The project involved the design and construction of a composite distribution centre, comprising an 8,000m2 frozen storage chamber at a temperature of -26 degrees, 16,000m2 of chilled storage space at a temperature between +1 and +12 degrees, 41,000m2 of ambient storage space, a 10,000m2 recycling unit and an 8 bay Vehicle Maintenance Unit.
Ancillary features of the distribution centre include 2,000m2 of mezzanine office space, approximately 1,000m2 of ground floor “pod” office space and a 3-storey plant room housing all refrigeration plant. The mezzanine level is accessed via a 3.5m wide pedestrian access bridge from the staff car park.
Fairhurst Structural Engineering input included the design of a 5.5m wide gantry for the refrigerated chambers, which runs the full length of the building and supports a series of coolers weighing up to 8T each. A series of multi bay portal frames were also designed for the ambient chamber.
Since the site was formerly a colliery and then a semi-conductor factory, extensive environmental investigation was required prior to the re-profiling of 425,000m3 of soil. Lime stabilization and rolling dynamic consolidation were employed to enable all excavated material to be re-used within the development. Due to the extent to which some of the site levels required to be raised, part of the building (including floor slab) were founded on driven piles.
SUDS techniques were utilised to treat discharges. During construction, temporary attenuation ponds were created and all effluent was cleansed through “straw bales” prior to discharge.