Mona, Clinton, Md., the 50th largest contractor in the United States, was awarded the electrical contract for the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center (pictured below) on the campus of Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

The award-winning design for the center is constructed of limestone, granite, copper and sandblasted glass, which presented a daunting electrical construction challenge.

The building features extensive, but subtle, site lighting that leads to a reflecting pool framing the front of the facade and the chapel; a bold, double-height cylindrical entrance; the symbolic copper clad wing that covers the building; and the transparent rear wall of sandblasted glass.

Mona had the task of installing the lighting in a way that would highlight the magnificence of the structure, but would in itself be unobtrusive and hidden. The extensive use of exposed architectural stonework necessitated that all coordination and rough-in be done early and accurately as there would be no room for adjustments later.

The main conference room features a fiber-optic chandelier with 420 points of light. It is set in an inverted dome surrounded by 80 downlights and accented by a circular cove with low-voltage lights to softly bathe the dome in light.

The Exhibits Gallery features 1,200 ft of gently sloping ramp, zig-zagging back and fourth as it changes elevation. The ramp is highlighted by a cable track system, run in the exposed concrete. All feeds and connections are invisible to the eye. In total, this facility required more than 2,000 ft of architectural track lighting and 1,000 ft of low-voltage, cove lighting to accent the building's features.


Electrical. Mona Electric Group Inc.
Project Start Date. Dec. 3, 1998
Completion Date. Nov. 20, 2000
Contract Value. $3 million
Scope. Comprehensive lighting, power and life safety systems
Staff. Project Manager Neil Lyon; Foreman, Jack Friend
General Contractor. James G. Davis Construction Corp.
Architect & Engineer. Leo A. Daly
Electrical Service Size. 4,000A at 480V, three-phase
Total Building Area. 100,000 sq ft
Total Man-hours. 43,000


Mona, formerly MONA Energy and Technology, is headquartered in Clinton, Md., and has a branch office in Dulles, Va. The contractor had 2000 sales of $61.6 million, which was a 16% increase from 1999 sales. Mona expects sustained sales for 2001 with a fourth quarter slowdown in the commercial segment, but increased government business. The company specializes in commercial, government and high-tech (infocom and biotech).