Blog: Reducing the Carbon-Water Footprint of Capital Projects

Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Our clients are often faced with making trade-offs between schedule, budget, quality, economics and environmental performance in order to meet the needs of their stakeholders. Over the years we have developed a number of strategies designed to reduce the carbon-water footprint of projects without compromising the remaining project metrics.

First, we accelerate time-to-market by utilizing parallel-track project execution. We’ve invested several $ million into 3D software tools and libraries of 3D parts that allow to us prototype designs simultaneously with process design. Rapid prototyping allows us to address constructability, operability, safety and enviromental performance long before equipment selection is locked down and long-lead orders are placed. By improving the mechanics of project execution, we also free up more time up-front for planning and alignment of stakeholders. By using 3D prototypes, we allow constructors and operators the opportunity to improve designs.

Second, we utilize modularization to improve product quality and reduce field construction costs. Our plug-and-play strategy allows us to pre-assemble modular systems within a controlled shop environment where factory acceptance tests and regulatory certifications can be completed prior to shipment. We have also developed a family of module configurations that allow us to rapidly integrate process equipment with proven designs that accommodate the needs of operations and maintenance personnel. For example, our rigid box-beam structures can tolerate less-then-ideal conditions for transportation and installation without compromising internal piping and mechanical equipment.

Third, our designers work hand-in-glove with our fabricators and installers to allow for system optimization at all stages of the project. By eliminating the silos that often exist between design-builder-operator, we are able to more carefully consider the entire life-cycle of a project and more sustainable selections of process technology and equipment. The net result is a lower footprint while at the same time accomplishing designs that are fit-for-purpose and ready-for-operations.

Our experience has been that when owners are given the tools and strategies needed to accelerate projects, they are able to reinvest the savings into improved environmental performance. In our work, fast-track doesn’t mean “rushed” - it simply means “better”.