Miller Valentine Construction has kicked off a massive expansion project for Huhtamaki North America, a global food packaging supplier, serving the food service and food packaging industries.  The project will add roughly 250,000 square feet to Huhtamaki’s manufacturing plant in Hammond, Indiana, more than doubling space at the 75-year-old facility. This expansion will support the growth of Huhtamaki’s molded fiber products.  The construction start marks a significant milestone for a project that has been a year in the making.

 

Creative Planning to Protect Operations

Huhtamaki engaged our team in 2021 to evaluate multiple locations across Indiana for expansion capacity. We conducted the necessary due diligence for all locations being considered, providing the client with the data to make a strategic decision on their most efficient and cost-effective options. Our design/build team also led a collaborative planning and design process between our project partners — including Tilsley Architects and Schaefer Engineering.

 

Working around the facility’s operations for the duration of the 14-month construction schedule requires extensive planning and creative problem solving. Because the project will touch three of the existing facility’s four sides, our project team worked closely with the client to develop a phased schedule that will ensure Huhtamaki stays operational throughout construction.

 “We have worked side-by-side with the client the entire way to ensure their operational processes and our construction processes come together seamlessly,” said Dustin Bailey, Vice President of Operations.

 

Finland-based Huhtamaki, to which Huhtamaki North America belongs, emphasizes sustainability in its operations. The company’s ambition is to be the first choice for sustainable packaging solutions. The expansion project will incorporate many sustainable principles to support the company’s goals. For example, the precast concrete construction will reduce the company’s carbon footprint. The company has opted to expand on an existing site and preserve an adjacent wetland, promoting smarter use of natural resources. Recycled concrete will be used under the slab and paving. And our lean practices reduce waste as a matter of practice.

 

Building Certainty as a Design/Build Partner of Choice

Miller Valentine has collaborated on several projects with Huhtamaki North America, which has 18 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Mexico. In 2012, we transformed 1 million square feet of a former Ford Motor Company transmission manufacturing plant into a food-grade manufacturing facility. Located in Batavia, Ohio, the plant is a model “mega-plant” for the company. In 2016, we traveled to Goodyear, Arizona, to renovate a 650,000-square-foot facility for Huhtamaki’s packaging operations.

 

“Huhtamaki is a great corporate citizen, and our cultures align very closely,” said Dustin. “We are honored they continue to choose Miller Valentine to serve as their trusted guide as they expand their presence and operations across the U.S.”

 

The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023.