Bell Helicopter selected BE&K Building Group to provide construction services for its newest world-class aerospace assembly facility, built on a 14.5-acre site at Lafayette Regional Airport. The facility assembles the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X—Bell’s newest commercial helicopter.

In order to bring the facility quickly online to meet growing back orders for the helicopter, the team developed a design-assist strategy. It tied design and construction closely together and allowed work to begin while design was still underway.

The project team faced record-breaking rainfall—more than 19 in. fell in the final two months of construction alone—and an aggressive 10-month schedule. During construction, the original contract value also increased by more than 15% without a schedule extension. The additional scope was addressed with weekly owner, architect and contractor meetings beyond the regular coordination meetings between contractors and BE&K Building Group. Extraordinary cooperation made it possible for the team to complete the extra work without delaying the original schedule.

Work also had to be coordinated around a mission-critical Federal Aviation Administration communications cable that could not be relocated outside the site until four weeks before final completion. The project team worked diligently not only to ensure that the cable was not disturbed during construction but also to complete all work that could be done before the cable was relocated.

Bell Helicopter Aircraft Assembly Facility

Lafayette, La.

Key Players
Bell Helicopter
Lead Design Firm Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford Architects
General Contractor BE&K Building Group
Civil Engineer L.A. Fuess Partners Inc.
MEP Engineer Summit Consultants
Associate Architect Architects Southwest PC
Security Consulting MSB Security Consulting