Project Highlight: Bensar #40

Over the River?

Over the river and through the woods? Maybe move the river and clear the woods. That is how the site selection conversation began for the 480,000 square foot Bensar #40 warehouse in Sidney, Ohio. When Ferguson first began working with Bensar Developments in the spring of 2016 on the idea of a new warehouse Bensar was looking to maximize the building size that could be placed on a plat of land already owned by one of their partners. While reviewing an option for a 200,000 square foot building on the plat, Bensar mentioned that they really needed a much larger building to handle the needs of their clients. With a little brainstorming and creativity, Ferguson quickly determined that by relocating a small stream (which dissected two plats) and clearing approximately 11 acres of woods, Ferguson could design and construct a building that would suit Bensar’s needs.

The Solution

In April of 2016, Ferguson began the process of clearing the woods while simultaneously working on a design that would enable the stream to be relocated out of the middle of the building pad. The relocation required the stream moving approximately 12 feet in elevation up hill. In order to meet Shelby County requirements the stream was required to have sloping banks capable of being mowed. The excavation and lay back that this would require would not fit the site constraints. This dilemma was solved through the use of a 600’ long by 9’- 4” wide by 4’- 8” tall aluminum culvert that routed the stream under the east truck lot and back to an open, rock lined ditch in front of the building.

Here Comes the Rain

As construction continued in May, Ferguson’s team began to work on the building foundations with the stream still running through the building pad. Ferguson had never tackled a project relocating a creek through an aluminum culvert before. Their skilled self-performing teams proved up to the challenge, completing the task with large new concrete headwalls in just a three week period. The stream was now relocated and out of the way.
With the completion date for the project set for mid-December, Ferguson began to quickly ramp up foundation crews in preparation for the arrival of steel in mid-June. With over 11 acres of building pad, the process of how to handle heavy spring rains without destroying the pad quickly became a topic of conversation. This is where one of the projects initial hurdles became one of its best assets. With the stream now relocated, and the center of the pad not yet brought to elevation at the old stream bed, Ferguson’s construction team decided to use this to their advantage. They installed a French Drain title system within the building pad utilizing the old stream routing as a collection point. This allowed this pad to be drained from the heavy rains. It worked flawlessly and enabled work to continue throughout the summer without losing any time on the project.

Team Work

As steel erection was set to begin on the 600‘ wide by 800‘ long Nucor pre-engineered building, Ferguson held a project coordination meeting with project team members; ABC partners, Area Energy and Electric, Slagle Mechanical, Spring Creek Corporation, and H&M Precision Concrete to determine how we could work and coordinate together to meet the schedule requirements. The building is designed with a center ridge and was set for all of the utility feeds to come from the south side (street side) of the structure. Clearly the building could not be completely enclosed prior to mechanical and electrical work to begin, so with a little cooperation from the building inspection officials it was determined that we could energize the building in sections once an area was determined to be “weather-protected”. It was determined that Ferguson would work to install the roof deck and panels on the west side first, half-way down the building. H&M Precision and Spring Creek were set up to make two 30,000 S.F. concrete pours per week, for the next eight weeks. The concrete was to be poured rain or shine. The project team always had two pours ready to go, one under roof and one in the sunshine.


Production Line

With any building site this large, logistics is always an issue. Or as they say, “it’s just an opportunity for success”. Ferguson found this success by viewing the building project as a production line. As activities moved to the north, support facilities were moved as well. By eliminating excess travel distances and reducing employee travel times, more time could be committed per day to production. A restroom and break facilities were provided on the roof during construction. Shaded cooling stations were located near work activities so field forces could properly cool themselves from the summer sun. Ferguson even utilized a riding lawn mower on the roof to be the ‘engine’ to our ‘train’ of roof panel carts carrying the panels from the edge of the roof. This was not only a huge time saver, but it also provided for a much more ergonomically friendly task than carrying the panels by hand.

Project Stats

The statistics of this project, particularly for a pre-engineered structure with metal roofing and siding, are staggering. The building footprint is 480,000 square feet, or just over 11 acres. To walk around the building is over a half a mile and takes around 10 minutes. Spring Creek Corporation provided over 13,000 cy of concrete for the project from their local plant, often starting at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning to accommodate their other project needs as well. The roof alone has over 50,000 roof clips and 4,000 roof splices, all installed by Ferguson’s forces and all performing for over a year now without any leaks. This is a true testament to the level of quality and caring of the men and women who installed this roofing system with the meret shop philosophy.

Ultimately a Success

As large as this project is, it is not what makes the project truly special and ultimately a success. This project was for a repeat client who Ferguson has built a long lasting relationship with. Area Energy & Electric, Slagle Mechanical, and Milligan Construction have all worked with the client before and were integral parts of the project planning, including the design and sequencing, which enabled this project to be completed in eight short months. Much of this project was sourced and contracted locally, involving ABC members not only as subcontractors but also at the supplier level. Ferguson was able to assign 15 college co-op students to this project throughout the summer thus allowing them to truly get hands on experience in the construction field as they work towards their Construction Management or Engineering Degree. Most of all though, the integration of the high school students, through the live feed, connected our local students to the project and to our industry and helped them to realize that construction is an honorable, skilled trade that really gets to do some pretty cool things.

The Bensar #40 project is a 2018 ABC Excellence in Construction Award Merit winner. Contact us today to start your building project