There When You Need Them

Essex 911 Regional Emergency Communication Center
Middleton, Massachusetts

Schools. Residential buildings. Sports facilities. At SMMA, we work on projects spanning the entire spectrum of design intentions. The Essex County Regional Emergency Communications Center, however, was a little different—even for us. For this project, the stakes were extremely high—you could actually say, without exaggerating, that a successful outcome could mean the difference between life and death. That’s because the facility’s main purpose is fielding emergency calls and dispatching help to those who need it.

The Essex RECC was also commissioned to be the first facility of its kind built in Massachusetts, meaning that the SMMA design team had to set the precedent, with zero margin for error. The facility now serves as a prototype for other planned RECCs around the Commonwealth. 

The RECC provides 911 emergency call-taking and dispatch for 12-13 cities and towns (approximately 250,000 people) in the Essex County area, staffing 14 call-taker/dispatch positions and featuring training and conference room facilities, locker rooms, and related administrative support spaces for its occupants.

Failure Is Not an Option

It operates continuously, on a 24/7/365 schedule, and maintains a range of mission critical systems that ensure uninterrupted operation, regardless of outside conditions. These systems include N+1 redundancy of the electrical and mechanical systems, as well as twin emergency generators. The building meets the requirements of LEED Silver certification, and complies with Massachusetts Executive Order 484 requirements for energy efficiency and consumption. Construction complied with the requirements of MA Chapter 149.

We faced many obstacles in this project, but SMMA overcame every one of them with the highest level of expertise and knowledge. They made everything right and functional. This center stands as a tribute to their skills.

Thomas K. Dubas, Director, Essex County RECC

Commissioning Reliability

In addition to design services, SMMA also provided commissioning of the MEP systems, following the industry-recognized and accepted Level 5 commissioning process. Our commissioning efforts encompassed everything from functional performance tests to power-outage testing, ensuring that facility never fails to meet the needs of its employees and, most importantly, the communities it serves.

Hiring SMMA to perform commissioning services was the best money we spent on the project.

Robert Gray, Project Manager at Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance