The Phases of Building a Viroment Barn
By Paul Koenig
Phase 1: We Pick Out The Prime Location
Once we establish a need and the client is on board with our business model we figure out what part of the state makes sense for their facility. This is where the Viroment philosophy really comes into play—we don’t build a barn wherever the cheapest land is. We spend considerable time finding and picking out the perfect piece of land for the barn. An ideal property for a Viroment barn has the following criteria:
- Rural and low-key
- Close to a local corn supply
- Has a local water supply
- Has to be close to a packing plant
As Paul puts it, “We pick out the perfect property, someplace away from neighbors, isolated, rural obviously. We want our facility to be well accepted in the area, by being real low key. Once we find the perfect piece of property we go to the owner and make sure they want to sell. If the property is available then we start looking into what part of the parcel is best suited for the barn.”
We look at a few different factors when we’re picking our building location. A modern high-tech pig barn is a large structure so we want our barns to blend into the land and communities surrounding them.
Phase 2: Legal Paperwork, Planning, and Surveying
Phase 3: We Start Construction on the Foundation!
Once the excavation for the footers and foundation is dug the concrete work begins in earnest. Steel rebar is placed within forms to create the platform the barn will eventually sit on. Before the concrete can be poured all the plumbing, electrical and utility infrastructure that will be buried in the slab needs to be installed. A Viroment barn sits on top of hundreds of cubic feet of concrete. Once this phase of construction is underway it can consume the output of 4 or 5 cement plants.
Phase 4: We Install All The Technology
Absolutely no corners are cut during this phase. As Paul points out, “Even though we have daylight savings time, the light and airflow will be controlled with some of the most high-tech equipment known in the industry. Especially when it comes to our climate control and airflow systems, we want to make sure that everything is high-quality and precise to maximize the growth of the animal.
By installing high-tech air systems we’re able to remove odors and keep insect populations under control more than traditional barns. We keep the air as similar to the outdoors as possible because we know that’s better for the animals.
We’re Excited to Build 350 Barns in Nebraska!
Paul explains, ”A lot of the barns out there are built at a lower quality, they’ll cut corners to save money. We’re able to put more money into this for the long-term, we put all the bells and whistles in there to make it a fantastic environment. Better insulation, better roofing, a pleasant appearance from the roads. Plus we install half a million dollars of equipment to clean the water and keep the air fresh. That is a huge cost that other facilities can not afford.”
In sum, we go from picking a location and loading in pigs in only three months, sometimes less depending on the weather.
Yes you read that right, a Viroment barn only takes three months to complete, and we’re on track to complete our first Viroment barn Q1 of next year!