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Zahner North Dock, Kansas City, United States 
Thursday 06 Jan 2011
 
The new face of productivity 
 
Copyright of Crawford Architects and Zahner 
 
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Façade design uplifts manufacturing plant and helps create a positive working environment 

"Architecture should be fascinating and enticing on the emotional level as well as intellectually challenging. When this is achieved, a long term connection with the inhabitants of an area is established. This connection will span for generations. Recent new additions to the fabric of Kansas City are doing just that," Bill Zahner.

The Zahner North Dock Project's program involved adding 10,000 sq ft to the North façade of their existing building. This would allow a larger, more open assembly area and improve operational efficiency for their production of massive panel system assemblies. Anyone can build a box, but Zahner wanted more; both from the people who work within the plant and offices, as well as those driving/walking by.

The spirit and intent of the façade reflects the complex structures being built around the world by Zahner. The façade also needed to have expansion potential to the west without appearing dated. The current plant was designed in the 1970s and incorporated tight column spacing and low ceiling heights. Both inhibited manufacturing and assembly operation efficiency. Due to increasing size of panels being designed and fabricated for ongoing projects, like the recent Miami Intermodal Center project, Zahner needed to have a much larger, more open assembly space. For example, Zahner wanted as wide a column spacing as possible (currently columns are around 45 ft) and as high a ceiling as economically feasible (20 ft clear height under crane rail compared to 10 ft height under old shop).

With the Miami Intermodal Center project, like other Zahner projects, the massive project has completely taken over the entirety of the shop floor, which has been producing the panels for the project for several months. Zahner has already documented a tremendous 30% improvement in operating efficiency during the Miami Intermodal Center project.

The wall surfacing of this project was designed as a research and development project for a dry drop and lock system for glazing units. This creates a much more open feeling in the assembly area and provides more natural lighting and hence a more positive environment to work in.

Crawford architects designed the distinctive-looking façade to creatively reflect Zahner's vision and strategy in the marketplace. A naturally occurring tidal ripple in sand was proposed by the architect as design inspiration for the outside façade. The building defies stereotypical typology for a manufacturing plant. It's light. It's airy. And while the work Zahner does is some of the most challenging architectural design by the best of the best, working within the space is uplifting.

Zahner wanted to open up the entire shop floor. This was achieved when the old wall was removed to allow more flexibility in the assembly options, and has led to more effective and efficient ways of producing projects. The Miami Intermodal Center project is just one of many projects being designed and fabricated more efficiently due to the design of the Zahner North Dock Project which was completed August 7th, 2010.

Productivity

The Zahner North Dock Project’s program involved adding 10,000 sq ft to the North façade of their existing building. This allowed a larger, more open assembly area and improved operational efficiency for their production of massive panel system assemblies. Anyone can build a box, but Zahner wanted more; both from the people who work within the plant and offices, as well as those driving/walking by. Due to the increasing size of panels being designed and fabricated for ongoing projects, like the recent Miami Intermodal Center project, Zahner needed to have a much larger, more open assembly space. With the Miami Intermodal Center project, like other Zahner projects, the massive project completely took over the entirety of the shop floor, which has been producing the panels for the project for several months. Zahner has immediately documented a tremendous and dramatic 30% improvement in operating efficiency during the Miami Intermodal Center project and has since with every project to date.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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Crawford Architects
www.crawfordarch.com
 
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