Control Room Detail Design


Background

You want to build a new control building. You have an idea of how many people and what rooms are required, but you don’t have any idea of adjacencies, actual room sizes and details of what functions the rooms need to support. If you call in an architect they will provide a questionnaire to address these issues, however, the question are designed to get an answer, not ensure that the design meets the needs of the people. An architect may ask a client if he needs a training room and the client says, “yes.” The architect then designs a room based on how many people were in the control room. However, the Architect did not ask how training was to be done; or how the room would be used during different situations; or if the room would be used for other activities; or what is the vision for training in the future, such as cross-training; or how it will address console and field operator collaboration, procedure development and testing. You made mistakes with your existing building and don’t want to have to live with the results of a poorly implemented project for the next 30 years.

This process provides for any client a cost effective method to incorporate Best Practices in control room design into their new facility. This can be done for new building or retrofits of existing facilities. User Centered Design Services brings state of the art learnings from throughout industry to bear on your facility.

A badly designed project can incur costly changes, re-designs, scope creep, time delays, construction nightmares, and could have implications on the effectiveness of the plant for the next 30 years. A properly designed facility can increase operator performance, reduce work-related stress, reduce human error, improve safety, reduce upsets, slowdowns and shut downs, and contribute significantly to the bottom line of the plant.


Service Description

Our detailed design service typically picks up after completion of the Control Building Conceptual Design, although it is not a requirement.  If the conceptual Design phase is not done in conjunction with UCDS, a preliminary meeting most likely will be required to allow UCDS to get up to speed with the project goals.

After the Conceptual Design the Client can begin the process of choosing an Architect while UCDS generates a Detailed Design report based on interviews with a wide cross-section of the buildings primary and secondary users. Our report will provide the Architect with details and specifications critical to designing a building that encompasses all Best Practices and provides a +/-30% budget figure. These details will also allow an architect to develop 90% construction drawings to provide a +/- 10% estimate. Typical specifications include:

  • Primary and secondary user requirements

  • Room types, sizing and functions

  • Building and room adjacencies

  • Console arrangements and adjacencies based on process interactions and good communication and collaboration strategies

  • Ergonomic Console Design and work process requirements

  • Shared equipment arrangements

  • Fatigue countermeasures

  • Recommendations in collaboration with your Architect and their design contractors on:

  • Flooring

  • Finishes

  • Lighting

  • HVAC system

  • Noise

  • Use of interior glazing

  • Traffic flow

  • And many more…

It also includes an Operating Philosophy document. This is a template document that records the How, Why and When decisions made during the control building project. This covers topics such as plant startup strategy and functional relationships between new and old control rooms and backup control strategies in case of outages or common mode failures. This document should be used to remind the organization why things were done the way they were, and ensure future changes do not work against the original intent of the project.

The site visit typically lasts for a week, and one or two representatives from UCDS will attend. During this process UCDS will perform interviews with all stakeholders in the control building project including: Senior Management, Department Management, Instrument Engineers, Instrument Supervisors and Technicians, Process Engineers, Training Supervisors, Trainers, Procedure Writers, Control System Engineers and Technicians, Operations Supervision (all levels), Field and Console Operators, Health and Safety, Process Safety Management, and Business Planning. These interviews are typically an hour long. We prefer to interview Operators at their duty stations during morning and evening shifts. This puts the operators more at ease, and minimizes scheduling issues and overtime costs for the Client. The Client should plan on a significant number of personnel being interviewed during the visit, and budget the internal cost appropriately.

UCDS also provides adjacency requirements for rooms and consoles and will develop a functional layout diagrams for review by the stakeholders. We then provide this information in the form of a Detailed Specification, to your Architect who will turn the sketches into code compliant drawings

After the Architect has developed a few options for the building layout, UCDS will make a site visit to review the plans with all levels of facility personnel, especially all those interviewed in the first phase. This allows the gathering of feedback, ensures the concerns of all stakeholders are addressed, and helps to educate, sooth fears and increase overall project buy-in. A 3D video walkthrough can be provided.

As the Client goes through the iterative process of finalizing the building design, User Centered Design Services will be available for consultation and meeting as required.

For additional information or to book a study please E-mail us at:  sales@mycontrolroom.com,



© 2013 User Centered Design Services

Technical

UCDS has in-depth experience in designing control rooms and modifying existing field shelters. Our process is compliant with the ISO 11064 Ergonomic Design Standard for Control Buildings. We interview management, supervision and a significant group of the operators to understand functional requirements, what works well in the existing environment, and identification and correction of problems with the existing design. To learn more Click Here

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Situation Awareness

Abnormal situations encompass a range of events outside the “normal” plant operating modes, e.g. trips, fires, explosions, toxic releases or just not reaching planned targets. In the past incidents such as Piper Alpha, Milford Haven, Flixborough, Texas City and the 2003 northeast electrical blackout have all been attributed, at least in part, to a fundamental lack of good situational awareness. Early work of the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium® included a survey of the US petrochemical industry. Based on their research the consortium estimates industry losses of around $20 billion per year from abnormal situations, approximately equal to the total annual profits of that industry. Furthermore these studies indicate that companies achieving Best Practices in operations can improve productivity by 5-12%. To learn more Click Here

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Fatigue Alertness Management

We have many customers looking to enhance their shift handover procedures and follow some of the Recommended Practices identified in the API documents; others are focusing attention on fatigue and fatigue countermeasures. We have great solutions for both these topics. For more details please contact Steve Maddox. To learn more Click Here

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Behavior

User Centered Design Services promotes Behavior – Based Safety which is a process that helps employees identify and choose safe behavior over an unsafe one. Safety in the workplace is a combination of three measurable components – the person their environment, and their behavior. To learn more Click Here

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About the Control Room Operator Performance Group

The purpose of this group is to share ideas and solutions that contribute to improving the performance of the control room operator. Abnormal situations can be managed safely and effectively if we provide our operators with the right training, workload, environment, and interfaces.