The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is responsible for all human spaceflight training, research, and flight control for NASA, including the monitoring of the space station through Mission Control. The complex consists of over 100 buildings constructed at different times since 1961. Due to the age of the campus, NASA’s electrical substation was beginning to experience issues. As the design-build contractor, we corrected safety-related deficiencies at Substation B221, including the design, removal, and replacement of three capacitor banks. Each capacitor took about a month to fully decommission, replace, and recommission to ensure functional operation. Part of our work involved the removal of corrosion and regalvanizing of multiple lattice support systems. We worked from one CenterPoint Energy feed at a time, isolating a lattice, performing the work, and reenergizing it before moving on to the next lattice. Additionally, we replaced the existing battery bank systems, installed a new static mast tower and foundation, a new grounding grid system, lightning protection and fall protection systems on B221E, a new transformer oil containment system, new fencing and access gates, and upgraded LED yard lighting. We also performed associated site and civil work.
Over the life of the two-year project, we remained flexible to the changing needs of the campus. When NASA needed us to halt electrical work while they performed critical telescope testing, we focused our energies on the civil and site work portions of the project until we could return to the electrical work. Our design-build team’s synergy allowed us to achieve 15 electrical outages and complete the entire project two months ahead of schedule and with minimal disruption to NASA’s mission critical operations.