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 expected to start producing various new technologies such as smart antenna modules, lighting and door control units, and more beginning in 2021, which will generate an estimated 1,000+ jobs over the next 5 years.