Expanding on the existing corporate office in Savannah, Ga., Great Dane on Wednesday, April 4, officially broke ground on the site of a new research and development campus that will serve as a hub for the company’s engineering and design initiatives and as an educational experience for both customers and employees.
“”Over the past 30 years, the tremendous work done by Great Dane’s entire engineering team has yielded countless cutting-edge innovations in materials and products that have advanced the entire trucking industry,” said Bill Crown, president and chief executive officer. “Today, we celebrate these accomplishments by breaking ground on a new engineering and technology campus here in Savannah that will benefit not only our customers but also our employees and the environment.”
The new campus will include the renovation of the current corporate office space and three new-construction buildings that will be LEED-certified, meaning it will be designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
The new engineering building will encompass more than 30,000 square feet of space and will include a 3,600-square-foot conference center, customer preview showroom and technology “garden,” which will house interactive hands-on educational displays demonstrating various specifications of Great Dane products and materials.
Research and development will receive a new 27,000- square-foot building to accommodate a manufacturing engineering lab for building custom fixtures and testing automation equipment. The corrosion lab also will be housed here, as well as testing facilities for large and small-scale components, quality assurance and thermal efficiency.
A separate 5,500-square-foot building will be erected for Great Dane’s full-scale road simulator capable of testing trailers, truck bodies and buses. Full-scale automated trailer floor fatigue testing also will take place here.
“When the new technology center is complete, we will be able to further test our research and design innovations in a state-of-the-art setting, train employees and educate our customers as we all work together to find solutions to best fit their needs,” said Rick Mullininx, executive vice president.