In a competitive industry where time-to-market is critical, General Motors sought a more efficient approach to building manufacturing plants. Their Worldwide Facilities Group launched a “virtual factory” initiative that would bring lean-inspired, “just-in-time” supply chain technologies and methodologies to construction.
Having successfully collaborated with Ghafari on the first project of this initiative, GM called on our team to provide architecture, engineering, and BIM integration services for the second, a 442,000-square-foot engine plant expansion to accommodate the production of a new V6 engine for cars and trucks.
As the design arm of the design-build team tasked with meeting GM’s aggressive goals, we worked closely with the contractor and client to establish a new standard in BIM-enabled project delivery. With the entire team adopting a “build to the model” mandate, we delivered a near-perfect, collision-free 3D model incorporating the mechanical, HVAC, ductwork, piping, and electrical power systems. The team resolved all interferences prior to starting construction, and mutually committed to building the large-scale expansion exactly as planned. This enhanced level of coordination enabled more off-site fabrication, facilitating “just-in-time” delivery and installation that reduced scrap, jobsite clutter, and waste.
The result of a collective commitment to a more integrated approach, the GM Powertrain V6 Engine Assembly Plant achieved breakthroughs in efficient project delivery with construction completed 25% ahead of schedule and no change orders from building component interferences. This landmark project not only marks a fundamental change in the way that GM does business, but is also a significant step forward in the EAC industry’s embrace of virtual design and construction.