Project Challenges

Siting Issues

Residential neighborhood. The new industrial facility is located on 27 acres, in a residential community immediately north of SeaTac Airport and south of the 17 5-acre North SeaTac Community Park. Sensitivity to the placement and appearance of this very large facility was critical to its acceptance by the community.

Noise mitigation. The close proximity of the project to the airport created unique design challenges requiring mitigation of outside noise transmission into the facility. Mitigation required the reduction of process noise transmitted into the surrounding neighborhood, such as those originating from exterior electrical generators and from the dust collection system. Conveyors were specified with cage roller bearings with a maximum noise generation level of 65 dB limits to reduce noise levels within the facility.

New municipality. The city of SeaTac incorporated as the project began. At the time the documentation for the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) was being prepared, it was not known whether the city or King County would perform this review. Furthermore, the fact that the city had never permitted a building project, let alone one as complex as the SDC, added to the complications in the permitting and building construction inspection processes.

The project team met with the city of SeaTac government and the community prior to the formal review process to discuss the scope of the project. Models of the building were developed to show how the new facility would look in the total context of the site and adjoining neighborhood. We listened to concerns throughout the program and explained what we were doing to answer them. On an ongoing basis, fliers and informational letters distributed among the community updated people on the progress of the project.

Specific examples of measures taken to ensure that the building would be as unobtrusive as possible and environmentally sensitive to the neighbor-

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hood were the lowering of the building in the site approximately 20 feet in the southeast corner; design of indirect lighting to prevent perimeter and parking lot lighting projecting into the neighborhood; and design of an attractive, yet functional, landscaping adjacent to the neighborhood featuring a meandering trail with interpretive signs identifying the plantings.

Technical challenges. Stored within the facility is a total of 400,000 stock-keeping units (SKU) and over 1.3 million parts. Not only is the number of parts daunting, they range in size from extremely small, e.g., rivets, to significantly large, e.g., 767 engine cowling. The challenges occurred in two general areas.

Material handling. Our goal was to identify, purchase, and install reliable material handling equipment to achieve a low-risk start-up within budget. To accomplish this, we realized the need for:

• operational reliability at both the equipment and systems level

• design for local control of equipment initially, but to include a system link-up capability allowing for future migration to an integrated system and a total warehouse management system

• design to accommodate year 2000 requirements for the receiving, warehousing, shipping, and support functions associated with operation of the SDC.

Design flexibility. From the very beginning, the driving element in the building criteria required a configuration totally driven by its function. In the past, many of Boeing's facilities were created by constructing the building shell first and then making necessary functional changes after the client moved in. On this project, all users were involved in the initial planning and their requirements dictated the design. From the inside out, the building was wrapped around the processes.

The material handling and workstation requirements were developed concurrently with the design of the facility. As such, area configurations and material selection decisions were made to maximize flexibility and to accommodate changes as they occurred. In order for the project to be completed within the scheduled time frame, the building construction drawings had to be completed before all the necessary equipment and user workstation requirements were fully defined. Design allowances were initially made using parametric and experiential data to complete the missing information. As detailed information became available, these design allowances were reviewed and refined as necessary.

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Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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