Smart Mobility Training Center

SSOE was selected to design a new, state-of-the-art training center for the Electric Vehicle (EV) market. The center, a collaboration between Hyundai Motor Group (Hyundai), The Technical College System of Georgia (TSCG), and Georgia Quick Start, is located adjacent to the Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA) facility and is poised to train the next generation of EV experts and innovators. Helping to solidify Georgia’s position as a national leader in EV manufacturing, the facility will support Hyundai’s first dedicated Electric Vehicle mass-production plant in the U.S. and promote Hyundai’s vision of becoming a global smart mobility solution provider.

Quick Start, a division of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) is Georgia’s internationally acclaimed workforce training program. SSOE and its partners designed the innovative 90,000 SF training center to further Quick Start’s mission by providing spaces that are highly functional, adaptable, and supportive of a dynamic organization, built on 50 years of experience, with a nurturing team-oriented culture.

The training center will feature technologies such as CAD, BIM, and virtual reality as well as classrooms, technical labs, and high-bay spaces. The space will contain manufacturing-scale training simulations incorporating robotics, mechatronics, welding, motors, and other advanced manufacturing technologies to simulate the EV production environment and prepare the trainees for success.

SSOE applied its expertise and experience in the EV market to deliver a cost-effective, high-quality solution for the client. The building is anchored by respecting the site’s geometry and the HMGMA factory context. Transitioning between the landscape architecture and the building are two courtyards of two distinct characters. The north courtyard serves as the main entrance to the facility and is active, welcoming, and dynamic, with trellis and colonnades as contemporary interpretations of the Southeast Georgia coastal vernacular. The south courtyard is intended to provide a quieter area of respite where staff and trainees can recharge and prepare for the day’s assignments.

Project completion is slated for late 2025 and will support the creation of more than 8,000 jobs in the EV industry.

1.9 Million SF Automotive
Assembly Plant in Mexico

Nissan North America commissioned SSOE to provide the design of its new automotive assembly facility in Aguascalientes, Mexico. This 1.9 million SF facility is the first of three project phases planned for the greenfield site. SSOE delivered this fast-track project in partnership with Yates Construction, who served as the prime general contractor and provided at risk construction services for the manufacturing plant. The plant was designed, constructed, and placed in production within 22 months.

SSOE was responsible for the entire assembly plant layout and subsequent design of the automotive manufacturing campus. The project involved multiple buildings to be completed simultaneously, including more than 300 acres of developed land, a stamping facility, body assembly shop, paint shop, and final assembly area. Additional facilities were designed to support the manufacturing system, such as an electrical switchyard; water pretreatment, wastewater treatment, and stormwater systems; and a fire protection system, including storage tanks.

New EV Facility Master Planning
& Phase 1 Design

SSOE is currently working with Nikola Corporation, a leading designer and manufacturer of heavy-duty commercial battery-electric vehicles (BEV), fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and energy infrastructure solutions, as a design partner for their new manufacturing facility in Coolidge, Arizona. When complete, the zero-emissions facility will have the capacity to produce Class 8 commercial semi-trucks and will include in-house offices, conference rooms, and support facilities which showcase Nikola technology and culture.

As part of the initial facility master planning, SSOE provided a conceptual site layout and arrangements for the envisioned facility, including block diagram floor plans. In addition, our team presented a conceptual artistic rendering for the exterior facility design in its surroundings to provide a realistic representation of the proposed facility, drawing from examples of desired building aesthetics provided by Nikola.

Our work with Nikola continues today; the SSOE / Walbridge design-build team is helping turn their Phase 1 master plan vision into a reality with design and construction management services.

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Manufacturing Building

SSOE is proud to be Toyota’s engineering and design services provider for their BEV production facility on their 1,800-acre campus in Liberty, North Carolina. The new Toyota battery campus is currently in the design phase and will be constructed in phases over the next several years. This important investment for the Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina mega site further extends the 20+ year successful relationship between Toyota and SSOE.

SSOE is providing architecture, engineering, and on-site technical staff for the ambitious build, currently approximately 2.5 million SF of design is under construction. At full buildout, the project scope includes multiple BEV production lines with associated support buildings. In addition, Toyota continues to explore new energy savings opportunities for battery production at the campus in an effort to reach their long-term goal of carbon neutrality for its vehicles and operations by 2050.

Toyota’s robust campus vision includes the potential for a childcare facility, healthcare facility, and fitness center with associated outdoor sport courts. Adjacent to the team member amenities a park-like setting containing walking paths and green space is also under consideration.

Assembly Expansion Program

Through value engineering activities within the assembly and stamping areas, we provided more than $8 million in cost savings to Toyota.

SSOE provided design services for Toyota’s San Antonio plant, which spans more than 2 million SF, and continues to provide services for multiple projects as the facility grows. Our familiarity with the plant, on-site construction support services, and responsiveness make us a valuable asset to Toyota. Based on our intimate knowledge of this facility and our successful long-term working relationship with the client, Toyota selected SSOE as the A/E firm of choice for this program.

A number of factors drove this significant program. Changes to the Toyota Tundra model required a different assembly footprint to accommodate new options. Additionally, Toyota moved Sequoia production from their Indiana plant to San Antonio. This relocation called for alterations in multiple areas to house the new line. SSOE provided all architectural and engineering design services, including on-site representation and permitting for this program.

Our team leveraged technologies such as laser scanning, Cintoo, SharePoint, and Plangrid for file sharing and construction administration.

In total, the program affected eight plant areas including stamping, welding, Forma (an on-site supplier who shares space within the plant), Avanzar (an on-site supplier who feeds the assembly shop), Vuteq (a Tier 1 supplier), assembly shops, the east parking lot, and the dock area. Using a staggered approach with a significant focus on schedule, we coordinated the expansion of multiple areas simultaneously. Our team utilized non-production times to complete work without halting production.

SSOE coordinated a revised process layout for the assembly shop expansion, positioning noncritical spaces to the west and maintaining the roof pitch from the existing area to the new expansion. These value engineering measures eliminated the need for a step-up in the roof, new roof drains in the existing roof, new storm drainage piping, and existing structural member reinforcement to mitigate water ponding. These creative design concepts provided Toyota with savings of approximately $750,000.

For the stamping shop expansion, we began with a compressed air usage study. The results showed the existing system could support the new laser weld process with minor piping modifications. This discovery eliminated the need for a utility building expansion and associated equipment, providing a cost savings of $5 million. We continued value engineering within the stamping shop with our approach to the sheet receiving area. As sheet receiving is critical to the stamping process and cannot be shut down for an extended time, we developed a construction sequencing plan to reconfigure delivery to the area. This plan allowed the area to remain functional, saving Toyota approximately $2.5 million in lost production costs.

SSOE successfully executed this program though the strategic coordination of projects led by an experienced project manager and team with intimate knowledge of the entire facility. Our team collaborated with the client daily and leveraged on-site design reviews with the affected process groups to ensure our designs met their business needs and goals.

Tennessee Electric Vehicle Center

Ford, our oldest client and one of America’s top electric vehicle brands, recently awarded SSOE the design of a new assembly plant—named the Tennessee Electric Vehicle Center, part of Ford’s BlueOval City manufacturing complex—which resides on the West Tennessee Regional Megasite. This exciting new complex will become a vertically integrated ecosystem where Ford will assemble its next electric truck and batteries for future Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Together with Walbridge as our construction partner, we’re executing the project under a design / build contract. In addition to the 4 million SF building design, we’ve been chosen as the engineer of record for the entire site design of the 4,000-acre mega campus. Our full scope of work includes preconstruction documents and detailed engineering as well as construction administration. Our team used the most innovative technology available to provide regular updates throughout the design process, with major deliverables scheduled out in advance for reviews and contractor use.

At its peak, SSOE assembled a dedicated team of more than 60 full-time employees to support the detailed design phase of the project. A project win for SSOE in several ways, this complex will also significantly support electric vehicle production in the Southeast U.S. and create close to 6,000 new jobs in Tennessee. Groundbreaking took place in May 2022 and Ford plans to begin production at BlueOval City in 2025.

On-Site and Full Circle
Our work on the West Tennessee Regional Megasite—formerly known as the Memphis Regional Megasite—actually dates back to 2007. SSOE worked with the State of Tennessee to develop the site and provided ongoing support as potential clients evaluated it. We were also involved with water and wastewater infrastructure projects specific to the site for over a decade. Worthy of note, SSOE provided the civil design of Ford’s BlueOval roundabout, an idea we presented to the client that makes Ford’s signature emblem shape—originally used to advertise Ford as the “hallmark for reliability and economy”—visible from the air.

Greenfield EV Facility Design

Recently, this confidential automotive manufacturer completed the first phase of its new manufacturing plant in Southwest USA. SSOE served as the architect and Engineer of Record (EOR) for the 800,000+ SF facility, designing Phase I of the four-phase master plan that included a body shop and paint shop with general assembly. Additionally, SSOE’s team provided the designs for a Central Utility Building (CUB) and auxiliary buildings, preparing the campus for producing a luxury electric car with a 400-mile range battery.

The need for future expansion was at the forefront of the plan when our team designed the buildings and systems. Our mechanical and electrical systems design allowed for future expansion without affecting existing operations. We sized compressed air, chilled water, and other necessary systems to handle the additional load from the growing processes. The center courtyard will eventually include a park-like setting to create the ultimate experience for team members and visitors, encompassing various local types of fauna and outdoor spaces for collaboration. SSOE coordinated the master plan with the site developer and provided the needed renderings and documents to support the client during site plan approval, including a variance required to allow for the paint shop’s planned building height.

The project location brought unique challenges, as the buildings and systems needed to be designed to withstand potential extreme weather conditions. Collaboration between all team members was key to this project’s success. We held meetings with the client to coordinate design activities and construction timing to keep the project on track with its aggressive schedule.

EPCM Services for Greenfield
Plant of the Future

To support their North American growth in the production of automotive electronic components, Continental AG chose an EPCM approach to deliver a modern, world-class greenfield facility in central Mexico. Due to our deep understanding of what is currently driving Continental’s business, knowledge of their various facilities, ability to successfully partner on large-scale projects, and proximity to the site, SSOE was selected to serve as designer, construction manager, and owner’s agent on the project located in FINSA Industrial Park.

The expert design team we assembled utilized SSOE’s Revit-based platform to create a complex 3D model that was used for weekly review meetings, and can be further utilized by the client’s maintenance staff to make future updates and repairs. Our León office led the planning and design of this project, while SSOE’s U.S. staff supported the Mexico team with specific expertise, showing again how SSOE’s culture of collaboration has no boundaries. During the design phase, the team suggested design enhancements to achieve Continental’s desired vision for the new facility—suggestions were incorporated with no impact to the original schedule.

Building areas on the 122,000 sq meters site totaled 24,250 sq. meters and consisted of a single-story manufacturing facility and adjacent 2-story office, staff area, and cafeteria. The project also included infrastructure lines on-site, internal roads, parking lots, bus drop-off and truck waiting areas, as well as median connections to the park road at the boundary of the property. Design was complete within the aggressive 5-month schedule proposed by the client and construction began in July, 2019.

One challenge involved the design of the production area, which required very rigid specifications that included an ISO 7 cleanroom classification, Electrostatic Dissipative (ESD) flooring, and electronic conditions. Our team collaborated closely with the client, headquartered in Germany, despite the 7-hour time difference. Our León team’s significant experience in the Mexican construction industry sector, in-depth knowledge of Mexican specifications and codes, and ability to obtain a temporary certificate of occupancy right on schedule helped keep the project moving.

From the start, LEED compliance was important to the client and our experience completing more than $1 billion in LEED-certified facilities and vast network of LEED Accredited Professionals helped us formulate a design strategy that conformed to the client’s sustainability needs and expectations. This included an energy-efficient building shape and innovative solutions in building technologies.

Continental’s “plant of the future” is started producing various new technologies such as smart antenna modules, lighting and door control units, and more beginning in 2021, which generated an estimated 1,000+ jobs over five years.

Greenfield Electric Vehicle
Manufacturing Facility

A well-known electric vehicle manufacturer sought to build a new greenfield facility to produce compact sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks. Based on previous successes with this client, SSOE was selected as the structural Engineer of Record (EOR) for this project. We provided full structural engineering and design, in addition to fire protection code review and permitting for the 500,000 SF multi-level general assembly shop and paint shop areas of the new facility.

Our staff integrated with the client’s engineers and other consultants early in the project. The team executed the project using an owner-directed construction approach, involving a hybrid EPC delivery method with a hyper fast-track schedule. The schedule required the seamless hand-off of steel detailing packages among design, procurement, and construction teams. To maintain a constant and organized workflow, SSOE leveraged native Revit functions to code and communicate all activities. Our practice ensured each group was continually aware of what was being released to them, resulting in little to no rework, as we reviewed and released each coded piece for the next step in real-time. Proven effective, our method was shared with other design consultants and the client’s structural modeling team as a best practice.

In addition to the efficiencies gained through Revit tools, SSOE also committed to a 48-hour turnaround time on shop drawing reviews to meet the project schedule. This proved challenging, as some steel submittals consisted of more than 200 pages with multiple submittals per week. To meet this goal, we utilized SDS/2 (Structural Detailing Steel) software to enable 3D model-based shop drawing reviews. Leveraging the model gave the project team and stakeholders the ability to closely analyze the design, streamlining the review process.

This project’s intricate delivery approach and expedited schedule required innovation and agility in its execution. Our ability to drive efficiency through the use of technology and seamless collaboration with the project team was key to its successful delivery. Based on SSOE’s continued performance with this client, our structural team was selected to design the facility’s warehouse, while our architectural team was selected to design the cathode building.

Automotive Vehicle
Electrification Program

This well-known automotive client set an aggressive goal of producing mostly electric and autonomous vehicles by 2035. To achieve this, the client developed a plan that centers around converting multiple Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) manufacturing and assembly facilities to all-electric vehicle plants and spans several locations throughout North America.

Partnering with multiple general contractors, SSOE provided the engineering and design of substantial renovations and expansions for two facilities. To drive efficiency, the collaborative team leveraged Lean project delivery methods on every project.
The team and client stakeholders used the Big Room concept and remote collaboration to review the proposed facility additions, connections to existing buildings, concepts for new program elements, and stand-alone greenfield manufacturing construction. All sites employed a fast-track schedule, relying on innovation and technology to quickly move the projects from planning and design to construction.

The team’s first project focused on engine, body, paint, and general assembly shops, in addition to process buildings, a commercial kitchen, and an employee cafeteria. SSOE and its partners kicked off the project with an in-person Big Room collaboration meeting. However, three months later, all team members were forced to work remotely due to COVID-19. To keep the project on track, SSOE implemented an on-site construction administrator and daily virtual huddles.

At the second site, SSOE designed major plant additions, including new body and paint shops. The project included a nine-bay dock addition to the general assembly shop and a three-bay addition to the current body shop, with a connector trestle spanning over a road. Our team also designed the structural reinforcement of many existing buildings to accommodate the heavier electric vehicles. Additionally, we relocated the facility’s main access road to provide space for the paint shop addition and other utility tie-ins within the existing plant.

Throughout these projects, SSOE gained significant knowledge and insight into the process of converting ICE facilities to EV producing plants, which we will leverage as we continue to assist this client with its program.

Greenfield Advanced Manufacturing Facility

SSOE was selected to provide planning, design, and owner representative services to GEDIA Automotive Group for their new advanced manufacturing facility in Dalton, Georgia, with operations expected to begin in the third quarter of 2021.

In the Dalton plant, GEDIA will produce lightweight body-in-white automotive parts and assemblies, as well as chassis components using state-of-the-art press hardening, tempering, and automated welding processes, to produce parts for electric vehicles. The German company manufactures parts for Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes vehicles and currently has one operating U.S. plant in Michigan.

GEDIA selected design / build as the project delivery method for this 185,000 SF greenfield facility. SSOE’s scope includes providing an early grading package, master plan and comprehensive bridging documents, assistance to GEDIA in the design / build contractor selection, construction administration, and on-site owner’s representative services. SSOE disciplines involved in the project include project management, architectural, civil, electrical, fire protection, mechanical, and structural.

The construction timing was essential to the process equipment installation. Per an agreement between GEDIA and the general contractor, SSOE was selected to develop the final construction documents for the entire manufacturing facility project.

With GEDIA, SSOE is supporting yet another European-based client expansion in North America, specifically to the ever-growing Southeast region where SSOE has a local presence and expert resources.

GM China Advanced Technical Center

Input from programming phase was used to eliminate duplicate space requirements and reduce the building footprint by 15%. Additionally, developed method to capture and reuse energy generated during dynamometer testing process throughout the facility.

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 safety considerations. 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.

Toyota North American Program

SSOE’s design of vehicle and powertrain manufacturing facilities returned more than the total fee in construction savings when compared to the competition’s design for the same facility.

Toyota has utilized SSOE as their trusted A/E partner of choice since 1999. SSOE’s structural department has consistently designed facilities for Toyota that could be constructed for less than any of their competition in the market place, regularly designing much closer to the actual service factor. SSOE consistently delivers on schedule for Toyota, and the number of errors and omissions experiences is much lower than what they had seen with their previous engineering services providers.

With these factors in mind, it was an easy decision for Toyota to select SSOE to provide the design to double the size of their automobile manufacturing plant in Princeton, Indiana and for their greenfield facilities in San Antonio, Texas and Tupelo, Mississippi.

In Indiana, having gained an understanding of Toyota’s goals and needs from previous projects in France, SSOE provided architectural / engineering services for an addition to the existing factory space to double the assembly plant.

In Texas, SSOE provided the facility design for a greenfield truck assembly plant on a 2,000-acre site that included suppliers. SSOE also provided on-site engineering staff to Toyota’s Owner’s Representative Office (ORO) to support the construction efforts and coordinate the design documents during construction phases.

In Mississippi, SSOE performed the master planning and design of the plant, as well as provided on-site engineering staff to Toyota’s Owner’s Representative Office (ORO) to support the construction efforts and coordinate the design documents during construction phases.

Greenfield Transmission Plant

Through design modifications, experience, and innovation, SSOE has saved the client nearly $5 million.

To meet their growing product demand in North America, renowned automotive parts supplier, ZF Friedrichshafen (ZF) chose to build a new transmission plant in Greenville, South Carolina. ZF selected an experienced team comprised of SSOE and other contractors to design and construct the 970,000 SF facility.

SSOE is currently providing architectural, mechanical, and electrical design and engineering for the entire facility, which will consist of manufacturing spaces, offices, laboratories, a data center and a cafeteria. The facility, which is ZF’s first passenger car transmission plant in North America, will produce fuel efficient, eight and nine-speed automatic transmissions.

As part of the original project scope, the facility was classified as an F-1 and S-1 use group (International Building Code). However, with SSOE’s vast experience with similar facilities it was realized the facility should actually be classified as an F-2 and S-2 use group. As a result, several unnecessary fire protection systems were eliminated, saving the client $575,000. This cost savings, combined with several other design innovations, has resulted in a project savings of more than $4 million.

$1 Billion Chattanooga Automotive Production Facility

Through innovative design concepts, benchmarking common practices, and scheduling, SSOE offered Volkswagen a savings of more than $44 million.

Having 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 automotive production facility.

Volkswagen was also looking for a firm with a strong sustainability focus who would help the company execute its green initiatives.

Located on an 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. SSOE assisted with the preparation, submittal, and multiple agency approvals of the air permit in record time—2 weeks ahead of an aggressive 3-month schedule.