Ivey's Construction, Inc. was awarded the NASA IDIQ project to remove the existing Space Shuttle extensible platforms from High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center, FL. The project involved the removal and disassembly of seven large existing platform structures.
The seven box-like metal extensible platforms were used to surround the Space Shuttles during stacking operations in the VAB. The platforms are approximately 50 feet deep and 75 ft. wide and ranged in height from 25 ft. to 55 ft. tall. The top of the highest platform was 245 ft. above the floor level. The platforms varied in weight from 280,000 lbs. to 460,000 lbs. each.
Ivey's scope of work included: preparation of engineered critical lift plans, non-destructive testing of the existing lifting lugs, removing connections for electricity, water, pneumatics, fire protection, etc., rigging and lowering the platforms to the ground, transportation of the platforms outside the VAB, asbestos and hazardous paint abatement, and finally the demolition and salvage of the individual platforms outside the VAB.
The removal of each platform involved accurately locating the precise center of gravity so that the platform would remain level during lifting/hoisting operations, and then very slowly moving the platforms away from the structure with mere inches to spare, and then lowering the platforms to the ground. The platforms were placed on metal support stands that allowed a Goldhofer transport trailer to roll under the platform and lift it up and very carefully move the entire platform to a staging area outside the VAB for demolition. Ivey's crews constructed a temporary roadway and removed a section of high-security fence to allow transport. The 250-ton and 325-ton facility bridge cranes were used for the lifts.
The project is a part of the modernization of NASA's facilities at the Kennedy Space Center in preparation for the next generation of human spaceflight. Future plans call for the VAB to support different types and configurations of space vehicles, including commercial rockets, the SLS, and the Orion Spacecraft.
Ivey's delivered the project approximately a month ahead of schedule.