On April 27th, the Automatic Storage Retrieval System building, critical to vehicle storage at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plant in Vance, Alabama, was nearly destroyed by a tornado.
We had only fifteen weeks to achieve substantial completion for this project, starting almost from scratch. Unfortunately, timing and cost made reusing the original structural design – a proprietary framing system developed and manufactured in Italy – impossible. So, the entire building had to be redesigned. In addition, almost eighty-percent of the intact structure had to be demolished. One of the ninety-foot tall, automated cranes was also severely damaged in the storm. Replacement parts for the highly sophisticated machine – a machine whose margin-of-error tolerances are less than fifteen millimeters – could only be fabricated in Germany. And that process could not begin until the full extent of the damage was assessed by a team of engineers flown in from Europe after the cranes had been carefully removed from the building.
In the end, the project was a success. Key to that success was an intricate CPM schedule, outlining design, procurement, construction, and commissioning, and a detailed QA/QC plan. At Amason, we know that a challenging project is an opportunity to provide exceptional service to our client. And our team is committed to tackling those difficult projects and delivering them with the skill and professionalism we believe the construction industry demands.