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Posted on Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 5:56 a.m.

Honda prepares to double Ann Arbor emissions lab size

By Ben Freed


Honda's emission's lab is located in a research park off of South State Street that also houses research and development centers for Mercedes Benz and Subaru.

Ben Freed |

The Honda Emissions Lab located on Research Park Drive just south of I-94 is getting ready to undergo an expansion that will more than double the lab in size.

The two-story 19,000-square-foot lab sits on 2.72 acres. The planned expansion will add about 24,116 square feet of workspace to the building.

The addition will house a new chassis dynamometer as well as storage space for test vehicles and other support equipment.

Dynamometers are used to measure the amount of power or torque generated by a machine. During emissions testing — which are mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency- — dynamometers are used to simulate road conditions for the powertrain system.

“The project should move according to our regular timeframe because it doesn’t appear to have anything controversial or have any undue impact on surrounding areas,” Ann Arbor City Planner Matt Kowalksi said.

“There are no significant natural features right in that area and no neighborhood, the property and it’s surroundings are already very commercial. It fits the standards really well so I don’t anticipate any holdup.”

Kowalksi said the plans likely will come up before the planning commission in late August or early September and if approved would be seen by the city council by the end of October.

In addition to the new lab space, Kowalksi said Honda will be bringing the site up to city code by adding a new underground stormwater detention system.

“It’s not something they’re doing just because they feel like it, but it is a major improvement to the property,” he said.

The lab is one of 43 major facilities Honda operates in the United States. Honda’s only other emission’s testing facility in America is located in Denver, Colo.

Ann Arbor and the surrounding townships are home to a number of research, development and testing centers for both domestic and foreign automotive companies.

Toyota has been shifting more development responsibility to its engineering centers in York and Ann Arbor townships and the North American CEO of the company recently moved to the area. Hyundai-Kia is finishing a $15 million expansion on its technical center in Superior Township.

It is unclear at this time how much the expansion to Honda’s facilities will cost the company. The Japanese automaker has contracted with Poggemeyer Design Group based in Bowling Green, Ohio for the design and engineering work associated with the addition.

Representatives from Honda could not be reached for comment on this story.

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Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Widow Wadman

Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 11:27 p.m.

I believe it is a stormwater retention system.


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Good to hear, time to get my resume redone.


Mon, Jul 8, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.