Exterior of Saft America Battery Manufacturing Facility

December 8, 2020

Interdisciplinary Approach Produces the Best Engineering Outcomes

At Haskell, an integrated team provides world-class solutions in process, packaging, material-handling and building facilities.


Fundamentally, it’s the responsibility of engineers to ensure that a design is safe and meets all appropriate codes. But built on that foundation is a labyrinth of interdependent functionality that contributes to creating a world-class facility.

Engineers concern themselves with making facilities and structures safe and functional by selecting structural materials, determining the structural members of the design, and specifying the electrical, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing systems. Each engineering discipline – civil, transportation, mechanical, electrical, structural, packaging, process and automation – has a singular design focus that can be critical in a project.

At the same time, aesthetics are also important to a project’s functionality. The opportunity for architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) disciplines to work as a team under one roof offers optimal results in delivering safe, functional spaces, on time and within budget.

“When there is a fully integrated AEC team from the outset, you add the benefit of cost control from the start,” said Frank Mangin, Haskell’s Senior Vice President of AE Services. “In AEC teams that aren’t working together, the design can creep in scope without knowledge of the costs. Not knowing how much costs are increasing each time a change occurs is a big risk to the client.”

Haskell is a leader internationally in integrated delivery, both in the integrated design and construction of world-class facilities and in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the manufacturing systems therein.

“Our integrated team can provide world-class solutions in process, packaging, material-handling and building facilities,” said Jim O’Leary, Haskell President and CEO. “We are able to serve as a single point of contact for customers who want to design and construct a manufacturing plant, from site selection and due diligence to the final phases of process, packaging, material handling and facility construction. Our professionals can deliver small- and large-scale projects consisting of the building and the systems inside it.”

To provide the best solutions and certainty of outcome, a Haskell project team may involve multiple engineering disciplines working together among themselves and/or with architects or with contractors. The team that is created for each client focuses on optimizing the total project rather than on one discipline.

The goal is to help clients better understand the cost and time implications of each decision in the project lifecycle. Making rational and unrushed decisions, then vetting and coordinating them into the final design for the best possible result.

“We help the client avoid what I call the VE (value engineering) cliff,” Mangin said. “That is, getting to what the client thinks is 100 percent complete drawings, only to find out that there is a budget bust and that drastic changes will have to be made in order to keep the project going.”

Collaboration with project owners begins with the very first interaction and continues throughout. The team listens not only to the owner’s point of view but also that of the other team members to ensure seamless execution of the project with an ideal outcome aesthetically and functionally.

“Because of our work in turnkey projects (design-build and EPC), we understand how buildings are actually built,” Mangin said. “We get direct feedback from project managers, superintendents and craftspeople in the field that informs our designs in ways those in most other firms do not experience.”

With the advantage of all AEC disciplines under one virtual roof, Haskell can bring the best team together to tackle each project’s specific needs.

A case in point: Haskell leveraged a wide range of expertise to create for Saft, a worldwide battery developer, a high-tech manufacturing facility minimal environmental impact.

The project included manufacturing, administrative and support areas and clean/dry rooms certified with dew points of minus-40-degree and minus-27-degree Celsius; coating ovens; formation, open-circuit voltage testing and final assembly areas; electrical; chillers and air compressor rooms; maintenance and support areas; and shipping and receiving docks.

Completed on schedule, the facility produced 4.8 million cells a day, and its sustainable design elements earned LEED silver certification.

“Haskell team members worked closely with our process and commissioning subject matter experts to gain an understanding on the lithium-ion construction needs,” said Michael Sterchele, Saft America, Inc. Deputy Program Manager. “Through every step of the program, Haskell diligently inquired and challenged both Saft and Jacksonville (Florida) city officials to ensure that safe and viable structures were produced.”

In another integrated delivery example, Spirit AeroSystems Composite Center engaged Haskell to create a 625,000-square-foot facility for the manufacture of massive structural composite aircraft components for the Airbus A-350, with one of the world’s biggest autoclave units.

Integrated design-build delivery allowed design and construction teams to meet known and emergent requirements, maintain aggressive schedules and restrain the project budget. The well-planned structure would also easily support future expansions.

“Haskell continually showed innovation in approach and design to minimize cost and accelerate schedule,” said Ron Redford, Facilities Senior Manager with Spirit AeroSystems. “In dealing with emergent requirements, Haskell displayed a ‘find-a-way’ attitude to meet these demands.”

Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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