New On-Site Generator/Switchgear

New construction; New On-Site Generator/Switchgear; Stanley Consultants

08/15/2013


This completed building, designed to meet campus historic architecture requirements, was constructed to house the new generator, switchgear, and auxiliary equipment. Courtesy: Stanley ConsultantsEngineering firm: Stanley Consultants
2013 MEP Giants rank:
25
Project:
New On-Site Generator/Switchgear
Address:
Minneapolis, United States
Building type:
Mixed-use (retail and residential)
Project type:
New construction
Engineering services:
Automation & Controls, Code Compliance, Electrical/Power, Fire & Life Safety, HVAC, Lighting
Project timeline:
February 2011 to June 2013
Engineering services budget:
$8,000
MEP budget:
$129,000

Challenges

Several of the buildings on the campus and the campus as a whole are on the National Register of Historic Places. Installing an outdoor generator, therefore, was not an option. Available site space on the campus as a whole was limited and even more so near the existing generator. Siting options for the building were limited as the campus did not want to lose any available parking. The campus is considered a medical facility, so the service and generator interruptions during construction had to be limited. The tie-in point for the new generator paralleling switchgear was located on the main campus distribution loop. There were several other construction projects on the campus that had to be coordinated with to limit campus outages, including construction of a new residence building.

Solutions

The decision was made to construct a building to house the new generator and switchgear during predesign, and conceptual drawings for the building were approved by the State Historic Preservation Office early in the design process. The building ended up being sited on top of an existing underground utility tunnel, located approximately 3 ft below grade. The utility tunnel was located during design, and the building foundation was designed in such a way as to straddle the utility tunnel and have no adverse effects on the existing utilities. The sequence of commissioning the new generator and switchgear while leaving the existing generator in service had to be considered so that the campus was never without a standby electrical source.



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