CAPE Analytics Data Reveals America’s Top 10 Largest Buildings by Roof Size
Most people can name at least a few of the tallest buildings in the US with ease. But what about the largest by surface area?
CAPE Analytics recently leveraged its geospatial imagery and computer vision technology to identify the top 10 largest buildings in the US using solely rooftop size as a proxy for overall physical footprint. To ensure the most precise analysis, we excluded structures that might otherwise distort the rankings.
While many of the nation’s largest properties contain several very large buildings connected by walkways, for instance, our analysis focuses exclusively on single, discreet rooftops. Case in point: When assessing the UPS Worldport facility in Louisville, Kentucky (#6 in our ranking), our model includes only the larger, terminal-like building’s roof—it does not include its walkway-connected structures to the south.
With the exception of this shipping and logistics giant, it’s worth noting that the list is, perhaps unsurprisingly, made up entirely of manufacturing plants. Regardless of function, these mammoth marvels are in a class all their own:
Largest Buildings by Roof Size
#10: Daikin Texas Technology Park
Roof area in sq. ft: 3.9 million
First opened in May 2017 near Houston, Texas, the 497-acre, $417-million Daikin Goodman Texas Technology Park is the consolidated manufacturing, logistics, sales, and engineering center for heating and air conditioning products built and sold under the Goodman, Amana, and Daikin brand names.
#9: Tesla Gigafactory Texas
Roof area in sq. ft: 4.2 million
Gigafactory Texas is an automotive manufacturing facility built by Tesla, Inc., beginning in 2020. In August 2021, the first fully-completed Tesla Model Y rolled off the production line here. And by March 2023, the facility took delivery of its second, 9,000-ton IDRA Giga Press (the largest such presses of their kind), for producing the body for Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck electric pickup truck. Spanning 2,500 acres and 10 million square feet of factory floor, Gigafactory Texas is set to grow even larger. The Austin Business Journal reports Tesla has filed plans to pour $717 million into constructing 1.4 million additional square feet of space across four new buildings at 1 Tesla Road.
#8: General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly Plant
Roof area in sq. ft: 4.2 million
Opened in 1986, this massive GM plant produces light-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks—and includes at least two body shops, a paint shop, and general assembly and sequencing centers. It’s also the focus of $55.5 million in new investment to support the company’s goal to dominate the truck and SUV markets.
#7: Boeing Everett Factory
Roof area in sq. ft.: 4.44 million
Boeing’s assembly site for a selection of the company’s largest aircraft was built in 1967, specifically for construction of the Boeing 747. According to Wikipedia, the site is located at the northeast corner of Paine Field and this building is considered largest building in the world by volume at 472,370,319 cubic feet. Because airplanes are big.
#6: UPS Worldport
Roof area in sq. ft.: 4.5 million
Located within the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, the UPS Worldport is the worldwide air hub for 114-year-old shipping and logistics giant United Parcel Service. More than 416,000 packages are processed through this center every hour, making Louisville the fourth-busiest cargo airport in the world, and second-busiest in the US.
#5: General Motors Spring Hill Manufacturing Plant
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Roof area in sq. ft.: 5.2 million
When opened in 1990, Spring Hill operated as the sole manufacturing facility for the Saturn line of automobiles—which it was until the brand was discontinued in 2004. In 2010, GM invested $2 billion to retool the plant for the Chevrolet Equinox and other vehicles of similar size. And last October, the company announced another $2 billion investment in the plant as part of what it hopes will be its “Second Revolution” building electric vehicles—including the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq. There’s plenty of room to do so, including 7.9 million square feet of manufacturing space across 2,000 acres.
#4: General Motors Arlington Assembly Plant
Roof area in sq. ft.: 5.2 million
Sometimes called the GM Arlington Manufacturing Complex, this facility sits on 250 acres was first operationalized in 1954. More than 1,200 vehicles are produced each day at this plant—including its massively profitable Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade lines.
#3: Nissan Smyrna Assembly Plant
Roof area in sq. ft.: 5.5 million
Nissan makes it a point to highlight that it sold its first automobile in the US back in 1958, and began manufacturing them at this truly colossal plant in 1983. The facility in total includes 6 million square feet of manufacturing space across 884 acres. More than 640,000 vehicles are built here annually, including the Nissan Leaf and the Infinity QX60.
#2: Arconic Davenport Works Shipping & Receiving
Roof area in sq. ft.: 6.4 million
This expansive, 400-acre facility produces lightweight metals for companies in a dizzying array of industries, including automotive, aerospace, building and construction, and more. With 6.5 million square feet of floor space, the plant is able to produce metals and materials that can’t be produced anywhere else in the world.
#1: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky
Roof area in sq. ft.: 7.1 million
Some may be surprised to learn that the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky’s $8.5 billion, 1,300-acre facility is the Japanese automaker’s largest vehicle manufacturing plant anywhere in the world, capable of producing 550,000 vehicles and more than 600,000 engines annually. Today, it is home to the company’s Camry Hybrid, RAV4 Hybrid, Lexus ES 350 and ES 300H lines, among others. And with more than 9 million sq.-ft of manufacturing space (roughly 157 football fields under roof), the plant is also set to become the cornerstone of Toyota’s US-based EV manufacturing operations by 2025, producing more than 200,000 EVs by 2026.
Roof Talk: As Above, So Below
As mentioned, this particular study compared geospatial rooftop data to get a sense of a building’s total ground surface area. There are other ways to slice and dice the data, and there are excellent engineering assessments on what it takes to actually build some of the country’s largest roofs.
At CAPE, our data is used by companies in industries such as insurance, real estate, and capital markets, to gain an instant, accurate understanding of roof conditions and other property conditions and characteristics on more than 110 million structures in the US. This includes roof type, number of facets, square footage, roof complexity, yard debris, vegetation coverage, and other characteristics that can be used to, among other things, assess the value or risk associated with the underlying property.
By leveraging advanced technologies, this intelligence is leveraged by companies and investors to make smarter financial decisions. Other reports, for instance, included analysis that identified a 533% surge in new backyard swimming pools during the pandemic—a factor impacting residential valuation and risk that’s captured with a level of up-to-the-minute accuracy not available anywhere else.
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