United States Cold Storage Distribution Center

2015 | Industrial / Process / Research Facilities | National Award of Excellence | National Award of Merit

Design-Build Team Summary

Challenge Design-Build Project Delivery Addressed

The aggressive schedule of this project could not have been achieved within the timeframe allotted without the design-build delivery method. Timing was so critical, many components had to overlap. Site work took place during design, and design took place around procurement. Without being able to accomplish these tasks simultaneously, USCS’s goals could not have been met.


Unilever, one of the world’s largest producers of packaged consumer goods, desired to expand its ice cream manufacturing facility in Covington, Tennessee. Three firms were selected to compete for the project. The winning firm would operate the new facility under its own name. United States Cold Storage (USCS) selected Primus Builders, Inc., to serve as their design and construction provider. After a qualifications and selection process, Unilever agreed that the USCS/Primus team was the most qualified to complete the project within budget, schedule and to Unilever’s strict standards for sustainability and quality. The 336,500-square-foot dedicated frozen food distribution facility is located adjacent to Unilever’s existing 815,000-square-foot production facility, making it one of the largest ice cream manufacturing plants in the world.

Design-Build Team

Client/Owner: United States Cold Storage
Design-Builder: Primus Builders, Inc.
General Contractor: Primus Builders, Inc.
Architect: Primus Design Services LLC
Engineers: Primus Design Services LLC, AHA Consulting Engineers
Specialty Contractor: Primus Builders, Panel Division
Specialty Consultants: Swisslog, Republic Refrigeration
Duration of Construction: 11 months
Project Cost: $48,000,000