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Erchonia

Summarize the project's program, features and achievements?

Erchonia Corp., a renowned laser technology manufacturer, has strategically relocated its headquarters from its outgrown Melbourne, Florida location to a custom-designed facility in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. This move to a new $6.7 million, 21,740-square-foot facility has created 51 additional jobs and marked a significant milestone in Erchonia's global presence. The new facility serves as a corporate headquarters, a promotional/educational conference, and a manufacturing and distribution center, all while conveying an image of modern technological innovation and excellence.

Erchonia's new headquarters represents the company's dedication to innovation and collaboration. The architect and general contractor considered various construction types to meet the client's schedule and program demands. After deciding that Tilt-Up would be the best choice, they partnered with a regional expert in Tilt-Up construction to create a design-build team. This team took on the challenge of developing an innovative look and style, aiming to go beyond the traditional Tilt-Up flat panel system commonly seen in warehouses and large industrial park designs. The team committed to creating a layered effect with different finishes and design elements to achieve an appealing solution that aligns with the client and architect's initial vision.

Unique architectural features set Erchonia's new headquarters apart from other buildings in the area. Interlocking panels angle away from its rectangular footprint at the prominent entry corner, supporting a complex canopy frame. This frame provides shading and weather protection for the entry lobby and continuously glazed conference room corner. Clad in dark-colored A.C.M. panels and oversized column covers, these structural panels contribute to the building's sleek and modern appearance. Behind these panels, the architectural design incorporates four Tilt-Up panels showcasing a custom reveal pattern, adding a distinctive and visually engaging textured element to the project. Two of these panels incorporate cantilevered openings to create the conference room corner, with one requiring a panel width of over 56 feet to simplify the structure.

Erchonia will expand its production capacity with the new headquarters and continue leading the way in laser technology. The project showcases a successful integration of architectural innovation and strategic investment, establishing a new standard for corporate facilities in the technology sector.

What obstacles were overcome related to the schedule, budget, program, specification, site, etc. on this project?

The construction of Erchonia Corp.'s new headquarters faced several challenges related to program, schedule, and site conditions. Using insulated composite Tilt-Up panels for the manufacturing area's hard surface walls was a straightforward solution. However, other challenges were more complex.

A significant hurdle was the limited slab area for panel casting, with a 10% greater panel area than the total building slab. Reductions in this area posed logistical challenges. One such reduction occurred at the loading dock, where the addition of two leveler pits and dropped foundations for a removable drive-up ramp was requested. On the opposite side of the building, low existing grades and poor soil necessitated deep foundations. Instead of lowering the Tilt-Up panels, which later would be covered by final grading, the contractor and engineering team designed 12-inch thick C.I.P. stem walls to support the slab and insulated panels. While adding complex structural connections, this solution saved valuable casting area and mitigated additional costs.

Despite these obstacles, the project team successfully navigated the issues through strategic planning and innovative solutions. The result is a state-of-the-art facility that underscores Erchonia's commitment to quality and innovation. Completing the project on time and within budget highlights the team's collaborative approach and technical expertise.

Please communicate any engineering complexities or unique features of the panel design for this project?

One of the standout features of Erchonia Corp.'s new headquarters is the angled, interlocking exterior panels. These panels presented significant challenges during erection and bracing, necessitating meticulous planning and execution. Supporting the large cantilevers and wide openings on narrow legs required heavily reinforced column tie sets, with additional horizontal reinforcement to stabilize the panels and lock them together at the interlocked panel joint.

Another impressive engineering feat at the building's entry corner is a massive 56'-6"" wide, 7.25"" thick panel. The wide panel width was necessary to ensure structural integrity, as it created an almost 20' cantilever opening for a continuous glazed conference room corner and accommodated a 22' entry lobby storefront system. The cantilevered corner is connected to an 8' wide cantilever on the neighboring panel. Additionally, a supporting hanger for the entry canopy at this corner made panel reinforcement and lifting designs incredibly complex.

Custom reveal patterns at the building's corner enhance the project's visual appeal. An appropriate formliner could not be sourced to match the architect's vision, so the contractor employed Building Information Modeling to explore several reveal pattern visualizations until achieving the desired outcome. The final design featured random, varying-sized, and spaced reveals, creating dynamic movement across the facade with the play of sunlight and shadows.

What is the potential for this project's impact on the community and/or environment?

Local officials have warmly welcomed Erchonia's decision to relocate its operations to Greenville County, seeing it as a catalyst for innovation and economic growth. This investment demonstrates Erchonia's commitment to global leadership in low-level laser technology, promising to boost the local economy by creating high-quality jobs and fostering technological advancements, all while playing a vital role in community engagement and development.

For the Tilt-Up community, Erchonia's new headquarters showcases many innovations this construction method can offer. The design features vast expanses of glazing within structurally complex entry panels and intricate interlocking joints. Insulated composite sandwich panels create a durable interior wall surface for manufacturing, and cast-in reveals express their ability to create an engaging, contemporary facade.

The new headquarters isn't just an office—it's a beacon of progress backed by years of rigorous testing, growth, and experience.

 
Main banner image for Erchonia

Project Location

Foutain Inn, SC 29644
United States

Project Images

TILT-UP TODAY MAGAZINE / PROJECTS IN THE NEWS

Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
 
Concrete Contractor:
Citadel Contractors, Inc.
Architect:
 
Engineer:
 
Suppliers:
 
Photographer(s):

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Production/Manufacturing
Building Types:
Manufacturing Plant
Finishes:
Applied Ornament
Paint (Flat)
Paint (Textured)
Features:
Angled Panels (Plan-Orientation/Position)
Cantilevered Panels
Reveals
Voids
Insulation:
Post Applied (Interior)
Sandwich Panel (Composite)
Environmental:
Number of Floors:
1
Number of Panels:
32 panels
Total Floor Area:
21,740 sq ft (2,020 sq m)
Project Footprint:
21,740 sq ft (2,020 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
38 ft 4 in (11.68 m)
Widest Panel:
62 ft 2 in (18.95 m)
Largest Panel:
1,464 sq ft (136.0 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
136,062 lbs (61,717 kg)
Tallest Cantilever:
19 ft 11 in (6.07 m)