"In just a few years, our CEA team had already successfully designed and constructed numerous greenhouse and vertical farming facilities for leading industry producers in North America. Our early momentum showed us that we didn't want to dabble in the industry; we aspired to become experts and fully commit to an endeavor that has a meaningful impact in our communities," explains Patrick Hidder, Principal at ARCO/Murray.
Founded in 1992, ARCO/Murray is a design-build general contractor committed to making the construction process enjoyable and beneficial for their customers and associates. With 38 ARCO offices across the United States and Canada, they leverage their local expertise in permitting, entitlements, building codes, and procurement. Their comprehensive approach covers all phases of construction, from site selection and due diligence to design, construction, and commissioning, ensuring seamless execution from inception to completion.
The company expanded into the CEA sector eight years ago, captivated by the industry's nuances, complexities, and growth potential. Since then, ARCO/Murray has developed a dedicated CEA team comprising 26 highly specialized project managers and remains committed to driving progress in the field. This team engages in greenhouse and vertical farming projects in the food and cannabis sectors, renewable natural gases, and water treatment.
Support from day one
As Patrick explains, ARCO/Murray's extensive experience in design-build projects allows them to provide thorough support to clients, leaving no aspect of the project unexamined. Throughout the site selection and due diligence phase, ARCO/Murray helps their partners in navigating various complexities such as entitlements, permitting, geotechnical evaluations, topographic challenges, easements, and zoning regulations, ensuring the selection of a feasible site for the project.
ARCO/Murray prepares detailed drawings during the design phase and ensures the local municipality approves all plans to meet all regulatory requirements. During the design process, they leverage their extensive global procurement network and collaborate with various vendors to integrate all the necessary facility equipment. All the while, ARCO/Murray provides their clients with comprehensive information to aid their decision-making.
While ARCO/Murray does not directly offer horticulture consulting for cultivation, they prioritize evaluating a range of options, enabling their clients to make well-informed decisions that align with their facility's unique requirements. "We empower growers to excel in cultivation, all while ensuring the long-term success of their operation and the industry through optimized facility design and construction," Patrick says. He notes their role in guiding operators to evaluate each decision within the facility, considering both costs and efficiency. For instance, if a grower is considering adding an additional chiller to minimize crop loss in the hottest of months, ARCO/Murray can assist in conducting a cost-benefit analysis, factoring in equipment expenses, lead times, installation costs, and schedules. This allows the grower to compare the expected benefits, ultimately yielding their expected return on investment.
Patrick also emphasizes the significance of their partnerships with CEA vendors, saying, "We recognize the value of our partnerships. We collaborate with companies and people who are experts in what they do and share the same passion and commitment to excellence that we aim to provide our customers and the industry." Patrick strongly advocates for nurturing long-lasting relationships and partnering with the right individuals and organizations to drive positive momentum in the industry.
With over three decades of experience, ARCO/Murray oversees every facet of the next phase, construction. During this crucial phase, the specialized CEA project managers take the helm, ensuring seamless integration of facility components and control systems. Their role extends to managing subcontractors and various trades, all while maintaining transparent communication as a single point of contact with clients.
ARCO/Murray's core mission is to deliver fully operational facilities that meet and exceed client expectations. For them, construction is a precise endeavor, turning architectural and engineering plans into tangible structures. As the project nears its conclusion, ARCO/Murray's project managers prepare to hand over the keys to clients, marking the transition from construction to the utilization of a new facility.
ARCO/Murray's path through the design and construction phases highlights their dedication to delivering exceptional results. With a robust background in design-build CEA projects and a specialized team of CEA project managers, they skillfully navigate challenges, offer comprehensive support, and bring clients' visions to fruition. Their precision in construction, transparent communication, and commitment to realizing client objectives ensure that each project reaches its full potential, delivering quality and practical solutions.
For more information:
Patrick Hidder, Principal