Project Description

Location: Broomfield, CO
GC: GE Johnson
Owner: Ball Aerospace
Type: Commercial

At Kenny Electric, we take our customers’ confidentiality very seriously, which is exactly how we handled our involvement with the Ball Aerospace Broomfield Research and Development – Pod 4 Addition. Working alongside GE Johnson’s crew, our team managed this exclusive project with professionalism and integrity. Due to the discrete nature of the project, many features and functions have remained under wraps for security’s sake.

The Pod 4 Addition (pictured left*) connects to the existing structure and adds approximately 160,000 square feet of space to the facility. The expansion is expected to significantly enhance Ball Aerospace’s capabilities for developing and producing tactical mission systems for government and commercial customers.

Kenny supplied a new 2000KVA MV Transformer to feed the existing BRD building from the new automatic throw-over (ATO) and replaced the old utility feed. ATO was provided by the local utility and added redundancy to the power supplying the building allowing 2 separate utility feeds to be brought into the building. The ATO automatically switches between feeds if there is an outage.

We constructed two major electrical rooms, each fed with redundant feeds from the ATO to MV transformers. Each of the electric rooms in POD 4 had a Main-Tie-Main configuration for the gear consisting of two individual feeds connected by a tiebreaker. This allows each of the lineups to manually be switched between either incoming feed primarily for maintenance functions.

The building houses four secured high bay clean rooms that function essentially the same way as traditional cleanrooms; however, the rooms are on a much larger scale, and much of Kenny’s electrical work was completed at fifty-plus feet in the air. Regardless of their size, high bay cleanrooms are subject to rigorous cleanliness specifications. Lastly, our team worked on the facility’s state-of-the-art offices, cleanroom spaces, advanced integration and test areas, and fourth-floor CUP housing utilities to serve these areas.

A comprehensive fire alarm system with multiple nodes was added to monitor the secured areas, and many separate VESDA systems were installed. VESDA Systems are aspirating smoke detection used for early warning applications where a response to a fire is critical. The fire alarm system required a high level of complexity to accommodate the building’s protected zones throughout the facility. During this project, the fire alarm in the existing building was integrated into the new fire alarm culminating in a single fire command center for the entire building.

Due to the confidential nature of Ball’s operations, they were not allowed to share the building drawings with our team making it complicated to support their security system. Nevertheless, we met their requirements and ran an electrical raceway to support the security contractor.

Our team supplied a 1250 KW generator that fed four separate automatic transfer switches (ATS). A secured data center was also fed through two redundant parallel 380 KW Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPSs). All power into the secured areas was filtered.

There have been many exciting qualities to working on this unique project, including:

  • A tight schedule with a phased-in method was implemented to allow the customer to bring parts of their operation online before completing the project.
  • Various specialty conditions to work in the facility’s secured areas
  • All electrical penetrations into secured areas needed dielectric fittings, which isolate monitoring instruments against the effects of electrical current.
  • All metal items entering the secured areas had to be bonded inside the area to intentionally connect all exposed metal items not designed to carry electricity in a room or building as protection from electric shock.
  • The IT conduits were installed using protective distribution system (PDS) raceways which enclose and protect secure network connections and cables, creating distribution pathways for classified information.
  • We adhered to Ball’s requirements regarding the use of approved chemicals.

Through our experiences at this facility, we are now ready for the next intricate project to challenge our crews.

* Images courtesy of the City of Boomfield