Epstein provided DesignBuild services for the expansion of the Pennsylvania Medical Solutions (PAMS) facility located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The medical cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facility includes cultivation, processing and packaging, manufacturing, analytical lab, tissue culture, husbandry, and employee welfare area. The two-phased expansion will nearly double the square footage of the facility from roughly 90,000 square feet to more than 160,000 square feet. The majority of the approximately 70,000 square foot expansion is focused on increasing the facility’s canopy, or plant growing space, that will triple to about 98,000 square feet of canopy once completed.

The project broadly includes architectural, mechanical and structural renovations to the existing facility to increase production, harvesting and processing of cannabis, and expansion in the form of new buildings. Renovations to the facility required structural evaluation of existing framing and design of rooftop platforms for additional mechanical, snow and lateral loads. A number of on-site observations and measurements of the steel framing and the concrete foundations facilitated the renovation.

The proposed additions will sandwich the existing facility. These are all two-story additions with steel framing supporting a second floor and roof deck. The layouts carefully considered the process and mechanical requirements of the client, and incorporated accordingly into the design. This includes layout of girts for the wall system, columns, floor and roof beams and girders, and position of vertical bracing required to stabilize the new additions. Allowance in superstructure and substructure design provided for future expansions where requested by our client. Foundations took into consideration a steep grade slope towards the Lackawanna River and the presence of existing foundations.

The expansion also includes several new 480/277V service switchboards to feed new equipment, lights and electrical devices. Each switchboard includes means to accommodate a roll up generator for temporary back up of the board in the event of a power outage. Permanent, natural gas type emergency generators provide backup power for life safety loads as well as other select loads including IT/Security and Fertigation. New fire alarm devices added in the expansion are connected to the existing fire alarm control panel located in the existing building. Lighting controls were designed in accordance with 2015 IECC with additional integration with the building automation system for grow room lights.

The expansion allows for higher production and a significant expansion of the cultivation capacity and market share in Pennsylvania, a robust operating environment where cannabis products are in high demand. It also enable an increase in product sales throughout Pennsylvania-area dispensaries.