Unilever is one of the world’s largest producers of packaged consumer goods. To meet the growing demands of consumers in the Southeast, Unilever expanded its ice cream manufacturing and distribution facility in Covington, Tennessee. United States Cold Storage, the operator of the distribution expansion, selected Primus to provide design-build services on the 336,500 SF dedicated frozen food distribution facility located adjacent to the existing 815,000 SF production facility. Combined, the complex is one of the largest ice cream manufacturing plants in the world.
The new distribution facility is “plant attached,” meaning it is connected to the existing production facility by a -20°F elevated corridor. Product makes its way from the production facility to a 35°F – 40°F pallet delivery space and then down the elevated corridor to the -20° freezer warehouse. The receiving area in the warehouse is equipped with computer controlled stacker cranes that distribute product to its assigned space in the warehouse.
The new building features 34 dock doors with vertical dock position, one with regular dock position and two with compactor dock positions.
Unilever is firmly committed to conducting business as a good steward of the environment. This is evidenced by the implementation of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), a program that reduces Unilever’s environmental impact while increasing its positive social impact. The original goal for this project was LEED Silver. By closely collaborating with United States Cold Storage and Unilever, Primus achieved LEED Gold.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) was incorporated at project kick off and utilized through construction to improve coordination and maintain the project schedule. Implementing BIM allowed the team to identify potential clashes during design and offer solutions before construction began. This was crucial for achieving the project’s fast-track schedule.
The project earned numerous awards including:
DBIA National Award of Excellence, Industrial Project
DBIA National Award of Merit, Industrial Project
DBIA Southeast Best Project, Industrial Sector
DBIA Southeast Honor Award, Private Sector Project Over $15 Million
ENR Southeast Best Project – Manufacturing
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