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Case Study: Webster University – Substation and Campus Improvements

December 9, 2016

Kozeny-Wagner was selected as one of only four pre-qualified general contractors to be invited to bid on this intricate campus underground power distribution upgrade project. This project required the skills of an organized and schedule driven contractor to work closely with Webster University and Ameren Missouri for a strategic infrastructure upgrade that had been over two years in the planning, and the implementation of which would take 18 more months. As the successful bidder, Kozeny-Wagner presented the best value package to the University and achieved all the DBE business goals requested. Even though 70% of the value of this project was heavy electrical infrastructure work Webster University wisely decided to involve a GC to provide the construction management component for the construction team and then allow the electrical contractor to concentrate on the technical aspect.

By the numbers this project included: One new substation paid for by the University and built to Ameren specifications including drilled piers, decorative masonry screen walls with integral planter, decorative metal fencing, decorative access and crash grates, oil collection drainage system, and MOS slab. This was a natural fit for KWI since we service Ameren at multiple sites in the St. Louis Metro area. Two exterior campus quad lighting systems. Four high voltage underground campus loops with new connections to 17 building. Six major campus shutdowns, one to cut over each loop and two more to undo previous daisy chaining. All the buildings required new transformers and six of the building had to have their main gear changed out as well during the cut overs. One of which was 100 years old.

The schedule had no room for error. Starting with bringing the new substation on line prior to energizing any of the loops and then the cut over of each loop and the two additional cut overs all had been scheduled by the University over a year in advance to minimize disruption to their busy campus and there were no makeup dates available, so each milestone had to be made. And they were all completed as scheduled. As part of the shutdown scheduling KWI composed a Critical Loads Matrix with the help of the electrical contractor and the University to establish the outage dates, times, and durations for each building and all critical building items that had to be maintained such as fire alarms, fire pumps, sump pumps, special equipment, lab refrigerators and freezers, IT equipment, and temporary A/C and heat. From this matrix the size and amount of temporary generators and temporary cabling that was required to support these critical items was determined. This matrix was reviewed and updated weekly as the project progressed to serve as a checklist for each shutdown. A comprehensive shut down plan was assembled and reviewed prior to each shut down, and then followed.

The project was completed safely on time and in budget.