Andersen AFB Airman makes every dollar count
By Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks, 36th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 20, 2015
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFNS) -- An Airman from the 554th RED HORSE Squadron put his innovative thinking to the test, stepping up to the challenge put forth by Air Force leaders under a service wide cost saving initiative.
Capt. Nassem Ghandour, the 554th RHS engineering flight deputy commander, was recognized through the Every Dollar Counts program after he saved the Air Force more than $235,000.
His idea involved redesigning six roof systems to use prestressed concrete double-tee beams, a product made on the island, instead of using steel trusses that are shipped in. These rebooted roof systems would be utilized during new building construction operations at the new Silver Flag campus.
Ghandour explained the lead time for shipping structural steel from the mainland posed the biggest schedule challenge by adding an additional 10 to 16 weeks to a project's schedule.
Tasked to build the Pacific Air Force’s Regional Training Center support infrastructure on a compressed timeline, the 554th RHS went outside the box and came up with a solution that is faster, uses less manpower and meets all engineering requirements. This effort was considered pivotal to achieving the project's timeline and mission success.
The 554th RHS turned to pre-cast/pre-stressed double-tee beams, in which the reinforcing steel is placed under stress prior to casting in concrete. This allows the beams to span longer distances and carry a greater load. They can also be delivered within three weeks from on-island sources, cutting the estimated time of completion down by seven weeks per project.
"The double-tee beams are very durable and can withstand the elements of Guam," Ghandour said. "Also, it only takes three days of labor to install the beams instead of the three weeks it would have taken if we used steel truss beams."
Ghandour's initiative to develop a new roof system design has been bench marked and has become the 554th RHS's method of choice for roof systems for all future facility construction projects.
"Across PACAF we are changing the way people are starting to build," Ghandour said. "We are encouraging people to get away from the tunnel vision mindset and look for better ways to engineer instead of defaulting to whatever their predecessors have done. Doing it the way it has previously been done is not always the best and cheapest way to do it."