Greenfield Manufacturing Facility

Marking a key development in their North American expansion, YKK AP American Inc. selected SSOE to design the company’s new manufacturing facility in Macon, Georgia. The 400,000 SF space marries SSOE’s industrial and architectural expertise on a greenfield site to a new client.

As the North American arm of the global YKK AP group of companies, YKK AP America needed a space in the U.S. to produce residential vinyl windows, bringing extrusion, production, fabrication, glass, and lamination together under one roof. SSOE partnered with JE Dunn Construction Group to bring the facility to life. Serving as a model for future North American manufacturing facilities, the $125 million plant signifies a recommitment to the community of Macon that has supported YKK AP’s residential business since it was first established in the United States.

Investments in automation were made to improve production capacity, product consistency, and employee safety. Additionally, the facility is scalable to accommodate additional automation, increased capacity, and future business and product expansion strategies.

The new manufacturing facility was built to enhance the day-to-day employee experience. Approximately 12,000 SF of office space features natural lighting including tubular skylights to help draw natural light to the back of the office. The main conference room features a tapestry piece showcasing the client’s residential windows. Outdoors, the plant also has a walking trail and a flexible court that can be used for basketball or pickleball. There are spaces outside the breakroom for exterior dining that can also serve as an event space.

When the project began, the client did not know how much office space was required. Through value engineering, SSOE was able to provide the client $9.2 million in Value Promise. The team was able to right-size the office space from 30,000 SF to 12,400 SF yielding $4,300,000 in construction cost savings, $100,000 in office design cost savings, and approximately $241,155 in annual operating cost savings over a 20-year period.

Right-sizing the office space for the client’s needs yielded $9.2 million in project savings.

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.

Planning, Design, & Construction Management For European Headquarters & Technical Center

American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) turned to their strategic global alliance partner, SSOE to develop the conceptual design for a new state-of-the-art European Headquarters and Technical Center (EHQ). The EHQ serves to consolidate two existing AAM facilities formerly located in Bad Homburg and Dieburg, both in Germany, so employees can freely interact with each other with the goal of facilitating intensified idea generation, innovation, and product development.

The new facility includes spaces for product development and testing, labs, product display, corporate and engineering offices, cafeteria, and office support—accommodating for future expansion with shell spaces within the technical center. SSOE’s conceptual design scope included site and architectural plans, sections, elevations, and 3D images for the new facility as well as flow diagrams and conceptual design narrative for the building engineering systems. SSOE collaboratively engaged with AAM during the programming phase to understand current and future needs for the space as well as considerations related to individual workspaces for adjacencies, access, and resource sharing. Incorporating AAM’s standards for interior selections, our team helped locate all furniture and fixtures within the building, providing photorealistic interior renderings to present AAM with a clear visualization of the space.

AAM’s new EHQ reflects the company’s brand while integrating European culture through furniture selections, material selection, and use of natural light. As a focal point, the lobby entrance for visitors will serve as the public introduction—an impressive expanse of curtain wall and metal panel with accents of precast concrete and an entry vestibule with a custom canopy—connecting the office wings and technical center.

SSOE is not only responsible for conceptual design but also provided the permit design package and re-zoning to take the site from agricultural to commercial use with in-country consultant, Scalaplan GmbH, as well as approval of final design and on-site construction management services.

Tire Manufacturing Process Equipment Facilities Design

SSOE’s approach expedited decision making and helped Goodyear streamline a design process that would typically extend throughout the entire construction phase.

In collaboration with Goodyear engineers and our construction partner, SSOE completed a highly integrated utilities and process installation design for a 1 million SF tire manufacturing facility in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. This is Goodyear’s first new manufacturing facility in the America’s in 25 years and will produce approximately 6 million premium tires will be produced at the facility annually.

Goodyear selected SSOE for its breadth of engineering services and advanced design delivery methodologies. For example, SSOE maximized use of advanced software tools (Bluebeam, Navisworks) for highly efficient, issue-focused design reviews. SSOE’s approach expedited decision making and helped Goodyear streamline a design process that would typically extend throughout the entire construction phase.

SSOE worked with Goodyear’s design engineers to introduce an alternative design approach, establishing a dynamic three-way SSOE-Goodyear-contractor partnership and adding value to this highly successful project.

As a result of our advanced engineering design services, SSOE was also asked to provide piping fabrication spool drawings for a major equipment set to assist the contractor with overall timing and installation.

Tire Plant Expansion

The SSOE team documented more than $500,000 in cost savings through innovative approaches on the project.

SSOE was selected to provide architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering design services for a 150,000 SF tire manufacturing facility expansion in the Southeast U.S. The area for expansion included wire winding, tire build, and tire curing areas which included utility routing to the curing presses through the pit and trench system.

Cooling water and electrical upgrades were required to support the expansion along with the relocation of a main drainage swale and the reconstruction of the fore-bay / detention pond system.

During the initial design meetings, SSOE was given design parameters for a 100’-0” addition. Bay sizes were then discussed as (2) 50’-0” bays +/- and how bay sizes would match with the curing trench locations. SSOE proposed to clear span the entire 100’-0” distance in the curing area and within the ASRS, tire build, and wire wind areas to allow for maximum flexibility within the space. The idea was accepted with a single stipulation of minimum clear heights within the building. The main girders were designed with specific clearance openings to accommodate the utilities so that the clear height could be maintained. While there was a premium in the steel framing for long span members, larger columns and footings, the cost was partially offset by reduced column quantity and foundations / excavations.

SSOE’s scope also included steel detailing services, eliminating the need for steel shop drawing generation and review—resulting in a 10-12 week reduction in project schedule.

New Manufacturing Facility

American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) selected SSOE to assist with conceptual design and construction document development for their new 300,000 SF manufacturing plant in Silao, Mexico.

This project commanded strict design document reviews by all disciplines in order to comply with the requirements of Mexico’s local and state laws, as well as AAM’s international standards. In addition, effective communication between SSOE, the General Contractor, and AAM helped to log sufficient information in order to solve any problem or conflict that was presented.

SSOE also served as Owner’s Representative for the design / build phase of the project with a Construction Manager. We worked full-time on-site reviewing the quality of the construction, making sure that the contractor delivered according to the design and engineering, managing schedules, monitoring progress, and inspecting shop drawings, among many other activities.

Autoclave Piping Complex Renovation

More than $1.5 million in total energy incentive rebates, in addition to energy savings of 650,000 therms of gas and 96,000 kWh of electricity per year.

SSOE was instrumental in completing a highly successful manufacturing complex renovation for worldwide energy leader General Electric in Schenectady, New York. Work on the 40,000 SF autoclave piping area involved the renovation and redesign of steam/asphalt co-axial piping, vacuum, nitrogen, steam and condensate systems. SSOE provided comprehensive design and construction management services for the project.

The project included redesign of a largely undocumented complex industrial system and development of a construction schedule to minimize manufacturing operation downtime. SSOE addressed suboptimal routing in the complex using intensive as-builts to compensate for lack of documentation. Prefabricating many of the piping spools off-site helped minimize manufacturing downtime and streamline the construction process.

Hailed as a tremendous success, this project netted approximately $1.5 million in total energy incentive rebates from National Grid, an electricity and gas company that delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. SSOE’s work helped GE achieve efficiency upgrades that will save more than 650,000 therms of gas and more than 96,000 kWh of electricity per year.

“The project savings are substantial. SSOE did an excellent job managing construction. They picked up the design very quickly and drove the project to completion. Our autoclave operators are very happy with the upgrades, especially in the areas of safety and functionality.”

Michael J. McGowan, P.E.
Facilities Mechanical Engineer
GE Power & Water

1.6 Million SF Seamless Steel Tube Facility

This fast-track project was completed on time and on budget with documented SSOE generated savings of $12.8 million.

TPCO America, a manufacturer of high quality API Grade steel tube, sought to establish production facilities in South Texas in order to capitalize on the growing demand for steel tube generated by the oil and gas industry. As a subsidiary of Tianjin Pipe Corporation, China’s largest producer of seamless steel pipe, TPCO understood the importance of having American engineering and construction companies on board who are experts in designing and delivering integrated production facilities worldwide. SSOE and its construction partner, Yates Construction, were selected for their vast experience successfully delivering similar projects worldwide.

The design / build team of SSOE and Yates is responsible for the complete design of the pipe rolling / pipe finishing mill, with SSOE providing architectural, engineering, and design services for the plant, including facility and infrastructure design, facility and process utilities design, process integration, equipment installation, and construction support.

Working closely with Yates, SSOE is applying a concurrent design / build approach, which makes it possible for the team to deliver the 1.6 million SF facility on a compressed schedule. The pace of the project increases the importance of SSOE’s job to coordinate all aspects of the work with Yates.
The project site provided significant challenges, as a substantial amount of stabilization was required due to its sandy composition and the need for very stable foundation for processes. SSOE designed a piling network to stabilize the substructure and distribute the load to maintain alignment and functionality of manufacturing systems in the future. To maintain the project budget, SSOE worked with Yates to research and provide the most economical design and construction solutions for this site.

Steel Tube Production Facility

Having successfully performed design work for thousands of greenfield production plants, SSOE was well qualified to serve as the Engineer of Record (EOR) and oversee architectural and engineering services for the configuration and installation of a new steel tube production facility. Strong project management was needed to coordinate the efforts of the design / build contractor, multiple OEM suppliers, and an international client to meet an aggressive time line for production start-up.

Located on a 300-acre, greenfield site, the production facility consists of a pre-engineered metal building with a concrete mezzanine, operations, and production floors. Primary manufacturing operations include billet preparation, piercing, sizing, finishing, testing, and all related furnace and heat treating equipment. Other facilities on the site include in and outbound logistics, administration / training center, utilities, water treatment, chemical treatment, and cooling towers. SSOE also provided site preparation services.

Utilizing the 3D MicroStation design platform and Navisworks, SSOE electronically produced the architectural rendering and video of the plant for ground breaking announcements, contractor outreach program, press releases, and public relations purposes.

Tire Manufacturing Plant

SSOE led the value engineering effort for this facility, developing more than $17 million in savings opportunities, resulting in more than $11 million in total incorporated changes.

In an effort to expand their market into the United States, a European tire manufacturer looked to SSOE to provide site selection, risk assessment, architectural and engineering services, and construction management for their 875,000 SF greenfield tire manufacturing plant. The scope included pursuing a viable site as well as providing assistance with environmental permitting requirements, including air permitting data. The facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 4.65 million passenger / light truck tires per year within the first construction phase. The master plan for the greenfield site will accommodate up to 2 million commercial vehicle truck tires manufactured per year.

The plant features just over 100,000 SF of office, 600,000 SF of production, and 130,000 SF of warehouse space to support their projected 800 employees. Each area is unique to the intended user group and includes precast concrete, cast in place concrete, and structural steel framing systems. The process utilities are complex and range from multiple cold and hot water systems, natural gas use, compressed air demands, and high pressure steam. SSOE provided electrical, power and lighting, data, fire and security, as well as an appropriate architectural statement for the Owner’s first major expansion in the United States.