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The Project included 8 total "floorless" buildings that environmentally covered the control the fire protection system for a 280 Megawatt Parabolic Trough Solar Facility the remote California Mojave Desert. The buildings utilized were 2-8’x10’, 2-10’x20’, 2- 12’x30’, and 2-20’x33’. These buildings were built to meet 2010 California CBC with the utilization of light gauge and structural steel components. The single wide buildings are "U" Occupancy and house various switches, relays, valves and control panels for the fire protection and notification system. The 20’x33’ doublewide buildings are "H" Occupancy and house a 6 cylinder diesel engine which powers a 4000 GPM pump along with multiple valves, tanks, and auxiliary electrical equipment. The exterior siding is a PBR, pre finished, 24 gauge steel to match the existing buildings. The interior walls and ceilings are 1/8" FRP over 1/2" MR gyp. The roof is .060 white EPDM over 1/4" Densdeck.
The facility was in the final stages of completion when the buildings needed to be installed in tight spaces with limited access. Factory installed sleeves and box outs needed to line up to existing site installed piping with extremely close tolerances. A 250 ton crane with a 144’ foot boom and 115’ jib was needed to lift the buildings over structures and lowered on to existing concrete slabs with all fire equipment in place. The pre-installation in the 2- 20”x33” Pump Buildings of a 6 cylinder diesel engine, 500 gallon fuel tank, 4000 GPM pump, multiple valves, piping, and auxiliary electrical equipment made for a challenging installation. Due to the extreme climate conditions, all buildings are equipped with HVAC units of various sizes. This is necessary to protect sensitive electrical and mechanical equipment. The pump buildings also included passive ventilating louvers that are activated when the diesel engine is in operation for motor heat extraction.
The remote Mojave Desert site, work rules, and environmental concerns helped to make factory built construction a viable option for this project. Using Modular Building Technology for the Fire Protection Equipment Buildings allowed other specialty contractors to expedite their processes and install other equipment to maintain their schedules. Having to work around conventional building construction and crews that would have been necessary would impact schedules, complicate limited site staffing resources and increase safety concerns. All materials for traditional construction would have needed to be carried in by hand with no laydown area. We were able to improve the Fire Protection Equipment Contractors construction schedule by approximately 20% verses site construction of the buildings. A 40 ton crane with a 100 ft. boom was required for the installation of 4 of the 8 buildings. The 2 remaining buildings were accessible and installed using a large rough terrain forklift.