New Millennium Building Systems

Girders and deck create ‘industrial art’ at Texas manufacturing facility

110-foot bowstring girders produce ‘awe-inspiring’ interior at Tool-Flo warehouse, production space

Tool-Flo headquarters

“Artistic” isn’t a term that many would use to describe a typical manufacturing facility. Architect Rob Hiroshi Noma didn’t let that stand in his way when he set out to design a manufacturing and office space for Tool-Flo in Pearland, Texas.

The result is a contemporary twist on the traditional manufacturing formula. It features soaring, curved ceilings; a clean, sleek look; exposed components; and open spaces uninterrupted by support columns. Noma achieved his vision using a full suite of New Millennium Building Systems products, including steel joists, bowstring girders, standard and composite deck, and roof deck.

The highlight of the $12.3 million, 118,000-square-foot facility is undoubtedly the grand open space in two manufacturing areas that feature an elegantly curved ceiling-roof assembly. Noma created the aesthetically pleasing look with 110-foot bowstring girders on concrete tilt walls and a dovetail roof deck left exposed for its clean, lineal plank appearance. The two open areas are uninterrupted by columns.

“The most important part of this project is that curved roof profile,” says Joe Voigt, New Millennium sales engineer. “It just gives the space an awe-inspiring feel.”

In addition to the dramatic curves, the HVAC, fire safety and data lines run unimpeded by the structural support system. The utilities are laid out in straight lines with no unnecessary jogs. The floor is a reflective green, and a wall of large windows brings in natural light. Voigt calls it “industrial art.”

Beyond the curve

Tool-Flo manufacturing bays

The curved ceiling-roof assemblies inside the Tool-Flo manufacturing bays feature 18 total 110-foot bowstring girders (9 per bay) and dovetail roof deck.

Each manufacturing bay features nine of the 110-foot bowstring girders. Because of their length, the 18 girders were delivered to the job site in two parts for a total of 36 total pieces. The two pieces of the girder were connected together on the ground using a field-bolted splice and then lifted into position.

Inside, attached via a weld to the top of the girders are wide-flange beams, painted white, running perpendicular that support the dovetail roof deck. To accommodate the weight of the beams, hollow structural steel braces the bottom chords of the girders.

The combination of components works together to make Noma’s vision possible, Voigt says. “The goal was to build an aesthetically pleasing manufacturing facility that reflects Tool-Flo’s philosophy, first-class operation and culture,” he says.

Elsewhere in the facility are offices and warehousing space. One office area is comprised of two 60-foot-by-12-foot floors separated by 20-gauge, 1.5-inch standard composite deck. The offices feature high-end detailing to further the facility’s elegant look.

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