The Sandia National Laboratory Building 858N Acid Exhaust Replacement project called for installation of over 2000 linear feet of Fiberglass Reinforced Duct (FRP) for the NW Acid Exhaust Branch at Sandia’s secured semi-conductor processing facility. The project included multiple lateral tie-ins to the continually operating and 100% occupied facility. The new duct ranged from 8” to 72” in diameter and was supported by structural steel platforms that were fabricated and installed in conjunction with the duct.

Phase 1 was the installation of the new line parallel to the existing, to allow for a seamless system transfer. To mitigate risk, the project team including key subcontractors collaborated to create a modified steel fabrication plan and instead of welding on site, designed steel supports to be fabricated offsite in 25’ sections that were welded and painted in a controlled off-site environment then transported to site and lifted to their final destination, 30’ high on the edge of building 858’s NW parapet.

Phase 2 was to remove the corroded duct in sections, a task requiring demolition in respirators and full acid suits requiring modified workdays to combat worker fatigue. While working in the acid suits, JBH safety personnel closely monitored all activities and mandated a 4 hour daily max per worker.

The entire system was modeled prior to each installation activity including external placement and interstitial area connections. Over 14,000 hours of installation were completed safely, with maximized productivity based on the use of BIM and offsite fabrication. This mission-critical federal semi-conductor facility is now ready for the next 30 years of evolution and national advancement.