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University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus Mechanical Upgrades 

Customer University of Alaska – Fairbanks
Location Nome, Alaska
Completed August 2011
Contract $668,000
Market State Government, Education

image003Major scopes of work included:

  • Demolition of mechanical systems
  • New mechanical, heat-recovery, ventilation, piping, insulation and circulation pumps
  • Installation of a new fuel supply system
  • New mechanical controls system
  • Updating data/communications system
  • Kitchen and Flooring, finish work and ceiling
  • 2 Store-front entrances

Though this project was design-bid-build, ABL offered expert knowledge in design and planning to ensure the facility was constructible and that the designs were coordinated for overall quality. As with all of our projects, ABL’s management and construction team invested considerable time and effort to protect the best-interests of the client and their overall vision.


Due to federal administrative funding delays, the project was awarded 45 days later than anticipated. The project’s remote site location is served only by barge, three times per summer. Complicating the situation, the Notice to Proceed was received after first two barge deadlines had past, and the risk of missing the final barge deadline could have caused a critical $50k loss.

Working around delays, ABL tailored its approach to execute the project expeditiously by adding and leveraging resources to catch up while compensating the client with project value available via experience as a design-build contractor.


In order to provide protection for the client’s property, staff and equipment while performing within a partially-occupied facility, ABL planned and executed all work to maintain an inclusive site safety program. A phased schedule considered the most efficient sequence of construction during the shorter construction season typical of Nome, and allowed crews to complete the work on time, even with the addition of scope, awarded through request for proposal process.

ABL employed qualified subcontractors that worked together throughout the construction phase. As a result, the professionally planned and installed systems were integrated seamlessly within the building’s improved form and function.

Proactive management helped make this project successful. By recognizing early on that additional resources would be required to stay on schedule, and by committing the extra management resources to meet that demand, ABL established project control in time to gain what was lost in the initial delay. The savings gained with the mechanical systems upgrade extended the useful life of the facility by an estimated 25 years, improved energy-efficiency, reduced long-term life-cycle costs and eased overall demand on maintenance resources for the client.