BBS Architects Engineers

Ames Lab

Owner: Us Department of Energy
Architectural and Engineering Design Services: BBS Architects | Engineers
General Contractor: N/A
Construction Completed: N/A

Client Need 
The objective of this project was to conduct an arc flash assessment of two buildings owned by the U.S. Department of Energy and operated by Iowa State University.  The condition and capacity of the existing electrical systems also required evaluation, including documentation of age and code deficiencies.  Arc Flash/Shock Hazard labels were provided on all switchboards, panelboards, and motor control centers.  The final report provided to the client included the discovered system deficiencies, floor plans identifying location of electrical equipment, one-line diagrams, and arc flash calculations.
BBS Approach
BBS electrical engineers began the analysis with a review of existing floor plans and one-line drawings supplied by Ames Lab.  A field survey was scheduled to update equipment locations and document transformer sizes, feeder breakers and equipment condition.  BBS then generated one-line drawings using SKM Powertools for Windows (PTW) software.  A second site survey was scheduled to remove panel covers during a building electrical system shutdown to identify feeder wire sizes and remaining overcurrent protection device settings and sizes.  During both site visits identified system deficiencies and code violations were documented, and photos were taken of all electrical equipment.
Project Results 
Following BBS’s surveys and inspections, the PTW model was updated with the verified data needed to complete the study.  Arc-Flash calculations were completed and 126 labels were installed to identify the specific hazards of working on each panel.  As part of the final report Ames Lab received accurate floor plans and one-line diagrams of their current electrical system for each building.  In addition to the updated documentation the client received a complete assessment of the existing condition and recommended corrective action for their electrical system.

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