Building corporate vision into The Hershey Midwest Distribution Center

The Hershey Midwest Distribution Center receives, inventories and ships $1 billion of perishable chocolate every single day — all while embodying The Hershey Company’s corporate vision.

The job demanded smart solutions

An ambitious undertaking to say the least, constructing this facility called for 1.1-million square feet of warehouse and office space. The warehouse environmental criteria required a constant 60-degree temperature and a 50 percent relative humidity level. Logistical operations required warehouse structures capable of supporting massive loads while still keeping areas open for high-speed forklift traffic to move products. The Hershey Company needed emergency operational capabilities and safety systems to protect the $1 billion of chocolate in the facility in a given day.

Completing a job of this magnitude required a Design-Builder that could coordinate teams of engineers, subcontractors, architects and consultants — one with expertise to deliver an integrated system of Tilt-Up concrete and insulated metal panel construction.

Completing the job

Through the process of Interactive Collaboration, The Hershey Company’s leadership worked in coordination with The Korte Company to define the requirements of the job. With the critical information in mind and open communication between all parties, our Mechanical Design-Build teams reviewed 
the preliminary layout provided by the owner and their consultants and went to work.

The result was a more efficient cooling system that eliminated nearly 20 percent of the rooftop units that were originally prescribed. The reduction of rooftop units also translated to long-term energy savings and a lower operating cost for the facility.

Reducing risk

By working closely with a comprehensive commercial risk company, we were able to create efficiencies in risk management. A partnership with Factory Mutual facilitated Design-Build solutions that ultimately decreased long-term insurance costs. In other words, Hershey achieved notable insurance savings through better Design-Build solutions. 

One of those solutions included Maximum Foreseeable Loss (MFL) firewalls. To minimize Hershey’s risk, the overall building was subdivided into three separate sections by using double 3-hour fire rated MFL walls. The MFL walls were designed to allow the collapse of the entire structure adjacent to the wall without affecting the structural integrity of the remaining wall. The team also provided an independent fire protection system, including two separate 250,000-gallon water tanks as well as an emergency system to provide backup power.

Maximizing work-flow

To maximize work-flow throughout the facility, we teamed with owner-contracted consultants to design a dynamic floor plan. And we constructed it to minimize product travel and handling. Additionally, we coordinated rack and dock equipment through owner-contracted vendors and installers, interfacing third-party timetables with the master construction schedule.

Specially formulated Type K shrinkage compensating cement was used in the bay areas to support designated high traffic and load specifications, while trap-rock-hardened concrete was used to handle the immense rack loads throughout the other areas of the facility.

Building for the long-term

Hershey had a corporate vision to create an efficient, state-of-the-art distribution center. The project is a lasting example demonstrating how a corporate vision can drive design and construction solutions. The bottom line on this Design-Build project was improved by project efficiencies. And long-term efficiencies are delivering cost savings throughout the life of the building and the operational functions it serves.

Hershey is not alone in their pursuit of long-lasting efficiencies as a key component of their corporate vision. Other clients of The Korte Company, including the United States Postal Service, The Walgreen Co. and many others, share similarities in their corporate visions. We’ve partnered with them to implement Design-Build solutions that serve their best interests — time and time again.

Selecting the right builder for the job

To realize the maximum efficiencies in your building program and get the most from construction, you’ll need to select the right builder for your project. In The Owners Guide to Company Culture in Construction, we show you the key traits of a quality builder and guide you in evaluating prospective bidders. Fill out the form below to download your copy of the guide.

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