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Co-op Distribution Centre, Birtley, County Durham

Co-op Distribution Centre, Birtley, County Durham

Client: Co-operative Retail Logistics
Architect: RPS Burks Green
Main contractor: Clegg Special Projects
Type of works: supply and installation of safety barriers, balustrades, loading bay barriers and racking protectors.

The new Co-op Composite Distribution Centre on the outskirts of Chester-le-Street covers 25,600m2 (276,000 sq ft) and supplies a vast range of products from 3,500 lines to 262 Co-operative stores in the North of England. This keeps the 500+ staff very busy with a couple of hundred vehicle movements every day. Understandably, safety is paramount and safety specialist Berry Systems won the contract to supply and install all the safety barriers, balustrades, loading bay barriers and racking protectors inside the warehouse as well as the vehicle perimeter barriers and ramp barriers externally. All the products, with the exception of the galvanised spring steel barriers, were
painted in eye-catching yellow for added visibility. The spring steel barriers are designed to absorb impacts from HGVs and forklift trucks
while retaining their own integrity and ongoing effectiveness.The Co-op was also determined to ensure the environmental credentials of the new development. A 150,000 litre rainwater collection system was installed to make the plant self sufficient in non-potable water during all but the driest periods. Waste oil helps to provide heating and the lighting system is solar controlled to eliminate wastage. It ensures a variable level of interior lighting to automatically complement exterior levels.

Berry Systems installed safety barriers and balustrading to protect loading bays, warehouse racking, pedestrian walkways and plant. Also bollards and ramp barriers for loading bays and height restrictors to protect internal goods doorways. The internal barriers are double height to prevent incursion of forks from fork lifts and pallet trucks.

Berry Systems provided:

  • 160m of double height barrier rail mounted on GH spring steel buffers
  • 527m of single height barrier rail mounted on GH spring steel buffers at 760mm high
  • 42m of barrier rail mounted on GH spring steel buffers with handrail extensions
  • 42 loading bay interior fork lift truck wheel guides
  • 110 rubber wheel stoppers 2,700mm long
  • 110 3m sections of rubber speed ramps
  • 20 height restrictors
  • 7 column protection units
  • 136 bollards
  • 3 swinging gates
  • 166 rack end protectors
  • 621m of floor angle
  • 285m of heavy duty handrailing.

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