USA: Daikin’s new $417m US manufacturing facility in Houston is already receiving recognition ahead of its scheduled opening later this year.
The 350,000m² facility, currently under construction and identified as the world’s largest ever tilt-up concrete building, has been recognised by US magazine Business Facilities as the 2015 Economic Development Deal of the Year.
Plans for the new development, which has been dubbed the Daikin Comfortplex and the Goodman’s Cypress Creek Campus, were first announced last year. The single, contiguous building will house distribution, manufacturing and R&D operations as well as offices, replacing current Daikin and Goodman facilities in Tennessee.
In all, the building will incorporate a 167,000m² distribution center, 158,000m² of manufacturing space (plus over 18,000m² of mezzanine), 21,500m² of lab space and 18,800m² of offices. At over 2km², the massive site will also feature parking for approximately 5,000 vehicles. It is expected to create 4,600 new jobs and a further 11,000+ indirect jobs.
Prior to opening, the Greater Houston Partnership, the economic development organisation, has won the Business Facilities magazine top Gold Award in its 2015 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition for its involvement in bringing Daikin to Houston. It beat Volvo’s $500m South Carolina assembly plant – its first in the US – to the title.
The location for Daikin’s new corporate campus is said to have sparked fierce competition between several Gulf Coast and US Southeast locations.
Largest tilt-wall building
Due to be completed mid-year, the new building has already been described as the largest tilt-wall industrial building in the world, second only to Boeing’s aircraft assembly plant in Everett, Washington. Tilt-up is a form of construction in which the wall is precast horizontally on the ground adjacent to its permanent location and then lifted up into its vertical position.
Over 275,000m³ of concrete are expected to be used in its construction, along with nearly 6,000 tonnes of steel.
The building will include an energy management system, a brilliant white roof to reflect the Texas heat, and LED lighting throughout.