LACOMBE, Alta. — Possibly one of the world’s largest equipment centres, the Pentagon Farm Centre in Lacombe, began in 1982 with five people sitting around a kitchen table trying to figure out what to call their new venture.
The five decided to call the new company Pentagon.
Today, Brian Williams, owner of Pentagon, said he wanted to design and build the ultimate farm equipment sales and service centre and based the building design around the company’s name.
The main structure is built with five sides. The roof pillars, inner parts area and service area are in the shape of a pentagon. The showroom entrance to the building is a pentagon, as well as the design on stair rails and tables. Even the garbage cans are in the shape of pentagons.
The building is two acres, or 91,596 sq. feet, and the distance around the outside of the building is 1,045 feet. The showroom is the front side of the pentagon. The shop area is on the other side with the parts department and related offices, power and boiler room in the centre of the pentagon. The company’s original 1982 building next door can fit inside the new show room with space to spare.
Williams liked to keep track of details during the construction. He used 259 screw piles to support the foundation and pillars. The walls of the building are prefab concrete styrofoam panels. He calculated that they weighed more than a million pounds and it took 73 semi-truck loads to bring the panels from the manufacturer.
“The biggest challenge for the contractor was building a flat roof in the shape of a pentagon. So as not to have rain water come off the roof and erode the large parking and outside show area around the building, the rain water comes down inside pipes and moves underground to a nearby holding pond”, said Williams.
“The other challenge was finding a heated semi-trailer that could bring the 1,400 plus specially designed sound baffles that would hang from the ceiling up from Indiana in the dead of winter. We had big concern about them cracking in subzero weather during transport.
“There are 73 sky lights in the building so we don’t need a lot of electrical lighting. We have a daylight saving electricity computer light sensor system that measures the amount of sunlight coming into the building and it will adjust the electrical lighting system so we have constant lighting at a 20 percent electrical savings to us. We are set up for solar lighting some time in the future if needed.
“It took 833 gallons of paint, which was rolled on to paint the interior and there are 108 kilometres of wiring in the building. We have five boilers, which run at 96.5 percent efficiency, and 20 km of in-floor heating tubing. We used seven sheets of granite to build all of our pentagon-shaped coffee tables. Even our door knobs are pentagon in shape.”
Williams said Pentagon provides sales, service, and parts for the Agco family of brands including Fendt, Massey Ferguson, Challenger, Sunflower and Willmar. It also offers Claas and Gehl products and a selection of short-line brands.
Williams collects Allis Chalmers tractors and displays his collection by hanging them on the prefab concrete wall panels in the show room.
All tractors in the collection are in running order so it is simple to use a big fork lift and take a tractor down when needed for a local parade.