Robert m ball atrium smoke detection upgrade - priority 2 & 4 project

  • Duration: Aug 2017 - Feb 2019

  • Location: Woodlawn, MD

  • Owner: Social Security Administration

  • Contract Value: $1,067,872

Prime contractor on this Social Security Administration project to upgrade the fire alarm, sprinkler system, and mechanical equipment at the Robert M Ball building. We provided the Contract Administration, Project Management, Demolition Oversight, Scheduling, Site Supervision, Quality Control, Safety, Ductwork, and Mechanical. We managed multiple efforts simultaneously from project initiation to project close-out. 

 The SSA Robert M. Ball Atrium Smoke Detection project is a fire alarm, sprinkler, and mechanical upgrade to the Atrium Smoke Detection system at the SSA Robert M. Ball building. The construction for this project took place after hours. The project involved the replacement of (30) fire alarm beam detectors, (30) fire alarm beam reflectors, (6) fire alarm smoke detectors, (44) fire alarm duct detectors, and (40) fire alarm test switches in the large box atrium and linear atrium areas of work spread across four floors of the building.

The project also entailed installing mechanical ductwork extensions and fire alarm duct detectors in the air returns of twenty-two (22) server rooms throughout the building. Upon completion of the mechanical ductwork extensions and fire alarm duct detectors in the sever rooms, the remaining defective duct detectors installed inside the roof top AHUs were demolished. 

We communicated with our client regularly via weekly progress meetings.  Our office utilized a formal daily roll call process where field management report daily status to project managers.  Project status was escalated to senior management on each assignment.  Daily plans of action were discussed and documented.  Outcomes from this roll call process resulted in client communication regarding progress, issues, and feedback.  Our project managers were actively engaged in daily or weekly meetings as the primary point of contact for the contracting officer or contracting officer technical representative.

 Administrative, engineering, negative air, personal protective equipment, adhesive mats, temporary protective covers, temporary plastic barriers, air filters, tools, and additional dust control measures were implemented prior to the start of work onsite to control dust pollution levels and maintain occupant health and comfort during and after construction.

During construction, we identified sixty-six (66) potential scope conflicts between the new drywall bulkheads requested and various existing conditions in the areas of work, including the Server Room. The impacts of these existing conditions required 50% of the new drywall bulkhead finishes to be revised. We worked directly with the Government and design team to extensively survey these conflicts onsite to reach the most cost effective solutions for the client such as alternate dimensions and locations of fire alarm devices, drywall bulkheads, and air duct collars.

 Three Server Rooms had existing active VESDA Fire Suppression System not identified on the contract documents. These systems had the potential to cause life threatening injuries or death, if activated with personnel in the room. We identified these systems onsite and contracted the building fire protection vendor to shutdown these systems prior to the start of work in these areas to avoid this potential danger.

During final fire alarm testing, the existing mechanical return dampers were activated for the first time. Amid observation, it was identified that over 100 remaining dampers were not operational and needed to be replaced for the downstream components of the newly installed fire alarm system to completely functional. We worked directly with the Government and Design Team to reach a cost-effective scope of work to replace these actuators and retest both systems together.