Natural Gas Distribution

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KCI serves gas utility owners by providing engineering and inspection services for their gas distribution facilities. We provide utility coordination, subsurface utility engineering (SUE) and relocation design as part of infrastructure improvement projects related to gas plants, metering and regulator stations, and gas distribution facilities, as well as new facility design for residential subdivisions. Our ability to provide third-party inspection services to utility owners ensures quality construction and regulatory compliance.

Natural Gas Services

Our SUE technicians designate, locate and map utilities before construction begins, and by selecting the most appropriate tools for the project, they leverage a wide range of cutting-edge technology such as electromagnetic and ground penetrating radar (GPR), in addition to AM gradiometry (AMG). KCI is one of the few engineering firms to employ AMG as a tool while performing subsurface utility engineering for gas facilities. Laser scan technology and building information modeling (BIM) allow us to bolster maintenance and new construction projects, and our long-standing environmental expertise enables us to assist with characterization and analysis of former manufactured gas plant sites and other stations.

We use new technologies and innovative approaches to solve problems for our clients and have established long-term relationships with regulated utility companies. Our ability to integrate design and field expertise with decades of project management experience in the public utility sector gives us the practical knowledge and technical understanding of these systems and our clients’ needs.

Examples of our breadth of services include:

 

LiDAR and BIM Regulator Stations

In Baltimore, our team performed a thorough subsurface utility engineering analysis of several gas regulator stations using traditional electromagnetic, GPR and AMG tools. KCI additionally conducted a LiDAR scan of the aboveground equipment and belowground regulator vaults. Because the scanning is survey grade accurate to 1/8”, the 3D BIM model created from the scan is a realistic depiction of the regulators and their associated control lines within the space. KCI was able to pinpoint and accurately depict the regulators in their difficult-to-access, underground vaults, as well as train field personnel and prepare staff for operations and maintenance without needing a truck onsite.

 

AM Gradiometer Scanning - Miami MPG SiteAM Gradiometer Scanning – Miami MPG Site

KCI was contracted to provide risk mitigation and characterization of underground utilities and obstructions at a former manufactured gas site in Miami, Florida. The owner of the site, where gas manufacturing operations were conducted from 1929 through 1959, was planning a soil remediation excavation at the facility. The site was believed to be underlain by various underground utilities (e.g., electrical lines, water lines, and unknown lines) and substructures including vaults, underground storage tanks, debris, foundations, manholes, and conduits. Prior to the excavation, the site had been previously evaluated using electromagnetic and GPR technologies. Due to limitations from soil composition, high groundwater levels, and the potential for deeper non-conductive obstructions, KCI was contracted to perform AMG scanning to provide another level of risk mitigation prior to excavation. The AMG field survey was conducted over a two-day period, and results indicated that the AMG was able to identify all underground anomalies identified by the previous studies in addition to major anomalies not detected by electromagnetic and GPR.

 

Digital Twin TechnologyDigital Twin Technology

Utilizing a BIM model to implement a digital twin, a digital replica of something that exists in the physical world, requires overlaying real-time data and storing it in a cloud or data warehouse for live and historical analysis. This information can be integrated from an organization’s existing investments in hardware and software, such as internet of things (IoT) sensors, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, and maintenance management software. Additional resources, including 311 or customer relationship management (CRM) software, smart meters, weather data, and crowd-sourced information from social media, can enrich the information presented in a digital twin dashboard.

 

Owings Mills Gas Gate Station

KCI was enlisted to locate and verify the entire footprint of their 60,000-square-foot Owings Mill gate station prior to upcoming construction projects. Multiple KCI disciplines came together to offer both traditional and innovative approaches to identifying and managing their complex infrastructure network. Our team used LiDAR, drones, traditional SUE and AM Gradiometry to create 2D drawings and 3D building information models (BIM). The latter provided a highly accurate geometry of the site including dimensions and locations of all above-ground gas utilities, value assemblies, buildings, fence lines and underground pipe routes. Additionally, an augmented reality (AR) model was created so that client personnel could use a Microsoft HoloLens to virtually walk through the facility and observe these features at scale. The models and AR platform serve as a foundation for asset management that can be easily updated, will improve construction document development, offer training opportunities and facilitate future development of digital dashboards for lifecycle and operations management.

 

MD 175 over MD 95 Transition Main Impact Study

The purpose of this project was to improve the existing capacity, traffic operations, intermodal connectivity, and vehicular and pedestrian safety of MD 175 while supporting existing and planned development in the area. In addition, this project served to accommodate future transportation needs in and around Fort Meade and improve connectivity between Odenton and MD 295. Our team performed a utility impact analysis for the project limits. The study evaluated the impact of the proposed highway features on 12,000 linear feet of an existing 26-inch gas main. KCI worked with client designers to mediate conflicts and create cross-sections. Challenges included right-of-way availability and working concurrently with the highway and hydraulic design process.