NIST Building 306 Switchgear Replacement

Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Completion Date: February 2003
Owner: National Institute of Standards and Technology
Role:  Subcontractor – Design Build


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the nation’s first federal physical science research laboratory. Building 306 distributes 15kv primary service to the NIST’s 55-plus buildings on the campus’ 578 acres. Previously, Building 306 had been constructed around three outdoor walk-in 15kv switchgear structures. To modernize the 15kv distribution, Singleton dismantled the existing walk-in units and replaced them with four new 15kv switchgear lineups. Due to the spot network electrical distribution on campus, replacing the switchgear had to be completed without interruption of any existing electrical services. To do so, Singleton worked closely with the NIST high-voltage shop to coordinate switching and outages when moving to temporary switchgear, then transferring again to permanent 15kv lineups.

Singleton self-performed the splicing and testing of the new PILC cables and upgraded the 15kv switchgear controls with 125vdc station batteries and a power monitoring system linking to the NIST Campus Building Management Net.

This design-build project earned Singleton a 2003 WBC Craftsmanship Award for Power Generation, Distribution, and Switchgear.