Enabling a New Era of Shipbuilding.
Austal is the world’s largest manufacturer of aluminum commercial and defense vessels. The Australia-based company selected Gray to design and build phase one of its newest facility in Alabama.
Gray was initially selected by Austal to provide design-build services for the first phase of a 459,899 s.f. modular manufacturing facility (MMF) used to produce the Littoral Combat Ship and the Joint High Speed Vessel for the U.S. Navy.
As this project neared completion, Austal turned to Gray for modifications to an existing pre-engineered building on its Mobile campus. In 2011, Gray was selected again to design and build the 393,107 s.f. second phase of Austal’s MMF and a new 108,122 s.f., three-story office complex. The nautically themed structure contains high-end finishes and a reconfigurable multi-use room capable of seating 400 people auditorium-style.
A unique factor of this project was the office’s location on Austal’s campus. As one Austal official put it, this office complex was built “on a work site the size of a postage stamp.” The office complex was designed to take up roughly 70% of the remaining space on Austal’s campus, which already included a modular manufacturing facility undergoing a 372,383 s.f. expansion, a pre-engineered warehouse, a US Navy facility, and Austal’s only parking area. With Gray’s ongoing construction of the manufacturing expansion and Austal’s ongoing shipbuilding operations, the site was already a very busy place. These realities left the project team with very little room for staging the necessary building materials. The Gray team was able to overcome these challenges and not only completed the job but produced an award-winning project.