• Albert Kahn Associates

Ford Driving Dynamics Lab Wins ESD Award

With great honor, we are thrilled to announce that Ford Motor Company’s Driving Dynamics Lab won this year’s Engineering Society of Detroit Construction & Design Award.



One of the project’s test facilities was even chosen for the cover of the Fall Issue of the ESD’s magazine! Follow this link to read the article on pages 32 and 33 in TechCentury.


While it certainly was a year full of unexpected obstacles as the publication points out, this year’s winners “weathered the challenges with creativity, modern technology and stellar engineering teamwork.” We are proud to have this project acknowledged.


A special thank you to our extended project team: Ford Motor Company and FordLand; Walbridge; Mannik Smith Group; Wade Trim; GHD; Ricca Design Studios; Horizon Engineering; Testing, Engineers and Consultants; ABB-Dynamotive Ltd.; FAIST; Mason Industries, Inc.


Interested in learning more about this state-of-the-art facility? Check out a few highlights:

  • Flexibility was a key part of the design philosophy. Open workspaces and conference rooms can be reconfigured to accommodate various groups and working styles. And an open simulation laboratory and hybrid testing chamber are designed to accommodate current and future vehicle technologies.

  • Previously, outdoor recreation space was nonexistent on the site, as buildings were sandwiched between parking lots and the test track. The team found smart ways to incorporate terraces and a rooftop patio to create space for employees.

  • A large employee café opens up to a view of the test track below with a variety of specialized food stations that give employees multiple options for lunch. They can then take their meals to a high-top bar overlooking the track, a comfortable sofa or lounge chair, or a series of tables to sit with colleagues.

  • The design respects the history of Ford and the site, which was once home to Ford’s airport. Salvaged elements such as “Sharky,” the former nose cone and blades from the wind tunnel, recall this legacy and link Ford’s progress on this very site over the last 90+ years.

  • The Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) facility is the most advanced acoustic testing facility Ford has constructed to date, featuring a Hybrid Test Chamber, and allows them to set the industry benchmark for vehicle NVH.

  • The engineering phase was fast-tracked to meet an aggressive deadline. Meaning, design and engineering teams had to pull tasks out of the traditional sequencing to accommodate long lead times on equipment and keep the project running.



Awards from our peers mean a lot, but it's the positive feedback from building users that is the most meaningful for our teams.

One supervisor said, “The open office has increased the communication among team members and made it easier for us to function as a coherent team. The many ad-hoc conversations that happen throughout the day provide a valuable means to absorb knowledge from other’s experiences. Additionally, I’ve found it very convenient to have some of our counterparts in Vehicle Dynamics and NVH so close. It has encouraged cross-functional learning.”

Contact us to learn more about this innovative building: Kahn@akahn.com.


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