Modeling the installation of the future

  • Published
  • By Airman Tiffany Price
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Jessica Mondo, a 325th Civil Engineer Squadron registered architect, originally arrived here thinking she would be working on buildings associated with drone operations. Little did she know she would end up overseeing and creating a set of models for the installation of the future. 

Over the last year, Mondo has worked with military construction and facility, sustainment, restoration and modernization to bridge the gap between massive building ideas and a physical visualization of what Tyndall will soon become after the destruction of Hurricane Michael.

At the top of the list for construction, the new child development center is the first of many buildings to be ready for advertisement. Mondo said that she saw the first drawings for the CDC and realized that she needed to build a physical model. The original drawings had the roof designed to slope inward and she was unable to verbally explain that this was not a good idea in a state where rainfall is frequent. She decided that the best way to explain this to the architects was going to be crafting a simple paper model so that they could visualize why the roof needed to be slanted outwards.

“I learned that models are the best way for anyone to understand what’s happening with the building,” Mondo said. “It’s a very powerful tool.” 

When Airmen or civilians hear the term installation of the future, they may not be sure what to expect, but by using a little bit of paper and double-sided tape, the vision becomes a tiny reality. Architectural mistakes are much easier to visualize, understand and correct when there is a physical adaptation of the idea available.

“Our civil engineers have spent countless hours with our industry partners planning and designing new base facilities and these models have provided a much needed, fresh perspective to this process,” said Mike Dwyer, Tyndall Program Management Office deputy director. “This is exactly the kind of ingenuity Tyndall needs to become the installation of the future.”

Mondo’s job within the 325th CES is to communicate with architectural firms and make sure they remain within their restrictions when it comes to things as simple as color pallets. She reviews each drawing and builds a model to match so that the architect can visualize their ideas and decide whether or not that building could withstand another natural disaster like Hurricane Michael. 

“The whole idea is that things are resilient,” Mondo said. 

Despite an extreme schedule and the presence of COVID-19 in Florida, the construction for Tyndall is on track to finish with no current issues, Mondo added.

Tyndall still has a long way to go and there are many models yet to be made. 

“(The rebuild) is going to be an amazing gift to not just Tyndall, but the U.S. military,” said Mondo. “The world is going to be looking at it.”