Palmer Johnson - Construction Facility
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Program: Design a facility to facilitate the construction of custom pleasure yachts up to 150 feet in length. The facility requires offices, joiner shop, electrical shop, mechanics shop, lofting area, painting shop and fabrication areas. The total program area is 72,000 square feet.

Site: City’s ordinance required a 20 foot fire lane between adjoining property lines because they were in different zoning districts (C1 and I2). The facility needed to be placed against this property line in order to have enough room inside for construction. The solution was to buy the abutting residential property, allow the residence to live there free and have a 20 foot no build easement placed on the property.

Building: In order to have the primary shops adjacent to the boats they
had to be stacked in three levels and be open to the boats. The state
code did not allow three primary stories to be open to the a single space.
The solution was to keep the second level less than one third the floor
area of the main floor. This allowed it to be classified as a mezzanine
and not a story. Construction: The existing building walls were a single
width of concrete block with no insulation. It was decided to insulate the exterior and install a plaster system as a finish. This allowed the building
to have an attractive exterior and a durable interior at a minimum cost.
The new construction consisted of a steel frame using wide flange columns
on caissons and long span bar joists The exterior was sheathed with 45
foot tall insulated precast concrete panels. A standing seam sloping metal
roof was placed over the joiner shop to minimize the impact of snow loads
on the existing roof. The open end of the facility had a three section 40
foot tall rolling door which allowed for 75 feet of clear opening.
An existing section of roof was going to be used for the joiner shop.
It was dead level and covered with a fine pea gravel. The decision was
made to leave it and place 11/4 inch plywood over it and flush the new
floor to it. This made for a great sound barrier over the office area and
saved cost.

©2008 Valentine Architects

Above Image: Palmer Johnsons after completions
Below Image: Facility prior to rennovation