Going above and beyond to assure occupants their new workplace is safe

Excavation of the floor slab at the Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Bedford, NS. Removal of the toxic soil below the structure resulted in achieving zero detection.
Excavation of the floor slab at the Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Bedford, NS. Removal of the toxic soil below the structure resulted in achieving zero detection.

Thanks to expert project management, know‑how and technical wizardry, occupants of a former torpedo maintenance facility at Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Bedford, Nova Scotia can be confident their workplace is free from hazards.

Among the concerns the DCC Halifax project team of Jeremy Shaw, Matthew Mackenzie and Norman Steele addressed were widespread contamination of equipment and soil, water leaks, lead dust and asbestos, and ceiling joists that were not up to code.

Organizing the tasks to be completed required considerable coordination between DCC and the contractor, explains Shaw, DCC Coordinator, Construction Services. "We were juggling a lot of balls," but removing the lead and asbestos came first. Then, remediation could begin.

Bringing the levels of highly volatile torpedo fuel in and below the aging structure to an undetectable level involved removing the entire floor slab and equipment in a large area, while leaving the structure intact, and then excavating down to bedrock. This extensive process resulted in achieving zero detection. The consultant also recommended placing a vapour extraction system below the new floor as an extra precaution.

Following the excavation and remediation of the soil at Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Bedford, NS, occupants could be assured that the building is safe.
Following the excavation and remediation of the soil at Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Bedford, NS, occupants could be assured that the building is safe.

These measures went beyond health and safety standards, Shaw says, but an important goal for the project was to assure occupants that the building is safe. That's where technology also came into play.

At a town hall meeting, end users were able to see the decreasing levels of contamination via a 3D fly‑through of the excavations made possible by LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging).

"The pictures spoke a thousand words," Shaw recalls. "We could say over and over that the contamination was gone, but when you could see the levels dropping, it really amplified the message."


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