Ford Vehicle Performance + Electrification Center Wins ESD Construction + Design Award
Ford Motor Company’s Vehicle Performance and Electrification Center (VPEC) was a recipient of the Engineering Society of Detroit’s (ESD) Construction + Design Award. Now in its 47th year, the annual awards program honors the three primary members of the building team – owners, designers, and constructors – and recognizes outstanding achievement and innovative use of technology.
Working in partnership with Ford, Stenco Construction, and Jacobs, Ghafari served as the designer of the VPEC, a revolutionary research and testing facility situated on a 14-acre campus in Allen Park, Michigan where the automaker tests vehicles to achieve even greater fuel efficiency and performance. This 210,000 SF facility includes three attached buildings featuring the most technologically advanced wind tunnel of its kind in the world capable of speeds of up to 200 mph. It also incorporates a state-of-the-art rolling road system, a traversing measurement system, a cutting edge frontal area measurement system, and a variety of battery cyclers and environmental chambers, as well as multiple offices and work areas.
The budget for this project was $200 million. The project team utilized a design-build approach to control the budget, making sure all end users were actively involved in all stages of the design development. The team also utilized BIM modeling to eliminate issues in the model environment ahead of construction – further ensuring the project would remain on budget.
The advanced rolling road wind tunnel and battery testing labs at the new VPEC facility were an investment by Ford to continue their work developing technologies to reduce vehicle energy consumption. The ability to test vehicles in the upgraded labs will provide a more accurate picture of what to expect when vehicles hit the road for testing and production so that they don’t need to make as many changes later in the process.