When the leadership of the field research company HALDRUP GmbH of Ilshofen, Germany decided to break into the North American agriculture market, it was an important step in the company’s history. The plant, which was completed in February 2016 at a cost of $2 million, was planned as the center of United States operations, but it is also intended to be the launching pad for sales and service in Canada, Mexico and eventually all of the Western Hemisphere.
HALDRUP manufactures specialized farm equipment – combines and planters – that are smaller in size to meet the needs of agricultural research firms, seed breeders, universities and testing companies. Finding the appropriate location would be critical for establishing a foothold in the U.S., the world’s largest food producer, and the company began to explore possible sites for its North American operations center.
The Demand For A Metal Building
A project like this – a 27,000 square-foot facility comprised of 11,000 square feet of offices, support space, and light storage and a 16,000 square-foot manufacturing floor – attracts the attention of many state officials because of the investment and jobs promised to the local community.
HALDRUP knew it would be welcomed with open arms by local governments as it looked for possible locations. But when it came to the specifics of the building, the company had one requirement: It had to be a metal building constructed with “sandwich-style” insulated panels.
“One of the owners of HALDRUP, Rudiger Hofmann, is a civil engineer,” explained Tamra Boucher, Managing Director for HALDRUP USA. “He owns a company in Germany that does custom facades, and when it comes to design and installation of metal buildings he was very familiar with their construction. He prefers insulated metal panels for environmental reasons, energy efficiency, and aesthetics.
“Another issue was just as important,” added Boucher – speed of construction. “The company wanted to get the building opened and operational quickly. Metal panels make that possible.”
In Europe, metal buildings comprise just over one third of modern construction projects, compared to less than 5 percent in the U.S. Due to their high energy efficiency, low environmental footprint and their friendly construction costs, metal buildings with insulated metal panels are much more appealing in Europe where energy costs tend to be much higher. HALDRUP brought that thinking to this crucial U.S. project.
State development officials from Kansas and Iowa had met the HALDRUP personnel, and sites in those states were considered. Then the Indiana Economic Development Corporation reached out to HALDRUP. Its proposal pointed to the state’s inviting business environment and offered a compelling incentives package. Members of the search team viewed several sites and terms were worked out. HALDRUP and the IEDC announced in October 2014 that a site in Ossian, Indiana, south of Fort Wayne, would be the company’s home in the U.S.
There would be no architect because HALDRUP brought over plans of its headquarters in Germany, thus it was copying its international headquarters for this part of its global operations. HALDRUP chose American Buildings Company of Eufaula, Alabama as manufacturer, and James S. Jackson of Bluffton, Indiana served as General Contractor.
American Buildings is a stand-alone subsidiary of Nucor Corporation, the largest steel producer in the U.S., which is recognized as one of the country’s best companies. This arrangement gives American Buildings the autonomy to pick its construction components, and insulated wall and roof panels from All Weather Insulated Panels of Vacaville, California (AWIP) rank high on the list.
For the outside walls on this project, American Buildings and HALDRUP chose AWIP’s ST40 insulated metal panel. The ST40 – “ST” stands for striated – is a four-inch-thick panel with a width of 40 inches and an AW1000 PVDF/Kyner finish was ordered. It was manufactured at AWIP’s plant in Little Rock, Arkansas. The panels’ high R value met the company’s demands for energy efficiency, as did the modern, sleek look of the striated finish.
A Sharp, Clean Look
Boucher pointed to the striking appearance of the office building. This two-story structure has a band of windows wrapping the building on its second floor. The AWIP ST40 panels below the windows are aligned vertically, those above the windows horizontally, creating a dynamic contrast in the building’s appearance.
“It’s a really sharp, clean look,” she said. “It’s a duplicate of the first section of our building in Germany. It is designed for growth, and it is something we’ll be proud of for years to come.”
To learn more about metal building systems from American Buildings Co., click here.