Founded in 2002, the Templeton Rye Distillery was the resurrection of a famous brand of Prohibition-era bootleg whiskey that was distilled by the residents of the rural community of Templeton, IA during the 1920’s. This time as a legitimate business, Templeton put their first batch into bottles in 2006. Awards and popular acceptance followed, and the business has expanded rapidly, achieving national distribution in 2013.
With demand high, Templeton decided to build a new distillation facility in 2017. Designed by Simonson & Associates Architects of Des Moines, IA, three Star Building Systems Builders were involved with the project. Edge Commercial of Grimes, IA, served as the general contractor, with Ace Construction of Grimes, IA setting the structural steel, and Iron Steel Co. of Richland, NE setting the wall and roof panels. A complex facility with multiple functions, including the fermentation area, grain milling, storage area, bottling line, and warehouse, the project eventually called for seven metal building systems joining together to fulfill the architect’s intent and the owner’s needs.
The design process was unusual. “Before they did anything else,” recalled Jason Ceretti of Edge Commercial, “they brought on board the distillery contractor who was going to design and set up all the equipment needed to make the product. Meanwhile, the architect was making pictures of what they thought it should look like. The owner didn’t know what design parameters they needed to construct a building like this in the state of Iowa and the rural setting they have.”
Edge was able to leverage the power of the Star Buildings network, getting advice from others who had experience in distillery construction to help define the problems and solutions. “We were able to collaborate on lessons learned, and implement some of the technology that was used, such as insulated metal panels (IMPs) instead of a conventional insulation system.”
The drama of the architect’s vision for structure, with its tall central "tower" section that houses the distillation equipment itself and lower rooflines spreading around it, brought about the use of multiple metal building systems. “When we’re were asked to look at the project and budget it,” explained Ceretti, “the only information we had was an artist’s rendering of what they wanted it to look like. That’s where the use of a metal building was very convenient. It sped up the design process greatly.”
Templeton Distillery Build
The central section is actually two metal building systems, a tall one with a smaller one on top of it creating the point of the tower. Two lean-tos come off the center tower to make the roofline. The columns throughout are straight, not tapered. In a strategy typical of Star’s steel-saving design expertise, the lean-tos to each side of the tower share structural steel columns with the towers, their rafters borne on brackets welded mid-height onto the tall tower steel. Behind the tower is another single-slope roof building, and another lean-to off that.
Because of a tight schedule and the large size of the distillation apparatus, the distillation contractor began work as soon as the main steel of the central tower was erected, before the walls were closed in.
“They came in for about six to seven weeks,” said Ceretti. “They were setting equipment while we were continuing to set structure. Once they were done, we installed the skin on the building. It was a carefully planned and choreographed dance. We were able to work extensively with Star’s production schedule and deliveries to make sure we got the buildings in the sequence we needed them. They delivered these buildings in phases that allow us to hit the accelerated schedule and enclose those spaces when needed. There was a lot of outside-the-box thinking by all the parties involved.
“Due to the professionalism of the guys working onsite, there was no damage done to the millions of dollars of equipment set inside.”
The walls were closed with Metl-Span insulated metal panels provided by Star: LS 36 Slate Gray for most of the walls, with CF 7.2 InsulRib insulated metal panels for the tower walls. “We had to create fire-rated assemblies inside different portions of the building,” explained Ceretti. ”We were able to incorporate a metal panel that gave me the fire-rating I needed to create that cool white envelope to house the still. We had to incorporate explosion panels, as well, in case of a catastrophic loss with the still that would allow that pressure to escape.”
Templeton Distillery Roof
The roof is made of CFR panels in Rustic Red. The six main metal building systems measured 2,540 sq. ft., 2,486 sq. ft., 3,255 sq. ft., 10,814 sq. ft., 7,174 sq. ft., and 8,975 sq. ft., for a total footprint of over 35,000 sq. ft.
The entire project was completed in late December 2017, just nine months after groundbreaking. Templeton has turned their old facility into a museum.