When the Dairy Farmers of America set out to build a new milk processing plant in Garden City, Kansas, one of its main goals was sustainability.
It certainly succeeded, as the new facility earned the title of 2018 Sustainable Plant of the Year by Food Engineering magazine for its efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.
The new Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) plant receives 4 million pounds of raw milk each day from 12 member farms in Kansas and turns it into 500,000 pounds of dry milk powder. It is the largest facility of its kind in the world and operates 24 hours a
day. The national cooperative built the new plant to meet the growing demand for powdered milk from both the domestic and international markets.
The first step in the sustainability mission was its location. Siting the plant in close proximity to the local farmers it serves reduces the miles and time that trucks spend on the road, as well as conserving fuel and other resources.
Water conservation was another sustainability tactic. The plant’s wastewater treatment facility was designed to utilize all the water extracted from the milk during processing, so it is used to clean tanks as well as serve as a non-potable water
source for Garden City.
Another element in the sustainability effort was incorporating insulated metal panels (IMPs). The 267,000 square foot facility, designed and built by Shambaugh & Son, utilizes more than
344,000 square feet of Kingspan insulated metal panels.
Kingspan panels contribute to DFA’s mission of sustainability in several ways.
First, insulated metal panels are intended for a 30-40-year lifespan and designed for reuse after that. Kingspan panels are 17 percent recycled (by weight) pre-consumer, and 14 percent recycled post-consumer. The steel is always recycled, and the foam
can be repurposed, both pre- and post-consumer.
Kingspan panels reduce thermal bridging by providing continuous insulation, which helps cut energy consumption by dramatically reducing heating or cooling loss. Kingspan IMPs can be used as walls and/or ceilings, and their high R-value is especially important
in cold storage and food processing facilities like the DFA plant. IMPs also serve as both an air and water vapor barrier, so they replace multiple products in a building.
The exterior of the DFA plant utilizes Kingspan KS Shadowline Wall Panels, which are designed to offer the highest R-value for controlled environment and cold storage needs. The panels meet USDA guidelines and the standard finish is White Siliconized
Modified Polyester, which makes it an ideal choice for food processing environments.
KS Shadowline panels are GREENGUARD Gold certified, so they have third-party verification that verifies they are not harmful to building occupants and do not adversely impact indoor environment quality. They are available with QuadCore™ Technology,
Kingspan’s next generation self-blended hybrid insulation core.
In addition to sustainability, speed was also a factor in designing the plant. Crews can now unload a tanker truck, clean it, test the milk and send the truck back out – all in just over an hour.
Click here to watch a video on the Dairy Farmers of America’s new Garden City, Kansas facility.