In order to commence operations, one Southeast Michigan landfill owner needed to finish construction of the site’s treatment facility. The deadline for bringing the facility online was rapidly approaching, but the tank pictured here still needed mechanical piping run to the nearby pump house.

treatment tank and pump house

When routing pipes from point A to point B, a conventional contractor for a job this size would send a team to the project site to field fit it. They’d start at the tank, tacking and welding until the pipelines reached the pump house. The entire process could take as long as three weeks, potentially pushing the project past the owner’s deadline.

Instead, mechanical contractor Andy Egan partnered with 3DIS using a scan-to-fab construction method that cut installation down to just four days.

First, 3DIS took a complete 3D laser scan of the project site’s existing conditions in a single day. Egan’s project foreman estimates that manual measurements would have taken a week to compile, yet for this project he never once had to use his measuring tape.

Laser Scan of Landfill Treatment Facility
3D Model of Landfill Treatment Facility

From the point-cloud, Egan and 3DIS modeled a route for the pipes to run from the tank to the shed. A previous contractor had poured uneven concrete footings that the pipes had to travel over for support, further complicating the route. Nevertheless, the combination of 3D laser scanning and fabrication ensured that the supports hit precisely where needed on the footings.

Landfill Piping Route

Egan’s application of cutting-edge construction technology cut overall modeling time in half for this project. By using Victaulic Tools for Revit, the innovative Victaulic toolbar, Egan’s BIM specialists could work entirely in one software program, modeling right on top of the point cloud, exporting spool drawings and creating fab maps for the fabrication shop.

The piping path wouldn’t allow for the use of true 45 and 90 degree turns, so the resulting spools were all fabricated with unusual angles. If this had been constructed in the field, pipefitters would have painstakingly used protractors to determine all the unique angles.

Because the project site was nearly three hours away from the fabricator, it was critical that every spool fit the model precisely. After fabrication, Egan shipped the spools to the landfill, where they were quickly installed in just four days. To the owner’s amazement, not a single spool was out of place. The project required no onsite pipe welding and no field rework.

Installed Pipe Spools

Together, Egan and 3DIS delivered this turnkey project that included 3D laser scanning, 3D modeling, fabrication of pipe spools and supports, insulation and final installation, including equipment setting. Instead of 3 weeks, onsite installation was reduced to less than a week. Every spool was bolted flange-to-flange with 100% accuracy. Most importantly, the project wrapped up ahead of schedule, allowing the owner to meet critical deadlines.