In 1989, Kreg Tool began with a kitchen cabinet and a question: “How do you attach a face frame and hide the joint from view?” Iowa native Craig Sommerfeld provided the answer by creating the Kreg Jig—a U-shaped, single-hole jig that allows woodworkers to create strong joints while effortlessly hiding their work. Since its founding, Kreg Tool has grown to a 250-person operation. The company has become a household name for pocket joinery, the go-to brand for craftsmen everywhere. Kreg’s new facility in Ankeny, Iowa will further the company’s success by consolidating its operations. At Neumann Monson, we are thrilled to help Kreg Tool with this mission.
Moving to Ankeny
In 2018, Kreg Tool decided to construct a new headquarters in Ankeny. The decision was difficult. After 26 years in Huxley, Kreg was deeply connected to their hometown. Ankeny, however, provided a decisive location for talent attraction and retention, with most of their staff commuting from Polk County. Upon announcing their move, Kreg offered Huxley a large donation to Huxley improvement projects, showcasing their commitment to the local community. A group of Kreg employees who live in Huxley will meet with City officials to determine how to allocate the funds.
To design their new facility, Kreg met with three design-build teams, an approach where architecture firms and contractors join forces at the onset of the project. Neumann Monson partnered with Graham Construction, and ultimately, our team was selected. Kreg envisioned a facility that would consolidate its operations into one building. At Neumann Monson, we were challenged to create a facility that would merge their office and manufacturing components and allow for synergistic collaboration across the company.
Collaborating with Staff
During schematic design, we collaborated with Kreg Tool’s staff to learn their needs and wants. To fully understand Kreg’s goals, we led image workshops, spatial configuration workshops, and benchmarking tours. Kreg also created multi-departmental, staff-led initiatives that yielded a deeply democratic and collaborative design process. Ultimately, the staff needed a space that would foster collaboration, promote wellness, and embody their casual, down-to-earth corporate culture.
Designing the New Facility
Collaboration was the focal point of the new facility. The design team imagined the facility as a “marketplace” where the office and manufacturing staff could easily intermingle. The 155,000 square foot facility is composed of two prominent sections. The north-facing side houses the office components, while the south-end houses the warehouse and manufacturing facility. The building’s center forms a central access point for both departments. Breakrooms, kitchen facilities, and the fitness center link the office and manufacturing components, providing opportunities for all departments to interact. The staircase acts as the spine of the building, connecting each department. Its extra wide landing will provide a space for quarterly firm-wide meetings.
The design was also inspired by the company’s history and culture. Specializing in pocket-hole joinery, woodworking is central to Kreg’s business. The design team incorporated a structural wood deck at the floor and roof, which is accented by blackened steel columns. Agrarian influences, like slatted wood across the entry, reference the company’s central Iowa roots. To promote health and wellness, the design team incorporated biophilic design principles. The facility’s north-end is composed of glass to provide ample daylighting. Daylight is also utilized in the manufacturing facility to help occupants maintain healthy circadian rhythms. Running and walking trails throughout the 25-acre campus further connect the facility’s occupants with nature.
Fostering Community and Quality
For over 30 years, Kreg Tool has committed to producing quality products and engaging the community. Their new facility will allow them to further their success by fostering collaboration and deepening their level of employee engagement. Proudly standing along the crossroads of I-80 and I-35, the new facility represents a bright future for Kreg Tool and Ankeny.