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May 20, 2022
The North Satellite Modernization project’s continuous collaboration fostered innovative ideas to execute complex operations and take advantage of schedule acceleration opportunities. The following examples demonstrate the team’s innovative approach.
Micro-sequencing: Throughout construction, the North Satellite remained operational for main tenant Alaska Airlines. The North Satellite Modernization was built in two phases, which included 22 micro-sequences. The team worked collaboratively during preconstruction to develop a design and construction plan that aligned with project and stakeholder goals while keeping the airport functions operational and safe during construction. This included a focus on maintaining a minimum number of gates, restrooms and passageways operational to maintain a positive passenger experience during construction.
Steel truss installation: To build the 80-foot river over the central core, Hensel Phelps installed 2 million pounds of steel trusses over the active facility. Using two 16,000 Manitowoc cranes on the east and west side of the building, every pick was critical due to multiple cranes or weight of truss; and every pick was documented on Hensel Phelps’ critical pick work sheet. Weather patterns were carefully considered, and the team constantly communicated with the air traffic control tower due to the height of the cranes. This took tremendous efforts from all parties involved and resulted in no injuries, incidents or near misses during the steel truss installation.
Dance floor scaffold: To install the high river’s MEP and ceiling 80 feet over the concourse below, 26 beams were installed during steel erection over the central core to support a dance floor scaffold that provided trade partners a safe working surface. The 26 47-foot temporary I-beams were removed after the high river ceiling was finished. A picking apparatus skid was engineered and built to sit on the temporary beams as they were being removed. The beams were maneuvered onto the catwalk level of the building, where they were cut up and taken out of the building.
Operation Silver Cloud: During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the NSAT team recognized an opportunity to take advantage of low passenger flow in the central core, which was the most heavily phased portion of the project and the critical path. The team developed a revised plan, reviewed the plan with project stakeholders, received buy-in, and executed to the benefit of the project in both schedule savings and cost savings for the port and Hensel Phelps. Known as Operation Silver Cloud, it allowed the project team to open the new facility on June 30, 2021, under a temporary construction occupancy in lieu of the original Oct. 26, 2021, date.
Completing follow-on prior to turnover: Phase 1 was opened with temporary AHUs. The original schedule removed the temporary AHUs after turnover of Phase 2, when all gates would be operational. The team expedited the last three months of schedule by installing new AHUs within the Phase 2 penthouse earlier and tying it into Phase 1. This allowed the temporary equipment to be removed prior to turn over, reducing potential impact to airline operations.