After finding out the lease on its current facility site was not being renewed, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District needed a new site and facility to package and store its Milorganite® fertilizer, made from wastewater biosolids. With sustainability in mind, the design started with the evaluation of potential sites using sustainability weighting factors and evaluation criteria, environmental impact considerations, transportation logistics, and building design features. Sustainable product package alternatives, packaging equipment, conveyance and material handling equipment alternatives, preliminary building layout and site design, and construction cost estimates were then developed. Building on the preliminary design project, the final design evaluates equipment alternatives for bag fillers that are compatible with the chosen sustainable bag type, palletizers, stretch-hooders, and pallet conveyors. Analysis of the mass flow of the product into and out of the existing packaging facility determined the storage volume requirements for the new storage warehouse. The final layout of the packaging facility includes the general arrangement for the packaging equipment, storage warehouse, shipping/distribution center, offices, day tanks, and dense phase material transport system. Additionally, the building design incorporates Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating and process observation deck features.
The final design is on track to meet the district’s goals of a sustainably-designed, process-flexible facility that will also respect the historical status of the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility as an ASCE National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.