38 RCI 0714

RCI JULY 2014

CLADDING & SHEETING Is single envelope composite panel construction the future? 038 JULY 2014 RCIMAG.COM By Adrian Smith, technical director, ISD Solutions Pioneering, single envelope construction using composite panels is changing conventional warehouse design, bringing with it significant savings not only to developers and operators in the frozen foods sector, but also for operators in distribution, manufacturing, retail, leisure and data centre applications too. With rising costs and increasingly stringent environmental parameters, the use of controlled environment composite panel systems, together with single envelope construction techniques, can significantly reduce both build and running costs for a range of commercial and industrial structures. At ISD Solutions we are already seeing upfront savings in build costs of at least 20% when compared to a traditional cold storage facility and a resulting 30% increase in long-term energy efficiency when compared to traditionally clad builds. Construction is faster and with fewer raw materials, significantly less secondary steelwork for example, means costs are reduced. Meanwhile the thermal qualities of metal-faced composite panels keep temperatures constant and completely airtight, regulating heat loss and gains to reduce a building’s energy consumption. The composite panels used are a low carbon building material with a reduced ‘global warming potential’ (GWP). Since fewer materials are used and less energy is required in operation, single envelope construction better satisfies WRAP and BREEAM targets. This approach also helps customers with carbon debt reduction and improved carbon reporting, now a boardroom issue. Previously, traditional cold storage warehouses involved the construction of two buildings, one inside the other. This often required environmental control and fire prevention sprinkler systems within the resulting roof void; costly in terms of raw materials, time consuming to build and not particularly sustainable or thermally efficient. Aldi example Aldi’s new 52,000m² development, due to open in 2015, includes warehouse, chilled food storage areas and office space, serving a growing portfolio of stores across South and West Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire. Expected to operate 24/7, 365 days a year, the specification for the project provides a high performance, environmentally friendly solution, with extremely low running costs. A single envelope design was chosen as it produces a structure that is faster and more cost-effective to build, with significantly improved thermal properties and consequently minimal issues from frost and moisture in the refrigerated storage areas. At ISD Solutions we work with Aldi across a number of in-store frozen and chilled food storage solutions, and this is our first stand-alone warehouse for the store group. The range of composite panel technology incorporated in this project, together with a solar PV system, makes this a truly state-of-art warehouse structure. Another example is a fully automated high-bay frozen warehouse, operated by Partner Logistics in Cambridgeshire, designed to operate down to temperatures of -25 degrees centigrade. The warehouse is 35 metres high with a floorplan of 175m x 88m and contains a staggering 77,000 pallets of frozen food. Combined with the loading and picking, building the project required over 36,000m² of composite panels. The structure had to satisfy some demanding performance requirements, not least a one hour fire rating to one elevation and extremely high floor loadings from the racking system. A careful assessment of location, wind loadings and temperature cycles was required to ensure the single-envelope design could safely accommodate normal shrinkage and expansion – as much as 40mm – and still remain airtight. Minimising the effects of ‘thermal bowing’, the physical distortion of the wall panels as the exterior metal skin heats up in the day while the cold interior face contracts, was essential. With a potential temperature difference of 60 degrees on a hot summer’s day, how the composite panels are fixed in place and the design of junctions, connections and fixings were critical. With demand growing for ever more cost-effective warehouse and frozen food storage facilities, in the UK and abroad, ISD Solutions has never been busier. But we must caution that design and installation are crucial areas to get right if construction and long-term reductions in running costs can be achieved. It is the combination of design, manufacturing and installation expertise, working together, that enables us to achieve airtight and resilient structures. The same is true where steel-faced composite panels with non-combustible mineral fibre cores are used in fire wall applications. For Aldi this approach is used to provide fire separation between ambient and chilled parts of the warehouse. Correct design and installation is even more important here if the required fire resistance is to be achieved. www.isd-solutions.co.uk Left and below: “ISD Solutions' single envelope design for Aldi's new ‘super-efficient’ cold store warehouse and distribution centre at Goldthorpe


RCI JULY 2014
To see the actual publication please follow the link above