Lely North America Office, Training Center, and Warehouse

Location
Pella, Iowa
Year
2022
Size
108,000 SF

Client
Lely North America

Project Team
Todd Garner
Leah Rudolphi

Lely North America Office, Training Center, and Warehouse – Substance Architecture
Lely North America Office, Training Center, and Warehouse – Substance Architecture

Lely North America Office, Training Center, and Warehouse

Lely North America, a leader in dairy industry robotics, wanted to expand its North American headquarters to better serve the North American markets while reflecting its dedication to land stewardship and sustainable practices. They envisioned a Production Hall (the factory floor) which creates a safe, quiet, and enjoyable working environment for employees—with skylights, landscape views, air-powered tools, and electric lifts.

They needed a facility to accommodate manufacturing and distribution and serve as an inspiring workplace. The project also needed to address evolving workplace dynamics, turning the new building into a destination that would encourage collaborative work in a changing environment. A primary challenge was integrating the Netherlands-based leadership’s vision with the Iowa location and construction practices, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which necessitated all-virtual communication.

The solution was a design incorporating Lely’s commitment to transparency, innovation, and care for the environment. The 108,000-square foot facility, set in a restored Iowa prairie, features a state-of-the-art Production Hall. It promotes a visual connection between the office and Production Hall staff, emphasizing unity and shared goals. Frequent, consistent communication and collaboration with leadership ensured that the project met the high standards of the overseas team. The resulting LEED Silver® certified building boasts a warm, welcoming atmosphere with natural light, wood, and plants, enhancing employee recruitment and retention.

Location
Pella, Iowa
Year
2022
Size
108,000 SF

Client
Lely North America

Project Team
Todd Garner
Leah Rudolphi

Executing the Vision: ‘Sustainable, Profitable, and Enjoyable Future in Farming’

The new LEED Silver® certified facility stands as a testament to Lely’s dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainable land management and has achieved the company's mission: Creating a sustainable, profitable, and enjoyable future in farming. The design team, led by Substance Architecture, created a facility that not only supports innovation in dairy farming but also integrates with and celebrates the Iowa landscape, ensuring minimal environmental impact and promoting sustainability.

Designing ‘More Than a Workplace’

The facility’s design, with naturally lit offices and meeting spaces visually connected to the Production Hall floor, fosters a sense of community and shared purpose, making it a leading example in staff attraction and retention. The integration of large skylights and expansive windows, flooding the Production Hall with natural light, demonstrates Lely’s commitment to creating bright, energy-efficient, and employee-centric workspaces.

Customized Operating Solutions

The design of Lely’s North American headquarters epitomizes Substance's expertise in creating spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also perfectly aligned with the client's operational needs. The design process involved gaining a deep understanding of Lely's unique operational requirements. Working hand-in-hand with the company’s Operations leadership, Substance developed a plan that maximizes efficiency in assembly processes, storage, and shipping—now and in the future.

“With the opening of this new campus, Lely’s goals are to inspire future generations by providing innovative farming solutions that directly impact customers and Lely Centers throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

Chad Huyser, President of Lely North America

Lely North America Office, Training Center, and Warehouse – Substance Architecture

Location map

Lely North America Office, Training Center, and Warehouse – Substance Architecture

Site plan

Lely North America Office, Training Center, and Warehouse – Substance Architecture

Floor plan - first floor

Lely North America Office, Training Center, and Warehouse – Substance Architecture

Floor plan - second floor

Integrated Hub of Lifelong Learning

Lely’s state-of-the-art training center, seamlessly integrated into the new facility, serves as a vibrant educational hub for dairy farmers and technicians. Previously a stand-alone facility, this center now functions as a core aspect of the building, inviting clients to learn and engage with the latest in dairy technology. It symbolizes Lely's commitment to not only advancing agricultural technology but also empowering their clients with knowledge and skills, thereby creating a community of informed and innovative dairy farmers.

Consultants

MEP Engineer (Design-Build)
Baker Group
Structural Engineer
KPFF
Civil Engineer
Garden & Associates
Landscape Architect
Confluence
Commissioning
SystemWorks LLC
Sustainability Consultant
C-Wise Design and Consulting LLC
Furniture
Workspace
General Contractor
Graham Construction

Awards

2022 Excellence in Concrete Award - Sustainable Practices
Iowa Ready Mixed Concrete Association

Publications

Spring 2023 Vol 2 Issue 3 Iowa Architect
Spring 2021 Iowa Architect

News

Lely North America Receives 2023 AIA Iowa Design Merit Award

Photography by Corey Gaffer