The University of Michigan’s (U of M) Ford Motor Co. Robotics Building on the North Campus in Ann Arbor is Ford’s first robotics and mobility research lab on a university campus. Located at the center of the U of M Robotics Institute, the four-story, 134,000 square-foot facility addition brings together both researchers and students in pursuits of advancing the field of robotics. Specialty design areas on-site include a robot playground and an area of the site meant to replicate the surface of Mars, both of which will challenge and test the robots. PEA Group completed the civil engineering and land surveying services for this project.
Engineering services were performed across three separate phases: schematic design, design development, and construction drawings/specs. PEA Group prepared the preliminary review drawings and detailed engineering construction drawings. The site was split between two separate drainage areas, both of which fed into a drainage district that historically had issues for the University. Special attention was given to ensure that the proposed development would not create additional issues for the drainage district through a combination of surface flow, and open channels with check dams for energy dissipation, as well as an oversized pond to provide the maximum volume of storage feasible for the site while protecting as many of the large mature trees present throughout the site.