Project Experience

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POL Hardening (Fuel Piping), AAFB


Client:          P & S Construction Inc.  


Project:        POL Hardening (Fuel Piping), Andersen Air Force Base, Guam


Scope:           From 2018 to 2020, Smithbridge Guam undertook a project to manage, engineer, demolish existing and construct new fuel piping. The hardening project was designed to provide the US Air Force the capability to transfer fuel from pump house to pump house, which they were not capable of doing for the longest time. The piping system also served as redundancy, while the hardened structure was designed to protect the pipes from hostile environment; this project was the first of it kind; its success means that same design will be installed in other US Air Force Bases around the world. 

Project Construction Overview

In early January of 2015, Smithbridge won the award for the POL Hardening; the scope of work was to refurbish and relocate an existing Jet Fuel Manifold at Andy 1; fabricate, install, and commission a new pump house at Andy 2 and as well as in the new Contingency pump house; the scope also include installation of a hydrant loop connection for redundancy.

This is the first of its kind, Hardened fuel system which will act as a precedence based on its performance; same set up will be installed at many other US Air Force Bases which will provide protection from hostile environments.

The contract was put on hold from 2015 until 2018 due to MEC & UXO requirements.

Smithbridge was given a notice to proceed in August 2018 and successfully met the schedule of completion in August 2020, proving again that we can work in very critical and dangerous conditions and environment’s (working at heights, fall protection, confined space, crane lifts, Gas Free environments, Trenches) successfully without any safety incidents and meet our schedule while producing a quality product.

Personnel Management Innovations

Pre – Planning using Microsoft Office Project
Prior to project implementation, Smithbridge Construction Manager created a Baseline Project schedule using Microsoft Office Project which listed down all the resources needed for the project, including manpower / staffing. Staffing was a challenge as there were activities in different locations that needed to be done simultaneously but with the help of the created Baseline Project schedule, Smithbridge was able to complete its deliverables within the given timeframe.

Pre-Task Planning
Before each job/task, the Project Supervisor would get together with the workforce and discuss how to achieve the task. In particular, this was a critical aspect of the demolition phase. Input between the Project Supervisor, SSHO, Crane Operator and Riggers was vital in developing the most efficient and safest method.

Quality Control Innovations

Shop Drawing using 3D CAD
Smithbridge created Shop drawings for the project using 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD). These shop drawings were submitted to the client for approval prior to issuing them for fabrication. There were shop drawings for every area (i.e. Andy Manifold 1, Andy 2, Contingency Pump house and Hydrant Loop). These served as fabrication manual / guide for the Smithbridge fabricators.






Field verifications and measurements were conducted prior to creating the shop drawings to ensure that every pipe spool meet the required length in order to prevent re-work, as Smithbridge believes that re-work costs more than doing it right the first time.

Factory Coating Inspection
To ensure the quality of the coating provided by the suppliers, Smithbridge had an in-house Certified National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Coating Inspector who went to the coating plant and conducted Quality Control Inspection in accordance with the Specifications. Quality Control documentations were provided to the client in the closeout report.

Factory Pipe Inspection
To ensure that the Pipe materials meet the specifications, Smithbridge conducted a factory inspection prior, during and after milling. Pipes were also inspected prior to shipment and Quality Control documentations were provided to the client in the closeout report.

Weld Maps
Smithbridge created Weld Maps for the different areas to ensure that all welds and repairs (if any) were properly documented. The Weld Map included the weld number, the welder’s number, the Welding Procedure used, the Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) results and the Repair no.
The Smthbridge Site superintendent ensured that the weld map is being followed and updated.

Non-Destructive Examinations (NDE)
To ensure the Quality of the welds, Smithbridge hired a Third Party NDE inspector. NDE inspection were consisted of Visual, Phase Array Ultrasonic Test (PAUT) and Penetrant Testing (PT); every weld was inspected, and results were documented through a report provided and signed by the NDE Inspector.

Scheduling Innovations

Baseline Project Schedule
Resources and schedule were a challenged for the project as it required to have simultaneous activities at different areas, thus Smithbridge created a Baseline Project Schedule which listed all the activities that included the critical paths.

The Baseline Project schedule was coordinated with the client to ensure that Smithbridge meets the Project Completion Date.

Critical Path Project Schedule
Smithbridge created a Critical Path Project schedule to ensure critical project activities met the target dates requirement. The project schedule was updated daily to ensure that Smithbridge had all the resources it needed.

Off-site fabrication
Prior to field installation, using the approved for construction shop drawings, Smithbridge fabricated (off-site) all the pipe spools which saved the project a lot of time.


Specific Project Obstacles or Difficult Circumstances Overcome

The existing Andy 1 manifold was to be removed without shutting down fuel operations for refurbishment and relocation. Smithbridge was able to achieve this by engineering a by-pass system which was a success and allowed fuel operations to operate and transfer fuel as required. With the means of mechanical isolation, this was achieved with proper training, planning and good communication. All employees knew their roles required to execute the tasks which was explained very clearly prior to each task being undertaken by the Project Superintendent.


Winner of Excellence in Construction Award 2020

As part of the Guam Contractor’s Association annual Excellence in Construction Awards in 2020, this project won in the category of Mechanical: Industrial (Less than $10 Million). The Excellence in Construction Awards promote quality craftsmanship in the industry and celebrate and reward construction projects across Guam. The awards have been running in Guam since 1997 and are a prestigious honor and coveted award to receive in such a competitive industry.

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