Established in 1926, Keelings is one of Ireland’s success stories and is still owned and managed by the founding family. From humble agricultural roots to now producing, sourcing and distributing high-quality fresh fruit and salads across Europe, the company has grown from strength to strength. To keep pace with this, it has invested significantly in developing its original farmland beyond its own needs to create FoodCentral Park– a 113-hectare, food-centric business and logistics hub for the domestic and export markets.
SDS design engineers have worked closely with Keelings to prepare an engineering masterplan for the Food Central Park which includes roads, drainage and flood alleviation design for over twenty potential industrial and warehouse sites in the park. The latest distribution warehouse constructed on the site for the business exemplifies a sustainable and forward-thinking approach, with a 7,000 sq m high-performance chilled cold storage, distribution and office facility delivered by a highly skilled project team. SDS performed the roles of civil & structural engineer and architect (CSA).
The building structure was a steel portal frame utilising a simple steel purlin and cladding rail system which was quick to assemble and required fewer components than other systems, offering an economical yet robust structure
for the insulated panel roof and walls. The single-component, panelised construction of both the QuadCoreTM
UltraTemp walls facilitated a fast installation, enabling Cold Store Panel Contractors EMCO to achieve a high- performance finish without compromising on speed or simplicity. Additionally, the castellated and symmetrical tongue and groove jointing provided increased load transfer and reduced movement, allowing for an 13m internal wall of 175mm panel to be created without the need of extra supporting steelwork, further reducing construction time and costs.
Thanks to a combination of considerate specification, efficient installation processes and excellent scheduling and coordination by the main contractor, the project was completed one month ahead of schedule, allowing the company to relocate earlier.
As with any project, health and safety was a vital consideration. As this project involved many specialist subcontractors working in tandem with one another, this required clear communication and project briefing between each of the different teams. This was successfully delivered with careful oversight by main contractor and complete transparency between the subcontracted teams.
The Kingspan insulated panel systems chosen for the site also contributed to a safe and efficient build, with the single-component roof panels reducing time working at height and providing a safe, walkable platform as soon as they were completely fixed to the supporting steelwork.
The panels will also help to ensure ongoing fire safety. Whilst the majority of the building’s walls were constructed with the 150mm UltraTemp panels, 175mm panels were used on the gable end of the property to offer the required fire protection.
As farmers, Keelings have a close relationship with nature and how the quality of the Irish environment and resources is reflected in its products. Therefore it was fundamental that the new facility was designed and constructed to be as efficient as possible, using materials that not only embodied this respect for the environment, but that would support the business’ work under ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems.
The 175mm and 150mm insulated wall panels specified for the project can achieve U-Values of 0.10 and 0.12 W/m2K respectively, whilst their unique jointing achieves an air tightness of just 0.02m3/hr/m2 at 50Pa in accordance with BS EN 14509. This high thermal performance will help the facility to easily maintain the necessary storage temperature to preserve the produce, decreasing the load on the mechanical temperature control systems.
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