Revitalizing an Old, Undesirable Warehouse into a Sustainable Facility
For this unique revitalization project, Penntex partnered with property owner, W.P. Carey, and their construction management partner MRP Industrial, to transform a site in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, replacing an old, outdated warehouse from the 1980s with a new, modern, and sustainable facility to power continued economic growth in the region.
- Complex Sitework: Sinkholes & Soil Cementing
Before work could begin on the new 505,000 square-foot LEED-certified, precast, cross-dock facility, the Penntex team had to overcome complexities uncovered during demolition of the existing facility. This included large sinkholes directly under the building site, which required repair and related site improvements to ensure a solid foundation. Soil cementing was also necessary to mitigate issues caused by the substrate instability and ensure construction could advance through winter.
- FAA Coordination
Similar to the Century Commerce Center project, this construction site was in the flight path of the Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE). Penntex partnered with MRP Industrial and their legal counsel to coordinate and review correspondence from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure the new warehouse and all equipment on site throughout construction met height clearances and were equipped with proper lighting and flags.
- Overcoming Extreme Weather
Installing a roof during the dead of winter typically comes with challenges, but the over two feet of snow that fell during this build led to some particular complexities that needed managed to ensure the steel within the facility was protected.
- Smart Sustainability
Achieving sustainability goals was an important part of this community revitalization project. The facility’s white roof is just one of many features that contributed to a LEED certification.
- Minimizing the Impacts of COVID-19
Demolition of the existing warehouse started just prior to the U.S. construction industry shutdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping the project on track meant overcoming issues presented by the delays and careful management of COVID-19 safety protocol compliance.
- Investigation & Preservation of a Tombstone Site
Early in construction, a tombstone memorializing a young girl (and dating back to around 1833) was discovered on the northeast corner of the site. To ensure the right steps were taken to investigate and respect the site, Penntex worked with the local historical society and conducted an archaeological investigation that included ground-penetrating radar and hand-digging to protect the site. Ultimately, no human remains were found. Based on research, it is believed the remains were transported to a different area when the girl’s family moved. The tombstone remains in place in the corner of the site.
At the heart of the Penntex commitment to Building Better is a focus on making the places where our team, partners and clients live, work, and play better. The ability to deliver success for this important community revitalization project in the face of unusual challenges and still come through on time and under budget to give new life to an abandoned site was particularly rewarding.
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