Boeing H-47 Chinook Focus Factory Conversion

Ridley Park, PA
The Boeing Company
STV, Inc.
$135 million

In 1965, The Boeing Company purchased the former General Steel Castings Plant, an 85 year old group of now-historic buildings adjacent to their current location. Spurred by increasing demand for the H-47 Chinook heavy lift military helicopter, Boeing  turned to STV to implement major renovations that  required out-of-the-box thinking to perform complex interior & exterior renovations, without any disruptions to vital, 24-hour, seven days a week, continuous assembly operations , while DOD production rates were increasing  at the same time.

Inspired by STV’s collaborative approach, the team overcame major logistical phasing and scheduling challenges created by performing complex construction activities while client operations continued in the existing building envelope, under mandated military FOD free requirements and LEED compliance rules. Multiple project CMs, working on staggered shifts, around the clock, insured that open lines of communication and concise documentation was extended to the many stakeholders involved with the project. The five year conversion program achieved all of Boeing’s projected goals and was completed on schedule and within budget, without any safety incidents or claims, by virtue of the communication and planning skills of the STV team. Timely communication with all stake holders was the key.


The conversion projects innovative approach involved ongoing daily interaction and cooperation with designers, contractors, service providers, and Boeing shift management and production focals at all levels to meet critical milestones on both sides of the ledger. Phased completed renovation sequences were designed into the construction schedules, with anticipated user operational changes, to allow extensive rehabilitation activities to be accomplished while aircraft assembly was underway, in most instances, less than 20 feet away from a temporary demising wall. Using this phased approach ensured zero disruption to ongoing production and allowed for construction and helicopter manufacturing activities to coexist and move forward on parallel paths.

As Boeing's increased production goals had to be met, the main building was divided into three sections or phases of work, which allowed for renovation activities to be performed in tandem with moving aircraft assembly lines. With construction ongoing in such close proximity, the contractors enacted indoor air quality management plans for each phase including control measures such as full height scaffold sail walls, sealed construction dust barriers, negative pressurization of affected zones to prevent air migration into occupied areas, as well as the fitting of all gas or diesel equipment with exhaust scrubbers to reduce airborne pollutants.

"We would like to recognize STV's exceptional effort in managing the mutiple projects with a minimum of disruption to the production of helicopters.  One of the most extraordinary aspects of this program was the timing and coordination between multiple building projects all being performed simultaneously. STV's team met the exceptional insure that all of the renovation activities were performed without any delay or disruption and with an impeccable safety record."

Dan Meehan


The Boeing Company