Approved Professional Training
Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Sary Malak
Infrastructure is the framework of supporting system consisting of roads airports, bridges, buildings, parks and other amenities for the comfort of mankind.
Economically, infrastructure are the structural elements that allow for production of goods and services without themselves being part of the production process, that is, roads allow the transport of raw materials and finished products.
Infrastructure deals with transportation (road network, railway, ports and harbors, air travel and airports), television network, telephone network (landline connection, mobile phone connections), energy sector (electrification, reduction in energy loss, use of renewable energy such as solar, wind, biogas plants), agricultural activity, construction activity…
The project that EBCO BITAR and Saffiedine Trading and Contracting (STC) were the main contractors on was on telephone networks and specifically landline connections. There are two types of landline connections, either aerial using poles or underground by excavation. We worked on both aerial and underground based on the design maps obtained from Ogero and Khatib & Alami.?
Project Details 6
Background of the Company 9
Tasks Performed 11
Learned Outcome 40
Civil engineering is the oldest branch in engineering. It includes structural engineering, water engineering, foundation engineering, infrastructural engineering and many more. It is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the analysis, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructural facilities such as buildings, bridges, dames, roads … Civil engineers apply the physical, mathematical and scientific principles for the convenience of civilization.
As a civil engineering student at NDU it is mandatory to take the CEN 489 course which is a summer training course. It is required to do eight week of full time work.
My summer training job was with EBCO BITAR and Saffiedine Trading and Contracting (STC) on The Telecommunications Extension For Outside Plant Copper & Fiber Optic Network – Phase 7 – Package 1 project with the Ministry of Telecommunication (Ogero).
I was responsible of the following tasks:
– Field works: comprising of joint survey with the consultant of new telephone networks, to be installed in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, for the ministry of Telecommunication. The works comprised of two parts; the first part was Civil and infrastructure works (i.e asphalt cutting, excavation of trenches, placing PVC ducts, casting concrete, installing manholes and reinstatement, including laboratory testing) the second part was laying of copper and fiber cables (together with the associated jointing, patch panels, splitters, installation of cabinets, distribution boxes, etc…)
– Office Works: checking the drawings, preparation and modification of shop drawings, submittals, daily reports, quantity surveying to prepare Bill of materials. Finally, preparing as built drawings.
EBCO BITAR and STC were the main contractors of the project and Khatib & Alami was the consultant. EBCO BITAR and STC were joining ventures and have 2 offices one located in Beirut and the other in Saida. I was working in Beirut and we were responsible of package 1, and the ones in Saida were responsible of package 4. I was at the company from June 4, 2018 till August 4, 2018.
Figure 1 – Package 1 (P-1) and Package 4 (P-4)
Figure 2 – Closer Look to P-1
Some of the sites that I visited when I was working were in exchanges (Centrals): Bir Hassan 1, Bir Hassan 2, Choueifet, Chiah, Zaarouriyeh, Damour, Debbeye, Barja, Deir Koubel, Chhim, Wadi Ez Zeini, Rmeileh, Wadi Chahrour, Badaro, Karnayel, Ghobeiry, Aaley, Khaldeh, Justice, Mint El Hosn and Hamra. These are the exchange locations which may contain more than one village. For example, exchange Khaldeh includes part of Choueifet, Bshamoun, Doha and Aaramoun. Other than the maps we had at the office, new maps used to come at these exchanges that why we had to visit some of the exchanges on more than one occasion.
Background of the Company
“EBCO” Engineering & Building Co. was established in 1975, few months before the start of the Lebanese Civil War. The company challenged the threats and overcame the risks backed up by a loyal and motivated staff willing to fight for survival. As hard and dangerous as it was, it made it through and is now ranked among the largest contracting firms in Lebanon.
In 2005, Eng. Jalal Bitar, main founder and owner, has decided to embark with a new and improved version of EBCO naming it EBCO (BITAR). With his vision to expand, the firm is today executing big construction projects, and has offices and teams spread all over Lebanon.
EBCO (BITAR) conducts major projects with both public and private sectors. Its portfolio encompasses different types: residential, commercial, educational, health care, athletic, cultural, archeological, electro-mechanical, telecommunication and infrastructure. EBCO (BITAR)’s in depth experience and engineering expertise in such a variety of projects highlights its ability to execute any given project.
EBCO BITAR have decided to join venture with STC for many years now regarding the telecommunication project for the Ministry of Telecommunication (MoT). Now they are working on Phase 7, which is the seventh phase of the project. This project is performed across all Lebanon with each conracting firms working on a specific area based on their bids for the project.
The following is the information regarding their office in Beirut:
Beirut – Ahmad Assaad Street
Taj Building – Block B – Floor E
T.: +961 1 840681 | +961 1 857847
M.: +961 71 717711 F.: +961 1 840679
P.O. Box: 13-6304
Being new to the telecommunication field, I had to learn some symbols in order to utilize my civil engineering skills in that field. The symbols are used to read the maps and to understand how to apply the design on the map. You also need to read to map in order to be able to modify it if needed, after you survey the location of the work.
Figure 3 – Symbols Used in the Map with their Description
Some of the most important symbols are the single pole, the double pole, the cabinet and the hand holes (HHAF, HHBF, HH1C, HH2C, HH3C). Figure 3 was present in the office since the maps that we get don’t have legends and these symbols are standard symbols that the MoT uses. Moreover, anything that is already existing is in bold, and anything that is new and we have to implement is not drawn in bold. All the poles are wooden poles, either 8m, 9m or 10m. The poles (aerial network) are mainly used in villages or mainly locations where it is not developed enough and excavations (underground networks) are used in developed and well established areas. A double pole used when the pole is going to carry a heavy a load or we have a change in direction in the road. Double pole is used in these situations so that the pole does not sway. The maximum distance between poles according to MoT standards is 50 meters. This is to make sure that the cable doesn’t sway a lot. Whereas in the case of underground networks, the excavation can be as long as possible with the only limitation being that the path needs to be straight with only 45 and 90 degree bends possible.
The difference between the hand holes is their size. HH1 has 1 cover, HH2 has 2 covers and HH3 has 3 covers. The following figure (figure 4) will further illustrate this.
Figure 4 – HH1, HH2 and HH3 Respectively
The work orders that were present at the office at the time of my arrival were sent fom Khatib and Alami. There are two types of work orders, civil work orders and network work orders. There can be a network work order without a civil work but not vice-versa. The reason behind it is that, at that specific location the civil works already exist and only the network cables need to be implemented.
Figure 5 – Sample Work Order in Exchange Hadath
Figure 6 – The Civil Work of the Sample Work Order
Figure 7 – The Network Work of the Sample Work Order
After receiving these work orders, we had to do a joint survey along with the consultant and a network subcontractor. This is done in order to make sure that the design in the map is correct. Most of the time there will be modifications in the design, and the modified map along with a modification form and a modified bill of quantities (BOQ) is sent back to Khatib and Alami. Sometimes the modification is accepted and sometimes it is rejected. The modification on the map is done using red and blue pens. The red pen represents anything new that needs to be added, for example if we have a distance of 60 m between two poles on the map, we need to add a new one between them to keep it less than 50m, in this case the newly added pole is drawn in red. The blue pen represents anything that is already exiting in the field but not drawn on the map.
Figure 8 – Sample Modification Form
Figure 9 – Sample Modified Map
Figure 10 – Sample Modified BOQ
Figure 11 – Approved Modified Map
Figure 12 – Rejected Map Modification
Any map that is surveyed and does need modification, the work can start immediately after taking permission from the municipality and a sub-contractor is found. The municipality has to approve the location of every pole that you need the need stall or the location of the excavation a day before the work starts.
One of the hardest task in surveying process is finding the actul location of the work. Some of these people have applied for a landline for more than six years. This is because the MoT stacks up the request and then gives to an engineering company to start the work. In order not to waste a lot time searching these locations on the streets, you have to spend some time in office and try to figure out the locations. The MoT has given us the key maps of the exchanges in the form of an AutoCAD files. The first thing you need to do is printing out the key map of the exchange you are going to work in with only the cabinets layer on. We can see from Figures 5 to 12, every one of them specify in which cabinet the area of the work is found in. After doing this, you stack up the work orders to cabinets close to one another and go to survey on the road.
Figure 13 – A New Cabinet in Exchange Khaldeh
The number of the cabinet will be either printed on the top front side of the cabinet or it will have a metallic plate on the bottom. In figure 6 we see the number 002:031 A on the top building with a circle under it. The number 002 means that it belongs to cabinet 002, and the number 031A is its Dp which means it’s a distribution point. The reason that it is circular is that it is a wall Dp. Similarly pole Dp’s have circular shape with a point inside of it and indoor Dp’s have a rectangular shape as shown in figure 1.
Figure 14 – The Metallic Plate
In figure 14 we see the metallic plate that is present on poles, on cabinets and on buildings that have a landline. In the figure we see that this pole is in cabinet 002, its Dp is 25 and its number is 6. Pole numbering will be discussed later in the report. To find the actual work location you to read which Dp it is feeding, for example in figure 6 we can read that it is feeding 002:029-030, you make sure that you arrived at the right location by asking someone about the name of the building.
To make sure that the distances on the map are correct, we had to measure them using the wheel meter. The wheel meter used in the surveys is shown in figure 15.
Figure 15 – The Wheel Meter Used in Surveys
It was important to take the wheel meter and a red spray along with the maps to survey. The red spray was used to mark the most probable locations of the poles, hand holes and the duct reserved for the landline cables in a building. The location of the duct reserved for the landline cable to enter the building is marked with an arrow. The marking that is done on the survey day does not need the approval of the municipality, just the owners if we are entering their property when finding a suitable location for the pole.
Figure 16 – Marking HH1 and its Number
Figure 17 – Marking a Double Pole with a Pole Dp
Figure 18 – Marking a HH2 Hand Hole
As stated earlier, pole numbering will be discussed next. Poles will be numbers on a cabinet area base. The pole on cable which is nearest to the cabinet will number 1. If there is an aerial route from pole 1, the next pole will be pole 2 and so on. If there is more than one aerial route from pole 1, the route with the least number of poles should be numbered first. If there is a sub route from the main aerial route, the poles along that route should be numbered next before continuing along the main route. If the sub route has branch routes, then numbering should continue along the branch route beginning with the branch route with the least number of poles before continuing along the sub route. After numbering pole 1 and its aerial route (if one exists), the next pole to be numbered will be the second nearest pole to the cabinet on cable 1 and so until cable 1 is complete. Numbering of the poles on cable 2 then cable 3 etc … should be completed in the same manner as cable 1. Where route, sub route or branch routes have the same number of poles the one with the most southern direction should be numbered first. Sections of underground cable should be ignored for numbering purposes. Along primary aerial cable routes, the poles should be numbered as above from each cabinet to its boundary. Along primary aerial cable routes, the poles should be numbers from each cabinet to its boundary continuing from the numbering of the secondary cable involved. In cases where the secondary route is not connected to the primary route, the primary route will be numbered after all secondary cable routes. The next figure will further illustrate pole numbering.
Figure 19 – Sample Pole Numbering
Another thing that is important during the survey process, is to see if the poles in the design are parallel to the power lines. When the poles are parallel to high voltage power lines (over 600V) or uninsulated power lines, the maximum distance possible should be maintained betwwen the two routes. The separation shall be fixed based on the length of parallel run and the power transmission capacity. Whereas we can have crossing when we have an insulated power line (between 220v and 380v). The crossing shall be done at right angle and near the power and the telephone poles. The minimum vertical distance between the two systems shall be 1m and the minimum horizontal distance between the two systems shall be 2m.
The setting depth of poles in normal soil shall be according to he following setting depth formula:
Setting Depth = 0.1 x Length of Pole + 0.7m
For an eight meter pole the setting depth is (0.1×8+0.7) 1.5m, for a 9m pole the setting depth is 1.6m and the setting depth for a 10m pole is 1.7m.
Each pole has a mark (steel nail or plate) located at 3m from the bottom of the pole as shown in figure 20. This marker shall be used for control check of the setting depth of the pole and face the road side.
Figure 20 – A Pole Being Carried up by an Excavator
Figure 21 – Pole Installation Requirements
Figure 21 shows how a pole must be installed in the field according to the MoT requirements. It also shows that poles shall be vertical where they are used in straight pole lines. At corners the pole shall be set raked against the load so that the pole tops will be in line after the load is applied. The rake of the pole shall not exceed 50 mm for each meter of the pole length. After cables have been installed requiring tension, the first and last pole in line shall be set as to be vertical and in line after the load has been applied.
Figure 22 – Planting a Pole
Figures 20 and 22 show how the poles were planted on the site. The site was in exchange Deir Kouche, the engineers had surveyed the place before my arrival at June 4, 2018. Since all the poles were 8 meters, then the ground must be dug 1.5 meters. The ground is first dug up using the excavator if the ground is not rocky and using jack hammer truck and an excavator if the ground is rocky. Then the pole is placed in the hole by lifting it up by the excavator. The pole is attached to the excavator by means of a rope. Then the workers rotate the pole to make sure that the metal plate is facing the street. The workers also level the pole as vertical as possible. Calibrating the pole is done visually and not by a level since the pole itself might not be straight in some cases. After planting the pole as shown in figure 21, the consultant will try to shake the pole, if it shakes then the pole is rejected and the subcontractor has to repeat his work, but if it doesn’t shake then the pole planted is accepted and you have to move on to the nexct pole and repeat the process.
Figure 23 – A Pole Marked on the Ground
Figure 23 shows a pole marked on the ground. This in the same site in Der Kouche. We can see that the mark with the red spray can remain for many months after the survey and it will be present there when the subcontractor and the municipality recheck their locations.
Some of the civil work orders also include relocating the already existing cabinets. This can be due to several reasons such as the non-convenience of the past location due to redevelopment of the area. All cabinets must have a base or a foundation which allows the free access for cabling and which sets the base of the cabinet 40 cm above the finished pavement level as established by the municipality. The foundation shall ensure the stability of the cabinet whilst occupying the minimum necessary space within the street so as not to obstruct other services. Cabinet usually have protection posts protecting them. The cabinet protection posts are 160 mm in diameter. They are placed at locations vulnerable to vehicular damages. The standard cabinet protection procedure shall place two post with their centerline 40 cm front of the cabinet and 25 cm from the side faces. The posts are to be installed to a depth of 80 cm, in a 60 cm deep concrete pad, 40 cm square. The top 20 cm shall be backfilled with clean earth or sand. The surface shall be reinstated to the existing standard. Additional protection posts may be installed, at the Engineer’s discretion, in locations where the safety of craftsman and network plant indicate the advisability of such additional protection.
Figure 24 – Cabinet Installment Requirement
Figure 25 – Cabinet Protection Post Requirement
The protection posts consist of a steel pip with an outer diameter of 160 mm and 5 mm thick walls filled with concrete. The steel pipe shall be clean and free from rust … It is then painted with a corrosion resistant primer. The final coat of paint in yellow and black color shall be of an approved quality. The top shall be rounded and smoothed to prevent injuries for anyone passing by. The measurement and installation details are as shown in figure 25.
Excavations are drawn on the map by lines that are not bold. On this line, the size of the duct and the length of the excavation has to be written. For example, in figure 9, the modified map, we can see that we have 9m excavation from the HH1 to the PB. The size of the pipe is 50 mm. All pipes used are PVC pipes. This is represented by 01 VC – 9 (50). As you can see, we have modified it to 1 VC – 9 m, which is a 9m excavation, using a PVC pipe of 100 mm in diameter. This modification is to take into account the future expansion.
Another factor that affects the excavation, it will be shown in the next figure to illustrate it further, is the type of the road. We have 3 classes of road. Class A, Class B and Class C. Class A roads are the international roads such as Beirut – Damascus (Furn El Chebback – Hazmieh – Aley – Mdeirej – Chtaura – Al Masnaa – Syrian Borders) which is 61.5 km long. Class B roads are the primary roads such as Batroun – Eddeh – Deryah – Mayfouk which is 20.8 km long. Class C roads are the secondary roads such as the one from Batroun to El Mseilha Fortress which is 3.5 km. The next figure will whoe the excavation layout of 1 VC pipe for Class A and Class C roads.
Figure 26 – Class A and Class C Excavation Requirements
The exvavation process in the field starts with marking the excvation line with the required width. This is done by using using a rope and a red spray. The handholes are also marked using the same technique. After the ground is marker, the asphalt is cut using the asphalte cutter machine and the asphalt is removed by the excavator. After removing the asphalte, the soil underneath is removed by the excavator and rocks are cut by the jack hammer truck and then removed by the excavator as discussed earlier. After excvating the required depth, the steel reinforcement is laid first which have 6mm diameter and either tied or welded at the corners. On top of the steel reinforcement we spacers every 2 meters. The steel reinforcement along with the spacers are tied together.
Figure 26 – Marking the Ground
Figure 27 – Asphalt Cutter
Figure 28 – Excavator Removing Asphalt (L) ans Soil (R)
Figure 29 – The Jack Hammer Truck
Figure 30 – Spacers
Figure 31 – Tying the Steel Reinforcement with the Spacer
The spacers are place both on top and at the bottom of the pipe. After tying the reinforcement with spacer, concrete is filled at the required depth. The concrete must be 25 MPa according to the standards. After the purring and curing of concrete, backfill layer placed and then a sub base layer. Compacting the the backfill layer and the sub base is very important. Placing warning tape that there is a telephone network is also important.
Figure 32 – Compacting the Backfill Layer
Figure 33 – Placing Warning Tape
Figure 34 – The Bobcat is Used for the Sub-Base Layer
Sometimes the new network intersects with the old network, as it happened in our case. All the figures in the excavation part is from a work order in exchange Barja. The map of the civil work will be provided in the appendix. When the new network intersects with the old one, you have to excavate it until you reach the concrete layer. After reaching the concrete layer, you place the spacer first, then the reinforcement. This is the only thing that changes in the process. The rest of the steps are the same.
Figure 35 – New Network on Top of an Old One
Every excavation process most probably starts from an existing hand hole. These hand holes are opened by using a crow bar. The covers of the hand holes are steel and concrete is poured on top of it. This makes the cover very heavy and very hard to remove. There are cases where the cover is stuck and opening it may require several hours. When a new hand hole is installed, concrete is poured on its periphery, as shown in figure 38. There is also steel reinforcement of 6 mm diameter underneath it which is not shown in the figure. Figure 38 also shows that concrete is poured on top of the cover.
Figure 36 – Opening the Hand Hole Cover
Figure 37 – Four Hand Holes in the Field
Figure 38 – Installing New HH1
Ropes are placed within the ducts so that cables can installed easily later on.
Figure 39 – Ropes in the Ducts
One of the first things I learned when working in the office is that teamwork is very important. Good communication between each other is very important to enjoy the job and get it done smoothly. One of the mistakes that we made in the first few surveys is not spending time in the office to know the locations of the work. This lead to waste of time in the field, but that made us learn to be more efficient later on. The other thing that I learned is not to do anything without the consultant. There were sites in exchange Khaldeh that we did the surveys without the consultant. As it will be seen in the daily report, we had to repeat them. Even though these shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but the site engineer and the project manager were also new to the job. They had only begun working one month before I arrived.
The telecommunication field was new. I had to learn how to apply my civil engineering skills in infrastructure. Learning about the telephone cabinets, reading the civil maps, calculating the bill of quantities, reading the metallic plate shown in figure 14 that are found on poles, building and cabinets were all new. I also learned that Lebanon are a bit behind in this field. The equipment used in the field were not advanced especially the way they install the wooden poles.
As a site engineer I had to make sure that all the steps were carried out properly before and after installation. I learned that you have to folly the standards, but sometimes you have to make engineering judgement and do some modifications. Off course this is done with the approval of the consultant.
Finally, I learned that respecting the team, supervisors, training schedule and solving problems by communicating with each other is of extreme importance in an engineer’s life.
During my 2-month training period I had achieved more than I ever expected. I attained a wide background and experience in installing a telephone network. In the daily report you can see that I also saw a network work in Ghobeiry. The civil works were already completed and only the network cables were needed to be installed. This shows that during my 2-month job I saw everything in this field except installing a new telephone cabinet.
I also concluded that Lebanon that have proper organization and planning of the works to be done. There were places that we surveyed, the asphalt was newly poured. When the time comes in the coming months, we will excavate it. This means if there is proper planning, a newly asphalted road doesn’t need to be excavated. Another problem is that, there is synchronization between the telephone, water and electricity networks. In some cases, a water pipe will explode during excavation. This happened in exchange Deir Kouche when they were digging to install a wooden pole as shown in figure 40. This also occurred in Barja.
Ultimately I had the chance to learn how to cooperate with my supervisors and the team which enhanced my teamwork and communication skills, developing a better personality with more self-confidence which will definitely be helpful later in my career. As a final year student I would also like to give special thanks to every single instructor and the faculty members for giving me the chance to build up my character in such a professional work environment and finally to become a future civil engineer.
Figure 40 – Exploded Water Pipe in Exchange Deir Kouche
– The official EBCO – BITAR website: http://www.ebcobitar.com/
– Remarks from the site and engineer and the consultant
– The MoT Phase 7 handbook
– Daily notebook
Figure A1 – Network Work in Ghobeiry
Figure A2 – Civil Map in Barja
Figure A3 – Internship Certificate