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Driving elegance

image The exterior windows of the Mercedes-Benz dealership allows customers a view of the cars.

HOUSTON - As you drive down any freeway in Houston, you will see a variety of car dealerships. What makes the Mercedes- Benz of West Houston dealership different is the amount of class and eye-catching architecture.





    Wier Construction was the general contractor for the project. Steve Wier founded the company in 1991 after working almost a decade in the commercial construction industry. A motto at the company is “a handshake is all it takes” to get a project done, meaning responsibility and integrity are alive and well at Wier Enterprises.
    The Wier Construction team, which included David Ruiz as the project manager and superintendents Tom Hilbun and Barry Blum, were in charge of providing “Sewell Automotive with a full-service automotive facility for the Mercedes brand,” explains Tim McLean who is a senior project manager for Wier Construction.
    The $30 million, 195,000sf facility includes sales, service, collision, and inventory all under one roof and was completed in one year. McLean says, “The site chosen included an existing and abandoned building that once housed a SAM’s Wholesale store. The program by Gensler Architects called for this building to be re-modeled into a facility to house the service/parts department, climatized inventory room, and collision center.” 
    The showroom and sales department are new construction, which was built in the existing parking lot for the former store. “This new construction adjoined the remodel, yet was the architecture’s chance to set apart and marquee the Mercedes design standards as the
focal point and main entrance to the
facility,” expounds McLean.
    He goes on to say, “As with any construction project, there were weather challenges, especially trying to get a
16-acre site installed with an underground detention system and some soil remediation. Another specific challenge was introducing 14ft tall by 20ft wide Rytec high-speed doors into the existing CMU exterior walls for the SAM’s building. This installation required special shoring and introducing a new steel frame support before re-framing the openings and installing the doors.”
    McLean says this project was unique because the team was able to create an LEED certified project by merging an old facility together with new construction.
    “The interior and exterior build-out incorporated the use of AESS Steel, architecturally exposed structural steel painted with performance coatings. Cold rolled metal framing, dens glass, ACM panels, EFIS, 12in CMU, and glazed aluminum curtain walls make up the majority of the exterior along with a thermos plastic polyolefin rook incorporated with specified edge flashings and copings to meet an ES-1 rating for wind and pressure,” McLean describes. 
    Upon entering the showroom, customers will notice the stainless steel doors and frames, quartz agglomerate countertops, wall coverings, Pantheon tiles, clinker tile, and Rytec high-speed doors. Because of the Texas heat and humidity, 973 rooftop tons of A/C were installed.
    “Everyone performed like the new Mercedes/AMG Project One – dynamic,” boasts McLean. The lead architect, Eric Summers-Perry, and Carl Sewell’s right hand man and owner representative, John O’Connor were invaluable sources of information. Their knowledge, combined with that of the Wier team, made the entire project a great success.”
    Weir Construction is a general contracting company located in Houston that specializes in the automotive and medical fields. – te

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Author Info
Tanya Erickson houstoneditor@constructionnews.net