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Distribution NSC 13 September 15 Stability bracing will also render the internal mezzanine floors independent of the main building, enabling them to accommodate a complex system of tracks for an automated handling system. The structural design includes the overall building being split into five separate independently stable zones by party walls, which will ensure that the warehouse remains operational in the event of a fire in one of the compartments. The compartments are not all the same size and the two largest are five spans wide and accommodate the Centre’s high bay racking system, which will be serviced by robotic cranes. The project also includes a conveyor link bridge from the north eastern corner of the building to transfer stock to the existing Next warehouse, across Holme Wood Lane. The bridge will be a four span 120m-long structure formed with a series of trusses to accommodate the double deck configuration. The lower deck will feature conveyor belts for transporting goods, while the upper deck will be a pedestrian Billington Structures erected the main frame for the Next distribution centre in 14 weeks. In order to not clash with the site’s other trades, the company then erected the mezzanine floors on a return visit later in the programme. Prior to the steel erection starting, Billington had already begun its onsite preparation work and had started stockpiling steelwork. “The columns are 25m long and up to 9t each, so we could only transport them on a truck to site two at a time,” explains Billington Structures Contracts Director Brian Turton. thoroughfare for the workers. The 40-acre site will accommodate 394 car parking spaces, including 21 disabled spaces, which are to be located on the western part of the site. Twenty five covered parking spaces will also be provided, while 48 HGV parking spaces are to be provided to the northern side of the building within the dispatch yard, together with 15 trailer box parking spaces and 55 loading bays. Billington CEO Mark Smith, said: “The construction of a distribution warehouse on such a large scale involves a great deal of complex planning. “The fact that Bowmer & Kirkland has once again chosen Billington Structures to provide the structural steelwork for one of their most significant and prestigious projects, and indeed clients in Next, is testament to Billington’s quality, reliability and performance.” Summing up the project Bowmer & Kirkland Project Manager Ben Howard says: “Erection of a 25m high distribution facility, with ancillary offices and building services, doesn’t come without its own challenges. “Early access dates and a tight overall schedule dictate a correctly sequenced approach by ourselves, which guarantees a defined outcome for our client. “Utilising specialist contractors in their own fields early on is essential for the coordination of design, erection sequencing and programming alongside interfacing elements. This gives us the best opportunity for a achieving our project goals.” The Next distribution centre is due to be complete by early 2016. “That’s why it’s important to have steel deliveries carefully co-ordinated and steel stockpiled on site in the respective working areas… to ensure that we could give continuity for the erection teams on site.” The portal rafters were brought to site in two sections and then erected in pairs. Using two mobile cranes, the rafters were lifted into place, bolted to their respective columns and then bolted together at midpoint before being released from the cranes. Steel programme “The client wanted this bespoke building to look modern, clean and attractive. It needed to meet the demands of the current business with a view to future flexibility and expansion.” The huge distribution centre takes shape Columns are up to 25m high Coordination between steel deliveries and the erection has been key


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