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The Challenges Of Building An Award-Winning, 347K SF Manufacturing Facility

Riddell manufacturing facility entrance

The 347K SF Riddell sports equipment manufacturing facility opened this year, and quickly gained recognition as one of Engineering News-Record Midwest’s 2017 Best Projects. Built by Peak Construction and designed by Heitman Architects Inc., the North Ridgeville, Ohio, building was the sole winner in the manufacturing category.

Creating the space for Riddell entailed the design-build construction of a manufacturing and distribution facility capable of handling a large production volume. The North Ridgeville operation encompasses Riddell's football helmet and custom shoulder pad assemblies, plus its full-size collectible football helmets and football gear and apparel product lines.

Riddell's front lobby

As it relocated and merged critical revenue streams, Riddell needed a team that could optimize the facility for product flow and process efficiency for maximum bottom-line impact. Riddell engaged Peak Construction to serve as part of the evaluation team, which, for six months, weighed a variety of factors that would contribute to the project’s success. These included location, accessibility, site entitlement, regulatory approvals, labor availability, design, zoning considerations and incentive opportunities.

“Once the site was selected, all due diligence, approvals, project permitting, land purchase and closing were strategically coordinated by Peak to adhere to the tight project schedule,” Peak project manager David Michael said. “The project stayed on schedule and was completed in less than nine months, despite many hurdles and obstacles the project team overcame.”

One challenge was managing the emissions generated by Riddell's painting process. The company needed to stay within acceptable emissions levels determined by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. To compensate for Riddell’s increased overall product production, Peak installed a large, high-efficiency thermal oxidizer that filters and reduces overall volatile organic compounds.

Riddell paint room

Peak also had to implement an on-site water reservoir source to provide water pressure and volume. Since there were no adequate public water sources available, this solution was required for the automatic fire sprinkler system.

“The team was further challenged to find a site to provide the building high visibility and a unique brand image,” Peak Construction CEO and founder Michael Sullivan said. “Our architect's solution of creating a full-building-height reflective green glass curtain wall office entry with corresponding signage provided the eye-catching feature to accomplish this objective.”

Despite the large size and manufacturing purpose of the building, Peak and Riddell wanted aesthetically pleasing office features and signage to draw the attention of interstate drivers and passengers. The project also incorporated resource-efficient methods to reduce waste, and adhered to LEED guidelines for sustainability.

Riddell testing room

“We couldn’t be happier with our recent experience working with Peak Construction on our new 350K SF facility,” Riddell General Manager Benjamin Marker said. “They helped us meet a very aggressive timeline and provided invaluable input regarding complex operations processes along the way. I don’t think any other contractor would have met the expectations or ambitious timelines that were set before them like Peak did.” 

Peak was named one of ENR Midwest’s 2017 Top Contractors and one of Midwest Real Estate News’ 2017 Best of the Best Top Construction Companies.

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Related Topics: Peak Construction, Riddell