BMW of Westbrook has a fancy new home, courtesy of Ouellet Construction, who worked with Guy Labrecque of CWS Architects and the team at Bill Dodge.
The 28,000-square-foot facility, located in the Bill Dodge Auto Park, includes a showroom and service center that reflect BMW’s exacting design standards and state-of-the-art energy efficiency. The team broke ground in August 2014 and worked steadily through the epic winter of 2014/15, completing the job in July, a month ahead of schedule.
“This is the sixth project that OC has done for the Bill Dodge Auto Group,” said General Manager John Mallia, “and it’s the pièce de résistance. Not only is it an architectural showpiece, but the design reflects our needs—down to the placement of electrical outlets. The OC team thinks from the owner’s perspective. They’re always asking questions about how the space will be used, and working with the design team to make it flow even better for us.”
Per BMW’s design guidelines, the building is clad in an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), similar to stucco. But as Guy Labrecque noted, BMW’s expectations required an extremely high level of craftsmanship and product control throughout the application process. A red flag popped up when the design team visited a Cape Cod BMW dealership that was nearing the end of construction. “The team there had expended twice the amount of time and materials on the EIFS to get the look just right,” said Labrecque. “They were very frustrated; but their trial and error gave us a big heads-up.”
To meet BMW’s standards and overcome weather-related EIFS installation restrictions (it cannot be applied in direct sunlight, rain, or in temperatures exceeding 40°), OC built a 60-foot, mobile enclosure to create the ideal controlled environment in winter.
“The entire team worked hard to troubleshoot the EIFS application process, and in the end it turned out awesome,” Labrecque said, adding, “There was a great deal of effort put into the building’s design, detailing, and construction documentation by all involved, and it paid off. The construction process on this job went very smoothly, EIFS issues and all. It was managed better than many projects I’ve been involved with.”Bill Dodge is getting ready to transform its old Saturn dealership into a new home for Infinity. “I’ve already put a call in to Mike,” said John Mallia. “I wouldn’t trust our building with anyone else.”