23 October 2009
It's a multimillion dollar job "up for grabs" - as announced by the US State Department's Office of Inspector General. That's the good news. The bad news is, well, it's in Baghdad. And it's to fix contractor goofs on a taxpayer-funded construction project. But wasted taxpayer dollar woes aside, it does make for fairly entertaining reading.
The new US Embassy complex there cost an astounding $736m to build on a site that covers more than 100 acres. But the OIG alleges that it will cost over $100m more to fix some of the plumbing, HVAC and other construction errors. (They hope to recoup much of this from the original contractor).
See if you can spot some of the alleged 'goofs':
- Mains water pipe bends and elbows for the fire sprinkler system and parts of the potable water supply were encased in concrete. And then roads and sidewalks built on top. (That alone is estimated to cost more than $1m to repair).
- No accessible clean-outs on dryer vent ductwork.
- No traps on the drain lines, across the site. This affects over 200 drains ($1.5m repair bill).
(And this is my favourite...)
- Joining a non-trapped floor drain and an HVAC condensate line from the air handler.
That must have made for some interesting facial expressions the first time they turned the air conditioning on!
Anyway, the alleged repairs needed add up to more than $100m. So I reckon that anybody that can figure out that non-trapped sewer drains and air handlers sharing the same pipes isn't a good idea must be in with a shout (!).