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Location: Harrisonburg, VA

Contractor: Nielsen Builders
This $1.7 million design-build tilt construction project project consists of 28,545 under roof.  Approximately 12,300 sq ft of the building is open steel structure used as the holding and sorting pens for the cattle as they enter and exit the parlor.  Based on the milk production for each cow chartered electronically, they are either sent back to the feed barn or a special needs barn.  The remaining 16245 sq ft consists of offices, mechanical/chemical rooms, observations rooms, milk storage room and the milking rotary.  The rotary sits on a circular wall 76 ft across that can only vary .5 inches from the center pivot point.  This wall is structurally designed to carry the weight of 72 cows, rotary equipment, 6 in. of concrete and dairy brick.  The Tilt-up section of this building is constructed in a way that differs from the norm. A typical building, the floor is poured and then the panels are formed on the floor.  Due to all the pipe and conduit in our floor panels will be formed on casting beds outside the building footprint.  Once the panels are erected, the floors were poured in the building.  This building consists of 56 panels with a wide variety in weight and size.  These panels range from 18 ft-33ft tall on the gable ends and 4ft – 36ft wide.  There are 4 thicknesses of panels that range from 6 1/4 in. to 9 1/4 inc. With such a wide range of dimensions, the panels can range from 10,000 lbs to 79,000 lbs.  A special feature of the concrete design is that all rebar and steel has to be ground.  If one part of the building does not have a proper ground, then this will reduce milk production.  A cow can sense less than 5 ohm’s of electrical energy to stop milk production.  In order to ground the tilt panel, Nielsen used a steel insert to ground the rebar.  The rebar was tied to the insert and then grounded through a grounding circuit inside the building.  This circuit will essentially look like a lightening protection system in the building.