Malt Facility Expansion - Pocatello, Id

The expansion strengthens business for Great Western Malting and the local community

Idaho, a state known for potatoes, boasts the ideal soil and climate conditions for another product: barley. Situated in the region, Great Western Malting, the oldest malting company in the western United States, expanded the malting capabilities of its Pocatello facility. Five total design / construction entities were on the project, one being JH Kelly, the industrial contractor who selected VAA as its engineering partner.

Our Approach

The expansion included a new steeping building, four germination vessels, a kiln vessel, transfer systems and utility buildings. VAA’s main contribution was to provide balance of plant design. The multidiscipline team, including civil, structural and mechanical engineering; equipment layout; and industrial architecture, identified gaps and provided engineering solutions for the facility.

Working on a small site footprint, the team created a site plan to accommodate the building additions and utility requirements. Another project challenge involved the germination and kiln vessels. Considered equipment, the vessels are not able to support any additional weight; therefore, the 270 ton transfer conveyor bridges had to suspend over a nearly 200’ span above the vessels.


As a fast tracked design-build project, the team had four months prior to construction to issue plans and be substantially complete with drawings over the course of a year. The team’s efforts on the project ultimately increased Great Western Malting’s process capacity by a 120 percent.