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November 2012

Delivering State-of-the-Art on Schedule

Before the U.S. Army could research and build the next generation of military ground vehicles, a new facility needed to be built. Designers and engineers from industry and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) overcame challenges at seemingly every turn to deliver a one-of-a-kind facility on schedule.

The Ground Systems Power and Energy Lab (GSPEL) was built specifically for the Army's Tank, Automotive, Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Constructed by Walsh Construction Co., with on-site construction management from the USACE Detroit District and overall project management from the USACE Louisville District, the 30,000-ft² facility consists of eight separate laboratories that support and sustain the Army's combat and tactical ground vehicle systems. Those systems-intended for existing and emerging vehicles-include propulsion, power generation, energy storage, power management, thermal management and air filtration. GSPEL's location, in the heart of metro Detroit's automotive and engineering technical communities, makes for a synergistic environment that enhances collaboration.

Because of the unique nature and the precise specifications demanded by GSPEL's scientists and engineers, the facility's design and construction presented multiple challenges-many that required solutions on tight deadlines. These trials started before the first spade of dirt was turned and continued throughout.

GSPEL's "fast-track" process included 13 design phases, requiring constant planning, coordination and adjustments. Ground was broken on the $47 million design-build project in August 2009. Ribbon cutting took place in April 2012.

[Read the full article in The Military Engineer HERE]



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