Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I didn't sleep well last night night for some reason. I'd love to blame it on not having the baby around or something, but the truth is that she is such a pleasant child. I have had so many good nights of sleep, so few up all night crying sessions, that it's not the case. I don't know why I was so restless.

I came out here for one meeting to go over the coordination of the new Regional Bus Terminal. There are a ton of Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing systems located in and originating from a number of mechanical rooms that are larger than my humble abode, and routed through the passenger concourse that will be the home away from home of the various commuters in Denver, just like Newark Penn Station and the World Trade Center PATH station are my home away from home, (or at least it seems that way sometimes when there are transit delays). We did a pretty good job coordinating the various systems during design, but the reality of the situation is that installation constraints are often a lot different than the paper and 2D CAD prints we did with our design. We have a great team of contractors working with us, and part of the job is the detailed coordination that must take place to install the systems that will bring the station to life. In order to achieve the design and construction goals, often a lot of changes will be made prior to the actual installation. I can't tell you how may times i remarked today how much room we seem to have in this massive facility, but how short changed we are on actual space. I can't credit my design team enough, and the contractors who have to build it with figuring out where everything actually has to go. It's going to be a world class facility, and I can only hope the work I put into it with help make it great. So lets see some pictures?

I apologize for the poor quality, i had only my phone and it was running out of battery power, so no flash. I think I managed to capture how massive the scope was. Understand, what we have here is the beginning of like one third of the scope of this huge facility. I hope I can share more as progress is made.

Outside the bus terminal... this is one of the main entrances at Chestnut St. What we have here is the framing for the pavilion. What this will look like when it's all done is a glass house with a white fabric roof similar to what exists at the Denver International Airport. For reference I'll add shot below, but it won't have the "circus tent" look.

It won't look anything like this, aside from the roofing material. I just wanted to include it as a frame of reference.

Here is my stupid self taking a picture of the dirt at the construction site... I took many dumb photos of nothing while i wasted battery power, but here is one.

Here is a shot looking up the west ramp. The buses will come in and out through this portal. Under the tracks laid over the roadway is the snow melt system i helped design. Just outside the portal is the fueling station for the diesel fire pump, and around the bend, which you can't see because of the lighting, the emergency generator will sit.

Prior to this trip, I had no idea what was already delivered to the site. Here, under the white cover is the diesel fire pump. I hope to have better pictures in the future, but the pump is there.

 This shot, is meaningless to most but shows an area that will be enclosed by a rated partition over the fire pump diesel fuel enclosure. We have to separate all building utilities that do not serve the fire pump room in a rated enclosure, since we have some duct work that has yet to be installed and a ton of conduit passing through this area, we will cross over here and separate it from the space.

This is nothing special, a hole in the wall, but a propeller fan will be here to help reject heat from the operating fire pump. It will discharge the air to the roadway. Again not much now, but I hope to show some pictures in the future. It's not all that important in the grand scheme of things, but was a minor point of contention with the city which they eventually approved.

The loneliest unit heater...

Oh wait.. it has a buddy across the room !

Here is one of the CRAC units in the data center, near the west end of the terminal. CRAC stands for Computer Room Air Conditioner. These units are provided by Liebert, which is an Emerson company.

This CRAC unit is located in the UPS room behind the data center. UPS stands for Uninterruptible Power Supply. Basically a battery storage system that will provide power to all the main communications devices in the terminal for a specific period of time. This unit will help to reject the heat from that systems operation to the main chilled water system.

Here is the duct work from the main CRAC units in the data center. It's massive, but it's over sized because the owners wanted to be able to run both units together to provide emergency cooling in the event of some massive overload, where equipment would melt down. There are two CRAC units in this space, either one can handle the load, but here we have one case where the owner wanted some redundancy and spare capacity to protect sensitive equipment.

This shot is not great, but it's a picture of the north bus lane from the west end of the terminal, it's a massive facility, and I hope to see a similar picture some day of the entire facility. There is much excavation and construction to be done. The light at the end of the tunnel... well it won't be there much longer.

Some contractors at work in the West Mechanical Equipment Room suites. Another room bigger than my house.

What we see here is some of the "ducts" that serve the bus roadway. This was a major compromise between design and construction. We are basically closing off the bays between some precast concrete beams with plate steel. This was to avoid having to excavate deeper, we can provide duct out of nothing though careful coordination. It's been a bit of a strain, but the system the contractors have installed looks great, and we saved the project a ton of money with this innovative solution.

This is the main plenum, all the ducts seen above (almost 90) terminate here on the way to the main fan plant. We have 450,000 Cubic Feet Per Minute of capacity to serve both peak bus terminal operations and smoke emergencies in one of our six smoke zones around the oval "track" that is part of the terminal. It's an incredible system and I can't wait to see it perform as expected during the testing.

Here's a close up of part of the plenum. The special roadway dampers that we have specified for the project will be installed on the frames seen in the picture. We have almost 90 of them split into 6 zones for emergency, and one zone with multiple operating parameters for normal operation. 

A look at the stairs and escalators that will lead up to the surface. The finishes in this space will look fantastic. The architects we've worked with have been awesome, and I can't wait to share with you pictures of the finished product.

So that's the best I can share right now from my trip. It's been pretty productive, and while I hate to travel much these days since  Jackie seems to be doing something new and awesome all the time, I hope to get out again a few more times as construction progresses to see how it's going. I get pictures all the time, but it is truly mind bending to see something that I've had a hand in, this massive in person. I can't wait for the citizens of Denver to make use of this work, and as I hope all my systems will work great, I can't wait to see it come to conclusion over the next few years.

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