Inspired by the nature of the Magic Valley setting, the 70,000-sq.-ft. center represents the future of U.S. manufacturing.
When Chobani set out to expand its yogurt manufacturing plant in Twin Falls, Idaho, they did so with the plan of making it as sustainable as possible. Now, roughly midway through the construction project, they've found they've exceeded even their own expectations.
“We spent a lot of time to make sure we had LEED certification,” said Hugh Roddy, vice-president of global engineering and project management. “We were originally shooting for silver, and now we're going for LEED gold at this facility. I would phrase sustainability as a mission. Sustainability goes in line with our products. We're here to develop nutritious natural projects. If we didn't follow with sustainability mindset, we'd be failing ourselves and the people in our community.”
Inspired by the nature of the Magic Valley setting, the 70,000-sq.-ft. center represents the future of U.S. manufacturing, with some 11,000-sq.-ft. of smart glass putting transparency and sunlight at the center of its design,” according to a Chobani press release. The smart glass will greatly enhance natural light while regulating internal temperatures and reducing the use of heating and air conditioning, driving a 20-percent reduction in energy consumption.
An expansive skylight at the center of the building will reduce lighting needs from the environmentally-conscious all-LED lighting system, while 30,000-sq.-ft. of “smart roofing” will reflect sunlight and reduce heat absorption.
All products are local.
“Committed to creating jobs and economic opportunity where it operates, Chobani hired local architects and engineers to design this facility and brought on local contractors and workers to build it.”
Chobani also is dedicated to using as much recycled material as possible, as well as recycling 100 percent of construction waste.
The $20 million to $30 million project is the third expansion to the original plant, and slated for completion in 2019.
Features include 2,000-sq.-ft. fitness center overlooking the Sawtooth Mountains and a 7,000-sq.-ft. sun-filled community space where employees can gather for shared meals and relaxation. The community space will also be used for town halls and special celebrations.
A 15,000-sq.-ft. Global Research and Development Center will encompass the entire top floor of the building. It will feature a chef kitchen that will enable our talented researchers to innovate and grow even faster.
A dedicated visitor entrance will welcome the Magic Valley community to learn more about the company's history of growth in Twin Falls, as well as its commitment to participating in local initiatives. There also will be wellness rooms for new mothers throughout the facility.
“It's been great to watch Chobani become part of the fabric of our Magic Valley communities over the past four years,” said Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter. “This new investment in Twin Falls reflects Chobani's commitment to Idaho and to the people who have responded so positively to its corporate citizenship. Congratulations to all those who are contributing to Chobani's growth, just as Chobani is contributing to ours.”
The biggest challenge is the company's own timeline, Roddy said.
“Chobani doesn't do things in normal measures. We want to get this up as quickly as possible. Our main goal, our promise is to keep the environmental footprint as small as possible. The response from the community has been an outpouring of joy. The community is very happy to see this facility open. We're partners. We've been partners with the community of Twin Falls from day one, collaborating on the spiritual wellbeing for our employees and all of our community.”