Easi-Set precast concrete buildings chosen again for New Braunfels Utilities’ substation projects

May 19, 2008 | Easi-Set Buildings

Easi-Span Building

MIDLAND, Va. – New Braunfels Utility (NBU) recently took delivery of the first of two Easi-Set precast concrete buildings purchased from Lonestar Prestress Mfg., Inc (LPMI) located in Houston, TX. Both buildings, which are engineered to withstand 140 mph winds, will house relay and control panels, standby batteries and SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) equipment. The integrity of the Easi-Set buildings is expected to provide enhanced stability for the substation controls while giving NBU additional 138KV exits.

NBU was first introduced to Easi-Set buildings in 2003 when they were evaluating possible replacement structures for an existing metal substation building. The deteriorating structure was in need of replacement according to Jim Williams, NBU substation supervisor.  After extensive study, NBU selected a 24x40x12 Easi-Set precast concrete building for that initial project. The buildings are constructed from 6000 psi steel reinforced concrete and provide customers with a maintenance free, water tight enclosure. They have an expected life span of 50+ years and can be erected in less than a week’s time, not to mention the fact that they are UL level four bullet tested.  “We were attracted to the fact that the buildings are maintenance free, provide a fortified setting for our vital infrastructure and are affordable,” Williams said.

NBU chose Lonestar buildings again in 2008 as part of the renovations of two separate substations. The first building, measuring 24x40x10, was delivered in March to a substation located near Wald Rd in New Braunfels. The second building, measuring 24x20x10, is scheduled for delivery this June to a location on the outskirts of town. Both buildings will rest upon precast floor slabs which are laid flat on an engineered gravel bed and post tensioned together, thus providing a monolithic foundation for the walls and roof panels. LPMI erected and completed the first building in about five days which was critical to the timing of the project due to the scheduled power shutdown.  “When we go off line with a 138kv transmission line, we can’t afford any delays on equipment, materials or contractors,” Williams said. “We have a set construction window that has to be met which Lonestar accomplished.”

LPMI, a privately-owned company based in Houston, manufactures prestressed concrete poles for the utility, lighting and security industries as well as Easi-Set precast concrete buildings and other assorted precast products. LPMI has one manufacturing facility in Houston which produces about 6000 poles and 100 buildings annually.