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VAMC Baltimore Switchgear


VAMC Baltimore

10 North Greene Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

General Contractor:

Veteran Design & Construction, Inc.

5523 Research Park Drive, Suite 110

Baltimore, MD 21228

Cynergy Electric has been awarded a contract by Veteran Design for a Low Voltage Emergency Switchgear and Distribution upgrade for VAMC Baltimore. The total awarded contract is $3,704,700. Cynergy is proud to be working with a Veteran Owned and Operated, Service-Disabled Small Business to help improve the quality of the VA facility.

Key elements of the job include:

· Rigging/Procurement of (1) 6000A 480/277-volt paralleling switchgear on the 8th floor

· One 1000A 480/277V 3P4W copper busway from level P1 up to 6th floor

· Two 30KVA dry 480-208Y120 volt transformer

· One 45KVA dry 480-208Y120 volt transformer

· One normal switchgear D line-up 3200A 480/277V 3P4W front access only

· One 600KW 480V 3P outdoor load-bank on the roof of 8th floor

· Multiple automatic transfer switches from 260A-600A, with bypass

· Four new panelboards, ranging from 225A-800A

· Four 50A 480V enclosed breakers

· One 100A 480V enclosed breaker

· One 150A 480V enclosed breaker

· Seven 100A main breaker 208/120V panels

· Installation of Remote Annunciator

· Misc. lighting fixtures, switches, receptacles etc. throughout the building.

· Lightning protection installation

· Demolition and removal of existing normal and emergency electrical gear

Oftentimes, Cynergy Electric is given the opportunity to not only provide electrical work but provide work for and by institutions that align with our core values as a company. Helping to ensure that the VA operates without malfunction or interruption and working with a General Contractor that is Veteran Owned and Operated, are accomplishments that Cynergy is proud to achieve.

The primary purpose of this project was the installation of the new emergency switchgear detailed above. The initial scope of work called for the switchgear to be installed on the roof of the building; however, upon review of the site and design documents, the decision was made to instead install the new switchgear inside the building on the 8th and highest floor. From there, two other obstacles remained: the electrical room the switchgear was now meant to be installed in had very limited space, and a busway was required to run from the 8th floor switchgear down to an electrical room in the parking garage. Both of these elements necessitated highly competent field coordination with existing systems.

Additionally, the new emergency switchgear that was installed would not be compatible with 6 existing 500kva generators. Ensuring that a retrofit for the existing generators would be completed without interrupting normal business hours represented a significant element of the job. Fortunately, the field team at Cynergy has extensive experience working on projects with similar requirements, and that experience allowed our team to efficiently eliminate potential roadblocks before they became an issue.

During the submittal and procurement stages, both the Project Manager and Superintendent knew that, in order to properly address the logistical requirements of the job while also minimizing/eliminating electrical “down times” for the VAMC, an airtight schedule would have to be established and followed from the beginning of work onwards. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, lead times on all material being used has increased exponentially. And, in addition to coordinating the scope and schedule for our own company, third-party contractors for field testing and commissioning were also needed for this job, meaning that any developed action plan would be worthless if not understood and agreed upon by all contractors performing work.

The reason these specific obstacles have been highlighted in this summary is because they paint a good picture of the project as a whole- one where the scope of the job is not a series of unrelated, individual problems, but instead one where each challenge compounds and increases the logistical complexity of all needed work.

Special thanks should be given to this job’s Project Manager, Tony Hastings, its Superintendent, Mike Gunzelman, and its Foreman, Greg Nawrot. Together, the three of them were able to take this job and coordinate a plan to successfully balance each requirement. Lead times were carefully integrated within the overall schedule, ensuring as smooth an experience as possible for the field team. Work began in the parking garage, where a parallel emergency electrical system, as well as temporary switchboards, were installed and received loads during the pre-approved outages. And, thanks to careful and meticulous work of our electricians, the new switchgear and two 45KVA transformers were properly installed within the somewhat confined electrical room on the 8th floor.

Overall, our company is proud of the work we did at VAMC Baltimore, and the improvements made will hopefully serve the building’s needs for years to come.

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