Building a Food Plant on a Short Schedule: 4 Ways to Fast-track Your Construction Project

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Building a Food Plant on a Short Schedule: 4 Ways to Fast-track Your Construction Project

In today’s increasingly fast-paced food and beverage industry, everyone wants their next facility built as soon as possible so it can start shipping product quickly. While hiring an experienced firm to design and build (or renovate) your plant is critical, there are things owners can do to ensure a project moves as efficiently as possible.

Success story: US Cold Storage

Stellar recently designed and built a food distribution facility for US Cold Storage in Laredo, Texas. The project had an aggressive schedule, and as the senior project manager, my job was to ensure we met those deadlines.

Despite a month of unexpected weather delays, we worked creatively and brought in additional crews that worked ten-hour days and six- to seven-day weeks. This allowed us to complete the project in only eight months, just in time to harvest Mexican strawberries.

 

Construction Labor Costs: 4 Ways to Avoid Budget Surprises in 2019

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Photo by Matt Harding, Yuma Sun

Photo by Matt Harding, Yuma Sun

 

As the economy thrives and capital investment grows, the construction market continues to face a labor shortage in 2019. This can especially be a factor when it comes to skilled labor for specialized disciplines, such as refrigeration.

What does this mean for food and beverage companies looking to build or expand? If it’s been a few years since your business has tackled a large capital investment project, you’ll need to manage expectations and plan accordingly. Today’s economy is a different playing field with different challenges.

If you’re planning to invest in a new facility, renovation or expansion, here are four things you can do to avoid budget surprises along the way.

 

Augmented Reality in Building Design and Construction

How we’re using AR technology, HoloLens and more to build the facilities of tomorrow

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Augmented Reality in Building Design and Construction

Image credit: VisualLive‘s AR app, MobiLive

 

Augmented reality (AR) — superimposing computer-generated images on the user’s view of the real world — is increasingly used in a variety of applications today. From smartphone games and social media filters to furniture design and classroom education, this technology is being utilized across virtually every industry, and building design and construction is no exception.

In fact, exciting developments are happening at the intersection of AR and the work we do at Stellar. While it’s been used as a marketing and selling tool, we’re beginning to apply AR on job sites more frequently. It’s safe to say this powerful technology is revolutionizing the way buildings are designed, constructed and renovated.

 

Procore: 4 Ways the Construction Management Software is Benefitting Our Clients

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Procore: 4 Ways the Construction Management Software is Benefitting Our Clients

In today’s fast-paced market, companies are setting more aggressive deadlines for their construction projects and are prioritizing speed to market more than ever before. To keep up with this increasing demand, Stellar adopted the Procore construction management software to streamline our project management processes and communicate even faster.

We’ve been using the software for a couple of years, but we’ve truly realized its tangible benefits in the past several months. The bottom line? A more efficient project translates into time and cost savings for the owner. Here are four ways our clients are benefitting from this new process:

 

7 Ways to Use Drones in Building Design, Construction and Maintenance

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7 Ways to Use Drones in Building Design, Construction and Maintenance

Drone technology is helping redefine the way we design, construct and maintain buildings. Drones do more than just take photos — they can benefit both the builder and owner by improving design accuracy, overall quality and long-term maintenance.

Thanks to software and technology advancements, drones can be used in various stages of a building’s life and can perform several key functions, including:

 

Food Plant Emergency Response: What to Do After a Hurricane

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Food Plant Emergency Response: What to Do After a Hurricane

Hurricane Irma (photo source: ABC News)

 

The state of Florida, the Caribbean and portions of the Southeastern U.S. are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irma this week. The deadly storm brought damaging winds and torrential rain to the entire Sunshine State, including our headquarters in Jacksonville.

We’re now more than halfway through the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, and with more than 11,000 food and beverage manufacturing plants in hurricane-susceptible states on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, it’s critical to plan for the damage a hurricane can bring.

 

18 Design and Construction Acronyms Food Plant Owners Need to Know

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18 Construction Acronyms Owners Need to Know

With all its abbreviations, acronyms and jargon, the AEC industry can feel a lot like alphabet soup. Navigating the industry-speak is important to understanding your projects from start to finish, so we put together a list of some of the most common — and sometimes misused — acronyms to help you out, and make it easy as A-B-C!

 

Should You Invest Time and Resources to Prequalify Food Plant Subcontractors?

Best practices for mitigating risk and protecting your food business

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Prequalifying subcontractors

This is a question we hear food plant owners asking themselves time and time again when embarking on new projects. Do I really need to invest in prequalifying subcontractors? I have relationships with other vendors—why pay someone else to hire subs when I can save money and just pick people myself? There are plenty of reasons that hiring subs must be taken very, very seriously. The wrong decision can result in risks ranging from project delays and unexpected expenses to safety threats. And with food manufacturing facilities in particular, you have the added layer of food safety risks. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re on the fence about investing time and resources into prequalifying food plant subcontractors for your project.

 

Should You Renovate Your Food Plant or Build a New Facility?

5 key considerations to drive your decision

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Should you renovate your existing facility or build a new facility? This question isn’t an easy one to answer and is, of course, dependent on capital expenditure. However, your answer should also be driven by your company’s strategic plan to ensure that your decision aligns with your long-term needs and goals.

 

6 Food Safety Areas to Examine During Operational Facility Improvements

Ensure construction doesn’t put your food manufacturing plant at risk

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6 Key Areas to Maintain Food Safety During Facility Retrofits

Many food plants operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in some capacity. Without proper planning, quality control, good manufacturing practices (GMP) and sanitation procedures, an around-the-clock operation is a high-risk candidate for food safety dangers. In this type of environment, how are essential retrofits and renovations accomplished without compromising daily operations, food safety and personnel safety?