INDUSTRIAL: Expanding An Automotive Industrial Facility

A major automotive supplier in Detroit requires a large expansion. Quadrate Development and Liberty Sheet Metal get the job done.  

While the industrial design/build market is not for everyone, Quadrate Development, headquartered in Macomb, Michigan, has been tackling complete projects since 1984 when two brothers had a vision of building the “finest industrial and commercial facilities in the industry.” That has carried into projects like one currently underway for G&G Industries Inc., an automotive supplier based in Michigan. SMACNA member Liberty Sheet Metal, based in Ray Township, Michigan, did a lot of the work with insulated metal FALK Panels. 

G&G Industries began in 1992, entering the automotive production supply base as a tier 2 volume supplier. The company’s quality-driven process and customer satisfaction enabled it to become a high-volume global supplier to the automotive industry. Today, G&G continues the tradition of quality services for both original equipment manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers to some of the industry’s most visible automotive manufacturers, including Subaru, BMW, Mercedes, GM, Lexus, Toyota, FCA, Ford, Nissan and Honda.  
As far as services, G&G can deliver honeycomb composite spray molding, mechanical engineering, trimming, bonding, textile conversion, honeycomb expansion and color matching. In fact, the company was the first manufacturer in North America to introduce honeycomb composite spray molding technology to the automotive industry in 2004. It produces more than 1.3 million composite panels each year in its facility.  

The 41,000 square foot industrial addition to their existing building was a significant undertaking, but Quadrate was prepared to handle it. 

“When you tackle industrial design/build work, you often have to prepare a bid without plans and specs,” says Michael D’Agostini, commercial/industrial real estate  design/build specialist with Quadrate. “We competed against two other firms and won the bid. We were initially recommended through a business associate.” 

D’Agostini says that the project was awarded in February 2023 and the company got right to work so that they could begin construction in early spring.  

“Michigan isn’t known for its good weather, so we wanted to get it all designed and approved so that we could start construction in late May,” he says. “We often have to work against delays that are out of our control whether it be the weather or the approval process. But as soon as we received approval, we began construction.”   

One of the challenges of this project was that it had a particularly heavy primary electrical service and fire suppression system. But D’Agostini says that with the right contractors in place, it all came together. 

“We have been building industrial and commercial buildings since the early 1980s,” D’Agostini says. “Our focus used to be on building and selling those buildings, but we now take on any type of commercial or industrial client. We know that the right team is a key to success.” 

Jim Borgiel, president of Liberty Sheet Metal, says the quick turnaround also involved working around G&G’s active operations without getting in their way. Borgiel says they had around 800 man-hours involved in installing the insulated wall panels on this project. 

While not everyone can tackle the complexities of handling design/build work, D’Agostini says they have the experience and know-how to be successful.  

“There can be a lot of risk associated with design/build as you are taking on a project in its entirety — before there is a fully developed plan,” he says. “While it’s not for everyone, we have an extensive network of relationships with subcontractors that have helped make it work.”