Temperatures in northern Wisconsin can dip well below freezing, sometimes for weeks at a time, during the state’s notoriously long winters. Keeping employees comfortable in high-bay buildings on these bitter cold days isn’t easy, and energy costs can skyrocket despite facility managers’ efforts to find the most efficient way to warm hundreds of thousands of square feet or sometimes more than a million square feet of space.
Planners for the Mills Fleet Farm Distribution Center in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, faced this very issue. Brock Norman, project manager at Ryan Cos., stressed the need for high-efficiency heating in the 1.2 million-square-foot building. Besides the sub-zero winter temperatures, another concern was that the 80-plus overhead doors along the building’s perimeter would be opening and closing throughout the day.