Oct 18, 2018
It’s an exciting and interesting time for both the food manufacturing and construction industries. Thanks to recent tax reform, a healthy economy and other factors, capital spending is up, and the industrial/commercial construction industry is bigger than it has been in decades. This trend is expected to continue, with U.S. construction projected to grow by 4.5 percent over the next several years.
While many would agree that this is a positive, it can also present challenges for food and beverage companies looking to build new facilities or renovate existing ones. Today’s booming construction market means things move fast and contractors can be more selective.
So how can you ensure you get the best price when seeking out a firm for your next project?
3 takeaways from the Food Marketing Institute’s new market study
Oct 4, 2018
Business owners are increasingly discovering the benefits of working with design-build firms, according to a comprehensive new study on the design-build market released by Food Marketing Institute (FMI). The study found design-build now makes up almost half of all construction projects nationwide, and market share is expected to keep growing over the next three years.
Research showed design-build use has not only expanded across all sectors and regions of the U.S., but owners who used this project delivery method were more satisfied with their experience compared to other methods due to advantages like innovation and quick speed to market.
Here are the key takeaways from FMI’s study on the design-build market now and where it’s headed in the next few years.
May 10, 2018
It seems like only yesterday that we were discussing the launch of LEED v4 and its emphasis on energy and water conservation (OK, that second post was just two months ago). That new iteration of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) certification for sustainable construction was a significant leap forward from previous versions. The USGBC will now only accept LEED registrations under LEED v4.
Back in November, however, the USGBC announced it was fast-tracking the development of yet another update called LEED v4.1. At the Greenbuild Boston conference, it promised that the new standard will be “improved and agile” ensuring that the USGBC will “deliver on the vision of green buildings for all.”
Since LEED v4.1 is now in the pilot stage and available for jobs, I thought I’d take a look at the new certification standard and what it means for those in the food manufacturing sector. In particular, I want to focus on LEED v4.1’s emphasis on using the USGBC Arc platform and data analysis to drive improvements in sustainability.
Apr 12, 2018
Are you looking to expand your facility? Retrofit an existing structure? Renovate an older plant? Today’s technology makes these projects more efficient and more accurate than ever before.
3D laser scanning — and an AEC firm that knows how to leverage it effectively — are must-haves for modern-day food plant projects.
Apr 5, 2018
If you’re building a new facility, upwards of 50 people could be working on its design model at the same time. From electrical and mechanical engineers to architects and refrigeration specialists, it takes a team of experts from multiple disciplines to design a building and bring it to life.
So how do you know if your AEC firm is building your facility’s design model efficiently? If they’re not using smart technology, your project timeline could be longer than it has to be.
What updated OSHA standards mean for your facility’s roof and how to protect maintenance workers on your property
Feb 15, 2018
There’s a prevalent double standard when it comes to food facility safety management. Think about the measures taken when a visitor enters a food plant production area: You have to dress out, walk through a foot bath, take off jewelry, wear a smock. All of these precautions are designed to keep your product safe — but what about your maintenance crew?
It’s not uncommon to see safety standards and attention to cleanliness become more relaxed in maintenance areas or on the roof of a food plant. Food safety precautions get a lot of attention because owners (rightfully) fear product contamination and highly publicized recalls, but what about the risks outside your building? One maintenance or construction accident can do just as much damage in negative publicity and lawsuits as a product recall.
Dec 7, 2017
Virtual walkthroughs with VR headsets
Virtual reality (VR) is changing the game when it comes to designing facilities for the food and beverage industry. With a VR headset, you can “walk through” your new building during the design phase, months before the first brick is laid.
Rather than examining a 2D design on a sheet of paper, 3D modeling coupled with virtual reality technology can bring a building to life without having to interpret complicated designs.
Oct 5, 2017
If you’re considering sites for a new facility, you may come across listings for speculative (“spec”) buildings. Developers often construct these basic, pre-engineered buildings in anticipation of a future tenant, and they can be attractive for owners looking for a new space.
What’s the catch? Spec buildings may seem like a convenient and cost-effective option, but not all tenant needs are the same, especially when it comes to food and beverage manufacturing. In fact, investing in a new spec building may end up costing you more in the long run than if you were to just construct a custom facility from scratch.
Aug 31, 2017
When it comes to constructing a new food or beverage facility, there is no one delivery method that works best for all projects. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Design-build can be fast and efficient because construction begins while the design phase is still underway, but completing the entire design before any ground is broken can give you greater insight to anticipated final costs. How do you choose? Check out our infographic to help narrow down your decision:
Aug 17, 2017
Any time you transport product from one stage of processing to another, you introduce the possibility of food safety risks. There are a variety of ways to move your product from receiving to packaging, but how do you minimize the opportunity for outside contamination during the steps between?
Hydrovey systems are a popular option, particularly in facilities that produce canned goods. This semi-closed-loop system transports product through piping using a stream of water and can be a safer alternative to conveyor belts. I’ve designed hydrovey systems and have seen them used in the production of several food products, including fruit, corn and beans.