To meet the market demand for new products in China, GM built its first Chinese (R&D) facility in Shanghai. This facility, which is the most comprehensive and advanced automotive development center in China, included areas for advanced vehicle development, powertrain design, electrical and fuel cell design, chassis, HVAC, body, exterior and interior development, and telematics. SSOE applied its vast experience in designing automotive R&D facilities, and familiarity with the Chinese design and construction process to deliver this high caliber, sustainable project.
SSOE designed an interior hydrogen fuel cell garage space, along with an exterior hydrogen fueling station and garage space. Special considerations, including distance from nearby high rises, were made during design due to the potential for explosions. Fuel farms were also integrated to provide for blending and testing operations for hydrogen-based vehicles and hybrids.
A significant design feature was a central garage space that separated the building into two halves. The central garage space functions as a central spine and serves as a common use area for multiple groups. It potentially allows groups to share tooling.
Another feature was a visually secure, exterior patio for GM to view vehicles in natural sunlight. This requirement created an interesting challenge since the site was located within city limits and near a multiple story building. SSOE designed a visual screen to obstruct the view from the building while still allowing the natural sunlight to enter the space.
SSOE provided an innovative design which minimized environmental impact, while maximizing occupant safety, health, and comfort. Design criteria also emphasized the use of sustainable materials and other energy reduction features.