Amtrak William H. Gray III 30th Street Station Redevelopment Project

Arora Engineers, Inc. (Arora) is providing multidisciplinary engineering services to Gilbane Building Company, a member of the development team led by Plenary Infrastructure, for the redevelopment of the Philadelphia Gray 30th Street Station. The approximately 8-acre Station, built between 1929 and 1934, is undergoing extensive enhancements in order to improve transit and pedestrian circulation within the station and provide better Station integration and connectivity, as well as implement pedestrian transit safety improvements with landscaping and streetscaping elements.

Phase one of this project entails the renovation and repositioning of approximately 30,000SF of retail space and improvements to station amenities including expanded commercial offerings, renovations to customer areas such as restrooms, ticketing and baggage, waiting rooms and lounge areas, as well as $10 Million of upgrades to station’s HVAC and MEP systems. Also included in Phase one is the redevelopment and retrofitting of the North and South Office Towers flanking the Main Hall to provide office space and commercial development opportunities, respectively.

Phase two will consist of a several developments aimed at improving passenger circulation in anticipation of projected increases in ridership, including the new North Concourse and West Underground Concourse, as well as a full redesign and reconstruction of the Station Plaza into a premier, inviting public space. The new North Concourse will entail the renovation of the existing valet parking garage to expand retail opportunities as well as access down to Amtrak and NJ Transit lower level platforms and up to SEPTA Regional Rail concourses. The new West Underground Concourse will connect the station to SEPTA subway and trolley station, and expand the capacity of station as well as retail offerings.

Scope of Work Included:

Arora provided Mechanical and Plumbing, Electrical, Fire and Life Safety, and Special Systems Engineering services for the Basis of Design (BOD) for this project. Design services include:

Mechanical Engineering: Arora’s mechanical engineers provided design services for the removal of the existing Veolia district steam service for the portions of the station being renovated, to be replaced with a new hot water boiler plant located in the track level mechanical equipment room. The new boiler plant design consists of gas fired condensing type boilers which supply relatively low temperature heating hot water to various air handling units (AHUs) and terminal heating equipment. Additionally, the building design included removal of the majority of dated legacy pneumatic controls and air compressors, and replacement with an all-new digital Building Automation System (BAS) which will monitor and control all building energy using systems through a web browser.

An extensive suite of utility submeters will be provided throughout to monitor all significant utility usages (electricity, domestic water, outdoor and exhaust airflow, natural gas, heating hot and chilled water, etc.). This will permit real time monitoring of all energy usages and allow instantaneous remedial action to minimize Amtrak’s utility costs.
Electrical Engineering: Arora’s electrical engineers reviewed existing electrical systems and recommended all distribution equipment, along with the feeders, branch circuits, etc., be replaced. Additionally, our engineers provide designs for a replacement of the existing CETC generator and provided designs for a new generator-powered back-up distribution system, segregated into National Electrical Code (NEC) loads: Emergency (i.e. Life Safety), Legally Required, and Optional Standby.

Plumbing Engineering: Arora’s plumbing engineers provided design services for a new triplex VFD domestic water booster sized for the new demand of the renovated building. Designs for gas fired condensing storage type water heaters will be provided in the track level mechanical room to serve the fixtures on concourse, mezzanine, and track levels.

Each tenant area will be served by domestic water and sanitary waste tied to the Station plumbing infrastructure. A capped 2” sanitary waste and 2” vent pipe will be stubbed into each tenant area for connection as part of the retail area fit-out, ultimately connecting to the existing 16” house drain connecting to the street main. Each tenant will be required to provide their own domestic water heater as part of the fit-out. Water heaters shall be electric storage type for all for tenants. Gas fired water heaters will be prohibited.

Each office tower restroom, etc. will be provided with point-of-use instantaneous electric water heaters. Tempered water shall be provided through mixing valves complying with ASSE 1017 and ASSE 1070 per Code requirements.

A new gas pressure booster will be provided sized for the new demand. All gas piping within the building will be replaced.

Fire Protection Engineering: The existing electric-driven fire pump will be replaced by a diesel-drive fire pump. Our engineers determined that a standpipe system is also required for the building. An automatic wet Class I standpipe was designed. Existing non-sprinklered areas shall be sprinklered as required by applicable codes and standards. Separate standpipes shall be provided in each required exit stairway. In addition, our team of engineers provided design services for sprinkler coverage for the Platform Level Back of House, Ground Level, Mezzanine Level, Second Floor office tower north and south, and Eighth Floor. Preaction sprinkler protection and clean agent extinguishing system protection are also designed for specific mission-critical areas.

Fire Alarm Engineering: Our team participated in design services for the necessary Fire Command Center (FCC), containing the emergency voice/alarm communication system, fire department communication system, fire detection and alarm system annunciator, elevator control, status controls for air distribution systems, fire fighter control panel for smoke control systems, control for unlocking interior exit stairway doors, sprinkler valve and waterflow detector display, emergency and standby power status indicators, telephone for fire department use, fire pump status indicators, building plans detailing life safety systems, building information cards, work table, generator supervision devices with manual start and transfer features, elevator fire recall switch, and elevator emergency or standby power selector switches. Design services also include design of a complete, fully automatic emergency voice/alarm communications system, automatic smoke detection, and emergency responder radio coverage.

Special Systems: Arora is providing specialized services for the telecommunications and security systems of this Station renovation project. The scope of work includes new GPON in-building distribution system to interconnect to active network equipment to provide a comprehensive, centralized telecommunications network infrastructure. Our engineers are providing new structured cabling systems, which ensures interconnections between main distribution terminal and Zone Boxes. The scope involves backbone cables, intermediate and main cross-connects, mechanical terminations, and patch cords. The security design will incorporate the appropriate security and anti- terrorism measures to mitigate risks and provide the essential methods in preventing destruction of property, vandalism, protecting the personal safety of both the passengers and employees.


Rendering courtesy of Amtrak.