Pentagon Renovation and Rebuilding Briefing
NEWS TRANSCRIPT from the United States Department of Defense
DoD News Briefing Mr. Walker Lee Evey Thursday, March 7, 2002 - 11:02 a.m. EST
(Briefing on the progress of Pentagon renovation with Walker Lee Evey, Pentagon renovation program manager.)
Staff: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to introduce Mr. Walker Lee Evey -- E-V-E-Y. You may know him. He's the program manager for the Pentagon renovation program. He spoke to us most recently on September 15th, four days after the attack. And he's here today with an update on the reconstruction and renovation of the Pentagon.
Evey: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
It's pleasure to be here this morning and to be able to provide to you an update on where we are in the program. I came here just a few days after September 11th and had the opportunity to talk with you. And at that point in time we committed to the American public that we would do a number of things to try to bring this building back as quickly as possible. It's almost exactly six months now since the events of September 11th. And we thought it appropriate to come back so that people could judge us not by our words, but instead by our actions, and we could be held accountable by the American public for what our program has done. So I'd like to start that, if I may.
Brett, could you give me the first slide?
I think most of you are very familiar with this information. This shows the general layout of the Pentagon and the path of the aircraft that morning of September 11th. Wedge One is to the lower right. That's the one million square feet of office space that originally held 5,000 people that we were about five days away from completing at the morning of September 11th. Above that is Wedge Two. That was the one million square feet of office space that we were moving 5,000 people out of and moving those 5,000 people into Wedge One so that we would clear the Wedge Two area and we could begin the renovation in Wedge Two.
The aircraft approached the building from the west side at very low altitude, just skimming across the heliport side of the building, entered Wedge One adjacent to Radial Corridor 4, traveled at about a 45 degree angle through the building toward Radial Corridor 5, and it went through the areas underneath Rings E, D and C.
That we've undertaken to repair the building is first what we called the Phoenix Project. The Phoenix Project is that portion of the building that had to be demolished and then rebuilt, reconstructed. And that area is fairly large in size. It turned out ultimately to be about 400,000 square feet of building that we had to demolish. It -- again, it accomplishes that work in the various E, D and C rings between Corridors 4 and 5 within the building. All five floors, of course, had to be demolished. And essentially half of that Phoenix area will ultimately go back to Wedge One and be part of the reconstruction effort in Wedge One. The other half of it will be included with Wedge Two and the renovation activities that will be underway in Wedge Two.
This is what the building looked like shortly after the September 11th crash. And that gives you some idea of some of the work that was undertaken immediately. This picture in the upper left is a picture of some temporary bracing, some shoring that was placed in the building to help support it. It replaced columns which were destroyed by the aircraft in its path through the building. Bringing it into perspective, this is a picture of the building. Most of you are familiar with that area where you had a sharp break and the building dropped to the right. We made it standing on the left. And you can see some of the steel superstructure that we installed as part of the renovation activity, helping to hold up that portion of the building that remained standing.
Very quickly, we've worked to assess the damage, and I'll talk to you a bit more about that in some detail. You can get some idea -- this is an area of floor with the picture taken from underneath it so you can look up and see the extensive cracking and damage to the concrete in that area. There's a lot of, again, some of the shoring activities and the ragged breaks in the building where the aircraft traveled through.
This is what it looked like just a few days later.
This is the portion of the building that collapsed. So that sharp break is here to the left. This more ragged edge to the right is alongside Corridor 4. You can see the collapse involved all five stories. We very quickly removed about 10,000 tons of debris. That 10,000 tons was in direct support of first the recovery activities, and then necessary removal of debris to make the building safe so we could go back into those areas, remove things like classified materials, personal effects and things like that.
We've shared this one with you before. This shows the approximate path of the aircraft through the building, as shown by columns which were either severely damaged or broken. Again, the path through the building was approximately a 45-degree angle, starting in Wedge One, traveling then through Wedge Two.
This area that's outlined right here is the portion of the building that physically collapsed. Now, at first we thought that the reconstruction would involve mostly that area. We didn't know how much further we would have to go in demolition activities, and we thought probably a relatively small distance beyond that.
We quickly learned that it was going to require more extensive demolition and reconstruction than we at first thought. We went out very quickly, even while recovery activities were under way in the building, to start to sample concrete, and we began to do tests in the area of collapse to ensure that any area of the building where the collapse had taken place, the pile caps -- and those are the load- bearing structures underground that support the building -- that the pile caps would be able to support the full weight of the building and therefore would not require replacement.
We did that by first drilling and placing helical anchor piles. Those are screw-in devices that go into the ground and provide you a very secure footing. Those helical piles then support a test structure which has a beam placed horizontally. Underneath that beam pushing down on the pile cap is a hydraulic press. What we do is simulate the weight of the building on that pile cap, and we push and push and push with more and more force, and we determine whether or not the capacity of that pile cap will be able to support the building.
In fact, we subjected those pile caps in a number of areas to tests that were three to eight times higher than what they were originally designed for in terms of support of weight. All of those pile caps passed those tests with no problems, so that we felt confident we would be able to rebuild the building without having to dig further down into the ground or do more extensive foundation work.
The next thing we had to do was we had to determine exactly how much of the building might have to be taken down. At this point, we were secure in terms of the capability of the pile caps. We were less secure in terms of columns and existing structures that had not collapsed but that we feared might be damaged by fire. So we had a number of devices that we employed in order to test the columns and the structures in the building very rapidly to give us some quick idea of how much demolition might be necessary and how much reconstruction would be required.
The first device that we used is a Schmidt hammer. It has a very finely calibrated spring. What it does is simply provide a force onto a structure. It has a steel ball bearing inside; it rebounds. That rebounding can be read on a dial on the side. And then it has a little scale that enables you to determine how strong the concrete is.
That gives you a rough idea of whether or not the concrete is going to be so damaged that it'll have to be replaced. When we started going through the building with this, we very rapidly determined that we were probably going to have to take down a lot more of the structure than we originally thought.
The second thing that we did, where we did a little bit more extensive testing, and this is a -- this is a device called a Windsor Probe, okay? What you do with a Windsor Probe is you take a .32 caliber shell, and you place it inside this device. This device takes a screw-type anchor. This anchor is placed inside this; essentially, it's a gun, okay?
You place this up against a concrete structure that you want to test, and you shoot it into the concrete. You shoot three of them in a certain pattern that's determined by a little device that puts them in the proper distribution. And then you take this meter, and you simply read how far that screw went into the concrete. The further it goes into the concrete, the weaker is the concrete, and the less capable the concrete is to hold weight.
Using those two relatively rough but very fast measures, we determined that we were going to have to take down a lot more of the building than we thought we would.
The last things that we did was we did core samples -- core drills, okay? You go into the columns; you take a drill, and you drill into the center of the column, and you take out a core. On each side of the core, you place a device that simply serves to distribute weight. You put it inside a machine, and you press it with the machine until it cracks, and you measure how much force is required to make it crack. Now interestingly enough, before we could get this one into the machine, it cracked, which gives you some indication that you probably don't have a very strong column.
So these things were cracking already, as we were taking them simply out of the core-drilling machine -- not a good sign. We knew that those columns would have to be replaced.
Other columns -- we had to do what's called a tectographic analysis. And what that does is, if you take concrete -- and this is what normal concrete looks like when you slice it lengthwise. You slice it, and you take a look at it. And this concrete was damaged so badly, you can perhaps see just visually the difference between the two samples, okay?
Red is bad in the aggregate, and normal brown or gray is good. So you can see perhaps the reddish color that's in the aggregate in this damaged piece. Just visually you could look at this and you could determine this is a badly damaged piece of concrete.
In addition to that, however, you do a petrographic analysis, where you take these, slice them very, very thinly, and you put them under a microscope, and under a microscope we became aware of the extensive damage that has been experienced by the building. Most of that damage was caused by the intense heat to which it was exposed -- heat intense enough, in some areas, to melt the window glass, which ran down the walls and puddled on the floor. So you'd be walking through areas where the window glass was actually congealed on the floor.
As a result of that, it was clear to us that much more extensive demolition would have to be accomplished than we at first thought. In fact, that's how we determined we would have to take the building down between Corridor 4 and Corridor 5, that total of about 400,000 square feet.
And most of you, I think, are familiar with what those offices look like inside and how extensive the damage was from just a visual perspective.
The demolition began October 18th. We waited for over one month before we started the demolition. We could have done it more quickly than that, but our decision as a program -- we came together as a program and discussed this -- our decision was to wait for that period of time, because we knew that there was a one-month memorial service planned here at the Pentagon, and we thought it would be inappropriate for us to be on one side of the Pentagon, tearing the building apart, while people on the other side of the building were going through a memorial service. So we decided to wait until after the memorial service was over, and at that point in time we began taking the building down.
Now the estimates were that it would take somewhere between a few months to perhaps as much as eight months to bring the building down. We managed to bring the building down in one month and one day, which is an extraordinary rate of building demolition. We did that very, very rapidly, and we're quite pleased with the rate at which that was accomplished.
This is what the building looked like one month and one day later, on November 19th, and it's essentially the original first floor, concrete floor of the Pentagon, broom-clean, one month and one day later.
Then we began the process of rebuilding. I wish I had a number of nice aerial photos I could give you to show you with real photos what it looks like, but it's become more difficult to get a helicopter flight around the Pentagon lately. So we have a limited number of those photos, and this is one of the more recent ones we have. This was taken February 13th. Those of you who happened to drive by today would know that at this point in time we have brought the entire building up to the fifth floor. We have poured most of the fifth- floor wall. That fifth-floor wall pour will be completed this week, and by Monday of next week we will be placing the first flat segments of the roof above the building, E Ring, fifth floor.
After that, we will begin putting the gabled roof above it. It actually has two roofs in that section of the building.
Reconstruction began the next day after we had taken the building down, so we began the construction on November 19th. What we show here is some of the (form work?) being put together for rebar. And the reason why I wanted to show you this is part of the reason why this building proved to be so tough and part of the reason why casualties were as low as they were is because of this unique characteristic. Most of you are familiar, even if you don't do construction, you're familiar with rebar, this low-grade steel that goes through a structure. And it's normally straight. This circular pattern here is what you call spiral rebar. Spiral rebar is normally used only in those areas where you expect significant seismic activity. For instance, it's used a lot in construction in California.
As it turns out, they used spiral rebar in the original construction of the Pentagon. We also used spiral rebar in the reconstruction of the Pentagon to try to make sure that this building we rebuilt in an extremely tough way.
We took 1 1/4-inch dowels of stainless steel and we drilled them into the existing pile caps where the old columns had been, and then we took those rebar sections that we constructed with the spiral rebar, placed them over them and connected them together, so that we are joining the original structure of the building with the new column structure of the building that we're bringing up. After that, we place form work on the outside of it. And after that, we fill those with concrete and you start to construct the columns to bring the building back.
We've had a lot of questions about the fact that we are trying to emphasize the construction of the building on E Ring. And I think most people know of our commitment to have tenants back in the building on E Ring where the aircraft hit by September 11th of this year. And they've asked, doesn't that result in some inconvenience in your work, because you've done the E Ring, and then you have to get concrete past the E Ring to the D and C rings for the reconstructions? And the fact is, no. As part of our reconstruction, we've got two concrete pumps that we have in the center of the building. Those concrete pumps allow concrete trucks to come in, dump concrete into a hopper at the exterior of the building, and through pressure, it's pushed through the building, pushed into these pumps in the center of the building, and they can distribute the concrete without having to carry it past the E Ring or through other portions of the building that we've already constructed. So, no, it's not going to delay us, and no, it does not create a great deal of difficulty for us.
One of the things that we wanted to do, it is a historic building. It's on the National Registry of Historic Buildings. We wanted to make sure that the reconstructed Pentagon looked like the original Pentagon. So we took forms, kind of plastic form liner.
We took form impressions of the existing building, and then we used those plastic form liners to make sure that the building that we reconstructed, where it looks like brick -- but it's not brick; it's actually reinforced concrete -- or it looks like the original building, where the wooden forms were and the concrete was extruded between those forms. But that is replicated exactly in the new Pentagon portions that we're building now.
By December 28th, we had put enough of the exterior blast wall in the E Ring area that we could start to install the first window frames that will hold the blast windows -- the windows that we believe saved so many lives on September 11th. And on February 5th of this years, we installed the first blast window into the area. Right now we probably have about 30 blast windows installed.
On February 25th, having for the most part re-accomplished the outer E Ring wall, we were able to place the first piece of limestone. That's me on the right and Ron Vermillion (sp) from AMEC Construction on the left. We placed the first piece of limestone to build the exterior. In many places now, that limestone has been raise to about six feet high. We're bringing in six more guys next week to start to put it in at a faster pace. You can see how it's connected the building there. Behind it is a waterproof paint-type material that we use to ensure that the building is weather and waterproof in the future.
I wanted to bring you this picture because a lot of attention has been given to the workers on the work site. And I think that's right and that's appropriate; they have tremendous motivation. They're working very, very hard. But hard work alone isn't enough. And one thing I want to make sure that we address today is the people who are behind the scenes. And that is, the leaders and the managers of this project who are working so very, very hard to make sure that the workers on the job can get their work done in a timely and efficient manner.
These people start arriving at 3:00 in the morning, so that by the time the workers arrive, about 5:30 in the morning, that the work is laid out, that everything's ready for them to move forward; everything is set up, ready for them to be effective. This is Allyn Kilsheimer from KCE [KCE Structural Engineers, P.C.] and Jack Kelly of our program are working together with these fellows. This is a 6:00-in-the-morning meeting to make sure that everything is coordinated properly. It's this level of management, it's this level of leadership that has really enabled our program to do as well as it has in this reconstruction.
So they are managers, so they do all the things that managers do: plan, organize, coordinate, direct and train. But they are also and more importantly leaders. And they do the things that leaders do: They set the standard; they set the example, which is very important; they educate and motivate. Without them, this project wouldn't be doing nearly as well as it is right now.
And we have a whole series of photos here we're going to go through. They're going to take you through the sequence of the reconstruction. We put this together as a training vehicle that we could use with the people who are involved in the reconstruction activities. Now the -- as it's turned out, the building hasn't come together exactly this way because no matter how well you plan, in real life, things work slightly differently. But it certainly gives you an excellent idea of how it is that the building's coming back together and how that reconstruction is accomplished.
And again, our intent is, at the point of impact -- which is this area right here in the building -- that we will have that not only reconstructed; we will have the furniture, finishings, equipment moved back in, and we will have people in that portion of the building accomplishing their mission, doing their work on September 11th of this year.
Now to give you some other pictures, I know a lot of -- that, again, a lot of attention's been given to the area that we've actually demolished and that we had to build back. There were extensive areas of the Pentagon outside of that area that were also affected, and I want to give a little bit of coverage to that.
First, Wedge One. This is a picture of some of the hazardous mold growth that took place in that area as a result of the millions of gallons of water that were used in fighting the fires that went on for two and a half days after the impact. This looked like somebody's science field project in a lot of places, and it's got the most amazing colors that really can't be captured in a photo like this. This was an extremely hazardous area because of the mold growth. To enter this area, you had to have Tyvek suits on, you had to have a respirator, et cetera, to make sure that you would not be affected negatively.
One of the things that we did that helped limit the amount of damage to the building and enabled us to recover those areas as quickly as we have is we've used these -- we got these very large machines that put these huge quantities of very hot and very dry air. And we pumped that stuff through the windows through both Wedge One and Wedge Two to help dry out those areas as quickly as possible. That helped limit the spread of mold and limit the subsequent damage to the building.
What we have next is something that lays out our projections on when we're moving people back into the building. I thought you'd probably be interested in that. This is, first, Wedge One. And the point I would make is first in these areas here, in the C areas and B areas, those areas have already been filled with people. In fact, we have over 1,500 people moved back into Wedge One. On Wedge Two we have a comparable number of people who have moved back into those areas as well. The A-2 area is the area that was actually demolished and is being rebuilt. We're working very, very quickly right now to try to move people into the A-1 area, move into it. We should start not later than May, and we show them going on May through July, and, of course, showing the A-2 area with people starting to move in prior to September 11th.
Similarly, on Wedge Two, this is the area where we have already moved people back in. So we've moved a lot of people back into that area. Here is the Phoenix area that has been demolished and is being rebuilt. And here is the portion, the one little -- we call it the wedgette -- which is the remainder of the wedge that we can now actually do the renovation that we intended to do earlier on. So that's kind of traditional renovation in that area. People moved into this area, and the Phoenix area shown in blue.
In addition to that, we've done an extensive amount of work -- what we call force protection, which is what should we do with the building in the future to improve its performance should it ever be subjected to similar types of threats in the future. We show a lot of organizations who are involved with us in that who have spent a great deal of time working with us.
We have interviewed everyone that we could find in the building who was in close proximity the crash at the time that it occurred. We're learning as much from them as we possibly can with regard to the performance of the building and how we can improve it.
We're also working with the Army Corps of Engineers, doing a forensic analysis of the building, an engineering analysis that helps us understand how it is the building responded to the stresses to which it was subjected and how we can further improve the building in the future.
We have a series of recommendations that basically are divided into three categories: fire, blast, and chemical/biological/radiological threat. And we're going through an extensive analysis to determine what it is that we can do, both short- term and long-term, to improve building performance.
Now I'd like to also share with you that we haven't just been doing that demolition work and that reconstruction work. A lot of projects that the Pentagon renovation was already doing have not stopped, and they are continuing. So I would mention to you that those of you who work here a lot in the building might want to stop by on March 11th for the new cafeteria that we're opening in Wedge 1 -- okay? -- a cafeteria that, unlike anything that's been in the Pentagon before, now is a food court. And you see Kentucky Fried Chicken and Subway and Au Bon Pain and a lot of other very nice restaurants will be there, and we think that will improve life considerably in the Pentagon. That's a first for us.
This is what that area looked like on September 12th -- literally the ceiling in tatters, the variegated colors you see on the floor are the doors that were blown apart and scattered throughout the area, lots of fire damage. That's that same area as you look at it today. So that'll be opening up on the 11th.
We've also opened the remote delivery facility. That construction has continued. It was envisioned to be accomplished in three phases. All three of those phases have been accomplished. They've all been opened on time. And that building is completely up and operational in every way now. So that work continued as well.
We've gotten the Metro entrance facility, where we accommodate many thousands of people who arrive at the Pentagon every day. You may know that that facility opened on December 16th. And this involved things such as -- we had to put people riding shotgun on every single concrete truck so we could get them through security, et cetera, still meet the dates that we had promised to this building, meet the dates that we had promised to Arlington County and other people in Northern Virginia with regards to the operation of that facility, which we did.
Here is a group of eighth-grade -- the response of the American public to what we've done on the program and what has happened here at the Pentagon has been truly remarkable. The upper picture is a group of eighth graders from Moorefield Middle School, Moorefield, West Virginia, who raised $10,000 and donated it to our program.
So here are some of the student representatives, along with Representative Capito of West Virginia. They're signing their names. We said $10,000 gets you a blast window; would you like to have this as your window? So that's their window. And they were there signing their names below that window. So for now and forevermore, that window belongs to Moorefield, West Virginia, Middle School.
Also, here's another example of the response we've gotten from the American public. This is gloves that just showed up one day, boxes and boxes of gloves for the workers. That's from the Officers' Spouses Club, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Every one of them came with a personal note tucked inside.
So the response to the program, the response to the Pentagon has truly been remarkable, and most heartfelt.
One of the things we also have on the program now -- and you can see it when you drive by in the morning -- is a countdown clock on the exterior of the building. We're counting down the days. This gets to zero at 9:38 a.m. on September 11th of this year. Just to remind everybody of our commitment and what we intend to do by that date.
This is a list of the various companies who are involved in making this project happen so rapidly. And we're very appreciative of their support both for the Pentagon as well as our program, and we thought it appropriate that we mention their names here because they've made every commitment possible to us and kept every single one of them.
In addition, we're very aware that this is a very large project, and we want to make sure that we've done everything we possibly can to support all of the communities involved in the construction activities. This is a small and small disadvantaged business fair that we held so that we could ensure that small businesses in the area and small disadvantaged businesses in the area had an opportunity to subcontract in this work effort. So we had 490 people, 379 companies. We had 15 prime contractors, 41 first-tier contractors, and four small-business offices from DOD, and GSA had a small business office there as well, to make sure that people had the opportunity to become involved in our program and to support what we're doing here and contribute to what we're doing here.
People are interested in how much it costs. Early on, we had made estimates of approximately -- first we said hundreds of millions then we said around $700 million. In fact, our contracts that we turned on for the reconstruction effort came to about $720 million. Okay? We have now negotiated those contracts. Those were not-to-exceed amounts that we used just to get the contracts underway, operational and moving. We've now negotiated those contracts. You compare the before and after numbers on that. In every case we have brought the numbers in, I think, pretty substantially below the not-to-exceed amounts. And in fact, we've brought it in low enough that we'll be able to take some of those things that we're looking at in terms of force protection, the security upgrades that we've learned the building needs, we've learned as a result of September 11th, we'll be able to, without seeking additional funds, be able to get a number of those security upgrades built into the building without having to go back to the American taxpayer and ask for additional monies.
The Congress has also decided to fund our program with an additional $300 million to support acceleration of our program. They expressed that they would like us to complete the program as quickly as possible so that the additional security and security upgrades that we provide to the building can be in place as quickly as possible. We had planned to complete our program in the year 2014. We're now planning on completing our program in the year 2010. So we're trying to take four years off the original schedule of the Pentagon renovation.
This is kind of a complex chart. Basically what it shows is as quickly as possible, we're going to get back to our sequence of moving people around the building in kind of a counter-clockwise motion, opening up wedges, clearing the people out, filling up the previous wedge that we renovated, and walking around the building to make that happen.
This is a layout and a kind of a standard schedule format that shows the various projects that we have underway, what the time sequence is for those projects in order for us to get finished by the year 2010. All of this is in your handout, so you can see it in some detail there. I know it's probably hard to see up here.
And that is our presentation on what we've done, how we've done it and why we've done it. If you wish to learn additional information about our program, this is our website. We've put a lot of work into that to try to be as communicative as we possibly can with the American public. It's their money. They have every right to know what we're doing. We try to communicate that as effectively as we can.
Q: Lee, it looks like you said that this is going to cost $740 million. Originally, you said 720-, but now you've signed a contract that says 740-, right?, according to that.
Evey: That's if we do all of the security projects that we've kind of identified.
Q: All right, 740- for the repairs and security?
Evey: Yes, sir.
Q: And it looks like you've spent 576- to date, correct?
Evey: We've got that on contracts.
Q: Well how much have you spent to date?
Evey: Oh, I don't -- spent in terms of payments that go out is far less than that. Off the top of my head, I don't know what that number is. But that's the amount of money that we've put on the contract to pay for the repairs that we'll be making.
Q: Well, have you completed that work-up? Would you run that chart on --
Evey: (aside) Can you go back?
Q: You see, that see-through -- oh, that would be for April 1st. If you add up the first three figure there on the (counted?) estimates. So you don't know what you've spent to date out of the 740 million?
Evey: This is -- basically, what this number represents is what we've negotiated as a price for the contracts, okay?, with a little bit additional percentage on top of it to accommodate any additional changes that we may have to make to those contracts as we go through additional work, okay? There a slight percentage on top of that. So that's our current estimate, okay?, based on a hard negotiations.
Q: Do you know how much you've spent out of the $740 million?
Evey: Off the top of my head, I don't know what the full amount of payments is, but we can get you that number, if you'd like.
Q: Perhaps you said -- how many workers do you have working?
Evey: The most that we've had on the project at one time was about a thousand people. Now at that point in time, we were doing both recovery and demolition work. We were doing construction work, and we were also removing the furniture, finishing, equipment, computers, all those things that were damaged by mold growth, smoke, water, exposure, et cetera. We had all of that work going on at the same time.
Typically today, we have around 5(00) to 600 workers, typically. About 250, 300 of them would be actually doing physical work on the concrete structure. The remainder of them would be doing other work inside the rest of the building and other places.
Q: Are you working seven days a week, 18 hours a day, or --
Evey: No, sir. Initially we worked seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and we did that until approximately Christmas. At Christmas we insisted that all the workers take two days off. The response by the workers was they put together a group of 64 workers who came and complained to us because they wanted to work straight through. We insisted they take two days off. We also insisted that they had to take two days off at New Year's.
After that point in time, we cut back a little bit on the time. We're currently working about 20 hours a day, six days a week. Our concern was --
Q: How many hours?
Evey: Twenty hours a day.
Q: Six --
Evey: Six days a week. That's generally two shifts, 10 hours per shift. Some companies handle it slightly differently, but generally it's 10 hours a shift, two shifts.
We don't want to continue to push these guys seven days a week, 24 hours a day, because we're concerned that we could start to have accidents on the job.
Our accident rate on our project is extraordinary. At this point in time, we've spent well over 860,000 man hours on the job. We've had one lost-time accident, which was a minor thumb injury that one of the workers experienced. That's an extraordinary safety record.
Q: Does part of that budgeting include incentives for a more rapid completion?
Evey: It doesn't include incentives for a more rapid completion. We incentivize our contracts in two ways. The first is, we use an award fee, which sets aside a certain amount of money. Every three months we evaluate contractor performance, and they make their basic profit out of their award fee award.
We evaluate in terms of the quality of the work that they produce, things like their innovation and creativity in problem- solving, their ability to anticipate problems and resolve them early, rather than allowing them to get bigger. And we evaluate their performance in terms of support for the small disadvantaged business community. We evaluate their performance on safety.
In addition to that, we also have incentives. If they can give us everything that the work requires, everything the project requires, give us everything, and if they make at least an average of 85 percent on that award fee, if they can also figured out how to do the job at a lower cost, we typically split the savings with them, so it results in an increase in profit for them and an increased overall lower cost for the taxpayers.
Q: Because you were able to do the clearance work much quicker than you anticipated, does that mean you're a month ahead of schedule in terms of moving people back in before September 11, 2002?
Evey: Yes, we are ahead of schedule. We're --
Q: (off mike)
Evey: Well, we've changed the schedule a number of times. (laughs) We keep moving it ahead. Right now we're several weeks ahead of the last schedule that we did. And it seems that we're gaining on that schedule. So we're doing extraordinarily well. We're very pleased.
Q: To what do you attribute that speed of the demolition, one month when you thought eight months? How come?
Evey: First, we were able to get some equipment that was extremely efficient and effective. And secondly, we put a lot of thought into how to do the demolition most effectively. And then we spent some time learning. You know, a lot of what we do on the project deals with communication between people. I mean, like any other project, it's all people. And we've spent a lot of effort trying to ensure that the workers, between shifts, the workers and the managers and the leaders all communicate effectively. And so we approached it as a problem, a learning situation, and we tried to figure out how we can learn this as quickly as possible and make our performance better. And as they went through this process, they got very good.
Q: Where did all that debris go?
Evey: It went to a landfill in King George County. We went to King George County and talked to them, outlined our program, described what we were doing, why we needed to do it and what was involved in the recovery effort. King George County, Virginia. And they were very supportive of the program. We appreciate their support very much.
Q: Two questions. Can you clarify exactly what your goal is for September 11th, whether it's just -- (inaudible) -- make that clear. And then, could you give us some more information about what kind of security upgrades the building would be getting based on the --
Q: Would you mind getting over to the mikes?
Evey: I've got one on.
Q: Oh, you've got one on. Fine. Thanks.
Q: Would you move that up?
Evey: Is that better?
Q: That's fine.
Evey: I'm sorry. First question?
Q: What, exactly, is your goal for September 11th to be done?
Evey: The exact goal for September 11th, our stated goal is we want to have people back in the building on E Ring, where the aircraft impacted, by September 11th. We want them to be sitting at their desk performing their mission, doing their work. So we expect those offices not just to have a chair in it, that people sit in, we expect those to be fully functional offices. I'm not committing to have the entire demolished area recovered, although we'd like to do that.
Q: So it will be the two rings, then, C and D, you don't expect -- you're not committing to having those.
Evey: We're not committing to having them done.
Q: In just the Phoenix area, or in --
Evey: In just the Phoenix area; that's correct.
Q: Okay, everything else -- (inaudible) -- is all --
Evey: My expectation is -- yeah, the other areas in Wedge One will probably already be done in advance of that, okay?
The other areas -- and Wedge Two will be lagging just a bit because of some -- just because of the work sequencing that goes into this. We're concentrating on the Wedge One area. The Wedge Two area will be lagging just a little bit.
Q: What's been your biggest challenge --
Evey: I'm sorry.
Q: I'm sorry. If you could give us some more details on the security upgrades that you're adding to the building --
Evey: Sure. Yeah, and I sum them -- and you just described them as security upgrades, but actually, there are a number of upgrades. I want to start with things like glass; we've just looked at the performance of the building under the blast experience that occurred on September 11th. And from that, we've tried to make some changes in design. And we're going through that process now in order to make the building even tougher.
Let me give you an example: in fire. Some of these changes are extremely small, you would think, but nevertheless very important. I'll give you an example. If you look in the rear of this building, you have a nice exit sign there. And it's lit, and if you're walking in here trying to determine whether or not this room is appropriately protected from fire, you look at that exit sign, you say, "Oh, it's well-lit. It's well marked. And so therefore, it's done properly." And that's according to code, and that's nice, okay?
What you don't think about is, in a fire event, you're not going be standing, looking at that exit sign. You're going to be on your hands and knees, okay? And you probably wont be able to see your hand in front of your face. And if you're underneath that exit sign, just eight or 10 feet away from it, it might as well be a hundred miles away, because you won't be able to see it. So some of the things that we're doing is, we're using non-electrical, glow-in-the-dark devices that can be placed at floor level, so that when you are on your hands and knees, and you are crawling, trying to find your way out, you can find your way out. You will have something very close to you that you can see and that you can follow.
That doesn't cost a whole lot. It's not very sexy. It's not very exciting, okay? But it's just very, very practical, and it seems to work pretty darn well. We've worked with some of our customers in the area, gone in there and in a very simple way, tried to simulate that kind of situation; we've turned off all the lights and let them see if they could find their way out.
It just so happened that the particular groups that we worked with -- most of those people had been in the area of the building that was affected by September 11th. They were very willing participants in that process of evaluation. From that, we're learning how we can make the building safer for fire. We're looking at improvements we can make to the sprinkler system. We're looking at how we can make the building more resistant to nuclear, biological or chemical attack. And we're determining how best to get people out of the building.
We are looking at providing some additional fire escapes in certain areas that it seemed to us would provide better egress from the building in case of that type of event. Lots of things like that. None of them, for the most part, are particularly earth-shaking, but all summed together we think will make the building significantly better.
Q: Can you just talk a little bit -- what do you do to make the building more resistant to nuclear/biological/chemical attack?
Evey: The building's very porous. I mean, all buildings are very porous, you know? And so, you look at are there materials that you can apply that would prevent air penetration. You look at changes you might make to air systems and things like that. I mean, just very common-sensical.
I want to get some of the people in the rear of the room. Yes, ma'am.
Q: Yes. A quick question. I was wondering if you describe on a personal level what it means to be working on this project, which has so much symbolism because of the way that -- (inaudible) -- the attack. What does it mean to you? And also, is there a systematic effort to share what you're learning with other federal projects now being renovated or under construction?
Evey: First, on a personal level, you know, people generally when they ask questions ask questions about what it was like on September 11th, what do you think about September 11th, what are your thoughts about that, how do your people react to that? And the first point I would make is that September 11th was September 11th; that's in the past, okay? At this point, we don't think about that very much, okay? It happened, it was unfortunate, we have to recover from it. And I think at this point everyone's eyes -- my eyes and the people on the program -- our eyes are all on the future. How can we bring this building back as quickly as we possibly can? That's our goal, and that's our mission. We want to do it as efficiently, effectively, and we also want to do it in as cost-effective a manner as we possibly can. We're all very aware that we're taxpayers. I think everybody out there wants to see their tax money spent wisely. And we intend to do the best job we can possibly do to make all of those things happen.
Q: And talk about what you're learning on this project. Is there some systematic effort, in other words, with all the other federal projects around the country and even right here in the nation's capital, to share what you're learning?
Evey: It is a great deal of effort, and not headed up by us by any means. But we participate in it by many organizations. As you might well imagine, there are many engineering organizations of the various engineering disciplines. There are publications, engineering news record being one of the primary. There are government agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers and other government agencies -- GSA, et cetera -- all of whom are taking the lead in trying to learn as much from this as you possibly can. What we're doing is participating in it and trying to make sure that we bring to that discussion what we have learned in our particular instance. That has been summed with many, many other circumstances so that in the totality they can figure out ways to make buildings as safe as they possibly can be.
Q: We've gotten an idea of what they're thinking about in terms of a memorial in New York City, and I'm wondering if your design plans at this point have any room for a memorial, if you can give us any idea of the status and what it might --
Evey: There is a -- the responsibility for the memorial is under the Army Corps of Engineers, okay?
I know they are working very, very diligently to plan that, et cetera. But it would be inappropriate for me to speculate exactly where they are. From time to time, I meet with them and talk to them, but I'm not up to date on exactly where they are.
Q: Have they gotten to the point of giving you an idea of where in you plans you need to make room or anything like that?
Evey: My understanding is the memorial will probably be an exterior memorial. So I'm not having to make arrangements for that or accommodations for that within my plans on the interior of the building.
Q: An exterior memorial at the point of impact?
Evey: Where it will be is something that they're handling. I'm not -- I'm sorry.
Q: With the security upgrades, is there anything different that people working in the Pentagon will be doing because of these security upgrades? Is there any difference in the way they get in or out of the building or go through their day?
Evey: Well, certainly some of the security upgrades that we had ongoing even before September 11th had already caused some of that. The Metro entrance facility, for instance -- those of you who come in by bus or who may come in by Metro are experiencing the opportunity to take a bit of a detour to get into the building because we have to work that area. What we are doing is we are building a more secure entrance into the building for people who arrive by Metro or by bus. So there's a temporary dislocation right now.
I think around June or beginning of July, when we can open a direct access into the building through that area, people will very much appreciate the improvements that the building will experience as a result of that, although there's a temporary dislocation.
For the most part, people won't really notice the difference. Most people that were sitting in Wedge 1 on September 11th had no idea that there were blast-resistant windows in that building. They had no idea that we had retrofit six-inch-by-six-inch steel members. They had no idea that we had put in Kevlar cloth to catch masonry fragments. Those things were invisible to them. But they operated very effectively.
Most of the changes that we would make similarly would be invisible and non-obtrusive to somebody in the building, but we hope effective, should it ever be subjected to a similar occurrence.
Q: What does it mean and how do you feel about getting this building up so quickly? Six months later it's at a level that almost seems like it went up in a snap. What does that mean to you and those inside of the building?
Evey: Well, of course, you have to take a great deal of pride in that. And we're very proud of the people who are working so hard to make that happen. The people are highly motivated. In addition to being highly motivated, they're thinking. They are planning. They are very diligent about ensuring that the work is done as efficiently and as effectively as it possibly can be.
Beyond that, beyond those maybe they're rather simplistic thoughts, okay?, beyond that, we are people who build buildings, and that's what we're here for, to build buildings.
And we're focusing our attention on the recovery effort and the activities we have under way to bring this building back so people can perform their mission as effectively as possible.
Q: Is there anything in the construction realm that parallels this, that's been one before, a combination of demolition and this type of rapid rebuilding?
Evey: I don't know. I don't know. I'm not a construction guy by background, so -- (laughs). So this is the first time I've ever done construction in my career, so I don't have a great backlog of comparisons that I can make personally. So -- I'm sure that there are other projects. This could be constructed much more quickly if we were building a brand new building and we didn't have to accommodate some of the historical and structural features of the building. We have to integrate what we're doing into the existing building. So that means there's a certain pattern to the columns, there's a certain sequence and pattern to the work that results from that that isn't as fast as it could possibly be in the best of all worlds. But given those constraints, it's going extraordinarily quickly.
Q: (off mike) How many are up so far in the Phoenix project and how many more have to be put up?
Evey: We've got about -- I think we have about 30 of them up right now. Okay? But it's almost like "What time is it?" because they're doing them very, very rapidly at this point.
(aside) Brett, do you happen to know how many are in the whole building?
Staff: There were 350 in Wedge One.
Evey: Three hundred fifty in Wedge One. So multiply that by five.
Staff: Just one or two more and we have to go.
Evey: Yes, ma'am?
Q: (off mike) -- people are asking about the speed of the project. I would think that the sense of patriotism, commitment, anger, all of those factor into people's commitment, from the workers on up to you.
Evey: Yes, ma'am. I'm sure that those are considerations. It's a highly motivated workforce. There's no question about that. And the reasons for that motivation sometimes are quite personal. You know we have people on the project who lost family members and things like that, okay? These are just the most -- construction workers are just the most patriotic people you'll ever meet in your life, just incredible people. So I'm very proud of them.
Q: Could you please say something about your personal background? You're not an engineer or an architect, is that right?
Evey: That's correct, ma'am.
Q: So how did you come to do this -- (laughter)?
Evey: I sometimes ask myself that question. I'm a psychology major. I also have a master's degree in special education and a master's degree in management science. And life is sometimes strange. (laughter) I was as just asked if I would be the manager of the project, and I agreed to do it.
Q: Are you military? Were you part of the Pentagon?
Evey: Yes, ma'am. I was working for the Air Force at the time. I'm an Air Force employee. I'm on loan to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Q: What were you doing for the Air Force?
Evey: My background is contracting. I was a contracts person in the Air Force.
Staff: Thank you very much.
Evey: Thank you very much.
Q: Thank you.