Cooling Room + Compressor Room Addition

After completion of their largest process expansion to date, Draexlmaier Automotive of America commissioned Context Design Group to perform design services for this new addition to house the plant’s full process cooling water system as well as air compressor equipment. Critical site constraints and coordination with the plant’s production schedule provided a challenging program for this expansion.

In order to maintain Draexlmaier’s strict production schedule without interruption (JIT, JIS production), the expansion’s layout and constructability had to be carefully planned in order to maintain access to all adjacent truck docks and traffic patterns around the facility.  The equipment piping & hook-up also had to be strategically planned to avoid shut downs during the production schedule.  All demolition work adjacent to the new expansion was also planned with temporary partitions in order to maintain the stringent temperature/humidity requirements of the process.

The 2,500 sf expansion housed the new air compressor equipment in a hybrid conventional steel framed & load-bearing CMU area making use of acoustical block in order to prevent the equipment’s noise from entering the plant area.  The process cooling room is comprised of full height precast concrete wall panels with precast double-tee structure for the roof.  The structural system was chosen to be most economical and functional due to the required clear heights, equipment mezzanine, and extreme loads for the equipment to be housed.  This room was designed to incorporate a system utilizing multiple chillers and pumps along with a cooling tower on the roof structure.  The expansion’s design also accommodated the ability for removal and installation of new equipment in all spaces without any building modifications required.


The addition’s building envelope consisted of precast wall panels with pigmented color to match the rest of the facility, along with insulated metal wall panels to blend with the main facility as well.  Due to careful planning during the entire design phase and coordination activities facilitated by the CDG team during construction, the expansion was completed on time without any interruption of Draexlmaier’s process or site logistical operations.