Tesla Giga Berlin: Steel, Dust, & Concrete

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Tesla Giga Berlin, like a seed sprouting, now has steel, dust, and concrete. These three items may not seem like much, but these are the tendrils of a new seed of success planted in Germany, one that is taking root.

In a beautiful drone video, YouTuber JetFox shares an aerial view of the foundations being laid for Tesla’s fourth gigafactory, its third automotive gigafactory. The music in the video is great. Also, the bass boomed beautifully through my speakers. My neighbors came over and wanted to know what I was listening to.

As the camera panned to a contrasting view of the construction site and the forest kissing the sky along the horizon, a caption read, “In the last days a number of trucks, excavators, and dozers are restless.” The video also gets great footage of the gravel delivery as well as the steel and concrete.

A user in a Tesla Motors Club forum thread (c041v) had some informed feedback about the video. (“Credentials: I have all these toys on my site, but we’re building a different widget.”) This person noted that the spread footings on the mud slabs are made of low-strength, unreinforced concrete that will produce a level, dry, and firm surface for the actual footing. Going on: “The footings appear to have significant starter column reinforcement in the center, which means either a really tall column or something really heavy is going on top. The blue and grey parts on the trucks appear to be formwork for the footings.

“There’s some sort of Geosynthetic going down (white stuff) that is getting buried again, which is probably being used to improve the subgrade strength. I would suspect a raft slab type foundation will be used for the portions of the factory that don’t need the shear resistance that the footings are being used for. Pretty common solution for this type of building.

“Not seeing any evidence of pipe or H pile on site, I doubt there will be any for this factory as it would be well underway by now with everything cleared and graded. I also don’t see any piling rigs sitting around.

“The major difference between here and Shanghai is the number of concurrent operations. Local aggregate supply seems to be an issue (it is being trained in) and I assume the local concrete plant also trains in their aggregate as there are concrete trucks driving to the site and no localized batch plant.”

Get all that?

This buildout is probably more comparable to GF1 and will likely take shape in a very similar fashion. If I recall, GF1 excavated their footings, which is handy as you don’t need to form them if the soil is competent enough not to slough, but it looks like a lot of sand here, so no such luck.

This person thinks that the buildout process is more comparable to Gigafactory 1’s in Nevada than Gigafactory 3’s in Shanghai, China. It will likely be similarly shaped, he or she assumes.

For more details, check out the fun video and perhaps follow the TMC forum thread following c041v’s detailed comment.

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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

Johnna Crider has 1996 posts and counting. See all posts by Johnna Crider