GE Forefront, also known as the “Brilliant Factory,” is GE’s first gas engine production facility in Canada. The 450,000-square-foot, long-span facility incorporates assembly lines, machine shops, shipping, storage and office space. The facility - built on a structural grid of 25 meters by 25 meters - combines front line, innovative machines with data science and analytics and has the ultimate goal of enhancing efficiency and streamlining production. Its primary function is to manufacture reciprocating gas engines, components for compression, mechanical drives and power generation.
To advance the project schedule and allow for early ordering of material while design was underway, our team provided advanced modeling services, which were transmitted to the steel contractor for the production of shop drawings and fabrication.
We provided structural and construction engineering services to CSO Architects, B+H Architects & PCL Contractors for the facility, which was constructed in approximately 20 months and was also designed to meet the GE Brilliant Buildings standards and LEED certification.
- The building floor is designed to support heavy moving equipment and fixtures, including the largest engine, which weighs 92,500 kilograms, on wheeled trolleys and air pallets.
- The front office features a timber deck roof spanned by 24-meter queen-post truss supports. The chords of the trusses were designed as composite steel and glulam members with steel tension rods below.
- The girders and columns, which support cranes for moving engines and other manufactured components, were designed with stringent strength and deflection properties. The largest crane has a capacity of 120 metric tons.
- The exterior precast walls are loaded for wind and seismicity and connected to the roof diaphragm at various locations. By functioning as part of the lateral force resisting structure, this design eliminated the need for additional steel bracing.