Projects: Office Facilities

Factory LLC, Bethlehem, Pa.

RETROFIT TEAM

DEVELOPER, DESIGN-BUILDER: J.G. Petrucci Co. Inc.
ARCHITECT: Cerminara Architect
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Iron Hill Construction Management
GLAZING CONTRACTOR: Hutt’s Glass Co. Inc.

An old steel mill has been transformed into a new business incubator for food and consumer-packaged goods known as Factory LLC.

MATERIALS

An old steel mill has been transformed into a new business incubator for food and consumer-packaged goods known as Factory LLC. Providing natural light while promoting a comfortable, creative and productive interior, EXTECH/Exterior Technologies Inc.’s LIGHTWALL 3440 interlocking polycarbonate translucent wall system replaced the broken and empty window openings on the brick exterior.

To maximize access to natural light, Factory’s workspaces are positioned along the 40,000-square-foot building’s perimeter. EXTECH’s team engineered and custom-fabricated the tongue-and-groove polycarbonate wall assembly as rectangular, fixed, punched and expansive strip window units. The seven longest horizontal stretches span more than 20-feet wide by 8-feet tall.

The openings on the southern elevation were specified with a translucent, opalescent appearance to softly diffuse the interior daylight and minimize glare. Transparent panels were preferred for the building’s three other sides. All the polycarbonate panels have a UV-resistant coating on the exterior surface to manage unwanted solar heat gain and maintain a desirable, consistent interior temperature.

The units are framed in aluminum and finished in a Statuary Bronze baked enamel. The framing members’ interior and exterior metal surfaces are separated and insulated to improve thermal performance. The combined polycarbonate glazing and thermally broken framing also contribute to reducing the building’s demand on electrical and HVAC systems, optimizing energy efficiency and lowering associated utility costs.

EXTECH’s team engineered and custom-fabricated the tongue-and-groove polycarbonate wall assembly as rectangular, fixed, punched and expansive strip window units.

LIGHTWALL 3440 MANUFACTURER: EXTECH/Exterior Technologies Inc.

THE RETROFIT

Formerly known as the Mill Depot, the facility was built in the early 1900s for Bethlehem Steel as a shop to mill its tool- and hand-hammered alloy steel. Other metallurgical businesses made use of the space until 2014. Columbia Associates purchased the vacant and aging property in 2017.

According to Joe Petrucci, project executive for J.G. Petrucci Co., the team’s vision “paid homage to the building’s industrial roots by replicating the industrial window style and preserving one of the original cranes that was used by Bethlehem Steel. By keeping these features, the team retained the character of the old Bethlehem Steel building while bringing new life into it with this exciting food-innovation use.”

Factory’s modern building opened in 2019 and its concept serves as a “scale-up” facility and investor for food, beverage and pet brands. The inviting, collaborative space features a best-in-class commercial kitchen with live video capabilities and food safety areas. Refurbished shipping containers serve as unique office spaces.

Factory also provides resources, including capital, team members, office space and industry connections, to start-up companies. Factory’s current investment portfolio includes Stuffed Puffs, a marshmallow filled with milk chocolate, and Honey Stinger, a sports nutrition brand offering chews, gels and hydration mixes, as well as other brand partners.

PHOTOS: FACTORY LLC AND EXTECH/EXTERIOR TECHNOLOGIES INC.

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