Rockport Ready Mix completed a new state-of-the-art concrete manufacturing facility in Cleveland, Ohio which is expected to enable the company to maintain its legacy of innovation and exceed customer expectations. The facility, which opened in June 2011, was designed and built by Presidential Steel Buildings, Ambridge, Pa.
The building was constructed primarily to enable the company to operate during cold-weather months while maintaining high standards of quality control. “Year-round operations were part of our business growth strategy,” said Ann Nock, owner of Rockport Ready Mix. “We had the equipment and expertise. We needed to enclose the concrete-making equipment in a heated building.”
The desire to house both a control office and concrete-making equipment, including an underground materials handling system, in a single building, required a design that fit both form and function. “I needed room for a control area, and I wanted an architectural approach that was distinctive to plant design,” Nock explained.
Edgardo Schmitz, the engineer at Presidential Steel Buildings tasked with fulfilling Nock’s vision, was confronted with several significant design challenges. First, the concrete-making equipment had to be in place before the building could be erected. Second, a 100-foot cement silo had to project through the building’s metal roof.
Flashing the roof to the silo was critical because this area needed to withstand considerable change tolerances, and it had to be sealed tight. The roof, which has slope ratio of 1:12, was fabricated with PBR roof panels formed from 24-gauge Galvalume®-coated steel.
Presidential faced two additional tests: accommodating the conveyor system that brings raw materials into the building, and designing a traffic system that allowed large concrete trucks to enter the building, fill up with cement and exit without incident. In response to these challenges, Schmitz and his colleagues at Presidential Steel Building produced a pre-engineered building that not only ensured system functionality, but incorporated a number of unique green design elements as well. “We were resolved to create more than a ‘steel box,’” Schmitz explained. “Our goal was to create a building that was strong, highly functional, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing.”
The result of Nock’s vision is a 53-foot-tall steel building that contains the control office space she desired, along with 7,500 sq. ft. of operating space. Light-gauge materials from Presidential Steel Buildings’ Mini-Warehouse division were used to design and detail the operations office on a second floor mezzanine, which is located above a truck loading area.
A band of translucent wall lights illuminates the space and saves energy during the day. The building was also made more sustainable by using 26-gauge PBR wall panels featuring Cool Chemistry® coatings by AkzoNobel Coatings. These solar-reflective-pigment coatings reflect solar heat to keep the building cooler and cut energy costs, especially on hot, sunny days in the summer.
Nock also appreciated Presidential Steel Building’s ability to manage the logistical challenges of constructing a new building. Tim Gorske, VP of sales and marketing for Presidential Steel, worked closely with John Sarouh, operations manager at Rockport, to deal with concerns like the scheduling of materials delivery. “The time frame for construction was tight and we were shuffling coordination of the building and the equipment,” said Gorske.
Overall, Nock said she and her team could not be more pleased with their decision to use Presidential Steel Buildings for such a critical and far-reaching project. “From the onset of this project, the focus was on building an operation that would produce the highest quality product with the most efficiency for year-round operation,” said Nock. “This required building a team of suppliers with the expertise and knowledgeable staff eager to work with us from design and development through installation and beyond. Presidential Steel has proven to be a solid team member. They not only met, but exceeded our expectation on this project, developing a partnership on which we continue to rely as we grow.”
The general contractor for the project was Weaver Construction of Leetonia, Ohio. Other product used included Amarr overhead doors; walk doors and windows from PDL Building Products of Cleveland; and blanket insulation from Therm-All of Cleveland. CON-E-CO, Blair, Neb., manufactured the concrete-making equipment supplied by Concrete Machinery Corp., Cedar Falls, IA.
For more information on AkzoNobel Coatings, visit www.akzonobel.com/ccna/.
For more information on Amarr Garage Doors, visit www.amarr.com.
For more information on PDL Building Products, visit www.pdlbuildingproducts.com.
For more information on Therm-All, visit www.therm-all.com.