Embraer Aircraft changes
Building jets requires ample resources, advanced systems and considerable space. To sell them requires a showroom capable of wowing the most elite of customers.
Embraer Aircraft Holding’s new executive jet assembly, paint and showroom complex in Melbourne, Fla., is the Brazilian manufacturer’s first such facility in North America. On a 25-acre site within Florida’s famed Brevard County Space Coast, Walbridge built Embraer a showcase facility that exemplifies the company’s worldwide reputation for building preeminent commercial aircraft.
Walbridge served as construction manager at-risk on an 80,000-square-foot production hangar, a 27,000-square-foot paint building and Embraer’s Global Customer Center – a 76,000-square-foot design and delivery hub. The project was carefully executed in an accelerated timeframe to ensure Embraer would be fully functioning by fall 2011.
Embraer is one of the world’s premier aviation manufacturers, serving more than 35 carriers globally. As part of a business strategy that emphasized bringing business closer to its customers, the Brazilian aircraft giant decided to expand production into the United States. The $30 million venture in Melbourne included a new production hangar and paint house with a first-of-its-kind down-draft forced wind tunnel painting filtration system to improve air quality inside and outside the shop.
A global delivery and design center allows customers the hands-on experience of selecting the interiors of their next executive jet. The showroom was built and furnished with high-end materials and features an “owner’s lounge” to make customers feel at home.
Mixing International Experience with Homegrown Talent
Along with preservation of adjoining wetlands, Walbridge worked with Embraer to incorporate a number of sustainable elements into its new facility. Air-quality monitoring systems and low-emitting materials were utilized, reflective hardscapes and roofs were used to minimize heat island effect, and low-flow fixtures and faucets were installed to minimize water usage.
Walbridge employed only local Florida companies, with the exception of one, for the work at the new Melbourne facility. The emphasis on home-grown construction talent kept economic benefits cycling through the state.
Thanks to Walbridge’s efforts in value analysis and value engineering, approximately $1.9 million in project savings were shared with Embraer. That enabled the jet-maker to expand and pay for changes to parts of the facilities as the project progressed.