Upsher-Smith Laboratories Keystone Buildout

Completion Date: November 2022
Size: 260,000 SF
Location: Maple Grove, Minnesota
Type of Project: Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing - cGMP
Ryan Responsibility: Construction, Design Assist

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Project Overview

Upsher-Smith Laboratories is a leading manufacturer of generic and branded pharmaceutical products, headquartered in Minnesota. Since 2000, Ryan Companies has partnered with Upsher-Smith on several projects, including their corporate headquarters, laboratories, warehouse and cGMP manufacturing plant expansions. 

In August of 2020, Upsher-Smith tapped Ryan to build an expansion to their existing headquarters to consolidate manufacturing operations which, up until that point, were spread out across Colorado and Minnesota. Referred to as Keystone, the new state-of-the-art cGMP and cleanroom facility enables Upsher-Smith to manufacture, package, distribute and warehouse pharmaceuticals. The expansion also positions Upsher-Smith for future growth as a contract manufacturing organization. 

Ryan was engaged early in the project development process for Keystone, as the concept design was evolving. We immediately stepped in to help manage the design, acting as a true partner and bringing multiple technical partners together to best serve Upsher-Smith. Throughout the process, we provided services above and beyond what is typically provided by a general contractor by leading design meetings and facilitating coordination among the team—working in more of a design-build delivery model. 

Because of our depth of assistance on the project, it was determined that Upsher-Smith’s needs were misaligned with the scope of the initial design. With our help to right-size the project for the final build, mechanical costs were reduced by nearly 25 percent compared to the initial design and still met all of unique technical requirements. 


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Building to accommodate complex systems.

In the fast-changing world of pharmaceuticals, the need to consolidate decentralized manufacturing operations into one building was not atypical. However, the complexities of the Keystone build-out were unique, including the installation of specialized equipment such as a regenerative thermal oxidizer. 

To help Ryan understand Upsher-Smith’s unique needs for this project, we worked with them informally for nearly a year before we were awarded the project. Once Ryan was formally engaged, we activated our team at a very early stage—when only three pages of drawings existed—to ensure everyone understood how the building would be used and achieve the best outcome. 

Multiple utilities were installed to accommodate Upsher-Smith’s process and cleanroom buildout, including, including a clean steam generator, clean compressed air plant, dust collection with FIKE explosion suppression systems, industrial waste, fire water containment tank, nitrogen, purified water, hydrogen and a regenerative thermal oxidizer. Their process systems include fluid bed processors, a tablet coater, fume hoods, downflow booths, solvent dispensing, recessed floor scales, blenders and post hoists. In addition, three 15,000 CFM GMP air handling units and two 45,000 GMP dedicated outside air units were installed to serve the building. The client relied on the expertise of the Ryan team and our trusted relationships with specialty contractors to ensure that all equipment was successfully installed, without delay or unanticipated costs. 

When it came to project close-out and commissioning, Ryan worked closely with the project team to ensure the cGMP spaces, utilities and process systems were successfully completed and ready for Upsher Smith’s qualification and validation processes.


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A long-term partnership with consistent delivery.

Built on open communication with a relationship that goes back to 2000, Upsher-Smith has trusted Ryan Companies with many of their facility needs, from the development, design and construction of their 193,300 square-foot headquarters in Maple Grove, MN to multiple remodels and expansions ranging from 5,000 to 300,000 square feet. 

For many of the projects, Upsher-Smith had very specific design requirements and extensive FDA guidelines, so they required a design-builder who understood the plan and carried it out to the letter—and Ryan has consistently delivered. 

Notable projects: 

  • Plymouth, Minnesota Office Remodel | Completion: December 2000 

  • Maple Grove, Minnesota Headquarters | Completion: July 2003 

  • Denver, Colorado Office | Completion: February 2005 

  • Multiple Headquarters Renovations and Remodels | Completion: 2006 

  • Maple Grove Headquarters West Expansion | Completion: December 2014 

  • Maple Grove Headquarters East Expansion and Manufacturing Build-Out (Keystone) | Completion: 2021/2022 

What our customers are saying

  • Ryan’s early involvement enabled the team to fully understand the complexity, goals and needs of our Keystone project. Their integrated team of experts managed all aspects of the project, bringing in trusted MEP subconsultants to collaborate and navigate our unique requirements. Their engagement, dedication and attention to detail were critical to this project’s success.

    Bob Green, Senior Director of Engineering , Upsher-Smith Laboratories

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