April 20, 2016
Baltimore Builds on a Floodplain – with PENETRON
PENETRON ADMIX waterproofing admixture helped secure the construction of a new electrical substation in Baltimore, Maryland – even though the site is on a floodplain.
In the city of Baltimore, utility companies are making substantial investments to upgrade the 115 kV electrical grid that incorporates Baltimore’s substations. The new Constitution Street Station is a key city substation, which replaces the previous substation. However, the 1.2-acre site is located in a riverine floodplain zone. Since no reasonable alternative land options existed, the project began construction in 2014.
BUILDING ON A FLOODPLAIN
The large, below-grade vault contains high voltage power equipment, including high pressure conduits lined with pressurized liquid to insulate from the foundation. The design of the high tech electrical substation included modification of the exterior walls to account for flooding conditions and minimize flood water displacement.
MASSIVE CONCRETE STRUCTURE
Black & Veatch, the project engineers, specified three-foot thick concrete walls and a massive base slab for the live electrical vault. Over 4,000 cubic yards (3,058 m3) of concrete, supplied by Vulcan Materials, the ready mix supplier, were treated with PENETRON ADMIX SB, delivered in soluble bags to simplify dosage during the batching of the concrete mix.
DOUBLING UP PROTECTION
While PENETRON ADMIX SB was used to treat the entire foundation slab and the three-foot thick walls, PENETRON topical waterproofing material was applied to any cracks on the surface before backfilling the structure, even though the concrete was already treated with PENETRON ADMIX.
This Constitution Street Station project will connect with other energy infrastructure currently in service to fully meet NERC Planning Reliability Standards. This upgrade allows the utility company to continue to deliver safe and reliable electrical service to downtown Baltimore and meet the long term growth needs of the city.