BBS Architects Engineers

Ames Lab

Owner: US Department of Energy 
Architectural and Engineering Design Services: BBS Architects | Engineers
General Contractor
Construction Completed: 
Project Data: 


Client Need 
This project involved the correction of deficiencies identified as part of the Electrical Systems Study for Harley Wilhelm Hall & Metals Development Building at Ames Laboratory.  An existing fused distribution switchboard, a high voltage transformer, and multiple drawout type circuit breakers required replacement.  The emergency power system also required the addition of a Kirk Key interlock system to prevent the hazardous paralleling of two generators.
BBS Approach 
BBS continued to build on the documentation included in the original study.  Continued communication and review meetings were completed to ensure corrective measures were agreed on by all parties.  Additional building power outages were scheduled to allow BBS engineers to record exact measurements for the high voltage transformer replacement and to obtain detailed information from switchgear drawout breaker compartments.  The design includes the replacement of 57 ITE drawout breakers with retrofitted Square D breakers.  Close coordinate with Square D technical support was required to ensure correct replacement specifications were met.  Once designed and bid, the project cost was below the study’s capital improvement plan estimate.
Project Results 
The final outcome of the project included an updated electrical system at the buildings to allow for continued reliable service and reduced maintenance costs.  Additional capacity for future growth was provided with the replacement of the fused distribution switchboard with a higher breaker capacity switchboard.  The addition of the Kirk Key interlock system provides a safer system to remove the possibility of short circuits caused by human error.  Finally, the main electrical room entrance door was replaced with egress hardware as required for life safety. 

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