Primetime news & Events

Primus Project Earns National Award of Merit from the Design-Build Institute of America


Primus is proud to announce it is the recipient of a National Award of Merit in the Industrial, Process and/or Research Facilities category from the Design-Build Institute of America. The honored project is the United States Cold Storage (USCS) Distribution Center in Covington, TN. The project is also a nominee for a National Award of Excellence in the same category.

“To win a National Design-Build Project/Team Award, projects must not only achieve budget and schedule goals, but also demonstrate advanced and innovative application of design-build best practices,” said Lisa Washington, CAE, Executive Director/CEO of DBIA. “This year’s winning projects exemplify Design-Build Done Right in their design-build process, excellence in design, and extraordinary teaming performance.”

Primus provided design-build services on the 336,500 SF frozen food distribution facility. The building is plant-attached to an existing 815,000 SF ice cream production facility operated by Unilever. The two buildings are connected by a -20°F elevated corridor, making it one of the largest ice cream manufacturing plants in the world.


The project brought together elements that are at the forefront of the cold storage industry. These include:

The facility utilizes an inbound product pallet handling system with two automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that move, load and unload pallets by themselves, like robots. The AGVs convey approximately 170 pallets per hour, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The receiving area in the warehouse is equipped with computer controlled 28’ stacker cranes that distribute product to its assigned space.

United States Cold Storage and Unilever have a goal of LEED Silver for this project. Primus is achieving LEED points by implementing a carbon dioxide/ammonia cascade refrigeration system with glycol defrost, LED lighting, renewable and/or recyclable construction materials and native plantings, to name just a few.

“USCS is not one to shy away from trying something new and innovative,” said Michael Lynch, USCS Vice President of Engineering. “Our newest warehouse in Covington is a testament to our company’s innovative culture and this operation has become a flagship facility to showcase many new, state-of-the-art technologies.  We will consider many of these features at other USCS locations in the future.”

20.USCS.Covington.Interior.StairsPrimus President Matthew Hirsch is honored to be recognized. “DBIA has a national reputation for pushing the industry to improve its processes,” he said. “The USCS Covington project team demonstrated its ability to incorporate technology, sustainability and safety while delivering on a fast-track schedule and within budget. It raises the bar for future cold storage facilities industry-wide.”

One project in each of nine categories will be named as a National Award of Excellence winner in an awards ceremony during DBIA’s Design-Build Conference and Expo on November 3rd in Denver, Colorado. In addition, four National Awards of Excellence will be given for Design (one for architecture and one for engineering), Process and Teaming and one project will be honored as Project of the Year.


Let's Get Started