“Sensing YOU” & “Sensing WATER” – Illuminating Downtown

Two underpasses in downtown San Jose have been transformed with the help of artist Dan Corson, who began conceptualizing the recently completed project three years ago, CH Reynolds Electrical Senior Project Manager Steve Guyton said. ...

The Santa Clara Street underpass is covered in painted blue circles, and circular lights that change color and the San Fernando Street underpass display is meant to look more like rushing water.

These “Sensing YOU” & “Sensing WATER” installations are defined by over 1000 painted circles and 81 individually controlled illuminated rings that play a variety of patterns and low-resolution mapped video over the ceiling surface of the I-87 highway underpass. The patterns are activated by pedestrians and bicyclists moving through the space- setting off pre-programmed sequences.

“I was given the plans in March 2014. After reviewing the plans and finally understanding this project, I got very excited and I called Dan Corson,” Guyton said.  “I told him that I was the project manager he wanted on this project, and thus, I got the job.”

Guyton said each “halo” light fixture within each installation has an exact location.

“We had to find a company or tool that could take the CAD drawings and convert the drawing into actual physical locations on the underpass,” Guyton said. “We contacted SANDIS who specializes in laser surveying and they performed it admirably.”

Another obstacle for the project were the conduits, Guyton said.

“The original plans showed two different methods,” he said. “One method was to run the electrical conduits in a straight line from “halo” to “halo”.  It was Dan’s request, if we could, to run the conduits in the different arcs as was drawn on the plans.  I searched and found a company that bends conduits and pipes.  In my discussion with Craig from Pipe Bending Cutting and Threading, he said aluminum conduit bends the easiest without any kinking.  They did a fantastic job.  I have never seen conduit bent like this on any project I’ve ever worked on nor seen.

lllGuyton added he thinks the conduits are the highlight of the art project, but that may be because he is an electrician.

“While working on site, we’ve had mixed reviews,” Guyton said.  “We had to close traffic lanes and this always upsets people.  We ignore the obscenities and the horns.  Some of the pedestrians make negative comments saying the money could be better spent on other things.  But none of these people have seen the final project, they only see the painted circles, the disruption of their lives and they don’t understand the entire project. We did have a lot of people that were truly interested and excited.  These are the people we are doing this project for.”

The installations were funded by a $600,000 grant from Our Place America and are part of a larger project called Illuminating Downtown.

CH Reynolds President Shelly Paiva said the company’s team was excited to work with the city of San Jose and Dan Corson to bring these amazing works of art to the city.

“We are known for being able to take unique projects to completion and this is one of those instances where our innovative thinking and can-do attitude was able to bring Dan Corson’s vision to life,” she said.

According to his website, Corson has a Master’s in art from the University of Washington and a B.A. in theatrical design from San Diego State University and his work is infused with drama, passion, layered meanings and often engages the public as co-creators within his environments.

Employee in Action: Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith said hearing kids say “the big scary bikers who aren’t really scary” during his time volunteering was priceless.DSC00525

This past Saturday the Coastside Armada Harley Club, including CH Reynolds Safety Specialist Smith, rode to a homeless shelter, let the children take pictures on their motorcycles, gave them all teddy bears and also collected toys for their parents to give to them on Christmas.

Smith said he donated his time to the 7th annual “Teddy Bear Run because it gave parents a chance to put a smile on their children’s face.

“Christmas is a time of giving. Some are not as fortunate as most,” Smith said. “I got to do this with a great group of people. Plus I love my motorcycle. During the event, to see the kids smiling in awe at all the bikes and wanting to take pictures was priceless. It’s a great feeling to bring joy to others.”

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

The holidays are about way more than exchanging gifts, however presents are inevitably given and received. Prevent Blindness America has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.  The group encourages everyone to consider if the toys they wish to give suits the age and individual skills and abilities of the individual child who will receive it, especially for infants and children under 3-years-old.


Though you may assume all products available for purchase at stores are safe for everyone, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2010 there were an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries treated at U.S. hospital emergency rooms, 72 percent of which were for people less than 15-years-old.

This holiday season (and beyond), Prevent Blindness America encourages consumers to please consider the following guidelines for choosing safe toys for all ages:

  • Inspect all toys before purchasing. Avoid ones that shoot or include parts that fly off. The toy should have no sharp edges or points and should be sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed or being pulled apart easily.
  • When purchasing toys for children with special needs try to: Choose toys that may appeal to different senses such as sound, movement and texture; Consider interactive toys to allow the child to play with others; and think about the size of the toy and the position a child would need to be in to play with it. Consult the “AblePlay” website at http://www.ableplay.org/ for more information.
  • Be diligent about inspecting toys your child has received. Check them for age, skill level and developmental appropriateness.
  • Look for labels that assure you the toys have passed a safety inspection – “ATSM” means the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
  • Sports equipment gifts should always be accompanied by protective gear. For example: give a helmet and elbow and knee pads with the skateboard.
  • Keep kids safe from lead in toys by: Educate yourself about lead exposure from toys, symptoms of lead poisoning and what kinds of toys have been recalled; Be aware of old toys, which may be more likely to contain lead in the paint; Call your doctor if you suspect your child has been exposed to lead.
  • Do not give toys with small parts (including magnets and “button” batteries which can cause serious injury or death if ingested) to young children as they tend to put things in their mouths, which increases their risk of choking. If the piece can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is not appropriate for kids under age three.
  • Do not give toys with ropes and cords or heating elements
  • Do not give crayons and markers unless they are labeled “nontoxic”.

For more information:

Employee in Action: Daniel Stolpe


Daniel Stolpe’s (who is not pictured) wife and step-son help out at a local food drive.

One of our employees Daniel Stolpe, recently volunteered at a Safeway food drive with his wife and step-son. His donated time and energy helps remind all of us of the capacity we have to help our neighbors who don’t have as much. Giving back is crucial at any time throughout the year, but volunteering is especially important during the holidays – When it is vital to remember that we can always help others less fortunate than ourselves. CH Reynolds was family-built and has continued to be family-focused since Chuck Reynolds founded the company back in 1983.  An integral part of our culture revolves around family, staying healthy and giving back to our community.

Thanksgiving and Limiting Sugar

November is known for Thanksgiving, but did you also know it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month? According to the National Diabetes Association nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and the association estimates the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.

Looking to cut down your sugar intake to help lessen your risk of diabetes? Here are some tips:HAPPY TGIVING

  • Remember sugar is addictive and progress is often the result of many little steps. Most people’s best bet is to use a gentle, step-by-step process of removing sugary and processed foods, which gives their body and taste buds time to adapt. Quitting sugar cold turkey doesn’t work for the majority of people and often results in binging later.
  • Mindset is everything. No one is perfect 100 percent of the time, so realize that you will have off days as well as good days. Try to adhere to the 80/20 rule, which refers to eating clean and healthy foods 80 percent of the time and allowing yourself to indulge in less healthy options 20 percent of the time. Remember that motivation will come and go and creating good habits is what will help keep you on track daily.
  • Read nutrition labels! What is the serving size for that box of cookies you’re eating? The calories, sugars and fat listed may be for only one cookie. Research how to read nutrition labels if you already don’t know how, and keep an eye out for the amount of grams of sugar you are eating in a day and identify what you can cut out.

Do you have any additional tips for how to cut down sugar intake? Feel free to leave a comment with your advice or experience.

CH Reynolds Sets New Standard for Cisco Campus

The “Building 10” project on the Cisco Campus, which had a ribbon cutting ceremony October 19, is innovative in many areas.  It was the first complete and compliant large scale Title 24 project on the campus.  It was also the first set of design build electrical plans presented and successfully passed without comments by the city of San Jose Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department.  It was the first building to integrate “Power over Ethernet Lighting” in its executive spaces.  It was the first high density telepresence and intelligent space consolidation of that magnitude.  It was the first time the lobby was re-imagined since the building was constructed. And last but not least, it was the first major re-visioning of the building as a whole in nearly 15 years. IMG_3511

General Foreman Ron Heimbuecher, who is part of the construction team, said all the new lighting technology controls, which incorporated a new watt stopper, is one of his favorite parts of the project.

“People have greater control over lighting and it’s a nicer light – easier on the eyes,” Heimbuecher said, who added he has also enjoyed seeing the building’s transformation. “It’s a lot more modernized and the lobby is definitely a nice showroom.”

A CH Reynolds electrical team led by Sr. Project Manager Sage Firebaugh, Superintendent Terry Wahl and General Foremen Heimbuecher and David Kirchner in subcontract/partnership with Devcon Construction and CBRE helped Cisco Systems Inc. rebuild their San Jose corporate and technology center “Building 10.” The structure is five-stories and is integral to the overall corporation and the showcase of the campus.  Working closely with Devcon Construction’s Project Executive Susan Becher, Project Engineer Christian Bertolotti, Architect Pamela Warren, Designer Linda Snashall, Gensler Architects and Cisco’s own WPR the task took a year from design development to build to finish.

It started in August 2014 with a technology overlay to the first floor EBC, which renovated the fishbowl and the executive briefing center conference rooms. Each location was reinvigorated with the latest in audio visual advances.  At the same time, the Paris conference room was converted into a new Cisco Experience Theatre.  After those initial changes were completed, the venture grew in strength and presence as the CCW Phase One started.  The fourth and fifth floors were designed, demolished and renovated.  The old boardroom was quietly retired and a new cutting edge boardroom complete with a 30-foot prysm wall and 20-foot table loaded with theatrical interfaces was commissioned.  After achieving the milestone of relocating the executives to their new space on levels four and five, the construction team turned their attention to the demanding Phase Two.  In this segment of the project the second and third floors were redesigned and brought up to CCW and CXC Cisco standards.  In tandem with this scope the North center quadrant of the second floor was removed to add dramatic space for the new first floor Lobby. IMG_3527

There were many challenges in this phase, in the forefront was schedule.  Though all trades had maintained a remarkable pace, Phase Two was to be completed in half the time as Phase One.  Through intense coordination and remarkable people the project continued in long hours, weekends and in some instances late into the night with dual shifts.  During the ribbon cutting ceremony, the space was populated as employees found their new offices.  The ribbon was cut by former CEO John Chambers and current CEO Chuck Robbins with Senior Director of Global Workspace Innovation Group Alan McGinty spreading congratulations all around to the entire construction team.  As Chambers stated when the newly remodeled EBC was rechristened the “John T. Chambers Customer Experience Center:” “this is a place to be proud of.”

“I’m incredibly proud of the effort our team displayed and their desire to succeed was incredible,” Firebaugh said. “We were all a part of a great group of construction professionals who left behind a legacy of high standards and excellence.”

Cisco Systems Inc. is an American multinational technology company that designs, manufactures and sells networking equipment and has headquarters in San Jose.