In Dalton, Ga., construction is under way on a $100 million luxury vinyl tile and plank plant. In June, International Vinyl Company (IVC) broke ground on the 300,000 sq. ft. (27,870 sq m) LVT plant, which allows IVC US to keep all its domestic manufacturing activities on the same site.
“IVC US Inc. has decided to invest in luxury vinyl tile and plank [LVT], as this is the hottest and fastest growing hard surface product category in flooring worldwide,” said Xavier Steyaert, Co-CEO, IVC US. “We are already successfully importing and selling LVT manufactured in our new plant in Belgium. Just like in 2010, when IVC US invested $75 million in the largest and most state-of-the-art sheet vinyl plant in Dalton, we will gradually transition from imported product from our Belgium plants to domestically designed and manufactured resilient flooring.”
IVC Group was founded in Avelgem, Belgium, in 1997. It lists more than 1,200 employees, and has become one of the largest independent global players in the floor coverings market, with products for both residential and contract use.
In 2004, IVC US was incorporated to service the United States and North American markets, and in 2011, IVC opened its first U.S. manufacturing facility and new corporate headquarters in Dalton. Its latest northwest Georgia addition is keeping builders on their toes.
“This facility is unique, due to the additional heavy loading of the steel structure and foundations,” said Steve Fox, president of Calhoun, Ga., based general contractor Fox & Brindle Construction Co. Inc. “It’s been designed to carry the supporting raw material delivery system to and through the actual roof steel structure of the building.
“The floor slab thicknesses vary from 12 inches reinforced to 48 inches reinforced. Incorporated in the design is a seven thousand square-foot, five-floor steel/concrete structure that’s about 100 feet tall.”
Currently, the foundations for the steel structure are being excavated and poured. The five-floor tower shear wall is being constructed. The steel structure framing also is being erected on the south end of the manufacturing facility. The tower, or multi-floor, slab and foundations have already been completed, along with the south half of the production foundations.
“Two thirds of the 54-foot tall shear wall and the large concrete pit is formed and poured,” Fox said. “The structural steel framing also is being erected. The mechanical systems are being installed to the new facility from the existing facility. Most of the work is left to be done during the next six months.”
For crews, the main concern is getting everything completed on time.
“This project is under a very aggressive time and completion schedule,” Fox said. “Getting started with the right construction team in place is always the most important aspect of what we do as the general contractor. We have every subcontractor under our scope of work, and keeping everyone on schedule is always a challenge. This project has a great team, and things have fallen into place very well.”
The main production facility includes the multi-level tower at the very south end. The main structural framing is steel and concrete. The roof system is metal deck rigid insulation and a TPO weather-tight roof system.
“The adjacent warehouse is constructed using the same materials, except for the exterior wall system,” Fox said. “The exterior walls of the warehouse are precast insulated concrete panels, since the west walls of this structure location form the boundary limits of the future construction, and will be visible as the final exterior wall of the completed complex.”
The site was originally cleared and rough graded for the original building. The grading for this new addition consisted of testing for any bad soils located under the footprint of the new buildings removal and replacement of all bad soils. The sub grade was left approximately 16 in. (40.6 cm) below finish floor. This sub-grade elevation allows for stone base under slab and the new 12 in. (30.4 cm) thick reinforced concrete floors.
There was approximately 25,000 cu. yds. (19,113.8 cu m) of new compacted fill installed to bring the existing building footprint to the proper sub grade.
A Cat D6 dozer, a Cat 320 excavator, sheepsfoot compactors, laser equipped motor graders and various models of dump trucks were used by the grading contractor to install the compacted earth fill. The erection of the structures will require telehandlers and cranes, as well as telescoping lifts and platform lifts of all makes and sizes. The concrete will be poured using laser screeds and a concrete pump delivery system. The project consists of approximately 1,800 tons (1,632.9 t) of steel and 16,000 cu. yds. (12,232.8 cu m) of concrete.
Fox also commented on the facility’s unique feature.
“The tower has a very large vertical shear wall that stands approximately 55 feet high. This wall is constructed in the shape of a ’T’. The strength of this multi-floor structure is achieved by this shear wall.”
So far, weather has not been a problem.
“This is always the best time of year to start a project,” said Fox. “When it rains, the temperature will quickly improve the conditions after the rain, so it’s not really a factor.”
If all goes according to plan, the new plant is expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2015. For the leadership team, the addition can’t come soon enough.
“This $100 million investment in LVT for construction and equipment will create more than 200 new jobs in Dalton and is located on the same 44-acres site as our first plant,” said Steyaert. “It will allow IVC US to further strengthen its market leadership position in domestic resilient flooring and double the size of the company in the next three years.”
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