Metro Water Services

Technology Meets Historic Preservation in Utility Operations Center Modernization

Modernization of Metro Water Services' treatment plant was needed to facilitate monitoring of drinking water, drainage and improve operational efficiency. The 1929 facility was converted from a manual operation to one with a fully automated instrumentation and control system. In a location listed on the National Registry of Historical Places, Diversified was challenged with marrying a modern control room with historic brick architecture.

Starting with an empty brick shell, Diversified provided design-build services for the utility operations center modernization including operator stations, lighting and acoustics for the control room and war room. The build-out was strictly superficial; nothing could be connected to the historic structure. Five sit/stand operator stations, each with a clear view of the 4×3 video wall, were created in the multi-tiered, c-shaped control room. The custom video wall has sound-dampening components and is flanked by monitors on winged walls for maximum visibility. Barco CMS software moves mission critical data around the Metro Water network for real-time, operator-specific information, alerts and SCADA applications.

A kitchenette was installed adjacent to the video wall for convenience. The war room is used for crisis operations as well as daily meetings, accessing content via re-purposed LCDs. The goal of improving operator efficiency and effectiveness has been met. Operators are sharing a common operational picture and can dispatch and push content out to the field through the scalable solution. With clear visibility through tilted glass walls, tours of the facility are regularly conducted for the Mayor, City Council and schools from the mezzanine.

The project won the Metropolitan Historical Commission’s 2017 Preservation Award as well as the ACEC Engineering Excellence Award in the Building/Technology Systems category.

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