Case study: U.S. waffle facility renovation showcases smart use of repurposed materials
A M King, an integrated Design-Build firm, is making progress on a renovation project for U.S. Waffle Company, Inc. in Liberty, SC. The 310,000 sf bakery will house five production lines with capacity for nine lines, positioning the international food manufacturer for continued high growth in the breakfast products category. When the project is complete in March 2020, company plans to hire 125 additional employees, bringing total employment to 500 at the new company headquarters.
U.S. Waffle manufactures and distributes specialty frozen waffles and pancakes through its retail division (supermarkets) and food service/institutional division (restaurants, schools and prisons) nationwide and internationally. Flavors include whole grain, multi-grain, blueberry, chocolate chip and pumpkin, among others, as well as gluten free, high-protein, vegetable-enhanced, paleo and organic options. Items with trending ingredients and additional breakfast products are currently in development. The company is founded on Christian values of honesty, integrity, respect, kindness and social responsibility, and focuses on leveraging its resources by continually improving efficiency and reducing waste.
“Our company has experienced tremendous growth in the five years that it’s been in business, which has necessitated a larger and more modern base of operations,” explains John Symons, U.S. Waffle CEO.” This new facility in Liberty will give us the opportunity to consolidate our two existing facilities, explore development of new products, and expand our production capabilities.”
“We have been very impressed with A M King’s work on this project, their knowledge of food plant operations and shrewd recommendations,” adds Symons. “It’s a true partnership.”
The company, which outgrew its original facilities in Greenville, SC, purchased a local manufacturing landmark directly south of downtown Liberty, at the intersection of US 123 and State 178, 15 miles from I-85. The warehouse was built in 1981 and features a 70s design with reflective glass on the exterior, expansive windows, sizeable extensions in front of the main entrance and a large outdoor employee break area. The project is an interesting study in not only how to adapt and reuse an existing building for a new purpose, but also the best way to source repurposed construction materials and baking equipment.
A M King’s scope of work includes production line layout and design consulting; processing and packaging space build out; HVAC selection to maintain positive pressure through different stages of the baking process and electrical coordination. The renovation comprises approximately 170,000 sf of the warehouse, including 84,000 sf of food processing areas; 25,000 sf dry storage; 8,500 dry docks; 8,500 sf offices and 1,800 sf of QA labs.
In addition, A M King recently installed 1,550 cy of concrete with sloped surfaces to minimize labor during washdown. Repurposed materials procured by the owner—that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill—include industrial sinks, wall panels, relief dampers, an emergency generator, electrical switch gear, storage racking, furniture and exhaust fans.
“The owner’s level of involvement and enthusiasm for using recycled materials and refurbished equipment has presented a unique and collaborative project environment,” says JD Boone, A M King project manager.
“Our team has derived great satisfaction from assisting the owner in both saving money and resources while meeting complex building code and food sanitation standards,” says Matthew Jones, A M King lead designer.
About A M King and U.S. Waffle:
A M King is an integrated Design-Build firm based in Charlotte, NC with offices in Greenville, SC and Chicago, IL. The firm consistently and successfully delivers quality projects throughout the United States. With an experienced team committed to protecting clients’ assets, the company provides property consulting, design and engineering, construction and facility services in the sectors of industrial manufacturing, food processing, food distribution, healthcare and commercial properties. A M King’s exemplary track record demonstrates that the company is focused on its mission to be the best in the industry.
U.S. Waffle is an international food manufacturer of specialty waffles and pancakes based in Greenville, SC. The company sells its products to major grocery retailers and food service distributors nationwide and throughout North, Central and South America.