PhotographsCourtesy of SmithGroupJJR
From the architect. One of the world’s largest global defense contractors, BAE Systems repositioned an existing industrial site in Sterling Heights, Michigan into a state-of-the-art acquisition and prototyping center. The new facility allows for BAE Systems to consolidate their operations into one central location, as well as provides for close proximity to their primary customer.
SmithGroupJJR provided full architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical services on the facility for the programming and conceptual phase, as well as full architectural/engineering services for the second phase of a new facility.
The 80.6 acres site is comprised of two parcels – the east parcel supports a test track and the west parcel contains the highbay prototype facility and an attached 4-story office building. The 55,000 gsf prototype facility houses 20 bays for vehicle and subsystem modifications, integration and testing, in addition to supporting labs and facilities that provide electrical assembly fabrication, software development and system integration of vehicle control and crew station electronics. The site also supports a full-service machine shop equipped with welding capabilities. The 164,000 gsf office building was designed to house 600 employees to support the operational and security needs of the entire complex.
Challenges to the project included expedited phase bid packages, working within the project budget, designing a high security complex with efficient and secure circulation paths for employees and clients, as well as creating a signature facility that would also improve employee efficiency and interaction.