Luckett & Farley designed a new cooperage plant for Brown-Forman Corporation in Decatur, AL. The new plant building has 156,000 SF manufacturing space and 11,400 SF of modern office space. The plant facility included environmentally controlled toasting room, boiler room, docks, shipping office, etc.

The plant receives white oak staves, which are then raised into a barrel. Then the barrel is toasted and charred in a special process to enhance the flavor and color of the whiskey. The steel hoops are placed and the lids, manufactured on a separate line, are placed on the barrels. Luckett & Farley designed the structure and utilities infrastructure to support all the process requirements. The project also included an extensive sawdust collection and disposal system and several wood drying kilns.

The office area includes executive offices, conference rooms, training room, employee cafeteria, security office, restrooms, touring room, locker rooms, etc. Luckett & Farley also provided interior design and furniture selections.

The building envelope consists of structural steel framing using open web joists and trusses and exterior insulated steel wall panels with inside liner panels. The roof construction consists of metal deck, rigid insulation, and white PVC roof to increase reflectivity and reduce energy loads.

The mechanical/HVAC system consists of rooftop air handling units and a boiler plant. No air-conditioning was provided, however sufficient air changes are provided for ventilation and human comfort. The boiler plant steam is used for wood drying kilns located on site. The project included a steel trestle for piping and conduits between the boiler plant and the kilns.

The electrical work included coordinating with the utility companies to bring power and telecommunication network to the site. Power distribution work included main switch gear, several distribution panels, motor control centers, and lighting. The design also included an arc flash study.

The 60-acre greenfield site was developed for the plant which included bringing utilities from the entrance road to the plant, site layout, traffic circulation to keep the trucks and passenger vehicles away from each other, paving, drainage, stave storage areas, kilns, etc. The site work involved extensive coordination with the local utility companies and local authorities having jurisdiction.

Luckett & Farley provided full A/E services with in-house staff which helped in coordination between disciplines and reduced field coordination issues. Designing the project with BIM technologies meant the interferences between different building systems were streamlined in the design phase, keeping  construction flowing smoothly and on schedule.

Project Details


Brown-Forman Corporation

Construction Cost

$23 million


156,00 SF Manufacturing Space
11,400 SF Office Space

Services Provided

Interior Design