Pipelines that perform safely, employee comfort and equipment reliability are top priorities in revamping of this high-stress environment.
For any petroleum company, the smooth running of its pipelines, on a 24/7/365 schedule, is top priority. FSB was called upon to assist Phillips 66 (formerly ConocoPhillips) with the task of renovating its existing Pipeline Control Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to be connected with a separate backup control at a location in Ponca City, Oklahoma. The center is responsible for the smooth functioning of more than 12,000 miles of pipelines across the United States. These lines transport both raw and finished petroleum products, including crude oil, propane, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, and they had to continue functioning during the entire renovation process.
The first and most crucial factor was to secure the primary building. With security guards already in place around the clock, the FSB design team upgraded the facility access controls and created a backup system to ensure continuous operation. The renovations encompassed a number of rooms, including work stations for 21 pipeline controllers, 14 managers and additional computer programming personnel, along with a public meeting room/conference room, administrative offices, a server room, locker rooms, a public lobby and both public and private restrooms. Employee work stations were also redesigned to a sit/stand model, which can be adjusted to any height, per the individual’s preference. Fabric-wrapped acoustic wall panels absorb sound coming from the consoles below, creating quiet work areas.
To offset the windowless environment ─ required for security purposes under federal Department of Transportation guidelines ─ the renovation incorporates a number of unique lighting features to help lower employees’ stress levels and improve their performance and overall well-being. An elevated LED light array on the north wall lowers the contrast ratio between the console monitors, minimizing eye strain and fatigue. A separate feature system on the center’s north wall operates in an undulating, wave-like pattern, representative of water, which provides a soothing effect. The lights also gradually change color throughout each work shift, mimicking the natural cycle of sunlight. This allows the employees to better keep track of time, and in particular helps nighttime personnel stabilize their circadian rhythms, improving their overall performance.