Champion Petfoods’ stringent standards figured into the decision to go with Gray Construction, Burdzy says. “When it came time to find a partner for our DogStar Kitchen build, we needed a company that not only had expertise in food manufacturing, but also a partner that took the time to truly understand our mission and vision, is aligned with our values, and understands our culture,” he explains. “Gray Construction’s understanding of the importance of food safety, processes, and flow of ingredients was corroborated by our DogStar Kitchens’ ability to achieve the Safe Quality Food certification within our first year in operation.”
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Explore This IssueOctober/November 2017
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DogStar’s precast exterior walls feature Metl-Span architectural insulated metal panels on the office façade, while the exterior walls of the manufacturing/warehouse facilities are made of precast concrete. The floors are sealed concrete covered with Stonhard resinous flooring. Firestone Building Products thermoplastic polyolefin roofing tops everything off.
In 2016, Gray Construction won a prestigious Design-Build Institute of America Team Award for DogStar, the first pet food facility in the world to be so honored. Gray Construction is consistently ranked among the top U.S. contractors in food and beverage plant construction by Engineering News-Record.
DogStar topped organizations in both human and animal food industries to capture the inaugural 2017 Global Markets Award from the Global Food Safety Initiative, considered one of the highest food safety achievements.
Gray Construction Canada Co. is currently working on a 400,000-square foot building for Champion’s new NorthStar Kitchens in Alberta, Canada, which will feature the same level of advanced innovation and technological functionality as DogStar.
And Gray Construction is nearing completion of a 650,000-square-foot fresh pork processing plant in Coldwater, Mich., for Clemens Food Group. “Once operational in the fall of 2017, the facility is expected to process some 11,000 hogs per shift,” Gray relates. “One key feature of the plant is its 3,128-foot snap chill chain, believed to be the longest and fastest snap chill in the world.”