Project Team Serves Up Eco-Friendly Food Facility
Best Industrial/Manufacturing Project
When ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston decided to build a $156-million state-of-the-art plant for processing its sweet potato product line, the Omaha, Neb.-based company turned to long-time construction partner Fisher & Sons, Burlington, Wash., for design/build services.
Begun in September 2009 and completed in just 11 months, the 164,000-sq-ft processing facility in northern Louisiana includes a 12,000-sq-ft office and a bio-digester.
It is on a 100-plus-acre greenfield site, much of it left as open space with protected wetland areas, ponds and restored native vegetation.
The environmentally friendly processing facility is the first frozen food processing plant to earn LEED-Platinum certification.
As well as designing the project, Fisher & Sons was the general contractor for both the processing facility and the anaerobic bio-digester.
The recycling system, part of ConAgra's directive to attain the highest levels of sustainability, captures methane gas from the process waste and returns it to the plant as fuel for the boilers.
"Early on, ConAgra Foods was committed to creating a sustainable solution that would be LEED certified," says Dan Powers, president of Fisher & Sons. "The commitment was top-of-mind throughout the project and throughout the team of ConAgra and Fisher & Sons."
Green strategies were employed in all aspects of the project. More than 70% of the construction waste was recycled; energy-saving equipment is projected to reduce energy costs by 40% from the amount consumed at a comparable plant; and the plant is projecting an annual water savings of 60% compared with the LEED baseline. In addition, landscaping is designed to remove pollution from stormwater runoff from the building roof and parking lots, using ponds, swales and wetlands.
"We're pleased to have had the opportunity to team with ConAgra to design and build this amazingly innovative facility," Powers says. "It shows the commitment of the food processing industry, and particularly ConAgra's, to create a facility that dramatically reduces impact on the environment while operating a viable business model."
Owner: ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston, Kennewick, Wash.
General Contractor: Fisher & Sons, Burlington, Wash.
Lead Design: FSI Architects, Burlington, Wash.
Structural: Peterson Strehle Martinson, Seattle
Sustainability Consulting: Paladino, Seattle
Electrical Consulting Engineers: D Hittle & Associates, Kennewick, Wash.
Fisher & Sons