Volkswagen Plant in Chattanooga

Project Profile: Volkswagen Group of America’s Chattanooga Plant

Firm name: SSOE Group

Project building name and location: Volkswagen Group of America’s Chattanooga Plant, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Type of building and type of project: Automotive Assembly Plant, New Construction

Project completion date and project duration: May 2011

Engineering challenges and solutions:

Volkswagen’s ultimate goal was to create a state-of-the-art assembly plant that maintained a high level of sensitivity to the environment, a unique challenge for any manufacturing facility. Their commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency was addressed by SSOE at every level of the project, from design through construction.

Special environmental features include a rainwater harvesting system which supplements 653,000 gallons of water per year used for gray water; air handling equipment which reuses heat energy prior to releasing it into the atmosphere; and an efficient T5 lighting system which uses 20% less energy than conventional industrial lighting systems. Another challenge of the project was its aggressive schedule; VW announced the selection of the Chattanooga site in July of 2008 and celebrated its grand opening this past May.

The 1,400-acre, $1 billion dollar site is comprised of traditional manufacturing operations with an annual production capacity of up to 150,000 vehicles, as well as an extensive training center, outbound logistics center, media (utility) center, social hall with cafeteria, technical center, tank farm, and fire station. SSOE had approximately 360 people participate in the various design activities throughout the project, including construction management.

In addition, to ensure proper coordination and maintain quality control, SSOE utilized 3D modeling as well as several detailed control documents. These efforts enabled Volkswagen to launch vehicle production on schedule and on-budget.

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