DPS Receives Exceptional Government Ratings for Tinker AFB Project
Doyon Project Services (DPS), a subsidiary of Doyon Government Group, was awarded a design/build project in February 2013 by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to simultaneously upgrade 17 high-security, aging warehouse buildings. Tinker, headquarters of the Air Force Materiel Command’s Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, is responsible for managing aircraft, engines, missiles, software and avionics, on a worldwide basis. DPS’ project was part of a base-wide plan to reduce energy use, and included the decommissioning and dismantling of three steam plants.
Security restrictions required that DPS have full-time security escorts in many areas of the site. The project occurred during the federal sequestration period, limiting availability of government escorts, yet DPS accomplished the work on a tight schedule and without disruption to the government’s mission-critical activities.
DPS’ project team included Project Manager Rod Hutton, Superintendent Al Glines, Site Safety and Health Officer Randall Sanders, and Quality Control Manager John Woodard, who coordinated work based on availability of escorts. An estimated 70 delay days were avoided due to the team’s proactive schedule management.
DPS’ work included removal of old, steam-powered heating systems and replacement with high-efficiency, natural gas systems. In some locations, this required sampling and abatement of asbestos. When abatement work began, DLA’s union expressed concerns, threatening DPS’ progress. DPS’ team met with union and government representatives to explain the project’s technical, safety and notification procedures. The team’s excellent customer communication skills and project transparency diffused a potentially hostile, project-crippling situation, and mitigated up to 20 days of delay.
In the government’s project documents, the new natural gas lines were specified as ductile iron, and showed the new lines tying into existing cast iron gas lines. When uncovered, the cast iron lines were found to be in poor condition, which could have caused a project delay. However, DPS identified other existing lines that needed only minor rerouting of new piping. When the government approved DPS’ new plan, the team proceeded without requesting additional monetary or time considerations, further expediting the project’s schedule.
Underground gas lines feed heaters in the warehouse buildings while large bay doors remain open for extended periods. DPS coordinated installation of the lines with weather conditions and temporary heating systems so that indoor temperatures never dipped below 55 degrees. The project team continually monitored building temperatures and weather forecasts for occupant comfort during installation work. On November 10, 2014, the daytime temperature was in the 80s, but plummeted overnight into the 20s. Superintendent Glines was making rounds of the facilities when he noticed the temperature in Stockroom M (which was not an area where DPS was working) was very cold. He investigated and found that the government’s heating equipment had failed, and the temperature of the fire water main piping was 29 degrees, which could cause piping to burst! He immediately notified the Air Force maintenance contractor and DLA personnel, who responded, and he stayed to assist until heat was restored. By taking the initiative to monitor the entire facility, Glines prevented a disaster, saving the government potential damages that could have easily exceeded $1 million.
DPS was also responsible for removal and replacement of 5,081 lighting fixtures with new, energy-efficient units. As the project approached 25 percent complete, a challenge arose when DLA’s employee union voiced concerns about DLA’s re-lighting plan. Consequently, the government issued an open-ended stop work order for portions of the project, resulting in a 232-day delay in some work areas. DPS’ team continued to work in unaffected areas, and upon the government’s approval to proceed, the team quickly coordinated and mobilized to resume and expedite completion of the work.
Another challenge arose when the government unexpectedly retained DPS to restart and fully operate the existing steam plant, which was not part of the initial contract. DPS immediately staffed the plant with local operators for startup and 24-hour operation of the facility. DPS’ proactive scheduling and subcontracting efforts avoided an estimated 45-day delay in the project.
At completion of this $16.3 million project, DPS’ team had performed over 87,000 man-hours of construction, despite several major hurdles and countless lesser ones, and there were no reportable or lost time accidents. The government’s final review of this project stated, “Doyon’s performance was exceptional. This team delivered an outstanding product and provided exceptional customer-focused service throughout the period of performance.”
Because of the team’s outstanding efforts on this project and the reference it provided, the Army Corps of Engineers’ Tulsa District recently awarded Doyon more DLA projects at Tinker AFB, including the repair/replacement of multiple building roofs (two contracts totaling approximately $13 million), and a Defense Information Systems Authority (DISA) generator replacement project contract totaling more than $6 million.
For more information on Doyon Project Services, visit www.doyongovgrp.com.