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Ford Announces Ten-Year Dearborn Campus Transformation

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Thousands of employees will be relocated here, but they'll have so many amenities!

Ford announced yesterday plans to transform its Dearborn facilities into a modern, green, and high-tech campus. The 10-year transformation of the more than 60-year-old Dearborn facilities will colocate 30,000 employees from 70 buildings into primarily two locations – a product campus and a world headquarters campus.

In its press release, Ford said that construction begins this month on the new product campus location, including a new Design Center. It will be a walkable community with paths, trails, and covered walkways as well as autonomous vehicles, on-demand shuttles, eBikes, employee services, high-speed internet, and so many green spaces.

New buildings will reduce energy use by about 50 percent, save water, and include the new zero-waste, zero-energy, zero-water Sustainability Showcase building.

The new campus will include:

  • More than 1.3 million square feet of reworked space;
  • A new Ford Credit facility connected to World Headquarters, forming a more cohesive,employee-friendly campus;
  • Improved connectivity, walkways, covered parking decks, and outdoor recreation facilities, including softball and soccer fields, and
  • Enhanced green spaces with planted areas, native species, and tree canopy, including the renewal of the Arjay Miller Arboretum started in 1960.

Key features will include:

  • New connected facilities that will feature the latest wired and wireless hardware designed to last many years;
  • Work spaces that foster collaboration and spark innovation;
  • A central green area that will link buildings with walking trails, bike paths, and covered walkways;
  • Energy-saving sustainable technologies, including geothermal heating and cooling, and
  • Water-saving technologies, such as rainwater capture and automated metering.

The current Ford World Headquarters building was dedicated in 1956. When renovation begins in 2021, care will be taken to retain the "iconic image" of the building while providing both exterior and interior enhancements.

The new Sustainability Showcase aims to meet Living Building Challenge standards, the highest level of sustainability possible today. The net zero-waste, net zero-energy, net zero-water facility will include geothermal heating and cooling and generate renewable energy from the sun. Throughout the two campuses, increased building insulation, new glazing systems, state-of-the-art lighting and daylighting, and heat recovery will reduce overall energy use in new buildings by approximately 50 percent annually.

Overall potable water use will be significantly reduced through advanced water fixture selection, metering, and process enhancements.

The company anticipates all renovated facilities on both campuses will achieve at a minimum silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design process. All new construction is planned to meet LEED Gold certification standards, including sustainable material selection and material ingredient transparency.

SmithGroup JJR, based in Detroit, designed the new campus layout, applying inspiration from tech companies and university campuses. Designs incorporate the seven concepts of the WELL Building Standard®, which look at how air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mental and emotional health impact employees.

Collaborative work areas will be a key design feature throughout the complex. Employees can expect :

  • More natural light in individual work spaces,
  • More daily choice about where to work on particular tasks,
  • More sit/stand desks and private spaces,
  • Indoor and outdoor cafes with Wi-Fi,
  • One conference and meeting space for every seven employees,
  • On-site fitness centers, and
  • More healthy dining options.

They'll never have to leave work!

Construction of the new product campus begins this month at the Ford Research and Engineering Center. The majority of work is expected to be complete by 2023. Major work on the second campus around Ford World Headquarters begins in 2021 and is expected to be complete in 2026.