford any rework or back charges. The job included a pair of 75’ long girder trusses. They had originally planned on fabricating these in their own facility but when a revision greatly increased the size of the trusses they immediately thought of their Steel Plus Network friends in Northern Wisconsin -Merrill Steel. They offered a competitive bid to fabricate and deliver the two trusses, one of which ended up weighing close to 40 tons. This partnership worked great and the trusses showed up fabricated perfectly and on time and on budget. To add to the complexity, the building included 3 separate tenants and all materials and labor needed to be separated by area. The concert venue, The Sylvee, was the largest tenant and used space from the first to the third floor. Frank Productions, one of the largest concert promoters in the US located their new offices there. Lastly, a bank of offices was added to the top level of the structure owned and leased by one of the largest developers in Madison. The concert venue included unique challenges such as sound isolation connections requiring special materials and design. Another challenge was a very tight job site in one of the main traffic arteries in Madison, WI. Deliveries need to be extremely well-coordinated with exact delivery date and times required and with only specified materials showing up when needed. On top of that, Endres was supplying the steel for the sister building right next door for another contractor. The two contractors were constantly arguing back and forth as both wanted steel at the same time and both wanted to finish their project first.

 In the pictures you can see that the concert venue included lots of miscellaneous metals including catwalk framing above the entire auditorium, tube framing to support the decorative chain link fencing, ladders, stairs and railings to access all three stories, and lots of railings around the seating areas. The stair railings required holes to be drilled to accommodate the lighting contractor to install lights for the darkened concert venue.

Altogether, it was an extremely challenging project, but it provided a great sense of satisfaction and pride upon completion. Endres was lucky enough to host their annual company Christmas Party there. The employees were excited to be able to see their work up close and appreciated the craftsmanship and design. They also enjoyed rocking out to some live music and celebrating a successful 2018.

Thank you to all who submitted their projects for consideration:

  • Pittsburgh Steel – Canoe Landing Centre (Block 31 Development)
  • Lainco – Dieppe Community Complex
  • Beauce Atlas – Analog Devices – Hub and Building 7
  • Rampart Steel – AUPE Headquarters
  • Benson Steel – NYC Spiral Tower & Owen Roberts International Airport