Constructing Tomorrow’s EV Gigafactories

Commentary Contributed by Joseph Windover, Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings, and Blake Hodess, Hodess Cleanroom Construction

May 14, 2024 | As the world embraces the hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) revolution, the need for gigafactories— massive facilities producing batteries—will continue to surge. The construction of EV battery facilities presents unique challenges and risks that must be carefully managed. From the intricate chemical makeup of batteries to the potential dangers of thermal runaway, safety protocols are paramount. Considerations like the implementation of clean and dry rooms, use of fire protective steel coatings and installation of chemically resistant resinous flooring systems are essential to maintain the integrity of battery production.

Our expertise on pre-construction projects for several U.S. battery facilities has highlighted the need to incorporate specific international and national safety standards, such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards for battery testing and safety and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for workplace safety. We believe an informed and all-inclusive approach can further ensure the comprehensive protection of workers and facilities.

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