Collaboration Helps Brew Up a Successful Distribution Facility
Getting your favorite beer from the brewery to the fridge requires collaboration from start to finish. Grain, hops and other ingredients go from farm to brewery where they’re put through the brewing process. It’s then packaged and dispersed to distribution companies who then deliver it to retailers, where consumers can pick out their favorite pack. Recently, GBA helped one of these distribution companies, Keg 1 O’Neal, create a new distribution facility in Temple, Texas. Much like the process to make your favorite beer, this project required extensive collaboration.
Since GBA’s architecture practice was established in 1977, our team has known that building design has an impact on every part of a business. Because of this, we collaborate with clients to identify goals and create a plan for a successful final product. When working with Keg 1 O’Neal, GBA’s project team worked closely with the owner to design its newest distribution facility in Temple, Texas.
“Our client, Keg 1 O’Neal, wanted a new warehouse and distribution center that was similar to one of their existing facilities, but still had its own unique features,” said Jacob Vestal, GBA project architect.
Prior to this project, Keg 1 O’Neal had locations in the Texas cities of Fredricksburg and Weatherford. The company, founded in 2008, distributes beverages throughout the United States. A few of its long list of suppliers include Boulevard Brewing Company, Heineken USA and Red Bull North America.
The new facility in Temple needed a large walk-in cooler, warehouse space with racking and truck docks, office space, covered outdoor storage and an indoor repackaging area. Functional and economic value were also important aspects of this project.
Aesthetically, the client wanted a building that connected with its southern setting, including natural stone and earth tone accents on the exterior walls. Because of the project’s proximity to a major highway and the frequency of client visits, it was important to have an appealing exterior.
One key interior space was the training room located in the center of the office area. The client wanted to make this room special and bring in natural light. In order to do this, GBA popped the roof up over the room and incorporated a series of clerestory windows. The result was a high volume space that allows natural light to enter from above. It also created a secondary roof plane on the outside of the building, adding visual interest. The wood accent wall in the back of the room provides another unique feature that ties into elements used on the exterior of the building.
In addition to providing architecture services on this project, GBA also performed the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) design. Effective collaboration between the various disciplines was crucial to a successful project.
Early in the project, the team decided to work in the same building information model (BIM). Within Revit, the BIM software GBA utilizes, architects and engineers develop 3D models that bring a concept from 2D lines on a page to reality. Typically, each discipline works in its own, separate model. Models are then linked together for collaboration and clash detection purposes. Working within the same model helped with the coordination of the various building systems.
“Having all disciplines working in the same Revit model allowed us to collaborate and troubleshoot in real time without having to wait for someone to update a separate model to see the design changes,” said Vestal.
This was also one of GBA’s first projects where both architecture and MEP teams used Revit’s keynote feature to its full potential. This helped increase efficiency during the construction document phase, while also eliminating conflicting information on the drawings.
In addition to internal collaboration, GBA also worked closely with the project’s general contractor, MW Builders, to develop a design that would meet the owner’s budget. Throughout the conceptual design phase, documents were provided to MW Builders for review. This led to a visually interesting design that was also cost effective.
While Keg 1 O’Neal is multiple states away from GBA, the project team was still able to keep the client updated on design progress through 3D visualizations. These were regularly presented to the owner to confer design changes. A short, virtual walkthrough of the entire building was also created to give the client an overall feel of the space before construction began.
“I believe the way the disciplines worked together made the difference on this project,” said Vestal. “By using tools that assisted in collaboration, there was good back and forth between contractor, owner and architect, which led to a successful result.”
This collaboration helped GBA finish the new distribution facility on time and budget. The project, which was substantially completed in March 2019, now provides Keg 1 O’Neal an additional facility that fits their aesthetic and functional needs.