Yokohama Tire Manufacturing of Mississippi – Kajima Building & Design Group, Inc.
For the construction of its first new manufacturing facility in the United States, Yokohama Tire Corporation turned to Kajima Building & Design (KBD) Group Inc., a subsidiary of Kajima USA Inc., for design-build contracting services on the Yokohama Tire Manufacturing of Mississippi (YTMM) facility. With U.S. Headquarters in Atlanta, KBD Group Inc. offers a wide array of architectural, engineering, construction and real estate development services, and has become an international firm through its network of specialized companies.
For more than 40 years, KBD Group Inc. has been providing integrated design-build services throughout the U.S. Specializing in the construction of manufacturing, mission-critical and industrial warehouse facilities, all services are performed by licensed professionals. With offices strategically located in Atlanta, New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Cincinnati and Memphis, KBD Group Inc. has the financial and technical ability required for projects of all sizes.
With a tight production schedule, the foundation for the approximately 1 million-square-foot YTMM facility was laid in January 2014 and the owner began moving equipment in by August 2015. In addition to a restrictive timeline, Lonnie Edmond, senior project manager for KBD Group Inc., and his team were presented with numerous challenges during construction. Crews dealt with an excessive amount of rainfall during the summer of 2014 and while providing manpower was not an issue, scheduling presented a challenge in itself.
As senior project manager for KBD Group Inc., Edmond is primarily involved in design-build projects for manufacturing and industrial customers. “I’m often involved with our Japanese clients,” he shares. While the YTMM project did not necessarily require the implementation of methods or strategies foreign to Edmond, the project is his first tire manufacturing facility. “As far as construction goes, there weren’t any aspects that I hadn’t done before,” adds Edmond. “At almost 1 million square feet, it’s the largest facility I’ve managed construction for.”
With the heavy rainfall that persisted throughout construction, Edmond recalls topping off the facility as one of the more memorable moments of the process. “As with most projects, getting them dried in with the completion of the roof is always a great milestone,” says Edmond. “We had record-setting rainfall in June 2014 so it was great to be able to get the other trades in to do their jobs.” Edmond also says that turning the facility over to the owner is almost always the highlight of any project.
As with a majority of construction projects, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) aspects are a major scope of the work to be performed. This remained the case for YTMM. “Of course the building shells and structures are important, but if you don’t have the processes and utilities to run the equipment that the owner has more invested in than the building itself, you don’t have any possibility of success,” Edmond explains. “It creates a domino effect by having the MEP aspects in place.”
A universal company
With a strong network of subcontractors in its database, KBD Group Inc. adheres to certain criteria when accepting bids for projects. “We do prefer to use as many local contractors as we can,” says Edmond. “With the amount and scope of work that we perform, it really narrows down the list to people who are highly qualified and are able to complete the work according to our standard of quality and the client’s schedule.” Other criteria that KBD Group Inc. examines include reputation and safety record.
Edmond began his career with KBD Group Inc. in September 1984 at 23 years old. While he has worked for other companies since then, Edmond returned to KBD Group due to the satisfaction and opportunities he has been granted within the company. “I’ve worked in the design-build construction industry my entire career,” he says. “Kajima is one of the best companies to work for.”
KBD Group’s thorough understanding of all facets of the building process from inception through completion assures that every project exceeds its clients’ expectations in quality, schedule and budget criteria. Maintaining this mission is an aspect that distinguishes KBD Group Inc. from its competition and will enable the company to be a preferred provider of the highest standard of design- and construction-related services
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