Bad news around the corner
Bryan, Senior Project Manager for a full-service mechanical and plumbing contractor in Wilsonville, OR, told Session 5B of Turbo Leadership Systems’ Leadership Development Lab:
“There were some significant challenges on the remodel of theOregon State Capitol HVAC, piping project. These historic buildings are not seismically upgraded, and are occupied. There were many existing unforeseen conditions. Another challenge was that the mechanical engineer didn’t coordinate with the structural engineer about design for major services going from the building loading dock (circa 1977) into the new West Vault.
“As it turns out, the existing exterior wall can’t even have a square inch of added penetrations without it triggering a seismic upgrade of the entire 1977 west wing; in all its marble and high-end finishedglory. So, passing through the wall was not an option. Once discovered, the challenge was put to me to find a solution. I worked over 80 hours of Building Information Modeling (BIM) time that we didn’t have in our budget. How were we going to fit 8 refrigerant lines, 6 large conduits, 4 Fuel Oil Vents, 3 plumbing lines, 2 heating water lines, 2 ducts, a 28″ generator flue through a 30″ wide by 7 foot tall reduction in what used to be 8′ wide door into the west vault?
“I created one of the most creative, innovative, complex and technical BIM solutions I’ve ever done in my 16 year career. I was proud of it. The project team nickname it ‘The Octopus,’ and against all odds, it worked. We had to follow a top-down, intricate, installation sequence down to a ¼ inch of clearance in some areas.
“A month or so goes by and it’s getting close to the time to install’The Octopus’. Another issue came up on the loading dock job. Luckily, my foreman gave me a heads up, ‘You’re not going to like you’re about to see.’ We walk loading dock with the owner, engineer, general contractor, electrician and my foreman. I was glad my foreman he gave me a heads up, because boy was he right – I didn’t like what I saw. We walked in saw that the electrician had installed most of their conduit before we began our coordinated sequence; they had put multiple large conduits – 4 feet away from where they were supposed to with large pull boxes not shown in the BIM of The Octopus. This plowed through all our coordinated sequence and ‘Boy was I mad!‘
“The lesson I learned from this experience is the importance of giving my team members a heads up before they have to learn about major problems in front of an important group.
“The action I call you to take is, when possible, give people a heads up when big issues are just around the corner.
“The benefit you will gain from preparing your team for bad news, is the ability to keep your team on an even keel, you will move forward even when major project problems occur.”
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