ARCO Completes Nearly 1M Square Feet of Space for DHL Supply Chain Life Sciences & Healthcare Sector in Just Over 6 Months


ARCO recently completed a 970,920 SF over-the-counter pharmaceutical distribution facility for repeat client, DHL Supply Chain! Located in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, ARCO delivered the project within an accelerated schedule of just over six months.

Because of our design-build delivery system and extensive experience, ARCO quickly identified the critical path and strategic measures needed to avoid any unforeseen delays and maintain the aggressive project schedule. Despite challenges such as site constraints, extensive rainfall, and ongoing market disruptions, ARCO ensured that each critical milestone was met on time.

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Schedule Savings Solutions

To expedite completion and mitigate the effects of unforeseen delays, ARCO implemented several proactive solutions, strategically sequenced construction activities, and utilized a large-scale workforce throughout the project.

Several inches of rainfall occurred during the weeks when the building pad was being constructed and exposed, and more than 20” of rainfall occurred overall, resulting in 27 weather days. However, proactive solutions such as fully stabilizing the building pad with soil cement to make the subgrade more resistant to rain significantly reduced the negative impacts of the weather and proved to be especially important in the schedule acceleration.

Additional schedule saving solutions included utilizing precast concrete panels in lieu of tilt and providing temporary heat for the warehouse and office to proceed with critical path activities prior to permanent utility install.

Construction activities were carefully sequenced, with many taking place at night such as slab-on-grade pours and asphalt paving. To increase the speed at which work was completed, approximately 1,000 people went through ARCO safety training with an average of over 200 workers on-site each day.

Work Completed Highlights

365 Precast Panels Erected in 22 Days

1,524 Tons of Joist/Girder Steel and 487 Tons of Structural Steel Erected in 50 Days

971,000 SF Floor Slab Poured in 50 Days

971,000 SF of Roof Membrane and Insulation Installed in 24 Days

Approximately 60,000 Lineal Feet of UG Pipe for Underground Detention Basins

Site Challenges & Solutions

In addition to significant rainfall, the site presented several challenges and unknowns prior to construction. Substantial amounts of buried obstructions and debris were discovered during the site preparation process. To mitigate negative schedule impacts, ARCO implemented strategic measures such as bringing in additional manpower and equipment to expedite the waste removal process. Over the course of several weeks, 10-13 trailers of scrap material were removed from the site each day.

Additionally, foreseen site constraints required 500,000 CY of material excavating and placement for the building pad and site construction, 300,000 CY of rock blasting, and relocating overhead electrical utility lines.

The Design-Build Advantage

On a broad scale, ARCO clients benefit from our design-build delivery from both a cost and schedule standpoint, as our integrated approach and work in the proposal phase consistently results in the most functional solution and tremendous time savings. Because of ongoing market disruptions and material procurement issues, for the DHL Supply Chain project, ARCO’s design-build delivery was especially beneficial.

With preliminary design completed internally during the proposal phase, immediately upon project award, we were able to begin full design and buyout simultaneously. This combined with our national buying power allowed us to purchase long lead time materials, such as structural steel, precast concrete panels, and roofing months prior to mobilization, resulting in significant overall schedule savings.


Project Details: 

  • 970,920 SF Pharmaceutical Distribution Facility
  • 943,000 SF Fully Conditioned Warehouse with H3 & Aerosol Storage Room
  • 14,700 SF & 13,200 SF Offices
  • 3rd Party Packaging Area
  • 40′ Clear Height
  • 97 Dock Positions
  • 4 Drive-In Ramps
  • Precast & Conventional Steel Construction
Crista Dillinger