Clear skies and warm weather were the backdrop for the grand opening of United States Cold Storage’s (USCS) newest warehouse in Covington, Tennessee. Representatives from USCS, Unilver and local government were on hand to celebrate the firm’s most technologically advanced and sustainable cold storage building.
And there was much to celebrate! Primus provided design and construction services on the project. Here are just a few of its highlights:
- The 336,500 SF dedicated frozen food distribution facility is plant-attached to Unilever’s existing 815,000 SF ice cream production facility by a -20° elevated corridor. Combined, it is the largest ice cream manufacturing plant in the world.
- It features automated components including AGVs and stacker cranes that improve productivity and reduce risk.
- The project is seeking LEED Silver certification, a first for USCS.
- Building Information Modeling was incorporated from project kick-off to improve owner communication and ensure the fast-track schedule.
- It is the winner of a Design-Build Institute National Award of Merit and was named Engineering News Record’s Best Project – Manufacturing in the Southeast.
General manager of the warehouse, USCS’s Phil Coles, served as master of ceremonies. He was quick to praise the efforts of Primus President Matt Hirsch, President of Design Services Michael Jones and Project Manager CK Morehead.
First to speak was USCS President & CEO Dave Harlan. Harlan sees the Covington facility as a blueprint for projects to come. “It features many state-of-the-art technologies that we will incorporate on future warehouses,” he said. Mr. Harlan also praised Hirsch, Jones and Morehead for their dedication to the project.
Unilever Vice President, Supply Chain Wendy Herrick applauded the facility’s sustainable components. “This facility uses 30% less energy than other warehouses,” she said. “It uses 40% less water. And by putting this distribution center next to our plant, we have taken 6,000 trucks off the road.”
State Senator Mark Norris was grateful for the investment in his state. “Thank God for Unilever. Thank God for United States Cold Storage,” he said. Norris also detailed how the two facilities are closing the skills gap among the workforce in Western Tennessee.
City of Covington Mayor Justin Hanson referred to the new facility as the last jewel in the “Trifecta of Sweetness” alluding to the ice cream production at Unilever and the sugar production at CSC Sugar right next door. “We appreciate your investment and we look forward to bigger and better things to come,” he said.
Representatives gathered on the steps for the official ribbon cutting. Afterwards, tours were given to event participants.
“We are truly honored to have been a part of this project,” said Primus President Matt Hirsch. “We consider United States Cold Storage a true partner, and we look forward to our next project together in Warsaw, North Carolina.”