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Gray Construction Receives Two National Design-Build Awards for Champion Petfoods’ DogStar® Kitchens

At the 2016 Design-Build Conference & Expo Awards Dinner in Las Vegas, the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) presented Gray Construction with a national design-build award in the Industrial, Process and/or Research Facilities category for Champion Petfoods’ Kentucky DogStar® Kitchens. In addition, Gray was recognized for the Excellence in Teaming award.

In Numbers

  • Auburn, KY
  • 371,100 s.f.
    Square Footage
  • 14 months

“We feel honored,” said Stephen Gray, president and CEO of Gray. “The Champion Petfoods project has been exciting from day one based on our strong relationship with Champion, the way the team came together to ensure success, and the innovation that was developed and integrated specifically for this project.”


Project team members from both Gray and Champion were present to accept the honors.



“Champion is honored to be recognized with these awards,” said Frank Burdzy, president and CEO of Champion Petfoods. “The design-build of DogStar® Kitchens is something that we are extremely proud of, and its success would not have been possible without our partnership with Gray.”


Champion’s 371,000 s.f. DogStar® was designed, constructed and commissioned in just 14 months—from 0 percent design to 100 percent test runs of their new recipes. Gray provided design-build services for the state-of-the-art kitchens, which were engineered and designed to meet the same food safety standards required for the manufacturing of human foods.

“By showcasing design-build best practices, teaming techniques, contracting methods, and ways to drive innovation, winners of National Design-Build Project/Team Awards provide examples to the rest of the industry on how to achieve Design-Build Done Right,” said Lisa Washington, CAE, executive director/CEO of DBIA.


Canadian-based Champion chose design-build methodology because of the agility, flexibility and adaptability inherent in its delivery approach. Champion also appreciated how design-build promoted the lively and collaborative team environment that was critical to the success of the world-class DogStar® kitchens.


“A team approach was truly the driving force behind the success of this highly complex project,” said Phil Seale, executive vice president of manufacturing and food and beverage markets at Gray. “The engineers, designers, project managers, suppliers, vendors and technical staff at Champion communicated constantly to ensure that Champion’s goals and expectations would be met on an extremely challenging deadline.”


About Champion Petfoods


Champion Petfoods is an independent, award-winning Canadian pet food maker with a tradition of innovation and leadership that spans over a quarter century. Known and trusted by pet lovers everywhere, Champion makes ACANA and ORIJEN Biologically Appropriate™ foods which mirror the evolutionary diets of dogs and cats, feature unmatched inclusions of fresh regional ingredients, and are prepared exclusively in the company’s own award-winning kitchens.


To learn more about Champion Petfoods and its award-winning pet foods, visit


About Gray Construction


Gray Construction, is a nationally ranked engineering, architecture and construction firm with over 56 years of experience in manufacturing, automotive, food and beverage, distribution, hospitality and retail facility construction. Currently, Gray has several large projects that are underway or recently completed including: a Mercedes-Benz manufacturing facility in Vance, Ala.; a fresh pork processing facility in Coldwater, Michigan for Clemens Food Group; a utility vehicle manufacturing facility for Kubota Manufacturing of America Corporation in Gainesville, Ga.;  an expansion to Wrigley’s Yorkville, Ill. campus; a foundry and mechanical machining facility for Fritz Winter in Franklin, Ky.; and a manufacturing facility for Weber Metals in Paramount, Calif.


If you have food and beverage plant construction needs, please contact Phil Seale, executive vice president, manufacturing/food & beverage markets at Or, contact Tyler Cundiff, director, business development at


For more information on Gray Construction, visit

"The design-build of DogStar® Kitchens is something that we are extremely proud of, and its success would not have been possible without our partnership with Gray."
Frank Burdzy, President and CEO

Champion Petfoods

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