Heeren Brothers Produce

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Food Processing

This 178,000 square foot building houses a high-tech apple packing and distribution facility for the largest family-owned, full line produce distributer in Michigan. Heeren Brother’s new building expanded their storage and processing capabilities as well as helped save energy and comply with the latest food safety regulations. The building is made up of over 88,000 square feet of precast insulated sandwich wall panels. The facility features precast exterior walls and also precast interior wall panels which help section off the building into several different climate controlled zones for several processes that the produce must go through.

Kerkstra Precast was brought in at the conception of the project as a design-build partner with First Companies, the General Contractor and Dixon Architecture, the architectural firm. This early partnership allowed the owner to realize the many benefits of precast concrete construction, including the flexibility of panel sizes to accommodate almost any need. The owner was very concerned about the R-value of the walls by the dock doors as often times this is where much of the efficiency is lost. Kerkstra Precast was able to come up with a way to utilize 12’ and 14’ wide panels with a special configuration of concrete and insulation to give maximum R-values in the panels between each dock door.

Stained panels with reveals on the exterior of the building create a crisp and clean look that will last for years to come. A steel troweled, food-grade finish is found on the interior of the apple processing area. This finish reduces the risk of bacteria settling on surfaces within the building.

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