Powering the Coolest Neighborhood Around the World
Forbes has listed their Top 12 Coolest Neighborhoods Around the World. What made #2 on the list? None other than our very own Washington, DC Navy Yard. "With its waterfront location, industrial infrastructure and historic roots, the Navy Yard - or the "Yards" - has a cool factor that most other D.C. neighborhoods lack", says Melissa Biggs Bradley to Forbes.
Steps away from the Washington DC Navy Yard is the new award-winning Pepco Waterfront Substation, with an area of four acres. The site is surrounded by Q Street SW, First Street, R Street, and Second Street and is just blocks from Nats Park. It is located one block north of the Audi Stadium, new home of DC United. The new substation provides the community with safe energy, maintaining and improving the reliability and electric service, while also replacing aging infrastructure. Coakley & Williams Construction provided Design-Build services for the sitework and building that houses the substation and MGMA was the architect. Significant acoustical, sustainable, historic and landscape requirements were needed to make this project a success. During the construction phase, Coakley & Williams Construction worked seamlessly with ABB and Pepco’s contractors who were responsible for the delivery of the infrastructure to bring power to the substation. Significant coordination, access issues, and sequencing of the work was managed by all parties to facilitate the deep underground cables and conduits installation while also allowing the construction of the civil and building portions. During the final months of the project, it became necessary for significant testing, commissioning, and operation of portions of the substation. This was accomplished through the efforts of weekly and daily meetings, access limitations, and coordination of the work flows. The indoor substation has an ultimate capacity of 350 Megavolt-Amperes (MVA) to accommodate the area’s projected long-term growth.
Coakley & Williams Construction completed the substation in two phases, all while preserving the neighborhood's history, which was an obstacle that posed many challenges to the team. Nonetheless, Pepco and Coakley & Williams ensured the community that the construction of this substation would not impact the James C. Dent House, adjacent to the project, which was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2010. James C. Dent was a former slave who moved to the neighborhood in 1906 as a laborer and thereafter helped to found the Mount Moriah Baptist Church where he was the pastor. There was support of excavation all around the house, ensuring that the structure would remain safe and sound while constructing the new Pepco Waterfront Substation.
The building’s aesthetics and architectural features were built with the intention to seamlessly tie into the cool neighborhood setting. The new substation building includes façade materials of precast panels, metal panels, masonry and traditional brick detailing with large windows. Through variation in massing, materials and building heights the substation blends seamlessly with the variety of streetscapes surrounding the site. Pepco also partnered up with the DC Commission of the Art and Humanities (CAH) to invite a local DC artist to paint the substation walls with murals that would promote walkability and communal activities, adding yet another cool factor to the Washington DC development.