October 21, 2020 / By Brian Taylor, VP - Business Development

Double Floor Space Without Expanding Footprint

When a global manufacturer of industrial adhesives, sealants, and coatings began to experience growing pains at its North American headquarters, it didn’t need to look far for a solution. A nearly 38,000 sq. ft. vacant manufacturing facility was located right next door.

In almost every respect, the facility was exactly what the manufacturer needed. It had an open footprint, offering flexibility for build-out. A mezzanine provided space for offices. And the location was ideal. Expanding its operations to the adjacent facility would enable the landlocked company to create a campus, rather than spread its operations out across the city. The problem? It was too small for the company’s long-term needs.

The company acquired the facility anyway with an unconventional approach in mind. Rather than expand out, the company wanted to build up. It proposed adding a second mezzanine to double its manufacturing floor space.

A mezzanine with muscle
We assembled a multidisciplinary project team early on to deliver on the client’s vision. Recognizing that the mezzanine would need to support extremely heavy industrial equipment, our team designed a nearly 18,000 square foot mezzanine with a load rating of 250 pounds per square foot. For contrast, a mezzanine for light manufacturing is typically designed to withstand 125 pounds per square foot; office space is typically rated for up to 80 pounds per square foot.

To accomplish this feat, we designed a steel beam and column structure that could fit within the existing facility—essentially, a structure within a structure. This approach saved both time and money that would otherwise be required to retrofit the facility. To support the added weight, we reinforced the existing floor slab in strategic locations with more than two feet of concrete.

A full-team commitment to results
Constant collaboration is key to the success of any project. But working with a global team to deliver an unconventional solution on a tight timeline made trust and open communication essential.

“The team we worked with was based in Japan, so we couldn’t just schedule a quick meeting on site to review plans,” said Jim Gilbert, Project Manager, Miller-Valentine. “We took great strides to make sure we had a shared understanding of their vision and their desired floorplan and how we could make that work within the existing space.”

To meet the aggressive schedule, our team began renovation work as the project design was being finalized. Team members were often called on to put their heads together to solve last-minute revisions to the plans when they found the existing structure didn’t match the as-builts.

In addition, the manufacturer uses hazardous chemicals, which required specialized wall and floor panels that could satisfy stricter codes. To mitigate risk for the customer, we met early and often with the city and fire inspectors and sought guidance from the International Code Council. These upfront efforts ensured the plans were done right the first time.

Assembling the right resources for project success
Completed in April of 2020, the renovated facility includes office space, a locker room, a clean room for research and development, and manufacturing space. The finished product is a uniquely designed and constructed facility that attests to the strength of the design/build approach.

Every project has unique nuances and challenges. As a trusted guide, it’s our job to ask the right questions and assemble the best team to remove barriers and bring our customers’ vision to life. Creative solutions and a steadfast commitment to deliver on what we promise are at the heart of every Miller-Valentine Construction project.

Ready to find innovative solutions to your space needs? Contact us today at (803) 798-3800 to get started.