The global leader in radiation-shielding solutions, NELCO Worldwide, recently finalized the construction of a highly technical cargo-scanning building at the Massachusetts Port Authority in the Port of Boston’s Conley Container Terminal.
NELCO worked hand in hand with Passport Systems, Inc., a developer of new technologies that address threats of terrorist attacks. The compact structure, which houses a superior scanner for inspecting incoming shipping containers, is part of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) project.
The Need for Specialized Industry Resources
Selected as design builder, NELCO demonstrated global industry experience with cargo-scanning projects in places like Vancouver, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Vietnam, a prominent NY skyline landmark and the U.S./Canadian border crossing. “A prototype of the Passport facility was built by RSS, a NELCO-owned company,” stated Gary Miller, EVP & COO of NELCO Worldwide. “The prototype was vetted through DNDO and it enabled the necessary funding to make the project possible.” NELCO was chosen in a competitive process along with Trapani Associates, the architect of record, to design and construct a facility with unique parameters.
The Challenges of a First-of-its-Kind Facility
“Along with new technology comes new building requirements, so we’d been reinventing the wheel from day one,” said Ken Tarbell, Sr. Project Executive. “As the design evolved, we would continually adjust—everything from enhancing phone communication through thick concrete walls, to including chemical-fire suppression that protects multimillion-dollar equipment.”
Mark Salsbury, who was immersed in the day-to-day details as NELCO Project Manager, stated, “This is an extremely unconventional building with 10 foot-thick slabs and cargo doors that each weigh 100,000 lbs. It’s a small structure with tremendous weight, built in difficult soil.”
“We were extremely pleased with the performance of our assembled team,” commented Rick LeBlanc, NELCO President & CEO. “The coordination between design and construction was stellar, and it ultimately resulted in unsurpassed quality.” Mr. Miller added, “It’s hard to appreciate the complexity involved without seeing it firsthand—this isn’t a big place, but there’s a lot going on here.”