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Multi Story Undergrounds

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  • Mark Foster
    Many people report that AT&T underground sites are 1, 2, 3, or 4 stories deep. (There is a story that the Chatham Site is 13 stories deep). Most of the ones I
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 15, 2000
      Many people report that AT&T underground sites are 1, 2, 3, or 4 stories deep.
      (There is a story that the Chatham Site is 13 stories deep). Most of the ones
      I have seen up close are 2 main floors with mezzanines much like the Netcong
      site, see: http://www1.shore.net/~mfoster/Roxbury.htm

      I am sure this would leave the casual visitor to think the building to have
      3 or
      4 floors.

      Has anyone ever been in a site that actually had more than 2 main equipment
      floors?

      Happy Holidays!
    • Albert LaFrance
      A former Dranesville employee told me that site has three floors. The stairs from the entrance building go down to a blast door on the second floor; a set of
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 15, 2000
        A former Dranesville employee told me that site has three floors. The
        stairs from the entrance building go down to a blast door on the second
        floor; a set of interior stairs leads to the first and third floors.

        Also, I think I read somewhere that Finksburg has three floors, but that
        might include the mezzanine.

        I wonder if the additional floor was used at sites which had some
        co-located function requiring substantially more space and personnel than a
        regular main station; e.g an AUTOVON operator site.

        As for the tales of site with large numbers of floors, I don't believe them
        for a couple of reasons.

        First, the economics which govern the construction of surface buildings
        also apply to underground structures. Given a low cost for land, as would
        be the case for the mostly rural/suburban locations of the AT&T sites, it's
        generally cheaper to build out horizontally than to go up (or down). In
        the case of an underground building, it's probably much quicker to dig a
        wide, shallow hole that a narrow, deep one. There's more room to work, and
        it's easier to haul the excavated dirt. Also, there's less chance of
        hitting rock or groundwater. Similar savings apply to concrete forming and
        placement. Since in normal construction practice only one floor can be
        poured at a time, fewer floors equals less construction time for a given
        total square footage. And then there's the cost of passenger elevators,
        which would probably be needed for anything over four floors (especially
        the tall floors found in telco facilities).

        Similarly, it's easier to lay out and install equipment when all related
        items are on the same level. And once the facility is operational, there
        are savings from not having to power and maintain elevators.

        Second, a multi-story structure doesn't offer much additional bomb-effects
        protection relative to a single-level, unless each level is fully isolated
        from the others by blast doors, blast valves on HVAC ducts (or separate
        ducts systems), and floor-penetration seals. Since the AT&T sites usually
        have a single blast door and an internal stairway, the overpressure and
        fallout from a breach of any part of the structure would be transmitted to
        all the floors.

        Albert

        >Many people report that AT&T underground sites are 1, 2, 3, or 4 stories
        deep.
        >(There is a story that the Chatham Site is 13 stories deep). Most of the
        ones
        >I have seen up close are 2 main floors with mezzanines much like the
        Netcong
        >site, see: http://www1.shore.net/~mfoster/Roxbury.htm
        >
        >I am sure this would leave the casual visitor to think the building to
        have
        >3 or
        >4 floors.
        >
        >Has anyone ever been in a site that actually had more than 2 main
        equipment
        >floors?
        >
        >Happy Holidays!
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