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Precast, Modular Construction for Water Impoundment Infrastructure

Precast, Modular Construction for Water Impoundment Infrastructure

Author: Peter Drown, Andrew Sanna, Norm Bishop
Conference: HydroVision 2017
Date: June 27-30, 2017

Physical civil construction is the largest single component of new hydropower development cost, from 40%-90% of total capital cost depending on the project size (HRF/ORNL, 2014). Risk associated with civil-related schedule and corresponding budget overruns for new projects are significant, and can be due to weather and river flood events, contracting delays, major equipment lead-times, and other factors caused by the lengthy civil and equipment installation construction periods. Precast concrete modular structures offers the potential to reduce these delays and costs by moving traditional on-site construction tasks to an off-site, controlled precasting location. The civil structure is built with modules using reinforced precast concrete, and transported to site where the modules are joined together to form a monolithic structure. The benefits of precast concrete have been well-proven in many other construction industries, including commercial and residential, bridges, parking garages, hospitals and prisons. Several U.S. hydropower facilities have utilized precast elements in powerhouse construction. French Development Enterprises, LLC (FDE) has developed the “French Dam” – an infrastructure technology that applies precast modules to construct powerhouses, dams, weirs and diversion structures. This paper examines the application of precast concrete modules as an alternative to conventional construction when applied to dams and diversion structures.


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