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United Excel Completes Dental Clinic at Ft. Shafter, HI

United Excel recently completed the Repair/Renew Bldg 339 Dental Clinic task order at Ft. Shafter, HI. The team faced several challenges throughout the project, compounded by the logistical constraints of working on an island.

The project required coordination of approximately 30 subcontractors to fulfill all scopes. However, with its remote location, only a limited amount of qualified subcontractors were available.

To mitigate this challenge, United Excel assisted smaller subcontractors, who often faced limited resources, with their project documentation. In addition, the team held weekly subcontractor coordination meetings that provided an overview of work activities over the next three to five weeks, allowing for proactive coordination of personnel and resources.

Being on an island, resources were also more limited. Materials and supplies that were commonly either readily available or could be attained within days in the mainland often took weeks to procure. United Excel ordered and planned supply deliveries well in advance of major milestones, but, as is typical on a construction project, deliveries did not always proceed as planned. This sometimes required the team to get creative with the resources available on hand or partner with local suppliers and subcontractors to share resources. For instance, a unexpected delay from a mainland roof distributor could have resulted in schedule delays on the roofing scope, but the team leapt into action and successfully identified a local manufacturer with a coil supply to construct the required roof.

Navigating the five-hour time zone distance between Missouri (where the project was managed) and Hawaii (where the project was located) was another challenge.The United Excel team constantly made themselves available and flexible to work in the evenings, often fielding calls around 10 pm CST before the close of business on the island.

The team also encountered multiple unforeseen conditions. For instance, while excavating the underground utilities, the team ran into several boulders—an unusual circumstance in an internal renovation. This required the team to utilize specialized equipment to chip and excavate the boulders. In another instance, the team encountered numerous utilities that were not marked, likely due to the age of the facility. This required additional investigative work to determine which utilities were abandoned, as well as how to remove and/or work around them.

The facility also had unique facility regulations that at times conflicted with industry standards. To overcome this, the team coordinated closely with the government throughout design and construction to reconcile the regulations and ensure they were properly applied.

“Proper planning and coordination with the entire project team helped us overcome these challenges to deliver a successful project,” said Nathan Dreher, United Excel Project Manager.

Awarded in 2014, the intent of this design-build gut-and renewal project was to renovate Building 339 in its entirety to provide a complete 22-chair dental clinic that meets all current codes, regulations and facility guidelines.The repair/renewal effort reconfigured the existing floor plan; replaced all MEP systems; provided fire suppression, fire alarm, public address and mass notification systems; replaced all interior finishes; and provided telecommunications and security systems. The scope also removed/abated all hazardous materials; replaced the metal panel roof system; provided new windows and doors; and replaced the existing asphalt parking lot.

Key design and trade partners were as follows:

· Architectural Design: United Excel Design, P.C.

· Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Structural Engineering Design: KAI Design & Build

· Civil Engineering Design: Bow Engineering

· Fire Protection Design: Code Consultants, Inc.

· Mechanical Trade Partner: Blue Mountain Mechanical, Inc.