SSOE Group

Project Profile: $1 Billion Chattanooga Automotive Production Facility

$1Billion Chattanooga Automotive Production Facility
Value Promise: Through innovative design concepts, benchmarking common practices, and scheduling, SSOE offered VW a savings of more than $44 million. Not all of the savings concepts were realized due to VW preferences.

Volkswagen's LED Test trackHaving successfully performed design work for more than 50% of all greenfield automotive assembly plants built in the United States over the last 10 years, SSOE was well qualified to oversee architecture, engineering, and construction management services for Volkswagen’s new production facility. Volkswagen was also looking for a firm with a strong sustainability focus who would help the company execute its green initiatives. Strong project management was also needed to coordinate the efforts of city officials, local contractors, and an international client to meet a very aggressive timeline for start of production.

Located on a 830-acre brownfield site, the production facility includes conventional steel framed buildings with concrete columns, roof structures with skylights, metal wall panels with windows, and a single-ply membrane roof. The plant has the capacity to produce 150,000 mid-sized vehicles annually. The primary manufacturing operations include weld, paint, and assembly. Other facilities on this site include outbound logistics, an extensive training center, media (utility) center, social hall with cafeteria, technical center, tank farm, recycling center, and fire station. SSOE provided environmental permitting, civil, architectural, structural, mechanical, fire protection, plumbing, electrical, fire alarm, access control, and security system design as well as construction management. SSOE’s expertise led to the first and only LEED® Platinum automotive assembly plant in the world.

Architect Magazine: "Planes, Trains and Automobiles - The next generation of automobiles begins with the design of the factory"SSOE assisted with the preparation, submittal, and multiple agency approvals of the air permit in record time – two weeks ahead of an aggressive three month schedule. This allowed the project to move ahead on schedule to meet production goals.


  • Client: Volkswagen AG
  • Size: 2.7 million SF
  • Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Highlights:
    • New facility on 830 acre brownfield site
    • LEED® Platinum certified
    • Winner of the Tennessee Governor's Enviromental Stewardship Award for Building Green
    • Winner of ACEC Ohio's Engineering Excellence Award

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