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THERMOMASS Building Insulation Systems


More and more food processing and packing companies are turning to insulated tilt-wall panels for their new facilities to provide energy-efficient insulation, temperature stability, structural durability, and reduced operating costs.

The insulated panels used at the expansion of Taylor Farms in Orlando, Fla. combined the energy-efficient advantages of THERMOMASS® Building Insulation Systems and the tilt-wall technology of Seretta Construction, Inc.One of the most prominent examples in the industry is TKM Farms, located in Belle Glade, Florida. TKM Farms, owned by the Basore family, is the largest supplier of lettuce east of the Mississippi, and prides itself on the quality of its product. The company’s continuing success depends on providing its customers with the freshest, leafiest lettuce possible. So when the decision was made for TKM Farms to build a new 79,000-square-foot processing and packaging facility, they turned to Edwards Construction Services, Inc. of Orlando, Florida as their designbuilder. Edwards, which specializes in cold storage, food service distribution and food service production determined that the use of innovative insulated sandwich tilt-wall panels would best meet the specialized needs of TKM Farms.

The facility consisted of a two-story Photos Courtesy of Seretta Construction, Inc. uninsulated tilt-wall office and a large, single-story tilt-wall warehouse that required insulation. The insulating panels used in this project combined the energyefficient advantages of THERMOMASS ® Building Insulation Systems, developed by Composite Technologies Corporation (CTC), and the tilt-wall technology of Orlando, Florida based concrete contractor, Seretta Construction, Inc. Each load-bearing concrete panel measured 15 inches thick, incorporating four inches of enclosed THERMOMASS Styrofoam® Insulation between a threeinch outer wythe and an eight-inch structural wythe. Thus the term “sandwich” tiltwall panel.

Speed of construction was a critical factor to the TKM project. Construction of the building began in July when the season’s lettuce crop was already in the ground, and was finished in time for the harvest in November. Seretta delivered a completed concrete building shell for the office/warehouse in five months despite daily, torrential rains that fell over a three-month period.

Taylor Farms, Orlando, a client of TKM Farms, is another proponent of insulated sandwich tilt-wall construction. This vegetable processing and packaging facility needed a 12,000-square-foot expansion to their existing insulated metal panel structure. Over time, the wearand- tear of forklift usage had damaged the insulating integrity in sections of the old metal panels, resulting in temperature instability and higher energy costs. The company decided that it needed to move all forklift-related shipping operations to a stronger, more cost-efficient facility. Insulated tilt-wall construction provided the perfect solution. Edwards Construction Services called in Seretta, who completed their portion of the expansion project in just six weeks.

Using edge-to-edge insulation, walls insulated with THERMOMASS® contain no thermal bridges, effectively eliminating the possibilities of moisture build-up and mold growth.The owner of Country Fresh, a freshcut fruit and vegetable packager headquartered in Houston, Texas, saw the THERMOMASS Building Insulation Systems at a trade show. After learning of the energy efficiency and controlled atmosphere benefits that THERMOMASS provides, the owner decided that the new Country Fresh packaging facility in Orlando would incorporate insulated sandwich tilt-up panels. CTC followed up with the project and recommended that Seretta both design the panels and perform as the concrete contractor to prime contractor Tarpon Bay Construction. The 46,000-square-foot tiltwall building was completed in 12 weeks.

In each of these examples, the insulated sandwich tilt-wall warehouse structures proved to be beneficial in several ways. In addition to lower upfront construction costs, they provided the owners more precise temperature control and reduced long-term energy costs, and gave them a stronger, more durable facility.

In addition, these food processors have discovered other benefits of concrete walls. Smooth interior surfaces, painted with epoxy, are easier to clean, and are more resistant to bacteria and mold than other surfaces. As a result, owners are able to maintain a safer, cleaner work environment in compliance with USDA codes and guidelines.

Seretta Construction is an industry leader in tilt-wall construction and concrete specialty slabs, with projects extending across the Mid-Atlantic States, the Southeast and the Caribbean. Maintaining offices in Orlando, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina Seretta completes about 9 million square feet of tilt-wall facilities each year. Seretta is recognized by Engineering News Record and Building Design & Construction as one of the country’s top specialty contractors, and is the largest insulated sandwich panel contractor in the Southeast.

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