Aerospace Test Facility - Design and Pre-Construction
Project Features: New 16,000 sq/ft. Aerospace Production Test Facility, Aerospace Shaft Engine Test, Design Criteria Development, Pre-construction Services, Budget Development, Schedule Planning
In 2022, a multinational conglomerate with significant aerospace operations needed a new test facility to increase its production testing of a new shaft engine. The company’s original intention was to duplicate an existing test facility used for a similar application and have ACS manage the construction project, as the company didn’t have the in-house personnel or expertise. However, the original design plans provided to ACS couldn’t be used as the location for the new 16,000 sq/ft facility presented a number of unique challenges. The location had a tight footprint as it was surrounded by other buildings and support infrastructure that needed to remain operational during construction. The construction site was bordered by fire lanes, presenting logistical challenges for constructability that impacted design options. Other characteristics of the location, such as being surrounded by active test cells and its close proximity to a major international airport, also introduced constraints when creating the construction plan. Lastly, emerging issues and design modifications made in response to the logistical difficulties of the build site combined to push the estimated costs of the project beyond the company’s original budget.
The first step of the ACS design team was to put the designs provided by the company through ACS’ detailed design criteria validation review; a critical step in ACS’ internal design process. This design review process was done to verify and further detail the design criteria. During the design criteria validation review, the ACS team uncovered a number of instances where the existing designs needed modification to accommodate the logistical obstacles of the build site. For example, the design for equipment support to get the units under test in and out the existing facility were not transferable to the new facility as it had far less space to maneuver in and out the building.
To bring the projected budget back within the company’s original estimate, the ACS team guided the company’s stakeholders through the design and procurement options they had, providing them with a framework that helped them specify what in the original plans were the test facility’s absolute requirements and what could be classified as “nice to have” features.
During the pre-construction phase, the ACS team’s traditional methodology of focusing first on identifying which materials, equipment, and contractors had long lead times let it maneuver successfully in the rapidly changing supply chain environment. The ACS construction planning team also delved into detailed traffic and operational patterns of the build site’s surroundings to devise a strategy and project plan for how the facility could be built, accounting for the extraordinarily difficult logistics and the company’s strict requirement that construction could not interfere with existing operations.
The ACS team produced detailed design and construction plans, approved by the company, for a shaft engine facility that is constructable without disrupting the operations and utility infrastructure of the surrounding buildings and increases their production testing capacity with flexibility to further expand the site’s testing capacity in the future.
Moreover, the modified design and construction plans put together by the ACS teams brought the project back within the company’s final budget. During the design phase, the ACS team was able to trim the scope of the original design while allowing the company maximum operational capabilities per capital dollar. The final design provides for two immediately operational test cells with two additional test spaces optimized for quick, cost-efficient upfit to fully operational test cells at such time when the company can allocate additional funds to the test facility.
The company left the construction planning entirely to the ACS team, which used its procurement methodology and detailed analytical process to map out a construction plan that resolves all the logistical restraints, resulting in a feasible construction plan.
The ACS design and pre-construction teams delivered the company a roadmap that set the stage for the successful completion of the construction project of a new shaft engine test facility that meets all the company’s goals.
- Design and pre-construction for new 16,000 sq/ft test facility
- Design criteria development, review, and validation for aerospace production test facility
- Pre-construction planning to overcome logistical obstacles and challenges of the build site
- No disruption to existing operations at the R&D campus
- Early identification of long lead equipment to manage and meet schedule
- Final plan set the stage for the successful completion of the construction project
Developed and reviewed design criteria, identified long lead equipment to manage a tight schedule, and devised a strategy and project plan for how the facility could be built amid very difficult logistics and with no disruption to current operations.