More than sustainable.
| - Master planning
- Project management
- Civil engineering
- Fire protection
Riviana is America's leading rice company and home to top brands such as Minute Rice, Mahatma and Success. Rice processing is complex and requires a strict, FDA-level sanitation-designed plant. When Riviana decided to build North America's largest rice processing plant adjacent to their existing Memphis facility, it not only was a perfect match for our highly-skilled facilities group, but allowed our civil team to demonstrate their problem-solving skills to address challenging site conditions.
Location on a brownfield site used for industrial purposes for over 100 years required extensive demolition, including removal of 400,000 square feet of outmoded facilities and an additional 200,000 square feet of asphalt and concrete slab. A sustainable design plan incorporated much of the salvaged concrete in base and access road materials and included extensive greenscaping of more than 16 acres. More than just sustainable, this new, state-of-the-art plant is providing a revitalizing influence on an economically depressed area.
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Creative facility solutions.
Major site constraints - public right-of-ways on two sides, rail on the third, and steep terrain on the fourth side - meant there was no room for a crane on the exterior of the footprint to erect the necessary tilt-up concrete panels. Thickening the slab to allow the crane to erect from the inside would cost at least $500,000. Instead, soil cement was increased from 3" to 6", giving the crane adequate support to erect from the slab, providing a solution for less than a third of that cost.
Stringent FDA regulations required creative solutions for minimizing dust and deterring insects. Cellular rather than fluted decking eliminates voids where insects could nest and provides a smooth, cleanable surface. Specially-welded 45-degree continuous plates placed at each side of the web prevent dust from collecting on the bottom flange of beams. Roof-wide flange beams spaced at 10 feet on center minimize surfaces where dust can collect.
Master metering, a much more cost-efficient option than individual metering of transformers, was recommended to handle the tremendous power demands. Instead of paying for usage on each transformer at higher secondary voltage rates, Riviana pays at lower primary, voltage rates.
A challenging site plan.
Site layout was a challenge on this infill site. Phasing around an existing rail line was required, but the construction of a new rail spur defined the site. The location of the new spur dictated the location and elevation of the proposed plant and the civil design evolved from it.
Challenges during the site work phase required extensive coordination and problem-solving efforts by Pickering. Hidden below-ground obstructions surfaced during cut and fill operations, and soil stability had to be addressed. Existing utilities crisscrossing the site were removed. Abandoned lines and tanks were found during the grading work. Pickering's team provided alternative solutions which helped Riviana choose their most efficient way to handle these issues while keeping their stringent schedules intact.
The site design was also complicated by the necessity to split operations between three parcels, one of which was on the other side of the public right-of-way. Utility design required multiple meters and loads analysis. Truck turning and accessibility was an especially sensitive issue as each parcel needed to remain connected and safe. Careful modeling and review with the client ensured that the various site needs were met.
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