Reliability at its Finest
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.
A Company You Can Count On. A Name Clients Trust.
It can be a daunting task to select the right constructor for one of the biggest projects your company’s ever undertaken. Walbridge understands that and we take the responsibility of delivering on our customers’ expectations very seriously.
Embraer put its trust in Walbridge to serve as construction manager at-risk on its new complex. Built at Melbourne International Airport, the complex consists of 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.
Creating a Better Way to Fly Starts With a Better Place to Build
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. The new manufacturing facility will produce Embraer’s Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 jets. In addition to state-of-the-art security features, the exterior of the complex was built to withstand hurricane winds.
Under Pressure and Down to the Wire
State requirements put the squeeze on Walbridge to have all vertical-standing steel structures erected by certain dates. If the requirements weren’t met, Embraer faced losing out on millions in tax rebates.
Also, due to the high water table and the location’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Brevard County and St. John’s River Water Management District restrictions required the team to incorporate wetland preservation measures into the project scope.
Furthermore, Embraer requested that Florida subcontractors be hired to build its new Melbourne facility. While the request set geographic limitations, Walbridge’s outreach to local trades people helped the local economy and community.
Mixing International Experience with Homegrown Talent
Trust is Good
Walbridge tackled the challenge of meeting the tax incentive-driven deadline head-on, applying resources and attention to the issue as early as pre-construction. “We strived and worked toward it and we did exactly what we needed to get it done,” said Walbridge Project Manager Rodney Ross. “It was a matter of priorities and focus.”
In addition to preserving 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.
Above and Beyond Expectations
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.
When an organization entrusts Walbridge with construction of a key facility, we assume full responsibility for minimizing risk, finding ways to save time and money, and delivering a completed project that meets the customer’s expectations to the fullest.