Operations, Maintenance and Alterations
U.S. State Department Annex 32 (SA32) is a high security 80,000 square foot mail processing facility operated by the US State Department. The facility serves a critical national security function as a mail distribution center for U.S. embassies worldwide. CMTI is responsible for the operation, maintenance, repair, and alterations to the building’s equipment and systems. This includes all operations associated with plumbing, mechanical, electrical, fire alarm, energy management, and building architectural systems. Additionally, CMTI provides or oversees the building’s custodial services, pest control, landscaping and grounds maintenance, trash removal and recycling, snow removal and lamping services.
In October of 2001, one month after the attacks of September 11th, SA32 experienced an unprecedented act of terrorism, in the form of multiple letters laced with anthrax. As a result of the attack, several people died, and numerous others sustained serious injuries. Distribution, protection, and threat detection are at the heart of the facility’s system requirements. As such, close collaboration between CMTI and the government regarding all operations is an essential part of the success of the facility. The government, as well as CMTI, have a zero tolerance for performance errors/mishaps within the facility. Even under this extraordinary level of scrutiny by the State Department customer, CMTI has excelled.
Unique building systems include chemical, biological, and radiological detection, as well as x-ray equipment for screening of parcels and personnel. CMTI ensures that all mail sampling equipment is working and properly calibrated, and that mail sorting equipment is programmed to sort based on a wide variety of customer specifications and security requirements.
When the State Department purchased the SA32 facility, the existing facility heaters generated heat using propane, accessing four(4) 1,000 gallon propane tanks stored underground on the premises. Due to the high cost of propane, and the potential safety risks of having such large propane storage tanks at a secure facility, CMTI worked with the agency to design & develop a plan to convert the liquid propane to natural gas, and, at the same time, replace the aging rooftop HVAC units (RTU's) to high efficiency natural gas, in order to reduce the building’s energy costs.
The project required a design and implementation that created no disruption to normal Monday through Friday operations, and included the conversion or replacement of hot water heaters, infrared heaters, and rooftop unit heaters.
Since the customer required no disruption to their Monday through Friday operations, CMTI scheduled all work that would require system shutdowns to be performed on weekends and after-hours. This scheduling was especially important when removing existing RTU's from the roof and lifting the new RTU's into place. These crane operations had to be performed on Saturdays to ensure no disruption. CMTI coordinated all scheduling with subcontractors to meet these very stringent schedule requirements. Additionally, because the SA32 facility has a Secret Facility Clearance Level, CMTI escorted all subcontractors during these after-hours operations to ensure the security of the facility.