Size of Project
New Orleans, LA
IRG (Industrial Realty Group)
Duplantis Design Group
Reaching new heights.
RNGD always pursues opportunities that push our team’s capabilities to new heights. Now, it’s helping to launch others above the atmosphere. Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty Group (IRG) engaged NASA to develop 50 acres of land abutting its Michoud Assembly Facility into a light industrial and manufacturing campus called Propel Park. With an investment of over $100 million into this New Orleans East parcel, IRG’s goal for this four-phase project is to construct 1.06 million square feet of building space for commercial and government tenants, enabling them to create and assemble space systems for NASA’s endeavors. The location’s existing security and utilities made it the logical choice for this type of development. Selected as the project’s Design-Build partner, IRG entrusted RNGD with the design and construction of Phase I’s 260,000-square-foot warehouse, with additional services allocated for Phases II, III, and IV. Our team is also leading the facility build-out for Textron Services, the campus’ first tenant, which occupies under half of the Phase I warehouse. Through our Renegade approach to project management, RNGD has led a collaborative team of architects, engineers, and consultants to pave the way for a development that boosts the nation’s cosmic ambitions and inspires local community growth.
Coordination above the status quo.
Innovation can go beyond technology. At RNGD, we work it into our processes and challenge settled industry norms along the way. To streamline the construction process, RNGD’s team utilized Building Information Modeling (BIM), one of our strongest assets, to combine the architectural, structural, and MEP designs with the detailed shop drawings from trade partners into a unified layout. The construction team preemptively identified potential interferences by running clash detection and holding weekly trade partner meetings. This planning strategy reduced back-and-forth coordination time from what would have been 10-12 weeks to 4-6 weeks. After driving piles and pouring the pile caps, perimeter footings, and slab on grade, ninety-five tilt-up concrete wall panels were cast onsite and lifted in place by crane. Roof steel installation followed, setting the stage for the final phases of the interior build-out. Throughout this process, our team deployed drone cameras for a bird’s-eye view of Phase I’s progress. Full-time cameras also tracked construction, feeding information in real-time to four-dimensional schedules and ensuring smooth communication with our trade partners and suppliers.
Control challenges. Control destiny.
Working on federal land adjacent to a highly secured facility presented unique challenges. It offered an interesting exercise in maintaining a high level of protection while meeting workflow requirements. The RNGD team worked with NASA and IRG to find a security solution that supported the uninterrupted stream of activity and supplies to the Propel Park site yet also satisfied NASA’s security provisions. The team found a solution in constructing 5,000 linear feet of fence to divide construction activities from NASA’s area, delineating the space within the fence as the project domain. RNGD also installed and staffed a security gate. Material acquisition provided another hurdle, but the team anticipated it. The project design lent itself to swift procurement of necessary materials, but as seasoned professionals, the RNGD team knows lead times are rarely consistent, especially for crucial components. In this case, our team knew there would be a delay in receiving prominent switchboards and electrical elements. Working with the client, our team proactively created a plan with the owner to procure temporary equipment to replace the delayed ones. The strategy allows IRG to hand off the building to the tenant before the permanent components arrive, giving our client confidence that a tumultuous supply chain wouldn’t hinder progress.
Building towards a star-filled future.
Propel Park’s Phase I is on track to finish in January 2024, one month ahead of schedule. With 40% of the work self-performed by RNGD and the remaining performed by local trade partners, we know our team’s dynamic approach in management and coordination delivers on client expectations. We take pride in earning positive recognition from IRG, collaborating with NASA and organizations that support space exploration, and applying our Renegade style to industrial construction projects. The transformation of New Orleans East into an industrial hub also holds equal significance for our company. Among our largest projects to date, the impact of Propel Park extends beyond construction and challenges overcome — it resonates within the region. It hints at potential job creation, strategic advantages of transportation logistics, and further development in the surrounding areas. As we steer the course of the Propel Park project and enhance our clients’ ultimate vision, we hope our work empowers the community to reach for the stars.