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New Belgium Brewing Company

Meeting challenges of sustainability in design and construction, Neenan and New Belgium leadership used 3D modeling to visualize possibilities and make sound decisions on options of design, costs and scheduling.

 Situation:

A commitment to the environment through the use of new and appropriate technologies is threaded throughout the operations of New Belgium Brewing Company. With each expansion of their facility, New Belgium has constantly challenged design and construction to push the envelope to develop more and better environmental ideas and practices.

The Neenan Company has partnered with New Belgium from the beginning to meet the challenges of the triple bottom line: People, Profit and Planet. The original brewery and headquarters, completed in 1995, is a state-of-the-art craft brewery complex located on a 50-acre campus. Subsequent to the original project, Neenan worked with New Belgium on facility improvements, renovations, and expansions, totaling 112,200 sf.

Projects included:

  • Tank Farm Expansion One, Warehouse, and Central Utility Plant
  • Office Addition
  • Brewhouse Two and Malt Building
  • Water Treatment Facility and Expansion
  • Warehouse Expansion (13,700 SF)
  • Cellar Two and Tank Farm Expansion
  • Kegline Retrofit
  • Tank Farm Expansion Three
  • Canning Line Retrofit

Solution:

New Belgium wanted their architectural design to reflect their business philosophies. Through massing, non-traditional materials and the expression of lively colors and textures, designers created an environment which supports the honest, creative, open belief system of New Belgium Brewing Company.

By focusing on the elements of sustainability, Neenan designers integrated creative and forward-thinking design in use of materials, architectural elements and technology. Neenan’s depth of experience and wisdom also helped guide New Belgium leadership to distinguish practicalities from possibilities while still honoring their values and mission.

 

Conditions of Satisfaction:

For various projects, examples of Conditions of Satisfaction included:

Canning Line Expansion:

  • Better flow for production between bottling and canning areas
  • Continued use of existing mechanical equipment in new 16,000 square footage addition: maintaining operations during construction
  • Preserving air quality standards during construction
  • Reuse “deconstruction” materials instead of removing

Tank Farm Expansion:

  • Meet schedule demands
  • Energy conservation measures
  • Maintain operations with minimal impacts to brewery operations
  • Coordinate with all vendors
  • Coordinate tie ins with scheduled shut down times
  • Build with future expansion in mind

Brewhouse/Malt Building:

  • Use industrial materials in non-industrial ways  and blend new architecture with existing building
  • Architecture piques interest: people take a second and even a third look
  • Landscape uses native plants focus and follows xeriscape  principles of  “organic design”
  • Maintain “human scale” look and feel as New Belgium grows
  • Elegant design,  with interesting interior design details

Results:

  • Use of 3D modeling allowed the Neenan and New Belgium teams together to explore expansion opportunities both inside and outside on their ever-changing site, playing with ideas and visualizing design elements
  • The Neenan team used design and construction expertise to guide New Belgium leadership in seeing how their decisions may impact them in the future. This lead to a focus on planning efficiently for future expansion.
  • Satisfying New Belgium’s commitment to the triple bottom line of Planet, People and Profits required an alternative mindset regarding definition of “profit” – profit can be considered carbon balancing, long term return on investment, or positive impact on community
  • Minimizing energy usage meant innovative use of lighting, waste heat reuse, energy conservation and efficient fixtures and materials. Minimizing environmental impact was done through management of construction wastes, xeriscaping, and reusable and recyclable materials.
  • The New Belgium Brewery is a source of civic pride. They are considered thought leaders and “put your money where your mouth is” influentials in local, state and national circles.

 

“Neenan’s biggest asset is their Archistruction Process. Neenan’s design team was very good at honoring (where) we couldn’t compromise and suggesting value engineering where we could to get the budget in line. They were responsive to our need to be innovative, environmentally responsible, and guided an incredibly complex process.”

Kim Jordan, CEO New Belgium Brewing Company