(By Dale King) HOUSTON – The economic impact of the massive new Daikin Industries facility keeps getting bigger. A company spokesman now says Daikin may have as many as 6,000 employees when the plant is fully operational in Northwest Houston. That’s a significant increase over the 4,000-employee work force that Daikin expected when the HVAC factory was announced last year.
“We are forecasting that total full employment” at the 4.1 million-square-foot Daikin Industries, Ltd. facility “will be a number between 5,000 and 6,000,” said Rex Anderson, director of communications for the Osaka, Japan-based company, which builds heating and air conditioner systems.
Daikin’s facility – located off of U.S. 290, about three miles west of Grand Parkway will be complete around the first of the year. Some employees are already working there.
The $417 million project is the largest tilt-wall construction project in the world. The building will have distribution and office space, in addition to the manufacturing space.
“Even with weather conditions ranging from cold to hot to windy and rainy, construction remains on schedule,” Anderson said. Completion is still set for “late 2016 to early 2017.”
The firm is consolidating its Goodman division operations from four existing plants – two in Tennessee and two others in Texas – into the new structure. “All four will move into the new facility and we will vacate the current properties,” said Anderson. But that task is not finished yet.
The move of workers from the Tennessee and Texas plants “is an ongoing process that will continue during the balance of 2016 and maybe a bit longer.” In the meantime, the four manufacturing centers remain open.
Anderson also noted that the company has chosen a name for the $417 million plant that’s as large as 74 football fields, end zones included. It is now called the Daikin Texas Technology Park, a moniker determined with the help of Daikin and Goodman employees who participated in a naming contest.
“The new campus name reflects Daikin’s dedication to local, in-country manufacturing, the development of new, innovative technology and the park-like setting on which the campus is placed,” said Takeshi Ebisu, president and CEO of Goodman.
The plant – located in northwest Houston, about three miles west of the Grand Parkway, not far from the Fairfield master planned community — has already won several business awards. The campus has been featured in national trade publications and by local news outlets in Houston.
The structure is the largest building using tilt-wall construction, a method in which the walls are poured directly at the job site in large slabs of concrete called “tilt-up panels.” The walls are then raised into position around the building’s perimeter forming the exterior fortifications.
The final tilt-wall went up last February, said Ebisu.
Construction at the site is heading into the home stretch, said Anderson. “The distribution and logistics centers have been opened and are operating at capacity. We have some staff members who have moved their offices into the new facility and more are planning to move later this month.”
“The entire facility is under one roof,” he said. “Our construction crews are working on the installation of interior needs for our manufacturing, engineering, offices and other areas of the facility.”
The massive campus was designed using principals of sustainability. Up to 96 percent of the process water used on site will be reclaimed, and high-efficiency LED lighting will shine throughout the plant.
In addition, drought-resistant native Texas prairie grass will be planted beyond the building and the 5,000-car parking area. A retention pond will be created for landscape irrigation and wastewater recycling.
Daikin Industries, Ltd. acquired Goodman Global Group, Inc. in late 2012 for $3.7 billion. Plans for the new building were announced in early 2015.
Anderson said the consolidated campus will enable Daikin to manufacture in one location a full range of energy-efficient, ducted residential and light commercial products as well as various ductless products. The firm manufactures goods under the Daikin, Goodman and Amana brand names.
August 29, 2016 Realty News Report Copyright 2016