Aluminum can manufacturer Crown Cork and Seal finished construction on a new 355,000 square foot facility in Henry County, Virginia. This cutting-edge factory will supply beverage cans for a variety of drinks like sparkling water, energy drinks, soft drinks, teas, functional beverages, hard seltzers, beer and cocktails. They began operations last year just before construction was fully complete, created 126 new jobs and significantly expanding their North American supply network. When in full production, Crown can produce eight million aluminum drink cans per day from this building alone.
Southern Air earned the design/build contracts to complete the structure of the plant’s mechanical, electrical, plumbing and piping. The project also saw Southern Air’s low voltage and building automation technicians spend countless hours on-site running wire, Ethernet cable and connecting systems to each other. During the build, our company also earned a contract directly from Crown’s engineering team to upfit the process facility support systems for their production line equipment, to include ductwork for exhaust systems, air compressors and vacuum pumps.
Our mechanical engineers and designers led the design/build project to provide heating, cooling, plumbing, and proper ventilation. That’s an unbelievable amount of equipment to prepare office areas, production areas, modular buildings, truck canopies, the shipping and receiving office, and the trucker’s lounge for occupancy.
Southern Air’s expert team of HVAC mechanics installed a VRV system on two office floors with a dedicated outside air unit to provide fresh air to the offices, bathrooms and the production areas. They installed five supply fans, 32 roof ventilation fans, 12 make-up air units, individual split units for each modular building, and 13 ducted split units for spot cooling on the production lines. The 33 pieces of rooftop equipment was set on a very excited day within an hour using a Sikorsky S61N heavy-lift helicopter.
“I’ve been with Southern Air for 25 years and this was my first time being part of a helicopter setting operation. It’s fast and furious, nothing like dealing with a crane,” says Dennis Zuniga, HVAC foreman. “The air wash makes the units swirl around more where we’ve got to wrestle a bit until it’s properly set. It’s different, and fast! I see what all the guys were talking about. This was real, real cool.”
Southern Air then earned a contract directly from Crown’s engineers to upfit their process facility support systems for their production line equipment. We installed the duct work system that supports their process, which includes intakes, exhaust systems off washers and ovens, air compressors and vacuum pumps. This allowed Crown to begin production on their first canning line, firing out more than one million cans per day while their other equipment was still under construction. Southern Air’s crews worked tirelessly hanging ductwork, welding and connecting each system perfectly together.
Southern Air plumber and pipe-fitters installed two booster pumps, two domestic water heaters with a master mixing valve for the office area, instantaneous water heaters in the modular buildings and shipping office, and a water heater and mixing valve in the trucker’s lounge. Our sheet metal prefabrication shop built an immense amount of large ductwork for the production area make-up air units, roof supply/ventilation fans and all duct work throughout the office areas. Plumbing fabricators made stainless steel recessed shower assemblies for the men’s and women’s locker rooms in the office area.
Southern Air’s electrical department worked unimaginable hours to provide electrical service to the building, temporary power and lighting, and grounding. They provided the distribution of power throughout the building to include lighting, mechanical equipment hook-ups, receptacles, roll-up doors, and the raceways for lightning protection, data, access control and CCTV requirements. The teams installed switch and panel boards, interior and exterior lights, and receptacles. Johnathan Bailess, Electrical Project Manager worked closely with Alan Cleveland, Electrical Designer as the project included multiple additions and change-orders throughout construction. They utilized our electrical prefabrication team who created a lighting circuity layouts, a safe-to-install lighting system for a 35’ ceiling, and countless whips to support field teams.
Crown, Cork and Seal utilized a tremendous amount of Southern Air’s expertise. Team members from design, engineering, estimating, preconstruction, commissioning, building automation, building information modeling, mechanical, electrical and structured cabling departments all played invaluable roles. We also could not have coordinated all the paperwork and forms without our fabulous project manager assistants and administrative staff.
We cannot thank our entire Southern Air Construction teams for the long, exhaustive hours away from home to create a fully, functioning factory for a very happy customer. Your hard work has paid off and we are very grateful for all your dedication, craftsmanship and proud work provided.