J.J Pickle Federal Building
Renovations Project Informational Site

Frequently Asked Questions

What is happening to the Ground Floor?

The plastic is always flapping open and it is right next to the back room, conference room, and gym. We walk past that area all day to get snacks and eat lunch and work out. They carry dumpsters full of materials right past us in the corridor. Are we really protected?

This question addresses two different issues that are happening in extremely-close proximity to one another. The two activities are Asbestos Abatement and Construction Demolition. Both activities have their own separate forms of plastic containment as follows:

  1. Asbestos Abatement is happening in very specific areas of the ground floor where HVAC VAV Units are being replaced. In order to change out these units, some duct insulation needs to be removed that has an asbestos-containing joint sealant. These spot areas of insulation removal are being handled by a glove-bag method (see photos below), whereby the suspect insulation is encapsulated with one layer of plastic to prevent potential airborne contamination. A second layer of plastic is installed to contain the first, also with gloved attachments, at which point the technician removes the plastic-coated insulation into the secondary containment bag. The containment bags are then removed in a covered cart to a covered roll-off container/truck at the dock.

  2. Construction Demolition of the VAV units happens inside another plastic-walled containment of the overall area that is directly observed by the public and passersby. This containment does allow access for the construction demolition workers to come and go to the area, but the asbestos abatement has been long gone by this point. The second containment for construction demolition serves to keep dust, debris and noise down in the area; and will appear to be flapping or unsecured. This containment affords everyone the best housekeeping during demolition, and the contractor is always cautioned to keep dust down in the areas affected. It is recommended to the contractor that the construction debris bins be covered at all times. The contractor has been cleaning the work areas each evening, and has responded to specialized requests during any given work day.

As all building occupants have to exist in close quarters in a fully functioning building, any further tenant questions of this nature or housekeeping observances are appreciated. Should more information or explanation be required, please feel free to stop by the AFG office located in Suite 750 of the 7th floor.

How will I be affected when the project gets to my floor?

A detailed move management framework has been developed and utilized, which has provided positive feedback from the impacted tenants to date. Your agency’s representative will be contacted three months before the scheduled move date to conduct inventory of existing furniture and contents. At two months before an agency move date, a floor plan on the swing floor (4th floor) is created and proposed to the tenants for review. One month before agency move date, FRX (contracted move coordinator) will schedule move orientations for agency employees where detailed instructions will be provided about the move, purge, packing and labeling instructions. Two to three weeks out, FRX will deliver the balance of packing supplies and containers. Two days out, FRX conducts pre-move walk-thru to confirm readiness of an agency in regard to content packing, labeling and move coordination details. The day before the move, our planning team will distribute cypher lock codes, and keys, to access new space on the 4th floor to the respective agency representative. The move space, a “Help Desk” is manned with FRX personnel to troubleshoot potential issues and ensure that fully operational abilities are in place. One week post move, packing boxes are collected by FRX.


When will I be affected?

While the overall project schedule has been significantly impacted by a number of factors, the sequence of floors being impacted remains intact. Please review the tenant phasing schedule to get a better understanding of where your floor is relative to the current progress schedule. As the project moves forward, the application of lessons learned from previous floors should allow for improved efficiencies in constructability for subsequent floors.

Why isn’t this being completed after hours?

Due to various constraints, the original intent for this project did not allow for working after hours. After considering feedback from tenants, industry peers (through GSA’s construction excellence peer review program) and the entire project team, we are making efforts to overcome the challenges that were previously disallowed after hours work. Beginning December 17, 2018, the construction hours have been established as 4:00 AM-4:00 PM with noise restrictions being 9:00 AM-3:00 PM as previously coordinated with tenants.


What can I expect when my floor is complete?

The same move process from the relocation to swing space is repeated for the return move back to permanent tenant space.

Is there any asbestos/hazardous materials in the building?

Yes. During the demolition phase of a floor, all safeguards and state permitting are put in place for licensed professionals to properly abate the known ACM (asbestos containing material). (See the tab Project Background & Scope for more information.) Air samples are taken daily during this period in accordance with abatement protocols and the reports are provided to the GSA building management team the following day. These reports are available for anyone’s review upon request.

How long is this project going to last?

The contracted schedule completion is October 2019. The project team is collectively and strongly committed in making all efforts to meet this deadline.

What does asbestos or ACM actually look like?

In the photo below, a typical occurrence of ACM is shown as it appears at various locations of HVAC duct connections.  As shown, the black mastic used to seal the connections is actually the material containing asbestos.  During the abatement process, this area is removed by cutting the duct on either side so as to eliminate the need for disturbance of the ACM.