Huntsville, Alabama has a lot to celebrate. It was recently selected as the site for the new Polaris plant, which will generate up to 2,000 jobs and create a ripple effect that will boost the area’s economy. Huntsville’s Mayor, Tommy Battle, jokingly suggested it was a plate of exceptional barbecue ribs that clinched the high-stakes deal. SSOE’s Alexandra Segers stands by the full story. Polaris selected her from a field of qualified candidates to conduct the site selection process — beginning to end. Alexandra considers this one of the fastest site selection processes of this magnitude she’s ever conducted. To put that in context, she has more than 15 years of experience helping major corporations find the best sites worldwide. Continue Reading →
When Germany-based KSM decided to advance its global production footprint by setting up operations in the U.S., they enlisted SSOE to help with site selection. SSOE began by developing the site criteria for the company’s new greenfield high-pressure aluminum castings plant into an RFP. SSOE solicited bids from various states, performed site evaluations, recommended a site, and supported negotiations of the settlement contracts. KSM was very pleased with the results and extended the scope of SSOE’s services with the conceptual design and cost estimate for the Shelby, North Carolina location. We then performed all design and engineering services for the new facility and acted as the Owner’s Representative which included providing an onsite contact. SSOE used a cost / benefit analysis, including value engineering, to help KSM determine its “must haves” — items required for production support — verses its wants. This analysis helped the client create a facility that projected the image they were looking for while keeping costs within budget. In fact, by applying intense value engineering, SSOE was able to reduce estimated completion cost by 33%. To keep the project on track required prioritizing production areas and construction packages. And to keep the budget intact, SSOE drew on its design solutions that had been successful in other automotive applications. At this point, site work is complete and Phase 1 construction is underway. The design included expansion areas to be built out as needed for future growth of operations. Continue Reading →
Volkswagen’s new Chattanooga, Tennessee production facility is a model of environmental responsibility and sustainability. SSOE integrated these core values into every level of the project, from design through construction. The site includes outbound logistics, an extensive training center, media center, social hall, cafeteria, technical center, tank farm, recycling center, and fire station. [two_third_last] [accordion title="Sustainable or Recycled Materials and Resources"] The buildings are comprised of a concrete and steel infrastructure with an insulated metal skin. Locally extracted and manufactured materials were specifi ed. To the fullest extent possible, wood, cardboard, metal, and concrete were recycled using a local vendor resulting in nearly 78% (4,602 tons) of construction and demolition waste being recycled or salvaged. 48% of total building materials were manufactured using recycled materials. [/accordion] [accordion title="Energy Efficiency"] By using ASHRAE/IESNA standards to design the energy consuming systems, the team reduced the amount of energy that will be used in both the facility and manufacturing processes by 42%. On-site renewable energy sources generate a portion of the buildings’ energy needs. The facility will include a solar park to generate energy. A white, reflective roofing material was installed on 100% of the roof. It refl ects heat resulting in lower cooling costs and energy savings. [/accordion] [accordion title="Site Selection / Sustainable Site"] Significant time and money was invested in order to prepare the brownfield site— previously a munitions manufacturing and testing site. The team stabilized the soils, mitigated the pollution, and relocated an existing stream. Volkswagen set aside 235 acres as permanent green spaces and reserved additional acreage for native or adapted plants. An extensive storm water conveyance system consisting of bioswales, vegetative ditches, and culverts acts as the primary storm water management system. Specific plants were planted in the ditches and swales to fi ltrate suspended solids. To reduce the heat island effect, roller compacted concrete was placed in strategic areas of the parking lots and roadways. [/accordion] [accordion title="Eco-Friendly Practices"] All exterior lights provide only the minimum lighting required for safety to ensure that light does not spill into the night sky and adversely affect the surrounding nocturnal environments through excessive glare. Measures to promote environmentally friendly commutes include providing bike racks for visitors and employees, showers and lockers for employee use, and preferred parking for those driving low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles and those who carpool. [/accordion] [accordion title="Indoor Air Quality"] The HVAC system utilizes ASHRAE 62-2004 as its basis. A construction indoor air quality management program was successfully implemented with the support of all contractors working on-site. A stringent low-emitting materials policy is in place to reduce the use of off-gassing materials within the buildings in accordance with LEED indoor environmental credits 4.1–4.4 and 5.and preferred parking for those driving low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles and those who carpool. [/accordion] [accordion title="Water Conservation"] Through low-flow water closets and urinals, the plant achieves a 58% reduction in potable water used for sewage conveyance. Additionally, the plant collects rainwater from its roof for use in the sanitary waste system. Low-fl ow Continue Reading →
Corey Zachel, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Section Manager and Senior Associate at SSOE, recently authored an article published in Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation Magazine (IMPO) that explains how to avoid shutdowns at manufacturing facilities. In this industry, repairs are inevitable, however complete shutdowns can create a major loss in revenue. Zachel writes that careful planning and tracking, data from previous work, as well as preparing for the unexpected can all help to lessen the chance of a shutdown. Continue Reading →
Alexandra Segers, Dip.-Ing, Program Manager and International Senior Account Executive at SSOE Group and General Manager of the firm’s Southeast U.S. operations, was recently featured in Business Alabama Magazine. The article highlights her recent work with BOCAR, a German-owned Tier 1 automotive supplier that enlisted her site selection expertise for the company’s new $115 million, 72-acre site in Huntsville, Alabama. Continue Reading →
Corey Zachel, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Section Manager and Senior Associate at SSOE Group, recently highlighted the importance of proactively coordinating manufacturing equipment maintenance schedules in this IMPO Magazine article. Corey suggests pulling in experts to avoid guesswork and rework—and rather than waiting for a breakdown, figure out what’s needed to keep equipment running without a hitch to avoid problems altogether. Through various examples from out in the field, he shares how regular evaluations and preventive maintenance could have helped avoid costly disruptions to production and multiple headaches along the way. Continue Reading →
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