On July 19, 2018, an F3 tornado rocked Vermeer Corporation’s Pella, Iowa, campus as more than 400 customers gathered to celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary. While none of Vermeer’s employees or customers were seriously injured thanks to on-site tornado shelters, the industrial and agricultural equipment manufacturer lost two plants equaling almost 400,000 square feet of production space to the destructive twister.

Rather than re-establish itself elsewhere, Vermeer chose to stay, making a commitment to the community that it would rebuild what it had lost to the tornado and come back even stronger than before. Gresham Smith helped support Vermeer’s promise to the community by redesigning a new 500,000-square-foot manufacturing plant that effectively accommodates the company’s new and improved process flow, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

500k

square-foot manufacturing plant & office space

1

state-of-the-art welding fume extraction system

1

fast-track delivery

Expanding the Footprint

Expanding the Footprint

Our redesign provides Vermeer with 500,000 square feet of manufacturing and corporate office space that expands almost 100,000 square feet beyond the previous manufacturing footprint. The new facility will connect to the campus’ existing Plant 7, which was damaged by the tornado but repaired in the subsequent months. In addition to designing the plant, we provided program management services, assisting Vermeer with procurement and the selection of a contracting partner.
An Enhanced Environment for Employees

An Enhanced Environment for Employees

Manufacturing heavy-duty industrial and agricultural equipment involves a whole lot of welding, which means fumes—even when using a clean welding process such as Vermeer’s. Our design incorporates a state-of-the-art welding fume extraction system that captures and filters welding fumes, creating a clean work environment for employees, and contributing to Vermeer’s philosophy of safety and worker comfort. Conditioned air in both the manufacturing space and the new central paint facility also contributes to an enhanced work environment for employees.
Safety First

Safety First

We designed the plant to keep staff safe at every touchpoint on the job, including employee safe areas and shelters within the facility. The use of precast concrete as the building skin, as opposed to a metal skin which is typically used for this type of facility, makes the plant a more tornado-resistant structure.
Bringing New Life to the Vermeer Mile

Bringing New Life to the Vermeer Mile

Designed on a fast-track schedule, Vermeer’s new world-class manufacturing plant is slated to open in the fall of 2020, representing a remarkable story of rebuilding and recovery. Our ongoing work with the client includes the design of a central utility plant as well as a new Eco Center, which will help responsibly process and manage waste at the Vermeer campus, also known as the Vermeer Mile. A master services agreement between Gresham Smith and Vermeer will allow us to serve this resilient, family-owned business well into the future.

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Project Contact

Our team designs with genuine care for ingenious solutions.

Design with us.

David Verner, RA, NCARB
David Verner, RA, NCARB
Executive Vice President, Industrial