Electrical Distribution System Expansion at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Owner: Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC
Lead Design Firm: Spectrum Engineers Inc.
General Contractor: Nova Probst, a Joint Venture
Subcontractors: Machado & Sons Construction Inc.; Walter C. Smith Co.; RMT Landscapes Contractors; American Crane Rental; Advanced Electric Systems
This project provided a new underground power duct bank system and manholes between multiple substations that serve a mission-critical federal government facility. Work included installing new power cables and load-grid switchgear units to support future development. The entire job was design-build and included substations designed and constructed in the U.S.
Civil sitework included removing asphalt and concrete curbs, tree removal and landscaping replacement. The project also met special environmental accommodations for the California red-legged frog and protected birds. To expedite the construction start and optimize scheduling, civil and electrical tasks were split into two design packages. The separate packages facilitated earlier approval by the owner of the civil work, allowing construction to begin while the more complex electrical design package was completed.
Regular soil sampling throughout the project identified areas of contamination and prevented excavation delays. The early identification allowed the team to develop a more efficient handling and disposal plan.
Installation of more than 13,000 linear ft of duct bank was also tricky as it traversed busy sidewalks, streets and occupied buildings. The project team overcame the challenge by implementing more than 30 different traffic-control plans to protect campus employees and provide safe working conditions.