ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- An Airman from the 554th RED HORSE Squadron put his innovative thinking to the test and stepped up to the challenge put forth by Air Force leaders under a service wide cost saving initiative.
Capt. Naseem Ghandour, 554th RHS Engineering Flight deputy commander, was recognized through the Every Dollar Counts program after he saved the Air Force more than $235,000 by redesigning six roof systems to use prestressed concrete double-tee beams, a product made on island, instead of using steel trusses that is shipped in from off island, for new building construction operations for the new Silver Flag campus at Northwest Field, Guam.
Ghandour explained the lead time for shipping structural steel from the mainland posed the biggest schedule challenge for using the squadron's typical technique. The shipping adds 10-16 weeks to a project's schedule.
"Innovative designs and construction methods from our Airmen, such as the double tee roof system, was pivotal to achieving the projects' timeline and PACAF Regional Training Center mission success culminating with the first Silver Flag training class in Guam on October 2014, supporting training of 1,200 Pacific Air Forces' engineers and Force Support Airmen," said Lt. Col. Andrew DeRosa, 554th RHS commander. "We look to all our Airmen to make an impact to our day to day processes. Capt. Ghandour is just an example of how the Airmen take their duties to heart.".
The 554th RHS turned to pre-cast/pre-stressed double-tee beams, in which the reinforcing steel is placed under stress prior to casting in concrete. This allows the beams to span longer distances and carry a greater load. They can also be delivered within 3 weeks from on-island sources cutting the estimated time of completion down by seven weeks per project.
"The use of concrete double-tee beams allowed us to stay within the project budget, maintain our strict engineering standards and be able to withstand Guam's harsh elements," Ghandour said. "Also, it only takes three days of labor to install the concrete beams instead of the three weeks it would have taken if we used steel truss beams."
Ghandour's initiative to develop a new roof system design has been benched marked and made it the 554th RHS's method of choice for roof systems for all future facility construction projects.
"Across PACAF we are changing the way people are starting to build," Ghandour said. "We are encouraging people to get away from the tunnel vision mindset and look for better ways to engineer instead of defaulting to whatever their predecessors have done. Doing it the way it has previously been done is not always the best and cheapest way to do it."
Air Force military projects have a $750,000 minor construction cap they can't exceed. Whatever is remaining of that money is put back into PACAF to be used for other projects.
"If we are able to save money and complete the project in a timely manner and the building is still effective and efficient, then I will do that every time," Ghandour said.
Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!
Follow us on social media!