SSOE to Design 1.2 M SF BMW Assembly Plant Expansion

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Spartanburg, South Carolina Expansion to meet EPACT 2005 standards for Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings

SSOE, Inc. one of the nation’s largest architecture and engineering firms, announced that they will be providing design services for BMW’s new 1.2 million SF assembly plant. SSOE will provide the detail architectural and all civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and fire protection engineering services. In an announcement on Monday March 10, BMW confirmed the expansion of the Spartanburg North Assembly Building, keeping in line with their plans to increase production capacity at its US operation from 160,000 to 240,000 automobiles annually by 2012. This expansion will allow BMW to increase their output and add 500 new jobs. Once completed, BMW will have invested $4.2 billion into its South Carolina operations since the production site opened in 1994.

SSOE is ranked 6th in Automotive Design Firms (Engineering News Record, 2007) and has performed design for 50% of all automotive assembly plants built in the US over the last ten years. This includes the Toyota Assembly Plant in Blue Springs, MS currently under construction.

Kohlbecker Architects and Engineers, from Gaggenau, Germany has been contracted by BMW and partnered with SSOE. The scope of work has been divided to leverage the expertise of both firms.

The 1.2 million SF final assembly plant will be built on BMW’s existing site. Construction began in April 2008 and will be completed in July 2009, with production of the next-generation X3 Sports Activity Vehicle beginning in 2010. The building is being designed to meet the EPACT 2005 standards for “Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings”. This includes increases in insulation in the walls and roof, efficient lighting systems (metal halide lights with dual level controls), high efficiency heating and cooling systems, and high efficiency hot water systems.

The Kohlbecker/SSOE team has phased the design to fast track the project by using the approach of separate rough grading, structural steel and general contracts. They are also designing the project completely in Microstation 3D which allows BMW to see and review weekly progress through the free software program NavisWorks. BMW can also use the 3D model for coordinating other tasks within the plant and interference checking for production equipment placement, routing of conveyors and other activities that are concurrent with design of the building.

Besides the X3 Sports Activity Vehicle, the Spartanburg factory also produces the X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and the new X6 Sports Activity Coupe which goes on sale later this year. In addition, BMW is also producing the Z4 Roadster and its respective variants in Spartanburg.

About SSOE
Celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year, SSOE, Inc. is an international design firm and ranks 8th among the nation’s largest engineering and architecture firms (Building Design and Construction, 2007). Demonstrating fast and consistent growth, 2007 marks the third consecutive year the company has grown its revenue more than 25 percent. SSOE has also been named one of nine Best AEC Firms to Work For (Building Design and Construction, 2007) and as one of the fastest-growing US architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms by ZweigWhite, Hot List 2007.

With 1000 employees and multi-disciplined LEED™ accredited professionals employed in 18 offices around the world the company has earned a solid reputation in facility design for the healthcare, retail, automotive and science and technology markets, as well as process engineering for the alternative energy, biofuels, chemical, food and beverage, glass and personal care industries. SSOE has completed projects in 48 states and 32 countries, and has achieved 60 years of excellence in engineering and architectural design. Visit for additional information and career opportunities.

About BMW
BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; an information technology consulting and systems integration firm in South Carolina; and a design firm and technology office in California. Visit for additional information.

About Kohlbecker
Founded in 1930, the work of Kohlbecker has been mainly focused on industrial facilities, administration and community buildings educational and cultural centers as well as residential estates in Germany and abroad. Kohlbecker provides overall project planning, from site selection, master planning up to site supervision services. International projects, e.g. in the U.S., Russia, China and South-Korea were realized. Their esteemed client list includes BMW, DiamlerChrysler DaimlerChrysler AG, Magna Steyr, IBM and Porsche to name a few. Still a family owned and operated business, Kohlbecker’s vision has passed beyond the new millennium’s threshold and it now sees that its great opportunity in offering varied services that is accompanied by experienced specialists. Visit for additional information.

Danielle Benninger
SSOE, Inc.
Office: 419.255.3830
dbenninger @


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