“Meat” Your Neighbors: Our Latest Projects in the Local Poultry Industry

As structural engineers, there’s no such thing as a typical workday. You might find us assessing fire damage, restoring a historical site, working on commercial buildings, at the office (rarely), or onsite working with poultry plants. In fact, some of our biggest projects over the past few years have involved turkey and chicken plants in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Keep reading to learn more about what we’ve done and why it’s important for every industry to work with structural engineers.

EXISTING STRUCTURES

For safety reasons, it’s important for structures to maintain their integrity, but as we like to say, “Rust happens!” That’s why it’s important to have buildings and other structures assessed regularly. When we went to a chicken manufacturing facility in North Carolina, we found that there was corrosion on many of beams and columns. After thickness testing, we delivered a report for repairs which are scheduled to be completed.

At another chicken facility in Harrisonburg, VA, a column buckled due to severe deterioration and a heavy snow load. Once again, we offered our assessment and they were able to make repairs based on our recommendations to successfully fix the buckled column.

Weather, time, and usage can all break down existing structures. These facilities were proactive in having the structures evaluated and repaired, which prevented long-term damage.

NEW CONSTRUCTION

As industries change, so do their needs. We’ve had the opportunity to work with chicken and turkey manufacturing facilities on new construction projects. In Broadway, VA, we worked with a civil engineer to develop a parking area for refrigerated trailers so that run-off from the trailers did not negatively impact the environment. Instead, our parking area allowed it to be sent back to the waste treatment facility.

At Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative (VPGC) in Hinton, VA, we assisted with components of a major plant expansion over the last three years, helping them transition to a larger and more efficient production space. We worked on the Flow Equalization Basin and its Office Building, Truck Wash & Truck Scale, Offal Room Platforms & Equipment Supports, and Live Haul Shed. Each of these projects required different materials, design aspects, and presented new challenges. We worked closely with VPGC to ensure our designs and the finished product satisfied their needs.

For one of our current projects in Sumter, SC, we are working with the project team to make room for four new product lines in a portion of an existing chicken plant. We are working with the plant engineer to place the lines and provide structural design for removing existing walls and building new ones as needed. Part of the rework is subdividing an existing freezer into several smaller spaces. This design will involve determining the insulation panel thickness and designing the slab isolation and reheat system to prevent glaciers from forming outside of the freezer space.

As you can see, no two projects are alike, but the end result is the same: providing stable, safe structures built to last. This is true for chicken and turkey facilities and beyond. If you’re interested in how we can partner with you to “meat” your specific needs, give us a call today to talk with one of our structural engineers.

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