Model Behavior
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Challenging the status quo in challenging times isn’t for the faint hearted, but two of Wood's engineering and design teams in Houston proved they were up to the task when they had to deliver critical project milestones remotely for a major client – model reviews.

A model review is an increasingly important part of the design phase in any major engineering project. The model, once just a drawing or a scaled down plastic replica of the facility, is now a virtual three-dimensional representation of the facility and is designed inclusive of all major engineering disciplines, such as mechanical, piping, instrumentation, electrical, technical safety, and structural. Detailed models are used as a central project database for reporting, tracking deliverables and enabling multi-disciplines to share and collaborate.

The purpose of the model review is to test the safety, effectiveness and functionality of the design. It is typically scheduled with the client six months to a year in advance of the overall project timeline.

Model reviews take place throughout the project, at various stages of completion. It can be an early indicator of what’s working and what isn’t. The priority is to ensure there are no unforeseen issues in the latter stages of the design that can negatively impact the project’s cost and schedule.

Wood’s Chevron Anchor and Chevron St. Malo Stage 4 (SM4) teams, like many others, had to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, making a controlled and effective switch to working remotely. It wasn’t an easy task, owing in part to the sizable desktop equipment, software and data required to support teams manage these sizeable engineering and design work scopes.

“Utilizing new technologies as a team has been a game changer for us. Keeping to schedule and meeting milestones is key to our client’s satisfaction, so we have digitally transformed the way we work to respond to unforeseen challenges should they arise.”

Jeremy Hall, Wood’s project manager for Chevron Anchor

The entire project is run on Microsoft Teams, ensuring the 150 strong team has shared, real-time and online access to all the data and capability even when operating in a ‘normal’ work environment.

However, working from home meant the team had to prove productivity could be maintained, especially with an imminent model review for Anchor; a deepwater, high-pressure oil and gas field located in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Wood is delivering detailed design of the Anchor topsides and a wet tree development, which will use a semi-submersible floating production unit (semi-FPU) hull. The model review requires a lot of horsepower both in terms of people and data. It involves a large number of key stakeholders, including Wood’s discipline experts as well as Chevron’s teams from the Anchor project, operations and quality assurance.”

Jeremy Hall, Wood’s project manager for Chevron Anchor

The model review, run by Wood on Microsoft Teams, saw more than 60 people join online, including the construction subcontractor, who will use the design in preparation of its own timeline and work scope.

In the same week, Wood’s SM4 project team had to deliver its model review for Chevron remotely.

“I’ve been conducting model reviews for more than 20 years, but this was next level. We had the sudden disruption and potential distraction of COVID-19, but at the end of the day we had to deliver and keep our promise to the client. Our team and Wood’s digital capabilities proved we could overcome latent obstacles, keep to schedule and standards, and make our client proud.”

Jeremy Flessner, Wood’s SM4 project manager

SM4 is another signature deepwater project for Chevron in GOM, where Wood is providing a detailed engineering and design scope to support a planned addition to the existing Jack/St. Malo facility, also designed by Wood.

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