Lighting bolt Electrical

At Staff Electric, we don’t use the word “partnership” lightly. When we commit to a project, we commit to more than building a state-of-the-art facility; we commit to building value-driven partnerships with our clients, general contractors, architects, engineers, and landscapers, as was the case of the Kornberg Center completed in April 2021.


The Kornberg Center: An Architectural Masterpiece Designed for Sustainability

The new Promega Kornberg Center for Research & Development has been named after a Nobel prize winner Arthur Kornberg for his breakthroughs in DNA research. The Kornberg Center is designed for sustainability and uses 65% less energy than comparable facilities. Some of its noteworthy green characteristics include:

  • Double-skin facade increases energy efficiency and reduces solar heat
  • Radiant heating and cooling made up of 22 miles of in-floor tubing enhances energy efficiency
  • Rainwater collection and reuse system saves 1 million gallons of water annually
  • Geo-exchange system supplements total heating and cooling loads
  • 672 photovoltaic panels can generate approximately 313,000 kWh of clean power annually
  • Green roof reduces heating and cooling needs



The Client


Promega Corporation is a global leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. Founded in 1978, Promega Corporation now offers more than 4,000 products to support a range of research across areas such as cell biology; DNA, RNA and protein analysis; drug development; human identification; and molecular diagnostics.

Staff Electric and Promega have partnered on several projects together. Most of the projects are remodels of their existing manufacturing facilities, and we are pleased to be included in their newest manufacturing facility. Familiar with our roster of capabilities and expertise in prefabrication, BIM coordination, design/build, and the sheer ability to take on a project of this magnitude, Kramer Brothers Construction awarded us the contract in February 2019.

“I believe we were selected for the project,” says Project Manager Carl Jaeger, “because of our familiarity with one-of-a-kind buildings. We know the pitfalls, the importance of being proactive, and we have the resources to be able to complete a job of this size.”


The Challenge

It All Comes Down to Lighting

Professionals who work inside the Kornberg Center are encouraged to think creatively and connect with one another. Therefore, the architectural design must be inspirational and energizing. Combine that with a design for sustainability and you have a behemoth of a project on your hands.

And when you have a facility this breathtaking—with statues and water features and art installations—lighting is everything. “Lighting accounted for approximately 1/3 of the job,” says Jaeger. “When COVID hit, we were ready for installation. It was a challenge to keep on schedule.”

The different types of lighting we installed included concealed lighting, uplighting, downlighting, and general purpose lighting.


Our Approach

Collaborate and Communication

The Kornberg Center is Promega’s centerpiece. With a four-story atrium in the center and laboratory wings extending to create the silhouette of a four-leaf clover, the building itself is a masterpiece of innovation. Ensuring our work blended seamlessly with the architect’s thoughtful design was paramount. We knew a project of this complexity would require open communication and collaboration across all trades.

“We communicated a lot with the general contractor, engineers, and architect,” said Staff Electric General Foreman, Jeremy Clark. “At times, we would have sixty people on the job site. Establishing open lines of communication was key.”

Collaborating with the landscaper to design/build in real-time kept us efficient and encouraged us to think outside of the toolbox to how we could best implement the designs into construction. “Ninety-percent of what he came up with wasn’t on the drawings,” said Clark. “But that communication and collaboration contributed to the overall success of the job.”


The Result

High-caliber Quality, On-time Delivery

The Kornberg Center opened on April 6, 2021. It’s a triumph of architecture, engineering, art, and innovation coming together to create a facility dedicated to research and development for the good of humankind.

While the immense amount of lighting installations and sustainability requirements presented their fair share of challenges, we leaned on our solid partnerships with the general contractor, architect, engineers, landscaper, and the entire field team to deliver a gorgeous finished product on-time and within budget.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Bradley Symphony Center

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To learn more about our capabilities and approach, connect with our team.