Word Search Wednesday!

Here’s a #WednesdayWisdom question for you:

What’s better than precast concrete? A word search that contains words and phrases related to precast concrete (and Gage Brothers, of course)!

We hope that you enjoy this word search as much as we enjoyed making it.

Use the links below for a printable version. And don’t fret if you get stuck—an answer key is also provided. 🙂

NEW Gage Brothers Word Search_9_26

Gage Brothers All Things Precast Word Search
Gage Brothers All Things Precast ANSWER KEY

Advertisements

Graphic Concrete signs a broad distribution agreement for North America, Gage Brothers one of nineteen precast companies to gain production rights

Graphic concrete logoGraphic Concrete Ltd has signed a cooperation agreement with AltusGroup Ltd and is expanding to the United States and Canada.

Tribute to FirefightersGraphic Concrete is a patented technology that has been used extensively in projects across Europe, the Nordics and Australia. The technology transfers patterns — custom or stock — as a surface retarder via a membrane placed at the bottom of the form. Concrete is cast atop the membrane. After the concrete is cured and extracted from the form, the retarder is washed away with a high-pressure washer, revealing an image that results from the contrast between the fair faced and the exposed aggregate surface. Selection of various aggregates and pigments can dramatically expand possibilities in the finished surface.

altus group logoAltusGroup, headquartered in Pennsylvania, United States, is a joint venture of 19 American concrete factories, which drives the development of concrete by introducing innovative products. They are now the exclusive U.S. and Canadian sourcepoint distributors of Graphic Concrete technology for imparting durable patterns and images onto precast surfaces such as facades, walls, spandrels and soundwalls.

“We are seeking strong growth from abroad and we have for a long time been looking for a partner in North America who has a broad network of plants and strong expertise in architectural concrete construction,” says Kimmo Knaapila, Managing Director of Graphic Concrete Ltd. “North America is a completely new market for us and we are really excited about having found a suitable partner. We share the same values ​​with AltusGroup; we invest in continuous development, excellent consulting customer service and we both want to build a more diverse and visually appealing living environment,” Knaapila continues.

Woods 2Driving precast innovation

“We are very happy about new cooperation. The innovation offered by Graphic Concrete is a great addition to our product range. The method is also expected to increase the interest of new element factories to join AltusGroup because only our members can take advantage of this fascinating new technology, “said AltusGroup CEO John Carson. “Our skilled and experienced precasters continue to embrace novel and innovative technologies that improve the performance and aesthetic beauty of precast concrete to the benefit of the building team,” he added.

“Our goal is to enable architects and designers to turn their visions into reality,” says Blair Davies, head of Graphic Concrete, North America. “Our products can be tailored and the outcome of each project is unique. We believe in building a better built environment through the use of Graphic Concrete.”

Gage Brothers is one of the precast companies in America now with the capability to manufacture Graphic Concrete.

color pigmentsAccording to Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley, adding Graphic Concrete to Gage Brothers’ already extensive product line was a no-brainer.

“Innovation is the platform on which we work,” he said. “For us, the key driver is to offer products that are better than what is currently in the market, best in class.”

That impulse has created a strategy of continuous evolution that has allowed  Gage Brothers to expand its product offerings over the decades — a vast line that includes CarbonCast Insulated Systems, thin brick and stone clad systems, ultra-thin ARCIS precast panels and now Graphic Concrete.

“Our customers are loyal to us right up until the second somebody offers them better service or products,” he says. “And I love that. It’s super-motivating for us.”

Graphic Concrete AIAGage Brothers premiered its Graphic Concrete samples and marketing materials at last week’s AIA South Dakota annual convention.

“Each new product is a chapter in the Gage Brothers story,” said Kelley.  “I’m confident that Graphic Concrete will build upon and enhance the next chapters.”

Gage Brothers recently began the construction of a new plant featuring a multi-million dollar investment in state-of-the-art technology rarely used in the manufacture of precast concrete in the United States. The new manufacturing facility will be located at 2800 N. Bahnson Avenue off of Interstate 229, in northeast Sioux Falls. Completion is slated for January of 2019.

~~~

About Gage Brothers

Gage Brothers Concrete Products Incorporated (gagebrothers.com) was established in 1915 by members of the Gage family and now employs more than 250 employees in northwest Sioux Falls. Employee-owned since 2008, Gage Brothers has a proud tradition of being a leading manufacturer of innovative architectural and structural precast concrete products. Products manufactured at the Sioux Falls plant can be found throughout the upper Midwest, including projects throughout Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The Midwest’s premier precast concrete company registered $40 million in sales last year.

About Graphic Concrete

Graphic Concrete Ltd manufactures and sells Graphic Concrete, a patented innovative product that enables durable patterns and images to be produced on prefabricated concrete surfaces. The technology was invented by interior architect Samuli Naamanka in the late 1990s. Samuli’s inspiration was to create an industrial product for large-scale surfaces, a tool with which architects could be more visually creative. Graphic Concrete has since been working with a wide range of projects in 25 countires around the world, ranging from industrial buildings to fine art. For more information, visit graphicconcrete.com.

About AltusGroup

The first-ever national partnership of precast companies dedicated to “innovation powered by collaboration,” AltusGroup challenges the industry’s brightest minds to speed the development and perfection of precast technologies that improve the built environment. Products include the award-winning CarbonCast® line of products featuring C-GRID carbon fiber grid reinforcing and ARCIS ultra-thin precast panels for rainscreens and other applications. AltusGroup companies have an unparalleled network of manufacturing plants, technical staff and sales personnel to ensure architects, engineers and contractors get the help they need—and the quality and performance they expect. For more information, visit altusprecast.com.

Gage Brothers teams up with Fiegen Construction & JLG Architects to support Feeding South Dakota

HAMSeptember is Hunger Action Month – a month where people all over America stand together with Feeding America and the nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger.

It’s a month to spread the word and take action on the hunger crisis, and Gage Brothers is teaming up with a longtime construction partner to help the food-insecure population of South Dakota.

Fiegen_Logo_5-17To help raise awareness for those who struggle with hunger in South Dakota, Gage Brothers will host a food drive in partnership with Fiegen Construction and JLG Architects to benefit the Feeding South Dakota Food Pantry Program.

“Hunger remains a major concern throughout the Sioux Empire, and we are proud to team up with Fiegen Construction to help tackle this important issue,” said Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley. “We encourage our employees, clients, construction partners and local residents to show their support and help those in our community who are in need.”

This is not the first time that Fiegen Construction and Gage Brothers have joined forces. The two companies have worked together on more than 100 buildings projects in the past 40 years.

In addition, Fiegen is the general contractor for Gage Brothers’ new precast facility, while JLG Architects is the architect of record for the build.

“Feeding South Dakota is incredibly grateful to Gage Brothers, Fiegen Construction and JLG Architects for a continued partnership in the fight to end hunger in South Dakota,” said Matt Gassen, CEO, Feeding South Dakota.

“The reality is that 1 in every 8 people are struggling with food insecurity in South Dakota,” he added. “Even more staggering is that 1 in every 6 children don’t know where their next meal will come from.”

Feeding South Dakota is a nonprofit hunger-relief organization, leading the movement to end hunger throughout the Mount Rushmore State. For more than 40 years, Feeding South Dakota has partnered with communities across the state to distribute food to individuals and families in need.

In 2016, Feeding South Dakota as a whole distributed 13.5 million pounds of food in the fight against hunger. Every single week, Feeding South Dakota assists in providing temporary food assistance to approximately 21,000 hungry individuals and families in South Dakota, while their BackPack Program gives food every weekend to more than 5,500 kids who otherwise might go hungry.

September marks the tenth year the Feeding America network of food banks has organized this annual call to action and tenth year that Feeding South Dakota has participated in the Hunger Action Month movement. This year the campaign will focus on the strong connections between hunger and health.

Statewide, Governor Dennis Daugaard has issued an Executive Proclamation to reflect that Thursday, September 14th, 2017 is “Hunger Action Day” in South Dakota. This proclamation signifies the importance that hunger awareness has in all 66 counties in South Dakota and the support Governor Daugaard grants Feeding South Dakota to continue to feed those who are struggling with food insecurity.

Want to help? You can drop off nonperishable food items at Gage Brothers (4301 West 12th Street) throughout the month of September. You can also drop items off at JLG Architects (232 S Main Ave.) and Fiegen Construction (3712 S Western Avenue).

Items needed by Feeding South Dakota include:

  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit and fruit juices
  • Canned Soup
  • Oatmeal and cereal
  • Canned meats
  • Rice, beans, and pasta
  • Spaghetti sauce

Gage Brothers named precaster for phase one of Avera Health’s new campus construction project

636390206782239502-nw1
Artist’s Rendering of the Avera on Louise Health Campus |BWBR

Gage Brothers was recently selected by Journey Group to provide the architectural precast concrete exterior for phase one of the Avera Health campus construction project at 69th Street and Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls.

Avera unveiled renderings of its new campus during a ceremonial groundbreaking for the site on Tuesday, August 22nd.

The new health campus is part of $174 million in construction projects Avera has planned for the next two and a half years. According to Avera officials, the build is the largest construction project in Avera’s history and the city of Sioux Falls.

The new Avera on Louise Health Campus includes a 24-bed, free-standing orthopedic hospital and a connected medical office building. Besides orthopedics, the campus will focus on sports medicine, gastroenterology, rheumatology and internal medicine.

Avera will also be launching a major renovation to their 52-acre main campus on Cliff Avenue in Sioux Falls. The Avera McKennan campus will see expanded intensive care capabilities, new rehabilitation units, more surgical suites and additional clinic space.

041217AveraHealthDaveKapaskaOnLouiseBuildingNewTadJacobs“This bold, transformative campus is part of a broad and unified development plan to meet the rapidly growing needs of Sioux Falls and the region,” said Dr. Dave Kapaska, Regional President and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, in a company release.

Gage Brothers will manufacture more than 65,000 square feet of precast concrete for the Avera on Louise Health Campus; including 40,000 square feet of architectural precast wall panels and roughly 25,000 square feet of smooth gray wall panels.

“We are ecstatic to be part of a design-build healthcare project of this magnitude,” said Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley. “Avera Health is an integral part of the city’s fabric, and we are honored to extend our relationship with an organization whose mission is so vital to the health and safety of families in our community.”

Gage Brothers has been part of Avera’s foundation for more than a half-century. The company’s relationship with Avera dates back to 1964, when Gage Brothers supplied precast concrete for a renovation to McKennan (now Avera McKennan) Hospital. The Avera McKennan campus has undergone multiple renovations and expansions throughout the decades, and Gage Brothers has been involved nearly every step of the way.

In fact, Gage Brothers has worked on more than 50 construction projects for Avera since the early 1960’s.

Prairie Center (25)
The Prairie Center was built with 45,000 sq. ft. of Gage Brothers precast products

In 2010, Gage Brothers provided a granite-clad and thin-set brick clad precast panel system for Avera McKennan’s Prairie Center, an environment that houses specialized cancer and surgical services. The use of Gage Brothers precast instead of a granite and brick on a steel stud system saved Avera Health more than one million dollars and weeks off the construction schedule.

Most recently, Gage Brothers supplied architectural precast panels for the new Avera Medical Group Family Health Center on the Grassland Health Campus in Mitchell, S.D.

IMG_9755
Avera McKennan Grassland Health Campus

Gage Brothers is currently producing precast for the addition to Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre, S.D.

“I think our vast experience in healthcare projects allows us to offer clients like Avera Health key information about industry trends in design, guidance when it comes to cost, scheduling and constructability and a wealth of lessons learned across the past six decades,” added Kelley.

Gage Brothers is currently in the design and engineering phase of the precast elements for the Avera on Louise Health campus. The precast pieces are being designed in Building Information Modeling (BIM), an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and constructions professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.

Gage Brothers is 100% BIM compliant with its entire drafting and engineering department trained in Revit software. The team has designed more than sixty structures in in BIM since 2013.

“The use of BIM on design-build projects allows Gage Brothers to integrate design through fabrication increasing efficiencies and reducing errors that deliver superior performance precast buildings,” added Kelley.

Recent BIM collaborations include: Sanford Medical Center (Fargo, N. D.), Denny Sanford PREMIER Center (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and the Wells Fargo Downtown East Development (Minneapolis, Minn.).

Production of the precast components for the Avera on Louise Health Campus should begin at the end of this year with installation of the precast slated to begin early in 2018. The first construction phase includes the surgical hospital and a connected medical office building, comprising 260,000 square feet. Opening of the campus is slated for early 2020.

The architect of record for the Avera on Louise project is St. Paul-based BWBR. Gage Brothers and BWBR have collaborated on more than three dozen projects since 1986, including a trio of Avera builds: the Prairie Center, Avera Marshall Cancer Center and the current Avera St. Mary’s hospital expansion.

Minnesota Senate Building
Minnesota Senate Building

The two firms also worked together on the Minnesota Senate Building—named the 2017 Upper Midwest Region Project of the Year by the DBIA (Design Build Institute of America).

Gage Brothers has supplied precast products for several Journey Group builds, such as the Dakota State University Beacom Institute of Technology and USF’s Benedetto Hall.

Builds currently “under construction” include the South Dakota State Performing Arts Center expansion and two new residence halls at Northern State University.

Avera estimates more than 600 construction workers will work on the project, with a two-year payroll of nearly $28 million. Avera Health says using U.S. Department of Commerce economic multipliers; this creates an economic ripple effect that will contribute to 1,200 total jobs and $118 million in earnings.

—————————————

Since 1915, Gage Brothers has developed precast for more than 10,000 building projects across the U.S., from Flagstaff to Orlando and everywhere in between. From a single pit cover for a local farmer to $500 million healthcare design-builds, there’s no job too big or small. We take pride in every build like it’s our own, and we deliver on-time and on-budget.

 

Trio of Gage Brothers projects named to Finance & Commerce “Top Projects of 2016” list

Finance & Commerce recently honored Minnesota’s top construction projects with its tenth annual Top Projects Series.

The selected projects were celebrated with an award event on July 26, 2017 and with a daily series in the print publication.

Projects are judged for their degree of difficulty, creativity in design, innovative construction techniques, cooperation among contractors and management, and sustainability efforts.

Projects that completed in 2016 are eligible for honors. All projects are eligible, whether new construction or a major renovation in commercial or residential.

The three Gage Brothers projects named to the list are the Minnesota Senate Building, Maurices Headquarters and the Wells Fargo Downtown East Corporate Campus. In total, Gage Brothers produced 271,651 square feet of precast concrete products for the acclaimed trio.

The Minnesota Senate Building
By Todd Nelson, Finance & Commerce

Project Details

  • Project cost: $89.6 million
  • 54,571 square feet of precast
  • 300 pieces
  • Precast Erection Start Date: May 2015
  • Precast Erection Completion Date: September 2015
  • Project Completion Date: January 2016

Minnesota Senate BuildingThe group had just 20 months to design and build a structure that would house all 67 Minnesota senators, support public participation in the legislative process, and serve the public for a century. The building, which had to be ready for occupancy by January 2016 to accommodate that year’s legislative session, was completed on time.

Architects from St. Paul-based BWBR and Connecticut-based Pickard Chilton, a variety of engineers, and design-builder Mortenson Construction of Golden Valley met daily to collaborate on the design and assess progress.

Design-build team members gathered on the upper floor of a credit union building that Mortenson rented across the street from the project. In industry jargon, it’s called the “Big Room” concept.

The 293,000-square-foot Senate building, the first new legislative building neighboring the Minnesota Capitol since 1932, includes offices for senators and their support staff and serves as a workplace for more than 360 people. It includes a 250-seat theater-style hearing room and two 150-seat hearing rooms.

Citizens and future building occupants offered input on the design. “One of the things that made it ‘of Minnesota’ was the involvement of Minnesotans along the way,” said Stephen Harris, architect with Pickard Chilton.

Maurices Headquarters & City of Duluth Parking Structure
160627_MCG_MAU_058
Project Details

  • Project cost: $70 million
  • 66,747 square feet of precast
  • 502 pieces
  • Precast Erection Start Date: March 2015
  • Precast Erection Completion Date: September 2015
  • Project Completion Date: March 2016

By Dan Heilman, Finance & Commerce
An ambitious public-private collaboration recently resulted in downtown Duluth’s largest building, as well as a new headquarters for a leading retailer of women’s clothing. Because the 11-story structure is essentially three buildings in one, it was also one of the more complicated construction projects in the port city’s history.

“This was an unusual project because there was so much at stake for both the public and private partners,” said Connie Shields, project manager for owners Tegra Group. “The volume of city involvement was huge.”

160627_MCG_MAU_088The new Maurices headquarters boasts an exterior of brick, precast concrete and glass. Some complicated thermal requirements were met in order to have four floors of “cold” space for the parking ramp in between multiple floors of conditioned space.

The two-story lobby entrance includes retail and office space, while the second through sixth floors include skywalk infrastructure and the 491-space ramp, which is owned by the city. While most parking ramps aren’t noted for their aesthetic charm, this one has a perforated metal skin to keep headlight glare from escaping the ramp.

“The city needed the parking, so they were able to put together a matching grant program that the state Department of Employment and Economic Development was able to participate in,” said Shields. “That added an extra $20 million to fund the building and provide extra parking for downtown Duluth as well as parking for employees. It was a win-win for everybody.”

Floors seven through 11 contain office space for Maurices and Ascena Retail Group.

Shields noted the monumental amount of teamwork necessary to make the project go, and singled out architect Terry Helland and Dave McLaughlin of McGough Construction for special praise.

“Periodically during construction Dave would say we were using this many miles of wire, this many pounds of a certain material,” she said. “That gave everyone some real perspective of what was going into the project.”

Wells Fargo Downtown East Corporate Campus
By Dan Heilman, Finance & Commerce

Project Details

  • Project cost: $217 million
  • 150,033 square feet of precast
  • 1,044 pieces
  • Completion Date: May 2016

WellsFargo_EXTERIOR_commons_stadium_160926_RYA_DEC_004.jpgThe Star Tribune is in the news business, not the real estate business. So when it decided to sell its downtown Minneapolis headquarters so banking giant Wells Fargo could build a new corporate campus, it was an all-or-nothing proposition.

“They wanted to sell all of the parcel at once,” said Tony Barranco, vice president, real estate development, for Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. US Inc. “Lining up multiple uses and not wanting to carry a lot of expensive urban land, we didn’t want to carry it without a plan for very long.”

Holding a hot potato such as that parcel of land was only one of the many moving pieces that needed to be negotiated during the development of the Wells Fargo Downtown East Corporate Campus. Also a source of concern was the concurrent construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, which was being built down the street.

“The timing was the most unique challenge,” said Barranco. “Investment in the stadium was an important catalyst. We had to make sure we could catch up to the stadium, because a lot of the overall value of the projects – skyway connections, parking ramp, the Downtown East Commons – all had to keep pace with the schedule the stadium construction was on.”

The final product was worth the angst. The regional headquarters facility has two 17-story towers offering 1.2 million square feet of office space. More than 5,000 Wells Fargo employees work in a space meant to encourage team collaboration and communication. To top off the project and create an inviting atmosphere, Ryan proposed a new 4.2-acre urban park adjacent to the campus, which the city and Wells Fargo both welcomed.

“Projects of that scale don’t get done by one person,” said Barranco. “With a whole lot of people moving in one direction, you can get a lot accomplished, and this was the perfect example.”

Finance and Commerce provides news, analysis and commentary on Minnesota business. We are the only independent daily newspaper dedicated to business reporting.

Founded in 1887, Finance and Commerce is the only daily newspaper devoted exclusively to business in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis–Saint Paul) of Minnesota.

Gage Brothers announces official groundbreaking ceremony for new plant

Facebook Invite_Gage BrothersGage Brothers has announced that it will officially break ground for its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility on Thursday, July 27th at 4:30 p.m.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on the site of the future building, which will be located at 2800 N. Bahnson Avenue in northeast Sioux Falls.

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether are expected to attend the ceremony, along with other state, city and company officials.

“Earlier this summer we announced the start of a new era for our company,” said Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley. “I am truly excited to take the next step toward another milestone as we break ground on a new manufacturing facility, which will support our plan to increase production by 60 percent while increasing our employee base by 20 percent in the next five to eight years.”

He added, “We believe this region possesses a great pool of talent, and we look forward to having these exceptional employees build a career with us.”

The new property at N. Bahnson Ave. is on land owned by the Sweetman family south of Benson Road and east of Interstate 229 that is being developed as an industrial park. Once complete, the new plant will consolidate machinery and employees into a single 210,000-square-foot facility spread across 45 acres.

Gage Brothers’ new space is expected to cost about $40 million, which will primarily be financed through Great Western Bank and Gage Bros. Land Company LLC, with additional funding from the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and private investors. The Gage Bros. Land Company is comprised of the Gage Brothers board of directors along with Tom and Fred Gage.

###

About Gage Brothers

Gage Brothers Concrete Products Incorporated (gagebrothers.com) was established in 1915 by members of the Gage family and now employs more than 250 employees in northwest Sioux Falls. Employee-owned since 2008, Gage Brothers has a proud tradition of being a leading manufacturer of innovative architectural and structural precast concrete products. Products manufactured at the Sioux Falls plant can be found throughout the upper Midwest, including projects throughout Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The Midwest’s premier precast concrete company registered $40 million in sales last year.

Gage Brothers announces construction of new plant; significant investment builds on the company’s century-long manufacturing history in Sioux Falls

Plant ExteriorGage Brothers today announced the construction of a new plant featuring a multi-million dollar investment in state-of-the-art technology rarely used in the manufacture of precast concrete in the United States.

WATCH: Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley talks with Jodi Schwan of SiouxFalls.Business.

The new manufacturing facility will be located at 2800 N. Bahnson Avenue off of Interstate 229, in northeast Sioux Falls.

“We are celebrating our proud South Dakota heritage, the growing popularity of Gage Brothers products in national markets, our continuing investments in productive technology and our great employee owners who are the backbone of our success,” said Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley.

Gage Brothers’ new space is expected to cost about $40 million, which will primarily be financed through Great Western Bank and Gage Bros. Land Company LLC, with additional funding from the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and private investors. The Gage Bros. Land Company is comprised of the Gage Brothers board of directors along with Tom and Fred Gage.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting project with Gage Brothers as they enter into the next phase of their long-standing history in Sioux Falls,” said Ryan Boschee, Great Western Bank Group President. “Our organizations share many similarities in our missions and values while calling Sioux Falls home. Like Gage Brothers, we are big enough to handle projects of this scale while maintaining a local feel.”

“This new facility will benefit not only the Sioux Falls community but the entire region for years to come,” added Jay Mitchell, GWB Business Banker. “For more than a century, Gage Brothers has been a leader in the manufacturing of innovative architectural and structural precast concrete products. We’re honored to partner with Gage in this exciting project.”

“Gage Brothers is a 100-year-old company whose impact on the construction industry reaches far beyond the Sioux Falls-area,” said GOED Commissioner Scott Stern. “A $40 million investment in new construction and infrastructure means a lot more than a building—it’s a place where new and existing employees will continue to manufacture a quality product, in a safe and more efficient work environment. This is a very welcome expansion, by a long standing South Dakota business. It’s our pleasure to be a part of history in the making.”

Running out of room

A slow-and-steady rebound from the recession has evolved into consistent business growth for Gage Brothers, a company that continues to see customer demand for its products –particularly, insulated systems and thin-brick panels as well as a new line of ARCIS ultra-thin precast panels—grow beyond its existing capacity.

Gage Brothers has been at the same West 12th Street location since its founding in 1915, a locale that served its purpose until space could no longer keep up with demand.

“We’ve outgrown capacity to the point we’re turning down work on a regular basis,” said Kelley, who has been at the helm of Gage Brothers since 2001.

Once completed, the new facility will increase Gage Brothers’ manufacturing capacity by 60-percent and play a central role in expanding the company’s geographic footprint in the United States. Since 1963, roughly 92 percent of the building projects awarded to Gage Brothers have been located in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

Current operations are scattered between sixteen buildings on thirty acres. The new plant will consolidate machinery and employees into a single 210,000-square-foot facility spread across 45 acres.

TK_2017
Tom Kelley

“Our end goal is to continue to provide top quality products and create an even better experience for our clients,” said Kelley. “We want to continue to set the standard for the precast concrete industry and the new building gives us the space we need to do so.”

The architect of record for the new plant is the Sioux Falls office of JLG Architects. The construction management contract was awarded to Fiegen Construction, also of Sioux Falls.

“Making a 100-year move is a really big deal,” said Dave Van Nieuwenhuyzen, AIA, design lead for the project. “The new Gage Brothers manufacturing plant will help them remain a national leader in precast concrete for generations to come, and become the most automated precast manufacturer in the nation.”

Designed with employees in mind

Cafeteria Interior EntryThe well-being of current and future employees also played a paramount role in the design of Gage Brothers’ new home. Workplace amenities include a large cafeteria, locker rooms and collaborative areas. Large windows throughout the facility will allow ample natural light without compromising energy efficiency. Offices for Gage Brothers supervisors will be located on the mezzanine level, along with a training room and additional social spaces.

The facility has also been designed to attract great talent and create a highly engaged and happy workforce.

Approximately 95 percent of the precast concrete production process will be indoors, compared to 65 percent at the current Gage Brothers location. This will remove employees from risks associated with working outdoors, such as extreme cold and sun exposure.

Gage Brothers has also taken proactive steps to be prepared for the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) silica exposure rule that will take effect next summer for the manufacturing industry.

The rule reduces permissible exposure limits for respirable crystalline silica significantly and requires employers to use engineering controls to limit worker exposure. Industries have 1-to-5 years to comply with most requirements.

The elimination of sandblasting process will remove the health hazards associated with silica dust. Gage Brothers will also phase out its current acid-etching finishing process. This process will be replaced with a technique that will be more environmentally friendly.

“We are proud of our employees and the quality products they safely produce for our customers every day, and believe this new facility will allow us to create a world-class safety culture and injury-free work environment,” said Kelley.

Rise of the machines

Automation has changed the manufacturing landscape by making the production process more consistent, efficient, safe and less labor-intensive.

With its new plant, Gage Brothers will make a clean break from its previous approaches to production. The use of robust machinery and intelligent software will optimize the entire process chain and allow employees to complete tasks with “more brain with less brawn.”

“We are applying automation and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees,” said Kelley. “Through on-the-job training, we will also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as process control and quality control.”

Concrete will be delivered to pouring stations through the use of “flying buckets,” a system that has a long history in Europe but is relatively new in the United States. The buckets will reduce the time takes to deliver concrete to pouring stations by one third, all but eliminating the current wait time for concrete.

An automated rebar bending machine will produce the same number of beam and column ties in an hour that it currently takes six hours to produce by hand.

Additional intelligent machines such as hydraulic formwork systems will save worker hours and greatly reduce the risk of back strains and sprains for employees.

“Our new plant will harness both automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in Sioux Falls,” said Kelley. “Our goal is to increase production by 60 percent with only a 20 percent increase in workforce.”

Perhaps the most valuable benefit automation will afford to Gage Brothers employees is a more predictable work schedule.

All manufacturing operations will be under one roof, which will result in fewer bottlenecks, greater operating efficiency and streamlined use of space.

The use of flying concrete buckets will also reduce idle waiting times for workers and give them better control over daily tasks—making it possible to know what their day will look like and when they can go home.

“Automation will empower our workforce by streamlining processes and helping them to do their jobs more efficiently,” said Kelley. “I believe this technology will not only make jobs easier, it will also take away many mundane tasks which will create opportunities for more flexible and fulfilling work.”

 

 

A Sioux Falls Original

Gage Brothers has been creating concrete solutions in Sioux Falls since the Woodrow Wilson administration.

It all started in 1915 when William Gage and Harold Gabel began pouring sidewalks for Sioux Falls. Albert and William Gage, Jr. followed in their father’s footsteps and the company was incorporated in 1946. The cousin consortium of Fred, Tom and Al Gage Jr., became the third generation to lead the company in the late 1970s.

Gage Brothers continued to grow and built a reputation based on impeccable workmanship, attention to detail and a dedication to service. In 2008, Gage Brothers began the transition from a family business to an employee-owned company with the implantation of an employee stock ownership plan.

“For more than 100 years, Gage Brothers has maintained a significant manufacturing presence in Sioux Falls, and we look forward to building on that legacy through the construction of our new, cutting edge plant,” said Kelley.

Added Van Nieuwenhuyzen, “It is a true honor for our employee owners to work with Gage’s employee owners to see this building realized.”

Construction is expected to begin this summer, with completion slated for January 2019. A ground-breaking ceremony will be announced at a later date.

 

###

About Gage Brothers

Gage Brothers Concrete Products Incorporated (gagebrothers.com) was established in 1915 by members of the Gage family and now employs more than 250 employees in northwest Sioux Falls. Employee-owned since 2008, Gage Brothers has a proud tradition of being a leading manufacturer of innovative architectural and structural precast concrete products. Products manufactured at the Sioux Falls plant can be found throughout the upper Midwest, including projects throughout Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The Midwest’s premier precast concrete company registered $40 million in sales last year.