787 Factory Activation
The Boeing Company
Everett, WA

Size: 470,000 SF

Construction: $22 Million

We minimized overall costs, maximized utilities flexibility and took full advantage of new technologies. To achieve these results, excellent communication, detailed field investigation, regulatory approval, and thorough operations and maintenance documentation were completed. Despite the complexities of this project, it was completed on schedule and exceeded The Boeing Commercial Airplane Group’s expectations.


The Boeing Company, the world’s pre-eminent aircraft manufacturer, created an entirely new way of producing the 787 Dreamliner Aircraft. The production line that they created is revolutionary. It reduces assembly time and increases efficiency. Assembled portions of the airplane are flown to Everett, WA where Boeing assembles the aircraft. Wood Harbinger’s contribution to this new wave, lean manufacturing process was to provide a facility infrastructure with utility system connections that would be easily accessible at any point as the aircraft travels along its moving assembly line.

Many challenges were overcome during the design and construction of the 787 Factory Activation project. The design team met an aggressive schedule where the scope and design requirements were often developed concurrently with detailed design and construction.

Another challenge was leveling out the early 1990s factory floor. The team designed a state-of-the-art guide rail system of more than 4,000 lineal feet, laser straight, and level to a few hundredths of an inch. The solution: 100 foot long jigs were prepared to hold the foundation bolts in precise locations, thus allowing for a continuous pour of the foundation system.

Innovations of this project included designing the point-of-connection for all the utilities. The accessible connections are precisely positioned for the appropriate tools in use at each production position. Other innovations included specialized piping distribution to support 5,000 psi hydraulic elements on the aircraft, a one-of-a-kind utility trench, and an efficiently configured tunnel access system.

The Wood Harbinger team quickly developed practical design solutions, managed the concurrent development and implementation of plans, and participated directly in Boeing’s 787 factory integrated design/build process.