Completed Projects

 Lego Systems, Inc., Enfield, CT

Enfield, CT…May, 2011….When world renowned toymaker LEGO Systems, Inc. needed a construction manager to spearhead the transformation of approximately 125,000 square feet of raw, high-bay manufacturing space into bright, efficient and comfortable office space at its North American headquarters in Enfield, CT, the company called on Enfield Builders, Inc. – a family-owned firm located just a few miles from the LEGO® campus – to serve as construction manager.

“The conversion of our manufacturing facility was a complex undertaking with an ambitious construction schedule,” says Michael McNally, brand relations director for LEGO Systems. “As a result, the project called for a construction manager with the experience and expertise to coordinate every facet of the job between LEGO staff, our design team (Moser Pilon Nelson Architects of Wethersfield, CT) and the many subcontractors on site. We knew from past experience that Enfield Builders fit the bill.”

“You couldn’t find a better group to work with than the Enfield Builders’ team,” adds Kenneth Pilon, the principal in charge of the project’s design. “The scheduling, sequencing and allocation of labor and materials are critical when it comes to getting things done right, expeditiously and safely on a project as challenging as this one was, and Enfield Builders came through on all accounts.”

“We were fortunate to have great working relationships already in place with LEGO Systems and Moser, Pilon, Nelson when we were awarded the construction management contract,” says Enfield Builders, Inc’ President John R. Petronella, who notes that his company has a 26-year-long track record working with LEGO Systems and a long-standing business relationship with Pilon’s architecture firm. “The LEGO team knew from past experience that they could count on us to get the job delivered on time and within budget.”
The genesis of the LEGO project dates back to 2007, when the company moved its manufacturing functions out of Connecticut and sold the factory space to a commercial real estate company. The building, which was constructed in the mid-1970s, sat empty until strong business growth in North America required that the company develop more office space on its Enfield campus. “Our business in the U.S. has grown at record pace for five consecutive years, and we have been adding staff to meet the workload demand across many functions,” says McNally. “As such, the spaces we occupy in Compass House (at 555 Taylor Road in Enfield) and in another small building were no longer sufficient, so we leased space in the old manufacturing building in order to convert it to office space.”

Starting from scratch to create a design that would deliver on the LEGO vision to create comfortable, efficient office space with lots of natural light, minimal noise – and an overall look and feel that would reflect the values and creativity of the LEGO brand – was a massive undertaking. But under the direction of Enfield Builders’ construction management team, the Moser Pilon Nelson plan was realized over the course of just eight months, meeting the company’s ambitious goal of having employees in the new space by February 1, 2011. “There were 150 changes on the scope of services during the course of construction that we had to manage while keeping the project on schedule,” says Enfield Builders Inc’s Project Manager Kirk Nassetta. “Strong communication and cooperation on the part of everyone involved were critical to the project’s success.” Adds Chief Estimator Steven Butler of Enfield Builders, Inc: “Every time we opened a wall there was apt to be a surprise”
In carrying out the LEGO vision, numerous windows were added to exterior walls – including a 20-foot tall glass wall on the east side of the building that floods an expansive high-bay work area with light and features automated drapes that open and close depending on the location of the sun. Along a 20-foot-wide main aisle, a series of large skylights provides additional light, while 22-foot trees in an indoor atrium (known as the Winter Garden) at the end of the aisle add an organic quality to a space that is used primarily for casual employee meetings and during lunch break. “Installing skylights in November and December while other work was being done was a challenge, to say the least,” say Pilon, who notes that the 24-plus-foot-high ceilings above the first-floor central aisle feature a total of seven skylights, including a 15-foot by 15-foot skylight over the Winter Garden. “But it was more than worth it. The skylights beautifully transform what had been an exposed steel ceiling.”
Known as Brick House, the new office building (which is comprised of a full first floor and a second floor mezzanine) also features 14 new employee meeting spaces, ranging from large conference rooms to “huddle rooms” (where two or three employees can meet without disturbing colleagues) – as well as a video conferencing facility, two coffee bars and snack areas, a remodeled cafeteria and employee store (where employees can shop for the latest LEGO offerings at a discount), a new mail center and lactation room, and an around-the-clock call center staffed by as many as 100 customer service representatives during the busiest times of the year. Among the other unique features of the new office space is a “test store” – where prototype displays, window features, in-store events, materials and new ideas can be tested before being rolled out at LEGO’s 50-plus retail stores across the country – and a state-of-the-art model shop, where nearly a dozen LEGO employees design and construct LEGO models and displays for use in events and retail spaces to showcase the LEGO brand. “LEGO Master Builders are versed in translating the rectangular edges of LEGO materials into stunning replicas of just about anything you can imagine,” says McNally.

While LEGO officials are extremely pleased with the precision and quality of the work, they are equally pleased that the company’s goal of having employees situated in the stunning new office space by February 1, 2011 was met. “As of mid-April, there are approximately 300 people seated in the new space, in functions that include finance, human resources, information technology, consumer services, direct-to-consumer retail, LEGO Master Builders, licensing and operations,” says McNally. “Having the new space, as well as the space left vacant by those employees who moved out to the new building from the Compass House, gives us the flexibility to accommodate continued business growth. We estimate that our total Enfield workforce will be 25% larger by 2015 than it was in 2010 when construction began on the additional space. The finished product is exactly what we set out to accomplish.”

<< Back to Completed Projects

General Contracting
Construction Management
"Over the years, there has been a fine working relationship between our two companies and we have found them responsive to our needs and high quality standards.”

Director of Production Engineering
LEGO Systems, Inc.