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Hardwire ArmorStone Secures Chicago's Water Supply

02 July 2008

To keep their water supply secure, the Chicago Department of Water Management invested to improve the infrastructure of the Jardine plant, concentrating on providing security protection for critical components.

Teng & Associates, a design and engineering firm, was chosen to design various elements of the project, including security improvements. According to Teng Senior Associate, John R. Hillman, who was Project Manager for the project, they needed to harden the target or create deterrents to further protect certain critical components of the facility.

"At one point, we were looking at ways to just create a façade to disguise these portions of the facility," said Hillman. "We were considering the installation of some sort of barrier that included a ‘veil' to disguise the presence of certain features at the plant." It was at this point that Hillman realized "Hardwire ArmorStone" -- a patent-pending granite-faced composite panel developed by Hardwire, LLC and Cold Spring Granite Company that provides high levels of both ballistic and blast protection -- would be a perfect solution for the water plant.

"With Hardwire ArmorStone, we were able to provide more than just a façade to disguise certain features of the plant," commented Hillman. "We were able to supply a ballistic armour that provided greater protection, further hardened the target and was aesthetically pleasing. Hardwire ArmorStone gave us disguise and security features in a single solution." Randy Huber, Senior Product Manager for Hardwire ArmorStone at Cold Spring Granite, explained why providing security for public structures is a very sensitive issue in today's world.

"What you don't want is people having to work in a structure or building that has a ‘bunker-feeling' to it," said Huber. "People don't want to be reminded on a daily basis that they live in a world full of threats." "This is just one example of the innovative work done by Hardwire and its partners to create leading-edge armour solutions to meet the emerging needs of our customers and our country," stated Hardwire CEO George Tunis, "including vehicle armour kits for the military's Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, armour for critical domestic transportation infrastructure, facility overhead protection for the U.S. military overseas, and the development of a new standard in base vehicle armor that surpasses critical performance requirements. Chicago is a great and important city, and we're pleased to be able to provide this important protection."

According to Dan Rea, Senior Vice President, Commercial Group of Cold Spring Granite, Hardwire ArmorStone provides inconspicuous protection at an economical price. "You don't have to build a fortress to protect a building or structure," Rea noted. "You end up with a granite façade just like any other granite-façade building, but with the added feature of ballistic and blast protection. Simply, with Hardwire ArmorStone, design does not have to be sacrificed for the sake of security."

"The key differentiator of this solution is the fact that designers and owners can quantify the threat, and we can qualify a solution that has been tested extensively and can be engineered to meet a range of threat levels," said Rea.

”For the Jardine application, Hardwire ArmorStone proved to be the ideal application. "By using Hardwire ArmorStone, we were able to create what appears to be a purely aesthetic improvement to the plant, while at the same time reinforcing the façade with a ballistic armour that no one is even aware exists," said Hillman. Other options for the water plant, such as pouring 2-feet of concrete to protect the structure, were not feasible due to weight restrictions and the limited amount of space available on the worksite. "The Hardwire ArmorStone panels were hung on the existing building and on the existing fence," said Huber. "There was a 2-foot catwalk between the building and the fence, so the panels were a perfect fit for this application."

"This project represents one of many utility and infrastructure protection programs completed by Hardwire and Cold Spring Granite over the last two years and underway currently," reported John Hammond, Hardwire Vice President for Business Development. "We're very excited about this new category-leading product that combines both a very high level of protection with economy, and frankly, style. Affordable, beautiful, and robust is what we and Cold Spring set out to achieve."

The Jardine plant, situated on a piece of land off the shore of Chicago, juts out into Lake Michigan. Installation posed no problems, as large cranes were used to drop the panels in place on the plant. "This proved to be an extremely cost-effective solution," Hillman commented. "In many ways, this was a very simple application of the technology. It was quite easy to integrate Hardwire ArmorStone into the existing structure. It was no more difficult than putting up a granite curtain wall."






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