This scheme involved the addition of a 110,000sq ft extension to the newest of four existing cold stores on Reed Boardall’s main 55-acre site. It is the UK’s most extensive and modern cold storage distribution facility, operating 24/7 with the capacity to deliver up to 12,000 pallets daily nationwide.
The extension is split into zones, comprising main racking storage area operating at a temperature of -25 degrees Celsius, a chilled loading dock, and a cooler pod and valve station corridor between the cold store and loading dock.
We delivered full civil and structural engineering works for the extension, combining our previous storage and warehousing experience with knowledge of the existing building to guide our solution.
Favourable site conditions consisted of reasonable quality clay soils, so we designed pad foundations and a ground-bearing floor slab. As the upper layers of the clay were susceptible to softening with moisture, lime stabilisation was used to modify the clay.
To maximise use of the space, specialist sliding racking was supported on rails within the slab. Careful provision was made to accommodate high point loads with the need for a very flat, level internal floor finish that also incorporated the requirements to provide frost heave protection to the subbase. This was achieved by providing glycol heating pipes and insulation over a sub-slab. We followed TR34 guidelines to design the cold store slab. Anti-crack details and specialist armoured joints were used to mitigate damage from low temperatures. We specified the reinforcement details required around the guide rails for the racking system.
We worked closely with subcontractors, coordinating with the steel fabricators about the connection details to the existing cold store building, and helping the flooring specialist specify a suitable sealant and floor covering.