Major Automotive Facility Retrofit

Paint shop demo and strip-out sets the stage for a new era in electric vehicles

Facility Retrofit

With an eye on self-driving vehicles, a major automotive manufacturer is transforming a one-million-sq-ft automotive paint shop in one of its assembly plants into the company’s first fully dedicated electric vehicle assembly plant for trucks and SUVs.

The transformation required the comprehensive strip-out of non-structural systems to make room for new machines, conveyors, controls, and tooling and the removal of rooftop systems.

The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor selected Michigan-based North American Dismantling Corp. (NADC) to lead the demo and strip-out effort. NADC specializes in heavy industrial demolition, strip-outs, and other aspects of specialty demolition.

Preserving some elements while demolishing non-structural components requires considerable planning and care, particularly under a tight schedule of three months.

Walkways and Decks

Next to safe completion, meeting the owner-defined schedule was of utmost importance for NADC, the EPC, and the client, as the demolition work would set the stage for installing new systems and subsequent vehicle production. To complete the job, NADC assigned a full-time safety and management team to support the workforce crew ranging from 30-130 at any given time.

The job required the complete strip out of the paint and body shop, including the main floor and basement, second-floor conveyors and associated systems, the paint mix area, the fan farm, and electrical, mechanical, fire protection heating and ventilating, and security systems.

Tasks for the interior demolition included:

  • Saw-cut 12” thick structural slab and remove concrete for 32 new 6’ x 6’ openings
  • Removed remaining concrete curbs after GK scope demolition
  • Removal of 4” concrete walkway (100,00 sq ft)
  •  Saw-cut and removal of the existing concrete roof deck for new openings (2,300 square ft)
  •  Demolition of existing fan farm bases
  •  Saw-cut new 10’ x 15’ concrete opening for the new stairway
  •  Saw-cut curbs and concrete at penthouse penetrations back to the centerline of existing steel framing for new decking to bare

One of the most challenging elements of the demolition and strip out was the removal of rooftop systems such as air handling units and a 270-ft existing elevated expansion joint and cover and associated structures, curbing, and below-support steel.

150+ structures from the roof, including ash houses, motors, stacks, and vents, were removed. As part of a re-use plan, crews needed to preserve roof drains and fiber optic lines. To facilitate the work, NADC utilized a 900-ton-crane, which allowed for efficient removal of all structures and systems.

Special Circumstances

The entire strip out was completed between March and May 2020, including a significant amount of time during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan.

NADC was shut down approximately one week due to the State of Michigan Executive Order (COVID-19). When work resumed with comprehensive health and safety protocols in place,
NADC implemented temperature scanning upon arrival, daily COVID questionnaires, routine area cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing policies, mask use, etc. In conjunction, these policies allowed NADC to continue efficient operations during the pandemic without one case of illness.

In addition to the initial contract for demo and strip out, NADC was awarded additional 9% work with the EPC over the base contract and an additional contract by Walbridge, another general contractor at the site, increasing workload at the site approximately 25%.


Contact us for more detailed information on your
Facility Retrofit/Strip-Out project.