The Rubix Foods Innovation Center and Headquarters, a design-build project by Stellar, is featured in Jacksonville Daily Record as a Cool Construction Project. This facility allows the company to swiftly transition product innovation from research to rollout, providing an unmatched speed advantage for its clients. Completed in June 2022, the center spans 50,000 square feet and cost $21.5 million to build. Stellar, an architectural firm from Jacksonville, handled both the architectural design and construction management of the project.
The interior design was entrusted to Ferdinand R. Dimailig of BOX Studios in Chicago, who created functional and visually appealing spaces within the center. Several vendors were involved in the project, including Regency Electric for electrical work, Stellar for mechanical aspects, and Craig's Glass for glass and glazing solutions.
As energy becomes more costly and product quality and food safety increasingly critical, integrating energy management, clean-in-place (CIP), process and environmental controls (HVAC) is becoming more practical and economical as digital controls enable linking of these systems—if not directly, then by making them available on the same device for operators and managers. This integration allows for real-time trending, reporting, and coordination of building/utility systems with production data, resulting in improved energy efficiency, reduced downtime, and better overall system performance.
Stellar, an architecture, engineering, construction, and mechanical services firm, has made a significant shift to a permanent work-from-home model for the majority of its employees. The decision was driven by the need to adapt to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and provide stability and safety for its workforce. By leveraging technology platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Stellar has been able to maintain efficient operations and connectivity among team members. The work-from-home model has brought unexpected benefits, including increased efficiency in virtual meetings and the ability to hire talent from anywhere without requiring relocation. Stellar emphasizes the importance of flexibility, communication, and accountability in successfully managing remote teams. While the future remains uncertain due to the pandemic, the work-from-home model is seen as a positive change that could persist even after the crisis ends, provided companies prioritize employee well-being, trust, and the necessary tools for success.
Stellar’s renovation project of the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station MCX is featured in the Federal Construction Supplement of the July 2020 issue of Commercial Construction & Renovation magazine. Supplement starts on page 85.
This complex, multi-phased retrofit included new entry, conference room, bars and ballroom. The flexibility of integrated design-build delivery enabled Stellar to seamlessly develop solutions to overcome unforeseen conditions, uncovered during demolition, that were the result of previous renovations to this Marine Corps Air Station facility.
Flagler Health+ is planning to break ground in fall 2020 on a new comprehensive health and wellness campus in Northeast Florida. The $150-million project is located in the Durbin Park area of Northern St. Johns County. Stellar will work as Design-Builder, partnering with architectural firm Gresham Smith on the five-year, 42-acre project.
Flagler Health+ recently signed a nonbinding letter of intent with UF Health to explore collaboration on the project, which may eventually include hospital facilities, medical residency programs and other educational opportunities for residents and fellows at the planned medical campus. Discussions also are planned regarding ambulatory medical services that would expand the availability of accessible, patient-centric care to the community.
Construction has been approved for a Tru by Hilton hotel in Mandarin, Jacksonville. The four-story hotel will have 106 rooms and is being built by Stellar Group Inc. on a 2.08-acre property. The total cost of the project is estimated to be around $12.6 million. The site is owned by affiliates of Stellar, a global design, engineering, construction, and mechanical services company. This Tru by Hilton hotel is one of five planned for the area. Another Tru by Hilton hotel is already open in the St. Johns Town Center area. The brand offers modern and open rooms with amenities such as free breakfast, Wi-Fi, a 24/7 market, and a fitness center.
Stellar, a leader in industrial refrigeration, has implemented PTC's ThingWorx, Vuforia, and Kepware products to power its Maintenance Advisor and Predictor (MAP) solution. The MAP solution aims to help Stellar's industrial refrigeration customers achieve improved equipment uptime and energy efficiency, as well as manage regulatory compliance. By utilizing PTC's technology, Stellar can transition from reactive to predictive maintenance, analyze real-time operating data, streamline IT bandwidth, and capture knowledge through augmented reality. This digital transformation journey allows Stellar to enhance connectivity and deliver greater value to its customers.
Stellar, a design, engineering, construction, and mechanical services firm, has finished constructing two refrigerated distribution facilities for Lineage Logistics in Vernon, California. The project involved demolishing and rebuilding one cold storage building to create Lineage's "Area 8" facility, followed by the conversion of the remaining half into the new "Area 7" facility. The two facilities cover 200,000 square feet and include refrigerated loading docks, a freezer warehouse, an underground parking garage, office space, and storage racking systems. The Area 8 facility has two convertible rooms for temperature control. Despite challenges posed by the busy location, the project was completed in two phases, starting in April 2017 and finishing in late October 2019. This project marks the second collaboration between Stellar and Lineage Logistics. Lineage Logistics is a leading provider of temperature-controlled logistics solutions, while Stellar is a global firm with expertise in designing and constructing refrigerated warehouses and distribution facilities.
The article discusses the importance of following sanitary design principles and regulations in the food industry to ensure safe food manufacturing. Different regulations from governmental bodies or private organizations must be adhered to, and failure to comply can put businesses and consumers at risk. Sanitary design standards are incorporated into food safety systems to minimize the risk of contamination. The article also highlights the Principles of Sanitary Design developed by the American Meat Institute and the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education. These principles focus on equipment design to reduce the risk of food contamination. The flooring and drainage systems in food facilities are also critical components of maintaining a hygienic environment. The choice of floor type, proper installation, and regular inspections are necessary to prevent contamination. Overall, the article emphasizes the importance of proactive management of risks and adherence to sanitary design best practices in the food industry.
The food and beverage manufacturing industry has been slow in adopting predictive analytics and other new technologies. However, these technologies offer valuable returns on investment. Here are three key benefits of using big data tools in processing plants:
1. Detecting choke points and defects: Predictive analytics can analyze data points to identify patterns and optimize processes. For example, it can pinpoint bottlenecks in production lines or detect patterns in packaging defects. Integrating internet-connected sensors and predictive analytics into manufacturing execution systems (MES) allows real-time monitoring and improves product quality and output.
2. Anticipating demand: AI tools can predict demand by aggregating data from distribution centers, enabling manufacturers to optimize product distribution and reduce excess inventory. Machine learning helps plan for demand spikes based on consumer trends, minimizing surge production and waste.
3. Predictive maintenance: Combining data with AI platforms can reveal equipment issues and enable proactive maintenance. Predictive analytics estimates when machines may have problems, allowing scheduled downtime for maintenance and preventing costly unscheduled shutdowns.
To incorporate predictive analytics tools, companies can choose out-of-the-box platforms or develop proprietary systems. Upgrading older equipment to collect data is possible, and having the right personnel is crucial for success. As AI technology advances, its applications in the food and beverage industry will continue to evolve.
United States Cold Storage (USCS) has opened a new food warehouse in Laredo, Texas. Designed and built by Stellar, the 232,366-square-foot facility will distribute a range of produce, including strawberries and avocados. The $35 million project features a freezer area, cooler area, refrigerated loading dock, cross-dock area, repack room, pallet positions, office space, and other amenities. The construction faced challenges due to weather delays, but additional crews were brought in to meet the tight schedule and avoid missing the Mexican strawberry harvest. USCS aims to meet the growing needs of its customers and respond to the expanding food trade with Mexico.
The article discusses the importance of understanding Generation Z, the demographic cohort following the Millennials, for food and beverage companies. Generation Z, born after 1996, is characterized as pragmatic, grounded, multicultural, technology-savvy, and accustomed to instant gratification. They have different expectations and preferences when it comes to food. Key insights about Generation Z include:
1. Preference for real food: Generation Z consumes organic foods and beverages at higher rates than any other group. They value the function and nutrition of food, and they tend to avoid products with artificial ingredients and GMOs.
2. Personal brand and story: Generation Z seeks out brands that align with their values and personal brand. They are more likely to post about products online and make purchasing decisions based on recommendations from influencers.
3. Value transparency: Generation Z prefers clean and transparent labels. They are skeptical of big brands and excessive label claims. They are not as brand loyal as previous generations.
4. Convenience: Generation Z prefers simple and convenient meals that match their on-the-go lifestyle. They rely on ready-to-eat snack foods and minimize meal prep time.
5. Appreciation for global flavors: Generation Z, being more diverse than previous generations, is receptive to ethnic foods, global flavors, and meals inspired by different cultures.
Understanding these preferences is crucial for food and beverage manufacturers to effectively cater to the needs and expectations of Generation Z.
Jacksonville University is constructing a new Healthcare Sciences Academic Center, a three-story, 104,000-square-foot facility. The project, costing $20 million, is set for completion in January 2020. It will house the School of Applied Health Sciences, School of Orthodontics, and Keigwin School of Nursing graduate programs. The center aims to meet the growing demand for healthcare professionals, offering modern classrooms, labs, and a student health center. Stellar and PQH Architects are managing the construction. The campus's proximity to Dolphin Pointe Landing will provide hands-on training opportunities. Jacksonville University, founded in 1934, offers a variety of majors and programs across a picturesque 240-acre campus.
Starbucks, an international coffee and coffeehouse brand, established a coffee roasting facility in Calhoun County, South Carolina, in 2007. The facility, constructed by Stellar Construction and Engineering, opened in 2009 and received silver LEED certification for its commitment to energy and water conservation. The plant utilizes recycled materials, energy-efficient fixtures, and wind energy for power. It receives beans via the Port of Charleston, roasts them, and distributes them to various centers. In 2009, due to cost-saving measures, the plant experienced cutbacks, resulting in job losses and changes in operations.