Hatching a Turnover Plan

Last year, PCL demonstrated its commitment to exceptional service in a phased turnover operation at the Chief Joseph Fish Hatchery in north-central Washington. Often, construction projects are handed over at full completion, but this newer approach features two distinct benefits for clients: early access to portions of a facility, and thorough systems integration at several checkpoints. “A phased turnover gave us and our building partners at the hatchery the opportunity to work even more closely toward a successful outcome,” said PCL project manager Bryce Engen.

The office building at the Chief Joseph Fish
Hatchery is a welcoming environment for facility

The Chief Joseph Fish Hatchery in north-central
Washington is an example of the client benefits of
phase commissioning and turnovers.

Early Access 

PCL’s clients are always included in the construction process from the beginning, but phased commissioning and turnover open up new partnering opportunities as a project nears completion. A phased approach means PCL’s construction professionals remain on-site after the early turnovers, and also that clients can get a facility to the operational stage much quicker.
“The beneficiaries (Colville Confederated Tribes) appreciated being able to get into the hatchery earlier than was originally planned,” said Bonneville Power contracting officer Glenn Nishida. “Being involved and present on-site during the commissioning process was very valuable as the end of construction neared; they were able to gain knowledge of the systems during the startup of each of the facility’s complex systems. PCL provided additional training during this process through the involvement of staff during commissioning, which was an added benefit above and beyond typical owner training sessions.” 
Early access is especially beneficial when multiple stakeholders are involved. On the hatchery project, three distinct parties representing specific interests meant that commissioning and turnover were ideally suited to a multi-step process. The Colville Confederated Tribes also benefitted from the on-site training that PCL was able to provide as a result of still being present after the turnovers were complete. According to Nishida, “PCL knew the facility better than anyone, and they were able to share that knowledge with the hatchery’s operators so that they also became familiar with the working of each system during the testing phase. They were set up for successful operation after final project completion and turnover.” 

Thorough Systems Integration 

Like many facilities, the Chief Joseph Fish Hatchery comprised many integrated systems. Everything from the oxygen system to the well pump system had to work together seamlessly, which presented a significant challenge: how could PCL turn over partial phases with full facility integration? The answer is as simple and as complex as this: planning. “We worked backward from the final turnover date to determine what needed to be done at each phase. The engineers created comprehensive instruction manuals, the owner verified the required tests and certifications, and the operators attended comprehensive training sessions to make sure they were familiar with how everything worked together,” said Engen.

Today, the Chief Joseph Fish Hatchery is a thriving operation that has boosted local salmon populations and stands as a testament to the lasting benefits of phased turnovers. “We’re very happy with how everything turned out,” says Nishida. “PCL’s approach to phased commissioning and turnover ensured that everything worked at every stage, and the process was as smooth as possible, given its complexity.”


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