Headquartered in Germany, Norafin Industries chose Mills River, NC as the home of its first North American manufacturing facility in late 2016. The international textile manufacturer specializes in high-performance non-woven fabrics and roll-goods for a variety of safety markets, including filtration, apparel, industrial, medical, automotive and roofing. McMillan Pazdan Smith and THS Constructors teamed in a Design-Build agreement to lead the project.
As their first entry into North America, Norafin’s new facility was planned to quickly expand market penetration and capture new territory. To accomplish this, a cost-effect and flexible design was required. At 74,300 SF, the facility carefully balances the blend of 45,000 SF manufacturing space, 23,000 SF storage areas, and 6,500 SF of office and administrative support.
Insulated metal panels were chosen as the exterior envelope material for this project due to their quickness of installation, as well as their thermal and sound isolating characteristics. The owner needed to occupy a portion of the building very early in the construction timeline to begin installing equipment. This construction method provided the absolute fastest way to get a dried-in building, ensuring they meet their speed-to-market goals. Sound isolation was also a serious concern given their location is directly adjacent to a school and surrounded by a large residential area.
Large windows in the production area along with dozens of skylight tubes will flood the interior with natural light. The facility is designed to expand to the north, nearly doubling the production and warehouse areas. Initially, the facility will employ 50 people in a variety of skilled and administrative positions. At $6 million dollars total project cost, the facility opened in March 2018.