House of Reaford – Wallace
A fire at the House of Raeford’s Wallace processing plant left 675 employees out of work in rural Duplin County, North Carolina. It was decided that the quickest path to recovery was to repurpose an adjacent cold storage warehouse whereby they could reuse a large part of the structure and roofing system, but most importantly could continue using their existing environmental permits for the site. The new plant was the first phase of operation, currently employing 500.
The new 200,000 square foot plant is a Ready-to-Cook poultry processing facility. Designed with safety and sustainability in mind, the plant has been outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced technology.
Features include new food safety, preventive maintenance, and product tracking systems; advanced security and fire prevention equipment; an expanded and comfortable breakroom for employees; and a completely redesigned wastewater operation that enhances the quality of the water discharged with the projected capability to reuse 450,000 gallons of water a day.
GWA, Inc., was tasked with designing electrical systems in accordance with USDA requirements for poultry processing, support for refrigeration loads of over 5,800 HP including compressors, condensers, chillers, and air handling devices required to maintain the building’s design for 45ºF average temperature in all production and dock areas and 30º F in the storage cooler, and process loads in excess of 4,800 HP.
In addition to the electrical distribution system, GWA, Inc. designed the fire alarm, control and instrumentation infrastructure, grounding, surge suppression, emergency power system, high lumen output, corrosion-resistant lighting for safety in the processing areas and special blue LED lighting to calm poultry during the unloading process.
The project was fast track, accelerated design-build requiring coordination and quick response with the Owner and their electrical subcontractor who worked directly for the Owner. House of Raeford did not establish a budget or a schedule. Their charge was to get the plant back into operation better than it was before and to get their employees back to work as quickly as possible. As new poultry houses are built to support the complex, the plant is positioned to provide ready-to-cook chicken for distribution throughout the southeast. House of Raeford – Wallace expects to double the processing capacity.