CAREER Bogota because the first project finished[Jp1] [JJ2]

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Last updated: September 30, 2019

 CAREER EPISODE 1  Introduction Project : Hydroelectric Central Porce III and Design offire protection systemsCompanyname: General Fire Control Ltda.Position:Project ManagerDates: From February 22 /2010 to April 09 / 2013 1.1  I was hired as a Project Manager by General FireControl (GFC) for commissioning fire protection systems.

Initially I wasassigned to the project “Power Plant Porce III” for the first two and halfyears, a project for Empresas Públicas de Medellin (EPM or Medellin Public Enterprises); afterwards, I was assigned to otherprojects in Bogota because the first project finishedJp1 JJ2 . The Power Plant islocated in AntioquiaJJ3  (Colombia) within themountains 4 hours away from Medellin City. All the equipment and facilitieswere underground, and the recommended access is by car. Background 1.2  The scope of the entire project was the design and constructionof the power plant Porce III, sponsored by EPM, which business was to buildpower plants and supply the main public services (electricity, water, communications,gas and sanitation) to Antioquia Community.

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GFC was responsible to install thefire detection, protection and extinguish systems. GFC had already designedthese facilities in the past, but now it was time to install them, in order toprotect the specialized equipment and professionals that were going to workthere. GFC was dedicated to Fire Engineering (consulting, designs andconstruction).

The project scope for GFC included consulting, fire detection (i.e.lineal heat detector, smoke detectors, beam detector and VESDA), protection ( doors, rolling fire doors, passive protection and smoke curtains) andextinguishing systems (i.e.

CO2, sprinklers and portable extinguishers),and smoke extraction. All this equipment was controlled from a Central AlarmControl Facility (CACF), where systems were interconnected and programmed towork with a predefined sequence if an emergency came up. Afterwards, GFC wouldtake over the maintenance of all this equipment according to the NFPA (NationalFire Protection Association) standards. The cost of this project was $3.500.000USD. Jp4 JJ5  1.3  Our team was made up of the main Project Manager, who hadthree managers in charge, I was one of them (see organizational chart below).

My main responsibilities were the commissioning of thefire protection systems, extinguish systems, smoke extraction, evacuationroutes, and CO2 facilities to protect the power generators. Jp6 Most of them were mechanical installations, whenelectrical facilities were needed, the third manager took care of them. We allarranged weekly meetings to coordinate the efforts. The three managers had crews in their charge,which were made up of high qualified technicians from the city, and personnel from rural area who hadlittle education and some experience regarding mechanical installations.JJ7  Sometimes, it wascomplex to manage the people from the rural area, since their work rights andlifestyle were different.Jp8  According to the plan of EPM, my responsibilities as projectmanager, and the required dexterities, I made my internal schedule of workswith MS Project, and requested the needed workforce (either specialized fromthe city or from the surrounding rural area) and resources.Jp9 JJ10     Figure 1.

Organizational Chart  1.4  During the third year, the project was finished and I took careof maintenance of the facility, and carried out small projects. Jp11 Sincethe plant was located away from Bogota, I arranged monthly visits to superviseand verify the executed maintenance work. Among my new responsibilities werethe design of fire extinguishing systems (e.g. CO2, sprinklers, etc.)for offices, warehouses, power plants and other kinds of buildings;Jp12  dealing with customers; preparing quotations according to an initialdesign. Dependingon the client and their needs, sometimes I visited their projects on site to understandtheir needs and requirements to provide the proper advice regarding the rightfire protection facilities they neededJp13 .

All these processes were performed under ISO 9000 (i.e. internationalstandards on quality management) and OHSAS 18000 (i.e.

internationaloccupational health and safety management system), consequently we had tofollow and document each work to meet these standards. Personal Work PlaceActivity  1.5  At the beginning of the installing phase, somematerials and equipment were requested beforehand, however the supply andinstallation of all the required equipment were too complex and many events werenot prevented. Because of that, I checked the conditions of the place to verifyI had all the supplies I required, and arranged the supply of missing items todo the job correctly, according to the design. Many times, it was belated toget some items on time because of the location of the project, however I managedto get some of them from other contractors thanks to our good relationship, or broughtthem from a nearby town when possible.Jp14  Thetask of getting the materials, equipment and tools was done between the threemanagers, as we all shared some means like trucks, forklifts and bridge-cranes.Jp15  1.

6  The first system I took care of was the fireextinguishing systems. Jp16 I reviewed thedrawings and built facility conditions to plan the work. I gave my crews the instructions andgoals to work, and made sure they had everything they needed (i.e. materialsand tools)Jp17 .

After Ichecked they were working according to the technical standards (e.g. NFPA 13 standards,client’s specifications) and safety regulations, I had to make sure theinstallations were completed satisfactorily, and get them approved by theclient. Jp18 When certainextensions of pipes were finished, I ask my crew to set up the pressure testingand then handed this installation over to the auditors. The auditing companyreviewed according the sponsor’s specifications. These deliveries weredocumented formally. When results were not satisfactoryJJ19 , I also documented the event, and analysed the data to find a reasonand a solution.

   1.7  The sprinklered system was supplied with water bygravity pressure from a tank water that was on the top of the mountain. Once Ihad finished the installation of all the pipe network, we filled up the tank withwater with a pump. Then, we tested all the hydraulic piping network accordingto NFPA 13 standards. To finish successfully this installation, sometimes I had toredesign some parts of the pipe network and sprinkler location, as EPM askedchanges due to new equipment or changes in their schedule.

I used Fire Softwarefor sprinklers calculation (i.e. flow and pressure), AutoCAD and NFPA standards,and MS Word to support the solution and changes.Jp20 1.8  My second responsibility was the smoke extraction system,which was made up of two fans of 52 m3/s, two natural tunnelformations, two ducting systems (average 6.5m2) and a smoke coolingsystem (to protect the fans from the smoke’s heat). The ducts had to beinstalled at 25 metres high over the floor and would join the two natural tunnels.Ducts were built long time ago according to the drawings the client supplied,but many had to be re-built onsite because the client could not maintain the siterelative sea levels (RSL) during the excavation.

Therefore, I designedsome of the new ducts in AutoCAD, considering the fans, flow, speed, the new RSLof the tunnels, the available space, and the dimension and shape of someexisting ductsJp21  that we wanted to reuse. I finished the assembly drawings and requestedto Bogotá branch the new pieces to build the final ducts onsite. Afterwards, weproceeded to install them. I was supervising and taking part of this operation toensure people were following safety procedures and prevent any failure oraccident during the installation. It was a high-risk job due to the 25m height.

 1.9  The third facility was the fire and smoke controlsystem, which consisted of fire doors and smoke curtainsJp22 . These materials were imported from USA and Germany respectively. One of myduties was coaching my crews on how to install the equipment according to the OriginalEquipment Manufacturers´ (OEM) instructions.Jp23  Another duty was the design of the passive protectionto get better the compartmentation and avoid the spread of fire and smoke toother areas. Reason why I conducted a research with suppliers and literatureJp24 , and designed the passive seals according to the building requirements (e.g.

cable trays and pipes through walls), and submitted the proposal to EPM with therequired information and ACAD drawings to support the design and obtain theirJp25  approval. After some meetings the design was approved, and I quantifiedand ordered the materials we required. Afterwards, I taught my crew how toinstall them.

Finally, I ran the testing (commissioned) of all theseinstallations according to the manufacturer´s specifications. 1.10         The forth system I managed was the fixed CO2extinguishing system for the power generators. Jp26 Each generator had a pipe network, two batteries of 12 CO2 cylinders, aFire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) and its required electronic instrumentation. Jp27 I coordinated the installation works according to the drawings, providingmy crew everything they needed.

This system was activated by sensed smoke withVESDA (Very early smoke detection apparatus) detectors. Before installing its pipes, I verifiedthe real route and dimensions of the pipes and modelled it by the VESDASoftware to make sure it would properly sense smoke, Jp28 otherwise I would have to design another route.  1.11         All the mechanical equipment, detection gadgets and FACPassociated to Fire Protection and Extinguishing services were interconnected,monitored and controlled with a software called “Web Server”.

From a singleplace, it allowed to program, operate and test the equipment under predefinedsequences, which were programmed depending on a specific contingency. After mycolleague programmed this software according to specifications, I and the auditingcompany, tested, simulated and monitored all the emergencies and sequences inorder to check its operation. Jp29    1.12         The last system was the evacuation signageJp30 .

The initial evacuation signage plan was out-dated once the project (Powerplant) was completed, as there were a lot of changes regarding the position ofthe equipment. Therefore,I was given the latest as built drawings of the power plant, and I designed anew evacuation signage design to insert and relocate signs, complying with theguidelines of standard UNE 23035. Lastly, I coordinated their installations.   Jp31  1.13         Whilst I managed the above duties, I used AutoCAD toupdate all drawings, and deliver to EPM the as built drawings. I also usedMS Office to do the monthly reports Jp32 incollaboration with my colleagues’ inputsJp33 , so GFC would be able to proceed with the invoice.

Moreover,by the end of this phase (i.e. installation) of the project, I also updated the operation manuals ofthe fire facilities I managed, as it is an important guide for the powerplant’s operation teamJp34 . The manuals were handed formally after myself and mypeers trained the EPM’s workers at the proper use of the equipment.

 1.14         Once the phase of installing all fire protectionfacilities finished, I moved back to Bogota to manage the maintenance phase forthe power plant, and carry out basic and detailed engineering for fireextinguishing systems, according to the requirements and needs of the client. Imanaged these small projects since the quotation until their delivery.

As Imentioned before, the projects included the design of varied fire protectionsystems, to this end I used AutoCAD, MS Project to program and monitor activities,MS Word, MS Point, and Fire software. Jp35  Summary 1.15         These experiences showed the complexity of the fire protectionfacilities in a Power Plant, as they are all interconnected for life assuranceand limiting equipment damage. It involved management of different types of stakeholders,Jp36 practical job application, research, software usage, soft skills,mentoring and relocation adaptability; and in consequence, all of it gaveconfidence and knowledge to manage similar projects.

The contract wassuccessfully completed despite the drawbacks we faced due to some contractualmisunderstandings between EPM and GFC. I could manage some of these situations thanksto my soft skills, and other issues with contractual written communicationsthat provided comprehensive technical details that supported the contractvariations.Jp37     Jp13.6.c/a  JJ22.4a/b JJ3Es este el nombre quivalente eningles para “departamento”? Jp42.2.

e JJ52.4/f,h Jp62.4a/b JJ73.2a/f Jp83.

6b/cCultural people Jp92.4b/c3.5d/c2.3/f JJ101.

5a,b,d/d,f,h Jp112.4a/  Jp121.1a/a Fluidos1.2a/cEvaluar el diseño apriopiado.1.

6a,c/e Management, engineer regulations, safety1.3a/c,a2.2a/b1.5/c Jp132.3a/a Jp14SolvingissuesManaging people3.6b,c/d Jp15teamworsk Jp162.4/b Jp173.

6/c Jp181.3/a.Construction Standards knowledge. JJ191.


5/c,e3.6/b2.2j/h Jp202.4a,d/a2.2/a,c,h3.

2c/h1.4/b3.3/b Jp211.2a/dModelling1.3/b.

Design of HVAC2.2/d. Visualization Acad2.4/b1.6/b,f Jp222.4/b Jp233.2/henglish Jp241.

4/c.Research and apply literature.3.4/h Jp253.4/d,g Jp262.4/b Jp273.

3/a Jp281.3/a2.1/f2.2/a2.3/c.

 Jp292.2/h Jp302.4/b Jp311.3. Design for risk management,fire engineering.1.

4/a. Research of signs.1.6/c. Management, engineer regulations, safety Jp323.2/e Jp333.6/d Jp343.4/i3.2/a Jp352.4/b2.3/h,b,e,f,g2.2/d,i,j,b1.4/b1.2/a,d Jp363.2/f Jp373.2/h3.4/b

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