Ultium Battery Cells Battery Manufacturing Plant

Warren, Ohio

Award of Merit

Submitted by: Barton Malow Co.

Owner: Ultium Cells LLC

Lead Design Firm/Structural/MEP: Gresham Smith

General Contractor: Barton Malow Co.

Electrical Subcontractor: Hunt Electric Corp./Lighthouse Electric Joint Venture

Mechanical Subcontractor: John E. Green Co.

Integrated project delivery brought this 2.8-million-sq-ft lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facility to life on 156 acres in northeastern Ohio. Owned by Ultium Cells, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution, the plant will mass-produce Ultium battery cells for electric vehicles, equivalent to more than 40-gigawatt hours of annual capacity, while creating more than 1,500 new high-tech jobs.

More than 3 million work hours across a compressed timetable brought the project to substantial completion on time and within budget in July 2022. Co-locating all stakeholders under one roof streamlined problem-solving and allowed for real-time solutions. Originally conceived with a multibuilding design, the project evolved into a single massive building, streamlining the construction process.

Just-in-time design helped deliver specifications to the field so construction efforts could continue in line with the accelerated schedule. The team established a BIM cluster group that set the tone for the construction flow, aligning efforts by area.

An interactive drawing layered all elements of construction into a single model that allowed different trades to see how their work interacted with other scopes, which saved work hours and decreased costs. Seeing all scopes also enabled use of a single crane on an equipment platform outside the building, streamlining logistics and site coordination.