US Department of Veterans Affairs VAMC Seattle 5kV to 15kV Upgrade

VAMC Seattle campus emergency exterior at dusk
US Department of Veterans Affairs VAMC Seattle 5kV to 15kV Upgrade
VAMC emergency center exterior image entrance at dusk
Seattle, WA
325,000 SF project on a 1.1M SF campus
U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs
Electrical Systems
Mechanical Systems
Plumbing and Piping Systems

The Seattle VA Medical Center provides emergency, inpatient, and outpatient healthcare services for veterans in a five–state region of the Northwest.

Säzän Group was the prime consultant on this $30M project to upgrade the VAMC East Campus’s 4.16kV distribution system to a 13.8kV distribution system and replace the 480V essential power generators and switchgear with 13.8kV generators and unit substations.

Säzän Group performed a detailed existing conditions study and determined that the power demand of the 14 campus buildings served by the existing 5kV primary distribution system was overloaded. The solution involved the replacement of two substations, a 2.5 MVA, a 5kV generator, and a 5kV switchgear. The design included two 2.5 MVA diesel generators, 13.8kV switchgear, and related automatic transfer and paralleling control.

Scope included:

  • Replacing 10MVA SCL service at 4.16kV, 5kV main switchgear, three double-ended unit substations, and 5kV feeders with 15MVA SCL service at 13.8kV, 15kV main switchgear, three new double-ended unit substations, and 15kV feeders.
  • Replacing five paralleled 480V essential power generators, three essential power switchgear and 480V feeders with two paralleled 13.8kV generators, 15kV paralleling switchgear, three single-ended essential power unit substations, and 15kV feeders.
  • Switchgear interties for normal and essential power switchgear to enable interconnection flexibility between the East and West campus distribution centers.
  • Replacing 14 automatic transfer switches; life-safety and critical branch switches are replaced with new by-pass isolation switches.
  • Designing temporary power sources and connections to support normal building operations during the construction period.
  • Protective device coordination and development of protective device settings.
  • Coordinating cutover to the new utility supply with Seattle City Light.
  • Modifying the existing Energy Plant building to house two 2.5-MW medium-voltage diesel engine generators with provisions for a third generator.

“Replacing the electrical system in an active medical center is one of the most difficult projects there is and the A/E went above and beyond.”

Charlene Duncan

Contracting Officer, VHA NCO 20 Construction Branch 2