Taking Nike IHM to New Places

When Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation (NIKE IHM) recognized it was outgrowing its St. Charles facility, it turned to Kienlen Constructors for their self-perform expertise.

Starting in early 2018, Kienlen and Alberici Constructors began a four-phase expansion of the 222,575-square-foot Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation plant. The company, which is a subsidiary of Nike, focuses on designing, developing and manufacturing custom performance plastic solutions for industries ranging from automotive to sports.

Kienlen’s scope of work involves structural steel erection and precast wall installation. Phase one, which consisted of 70 precast panels, included updating the heating and cooling to sustain the larger areas. Phases two through four focus on adding space to production area within the plant via Kienlen’s structural steel framing and additional precast work.

Navigating Nike

Working in a facility of this size isn’t without its complexities. One of the biggest challenges Kienlen has successfully solved is coordinating the expansion work while ensuring the plant’s 24/7 operation proceeds without interruption.

“We need to make sure we’re meeting Nike’s needs without disrupting their production, because ultimately that’s their main goal: getting the product out the door,” says Tony Stahlschmidt, Project Manager.

Kienlen has minimized or eliminated the occasions where work would impact the existing plant. In addition, the team has given priority focus to the safety on the project. For example, due to the need for large crawler cranes in the expansion phase, Kienlen is thoughtfully sequencing the work in order to ensure proper clearance in the operational building.

Tried and True Leaders

For a project as demanding as this one, Kienlen sent in some of its most experienced, longstanding employees.

“We were definitely able to call upon highly skilled leaders to make sure the project goes smoothly,” says Stahlschmidt. “We’re sending out people who are keeping the needs of our client at the forefront of their minds.”

Kienlen and Alberici have completed previous projects for the Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation facility, including the construction of equipment mezzanines. Stahlschmidt hopes this partnership continues for a long time.

“Nike will surely be ever-growing and expanding,” he says. “We want to meet all their needs on current projects, and if they have additional expansions or would like to add facilities, our hope is they’d come to talk to us about those opportunities.”

If you have the need for one of the region’s most trusted contractors in self-performed construction, contact Kienlen today.