The New Sherman Oaks Galleria: MEP Systems
January 01, 2002

By Staff
Appeared in Building Operating Management/FacilitiesNet

A reconfigured electrical system shaved months off the construction schedule for the recently completed reconstruction of the Sherman Oaks Galleria and will save millions of dollars in energy costs by taking advantage of natural lighting and the area’s temperate climate.

The existing mall’s electrical system infrastructure consisted of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s main station and five satellite vaults located throughout the property. The system provides electricity for 500,000 sq. ft. of Class A office space and an additional 500,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurants and a Pacific Theatres cineplex.

“This situation got even more complicated when the location of one of the major satellite vaults interfered with the main fountain, which is the project’s major architectural design feature,” said Ali Hadian, an associate partner and a supervising engineer with Syska Hennessy Group. The Los Angeles-based firm oversaw and coordinated mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire-protection design, engineering and construction.

Hadian was faced with the decision to either relocate the vault—at a major cost—or eliminate it altogether. “In accordance with our original scheme to save cost and construction time, we decided to eliminate this vault,” he said, noting that the capacity of the remaining vaults had to be increased to provide adequate power to the entire project.

“At first, this task seemed to be impossible, considering the fact that we were reusing the existing limited electrical distribution system,” Hadian explained. “We proactively coordinated our design solution with DWP. The primary power distribution of the project was increased to 34,500 volts and satellite vaults were reconfigured to step-down this high voltage to a lower safe voltage—at 480 volts—for distribution to all tenants.""