Polar Semiconductor, Inc. Facility Expansion - Bloomington, MN

DBIA Industrial / Process / Research Facilities, Design-Build Honor Award Winner

VAA worked with BWBR Architects and Mortenson Construction to create a state-of-the-art facility expansion for the manufacturer of semiconductor wafers, Polar Semiconductor, Inc. The expansion added 62,000 SF of flexible production space; 84,000 SF of mechanical space to serve the clean room production areas; and 14,000 SF of office space.

The strict requirements for high-performance semiconductors and the client’s desire for a high level of flexibility in its manufacturing process were a unique challenge that required an understanding of the manufacturing process and clean room design.

Our Approach

VAA presented several structural options to achieve the client’s primary objective of providing a high integrity manufacturing process while enhancing flexibility for future manufacturing upgrades. The final design includes a second story mechanical room that isolates all of the mechanical systems from the production (clean) space. By isolating the equipment in the second story, the clean room and equipment environments are separated and equipment maintenance is performed without breaching the clean room environment.

Eighteen-foot-tall trusses supporting precast planks on the bottom chord and roof joists on the top chord provide great economy while meeting the functional requirements of the project. The trusses allow large pieces of equipment to be moved into and out of the mechanical level through an access door in the exterior wall. The long-span framing system for the second floor provides large open spaces for the production and clean room areas. Pressure relief panels and chemical spill containment were incorporated into the facility design.


This expansion enhanced our client’s position in the semiconductor industry by providing flexible, upgraded space for additional production. In addition to accomplishing the client’s goals, the project received a DBIA Industrial / Process / Research Facilities, Design-Build Honor Award. The award highlights projects that not only achieve budget and schedule goals, but also demonstrate advanced and innovative application of total integrated project delivery, including design-build best practices.