Morrisons’ South West Regional Distribution Centre, Somerset

Morrisons’ South West Regional Distribution Centre, Somerset

Client: Morrisons’ South West Regional Distribution Centre
Type of works: supplied solar PV and insulated panel technology.

Morrisons’ South West Regional Distribution Centre (RDC), a 59 acre goods facility nearing completion at Bridgwater in Somerset, is raising the bar for energy conservation, with an exemplar scheme that uses innovative solar PV and insulated panel technology from Kingspan Insulated Panels to create one of Europe’s most energy efficient logistics facilities.

One of the challenges was to transform unproductive roof space into the facility’s own power plant. Following a thorough project analysis by Kingspan’s in-house Renewables design team, two different products from the PowerPanel range were specified for two of the distribution facility’s main buildings to meet that challenge.

At the ‘Goods in Warehouse’, FK Construction installed the Roof PowerPanel Laminate System using Topdek KS1000 TD, a single ply insulated membrane roofdeck which had the PV laminate adhered directly to the surface on site.

Using 1,548 modules, this system will provide a single-source, insulated, roof and solar PV power source delivering a total peak output of over 220 kWp and an estimated 197,279 kWhrs of energy per annum.

Externally, the Frozen Warehouse has a highly insulated building envelope comprising: Kingspan KS1000 MR Micro-Rib architectural wall panels, and KS1000 RW insulated roof panels, which provide a support structure for the 1,194 Kingspan Roof PowerPanel crystalline PV modules mounted onto the south facing elevations to convert the sun’s energy into electricity for refrigeration, these were also installed by FK Construction.

This complete thermal envelope will provide a substantial annual revenue for Morrisons with a large CO2 reduction.

Paul Kettlewell, Senior Construction Project Manager at Morrisons, said: “Our ambitions for Bridgwater were to achieve the best in sustainable design in accordance with our stated aims for environmental corporate responsibility.”

“We believe that the major issue of carbon emissions reduction is an important issue and that refrigeration, transport and waste are significant factors. We are very pleased with the work that Kingspan have done and the fact that the solar power generated at the distribution centre will provide more than 6 per cent of the facility’s needs.”

As well as offering long term guaranteed thermal performance for the facility and energy efficiency improvement of up to 44%, the use of insulated panels means aesthetics were not sacrificed for the sake of cost efficiency.

DLA Architecture’s design aspiration was to create a landmark building for Bridgwater whilst maintaining a synergy with its semi-rural location. This has been reflected in the envelope colour treatment.

The colours selected were non-standard and would normally need to be ordered from steel suppliers well in advance - something that could only be done once the order was in place. Despite this, Kingspan worked closely with the project’s nominated cladding contractor, FK Construction, to build a mock-up of the design, rigging sixteen KS1000 MR Micro-Rib architectural wall panels to an existing wall at its Holywell manufacturing plant.

Lead in times for non-standard colours had to be accommodated, so the panels, top-hats and wall flashings were made in a neutral colour and over-painted by a specialist contractor to the required colours. The rig was then inspected by the architect and the willow weave design, which exploits the wide range of colours and finishes in Kingspan’s XL Forte range, was approved and incorporated.

Steve Hall of FK Construction commented “As well as installing all of the PV products, we also collaborated with Kingspan on the design and construction of the complete external building envelope which included the unusual aspect of 2m wide gutters. Kingspan were the only manufacturer able to produce gutters of this size and with our help they were installed smoothly and efficiently.”

With the addition of Kingspan Multideck MD60 high performance galvanised steel deck for the composite floor slabs; Multibeam purlins and side rails (supplied to Atlas Ward, the steelwork fabricator on the project); and other finishing touches such as: gutters; top-hats; flashings; and Safetraxx, an off-ridge fall protection system, Morrisons RDC represents a huge vote of confidence for the investment Kingspan makes in supporting its customers and developing innovative solutions for an energy-stretched future.

This project had the innovative use of tied portal frames where the ties were Multichannels – This was specified by the engineer to deliver a frame system that incorporated a lower steel content by taking advantage of the high strength of the Multichannels.

3E Consulting Engineers are committed to supporting their clients sustainable development strategy. The Kingspan purlin and side rail products were found to be economical and well suited to distribution centre type projects. Andy Pearson, the company’s Wakefield Director said:

“This was a relatively straightforward job for us. Kingspan products proved to be an economic one stop shop of roofing and solar energy uses. We’ve worked with their products for a number of years and have always found them very reliable and commercial.”

The majority of the products used on this project including the photovoltaic system are backed by the Kingspan Total System Guarantee which covers thermal and structural performance for 25 years and coatings for up to 40 years.

The £95 million RDC constructed by main contractors Bowmer & Kirkland is expected to become fully operational early in 2012. Covering almost a million sq ft, the facility will serve around 65 stores in the South West and South Wales, improving the efficiency of Morrison's logistics for these regions as well as providing further capacity to support the company’s “National to Nationwide” expansion.

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