Chilled Water System Analysis: Portsmouth Site, Department of Energy

The Portsmouth Department Of Energy remediation site, a former uranium processing facility, experienced multiple problems with chilled water distribution. FFE was requested to perform an investigation and complete analysis of the chilled water system.

The remediation site covers 3,778 acres and has numerous buildings, including three facilities with a footprint of over 30 acres each. The X-670/X-670A Dry Air Plant/Cooling Towers were constructed and turned over to Utility Operations in 2010. After being turned over, multiple problems, possibly related to flow, began to arise. FFE assessed overheating compressors, control valve operation and control, water that was taking paths of least resistance and system pressurization.

The purpose of this investigation was to prepare a hydraulic model to use as a tool to assess the design of the cooling water loop and predict the performance of the system under design conditions.

Portsmouth DOE Site Assessment

Hydraulic Site Analysis

We began the site analysis investigation by interviewing personnel on the site. We then collected and reviewed existing drawings of the system.

Next, we took detailed measurements of the installed piping and equipment on the cooling water loop, which were recorded in field sketches. These sketches and measurements were used in conjunction with the reference drawings and vendor data to develop a data file for input in the model.

Using KYPipe, we developed the hydraulic model of the cooling water loop. The measured flow through the Dry Air Plant cooling water loop was significantly lower than the predicted flow (approximately 825 gpm versus 2,000 gpm).

In our independent technical review, we identified causes of premature failure in the cooling tower coils and recommended these corrective actions:

  • Ensure thorough cleaning of the cooling water system
  • Add pressure gauges to measure pressure drops in the cooling water system
  • Add balancing valves on the compressor CWR lines
Architectural and Engineering Projects Lexington VAMC

Physical Security Risk Assessment: Lexington VA Medical Center

The Lexington VA Medical Center selected FFE to perform a comprehensive physical security risk assessment. Our survey would ensure the medical centers and community based outpatient clinics were complying with all applicable requirements of the VA Physical Security Design Manual (PSDM) for Life-Safety Protected Facilities or Mission Critical Facilities.

The project covered the Leestown Division, Cooper Division, Berea Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Hazard Community Based Outpatient Clinic and the Morehead Community Based Outpatient Clinic.

The VA Medical Center Assessment Overview

As part of the project scope, our team conducted:

  • Risk analysis: FFE collected information and evaluated each facility (VA-owned and leased properties) for compliance with VA PSDM by surveying the physical facilities and site. Our overview included the perimeter (reviewing lighting, pedestrian ways, parking facilities and other facility features), all buildings and facility security access.
  • Gap analysis: FFE compared the existing building conditions to the VA PSDM to identify gaps and vulnerabilities. We utilized the VA PSDM, VISN 9 PSDM Existing Medical-Related Leases (Life Safety Compliance Checklist) and/or VISN 9 PSDM Life Safety and Mission Critical Compliance Checklists to complete the gap analysis.
  • Review of VISN 9 PSDM existing Medical-Related Lease (Life Safety Compliance Checklist) and VISN 9 Life Safety and Mission Critical Compliance Checklists as appropriate to ensure coordination with VA PSDM.

As a result of the assessment, FFE developed appropriate as well as feasible corrective actions for each gap and vulnerability resulting from the gap analysis, along with an order-of-magnitude estimate to correct each finding. We included cost estimates, as well, in our corrective action recommendations.

Facility Condition Assessments: U.S. Navy and Department of Homeland Security Facilities

FFE performed facility condition site assessments to evaluate structural, mechanical and electrical systems at several naval stations. As part of our field investigation, we evaluated piping, structures and mechanical and electrical systems.

During the assessment, FFE collected photographs and identified deficient mechanical equipment and systems at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois, the Naval Station San Diego, Naval Station North Island and Naval Base Coronado in California. Border control stations, owned by the Department of Homeland Security, were evaluated nationwide. 

Facility Assessment Navy

The Infrastructure Condition Assessment Model (ICAM)

We used this data to populate the site assessment database, which was then used to create the Infrastructure Condition Assessment Model (ICAM). We used ICAM to compare the actual condition of the facilities to the predicted condition in the Facility Condition Assessment Model (FCAM).

Site assessors developed descriptions of recommended corrective actions. The descriptions identified the actions needed to repair or otherwise mitigate the deficiencies or, if needed, to replace the system in-kind. The FFE team also performed a quality assurance review.

These assessments were also performed at customs and border patrol stations nationwide for the Department of Homeland Security.