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Custom Fiberglass Enclosure Delivered by Barge to NYC

No matter what the challenges are or how difficult it may be to get it to your site, Shelter Works will deliver your custom fiberglass enclosure to protect your critical field equipment–even if it means delivering it on a barge.

Normally a Shelter Works’ custom fiberglass enclosure is delivered via truck. Once on-site the shelter is lifted off the delivery truck and set in place using construction equipment that is already on-site. But sometimes it’s easier to ship it by delivering the equipment up the river on a barge. That was the case for a custom fiberglass enclosure we delivered to New York City earlier this year. This well-traveled shelter sailed past the Statue of Liberty and under the Brooklyn bridge to get to its final destination.

The new shelter was built to replace several older sheds that housed a water treatment system located next to a brackish water inlet that was flooded by two feet of water during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Because the water treatment system is anticipated to be in operation for another 30 years, the engineers that manage the system determined that the new shelter needed to be able to protect the system from another Sandy-sized storm surge.

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Decision Making Process

When it came time to  select the new shelter, there were also several additional unusual needs that drove them to choose a custom fiberglass enclosure from Shelter Works.


The water in the inlet is brackish (with both freshwater and saltwater) so this facility must constantly deal with very serious corrosion issues–even stainless steel has had problems at this facility in the past. Shelter Works’ fiberglass construction is perfect for this type of environment.


The treatment system is expected to operate for the next 30 years, so Shelter Works’ high-quality construction and 25-year warranty were important to them. The project was managed by Frank Capitani of Leidos Engineering, one of the leading systems integrators in science, technology, and engineering. He explained how his clients feel about the Shelter Works shelter, saying, “They LOVE it. It’s a shelter of the highest quality, which is what is needed because this custom fiberglass enclosure needs to last for a longtime.”


The new treatment system shelter needed to fit into a limited available space at the site and house three individual rooms within one building (two large treatment equipment rooms and a control room). The larger equipment rooms also required full, open access to the equipment within. Shelter Works constructed the shelter and rooms to the exact dimensions the engineers requested and provided custom-length full-opening roll-up doors for the equipment rooms.


One of the treatment rooms had to be outfitted with an “explosion-proof” electrical package. Shelter Works offers multiple electrical packages to deal with any such specific needs.


The site engineers required secondary containment in the two treatment rooms to capture any potential leaks from the equipment and piping, and Shelter Works delivered by constructing the floors and walls of the treatment rooms “puncture free” up to five inches above the ground, including a five-inch lip at the roll-up doors. This created waterproof containment basins five inches deep, integrated into the very structure of the shelter.


Because of the potential for future flooding, the engineers required that all electrical equipment in the shelter be installed above the two foot high water mark set by Sandy. This created a potential problem for the tall, heavy motor control center (MCC) in the control room that was too heavy to be wall mounted, and too tall to be stand-mounted (would need a ladder to reach the top of the MCC). Shelter Works solved this problem by elevating the control room floor two feet, allowing the MCC to be floor mounted above the high-water mark.


The site location has strict weight per square foot restrictions. Shelter Works’ light weight construction was combined with load spreading plates to ensure that there would be no issues at this site.

Whatever unique delivery challenges you face, Shelter Works’ can work with you to get a fiberglass equipment shelter delivered to your site.