Stellar, a fully integrated firm focused on design, engineering, construction and mechanical services, has begun pre-construction of a $53 million product technology

Nestle new product technology center

Photo courtesy of Nestlé

center for Nestlé USA. As the design-builder on the project, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Stellar will oversee all architecture, engineering and construction for the 148,000-ft2 facility for Nestlé in Solon, Ohio.

Nestlé will develop new prepared foods and enhance existing products at the new facility, scheduled to open in late 2014. The center includes test kitchens, production areas, food science laboratories, a state-of-the-art sensory laboratory and office space. Inside the facility, a smaller pilot plant will simulate food processing to test production of new products and techniques for making them on a smaller scale.

The center also will house a consumer center and a culinary center. The consumer center will allow live observations of consumer interaction with Nestlé products. In the culinary center, internal Nestlé teams will work with their food and beverage supplier-partners to see first-hand how the ingredients sourced for Nestlé products perform in recipes developed in the kitchen. The above-mentioned centers will include high-end presentation kitchens equipped with cameras, TVs and other technology.

The building includes many sustainability features and is being designed to LEED standards. “The facility will feature LED lighting, low-VOC products and recyclable materials,” says Richard Lovelace, divisional vice president, commercial at Stellar. “A particular environmental highlight is the use of all-natural refrigerants in both the mechanical and refrigeration systems.”

 Caption: Nestlé’s Skinny Cow indulgence brand is low in calories and fat.