Everett, Wash.--Thirty miles north of Seattle sits Boeing's immense factory, where it builds 787, 777, 747, and 767 aircraft. At 472.3 million cubic feet (4.3 million square feet or 98.3 acres), it's the largest building by volume in the world.
Boeing first completed the Everett site in 1967, because it had no facility large enough in the Seattle area to build its new 747 jumbo jet. With 25 747 orders from Pan Am on the books, time was short and the building was constructed as the first 747 mock-up was constructed on the factory floor. Boeing had to move 4 million cubic yards of earth to build the plant and construct the steepest standard gauge railway in the Northern Hemisphere. Even at the time of completion, Boeing set records for building size, at 205.6 million cubic feet.
The building is so big that clouds actually formed inside until an air circulation system was installed. Today there's no air conditioning or heating system. Instead, the factory is warmed by the 1 million ceiling lights and cooled (if it ever gets that hot in Everett) by opening the doors.
In 1980 the factory expanded to 298.2 cubic feet for 767 production, and it reached its present size in 1993 when Boeing started building the 777. More than 30,000 people are employed at the factory (working in three shifts around the clock) and about 110,000 people visit each year to take the public tour. Here you can see the factory's giant doors, which feature the largest digital graphics mural in the world (more than 100,00 square feet).