Boral Brick Manufacturing Plant

Terra Haute, Indiana

We delivered the largest, most energy-efficient brick manufacturing plant in the United States.

Imagine a world without bricks – the most essential building blocks for creating the structures we live and work in every day. Boral North America is the largest manufacturer of bricks in the U.S., but to keep up with growing demand, the company needed a new 295,000-square-foot, highly automated and innovative manufacturing facility. Through Benham, a Haskell Company, that’s been in the construction industry for over 100 years, we helped Boral build a world-class facility that integrated state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and systems.

Benham and Boral collaborated to innovate the brick manufacturing process with new technology.

To kick off this undertaking, our design-build team worked with Boral to define the brick making process requirements and subsequently coordinated procurement and third-party vendors to develop and install a complex, state-of-the-art process system. The manufacturing facility layout included 55,000 square feet to crush and size 150 tons of raw clay per hour, as well as 240,000 square feet to extrude and form bricks. Part of the innovations to the process included utilizing robotics to load formed bricks onto an automated movement “car” that takes the bricks through the 17,500-square-foot kiln and then delivers the finished bricks to an automated packaging system.

We mitigated several critical challenges to keep the project on schedule and on budget.

During the project execution process, we encountered two major delays due to difficult negotiations between the client and one of their suppliers as well as some local and state regulatory hang-ups. These delays threatened to set the project back 10 months, but by revising our activity sequence and shifting our focus to engineering and procurement activities, we were able to reduce that delay to just four months. Boral required the project budget to be developed at the conceptual (<5%) phase, which posed a potential risk in forecasting costs so early in the process. We mitigated this by continuously providing our client with accurate cost-to-complete forecast projections that allowed them to make informed decisions to keep spending on track and meet our budget.

Early planning for green features made this the first brick facility to receive LEED® certification.

From the outset of this project, Boral made it a clear objective that all of the new facility’s process and utility systems had to be energy efficient. As a result, site selection was carefully made to minimize energy and transportation costs associated with hauling clay from its source to processing. The manufacturing facility layout was also designed to reduce energy and equipment costs by limiting transitions and travel distances. On the packaging side, our team specifically sought out a vendor who could provide environmentally-friendly packing materials.

All of these efforts combined to save the plant more than $1M in annual operating costs and earn LEED Gold certification, exceeding all of Boral’s expectations. This was the first LEED certification awarded in the brick industry and one of only a few awarded to industrial manufacturing facilities.

Boral and Benham successfully met or exceeded all expectations for this brick manufacturing project.

Once completed, the new Terra Haute, Indiana, the facility provided capacity for Boral to produce an additional 120 million bricks per year, increasing their overall clay manufacturing in the United States by 7 percent.


  • Turnkey delivery service for a 295,000 SF fully automated brick manufacturing facility
  • Designed and constructed a plant that required the integration of owner provided technology as well as multiple vendors and sub-contractors
  • Updated their manufacturing with state-of-the-art technology including advanced automation and robotics to convert crushed clay into formed and packaged bricks
  • At the time of construction, this was the largest brick manufacturing facility built in the U.S.
  • By utilizing continuously updated cost-to-complete estimates, Haskell was able to help the client make informed decisions throughout the process to keep the project under budget
  • Received a LEED Gold Certification, the first LEED certification ever awarded in the brick industry
  • Received a Design-Build Excellence Award from DBIA
  • LEED® Gold Certification
  • Zero Waste Facility
  • Low Usage of Water
  • Natural Lighting
  • 80% Methane Gas, 20% Natural Gas
  • Reduced Packaging Materials

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