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Success Story

Lake County, Ohio
Salt Storage Building

A successful salt storage project insight

County Engineer James Gills needed to replace an old, deteriorating salt dome. James shares insight into a successful salt storage project in Lake County, Ohio.

Building Specs

  • 73'W
  • 120'L
  • 4,000-ton capacity

Photo Gallery

Lake County, Ohio, Salt Storage Building

 Lake County Ohio Salt Storage Building     Lake County Ohio Salt Storage Building

“We had a teepee-shaped structure built in the mid-70s, and it only had a 900-ton road salt storage capacity. Lake County is in the strongest part of Ohio’s snowbelt, and we experience significant snowfalls leading to a high demand for salt, so much so that we were having trouble obtaining salt throughout the winter season. We needed to build something new with a much higher salt storage capacity.”

Gills had another challenge — poor soil conditions.

“We had soils borings done and it was determined that our soils were so bad it was recommended we dig out 8 to 10 feet of material and backfill with stone to accommodate a heavy structure similar to the teepee we were replacing. A fix like that is very, very expensive.”

Gills researched all the options and noticed construction of fabric buildings in the region consisting of steel trusses covered in a tensioned membrane cover. Gills was attracted to fabric structures for several reasons.

“With the teepee structure, Lake County paid extra to have salt blown into the teepee. A large fabric structure not only costs less per square foot allowing for a much larger storage capacity on a budget, but would allow us to safely back in a truck, dump, and stack the salt.”

Gills analyzed fabric building designs and layout to determine which would work best given his poor soil conditions.

“Greystone Construction had a solution for our poor soils. Greystone’s method of installing the structure on independent concrete pads and piers provided an engineered solution which minimized the amount of expensive soil corrections required.”

Gills purchased the Britespan fabric building materials from Greystone Construction and Britespan Building Systems through Sourcewell, a cooperative service purchasing program used by government entities across the country.

“Time is money and we saved a lot of both using the Sourcewell process and avoided the lengthy public bidding process that could have added six
weeks to our timeline.”

The Greystone Construction crew completed the concrete piers in three days. After a concrete cure period, the Greystone crew returned and installed a 73-foot-by-120-foot facility on top of the piers in just five days.

Eight-foot high panels were placed continuously along three sides of the building interior to contain the salt.

“Our new fabric building facility holds 4,000 tons of salt. Combine that with the storage available at other facilities in Lake County and we have enough salt stored to last an entire winter.”

“The Greystone team was great and so quick that I would absolutely work with Greystone again and have recommended them to others.”

James Gills, County Engineer, Lake County, Ohio

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