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Steel delivers giant grocery store in Kent

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nOcadoApr16A large steel-framed temperature-controlled warehouse has risen up on the south bank of the River Thames at Erith, Kent for online grocery retailer Ocado.

Measuring 250m-long x 179m-wide, the single storey portal-framed building comprises six spans that rise either side of a central ridge.

Working on behalf of main contractor McLaren Construction, Caunton Engineering has fabricated, supplied and erected more than 2,300t of steelwork for the project.

The steelwork’s stability is provided by tubular roof bracing and tubular vertical bracing along the building’s perimeter as well as the portal action of the main frames.

Steelwork has also helped form a number of additional smaller structures, which include a main office, staff shop, a vehicle maintenance unit and a two-storey plant room.

The building is being clad in vertically spanning composite wall panels supported by cold-rolled rails to the external elevations. The wall cladding extends above the roof cladding to form a parapet.

This is Ocado’s fourth distribution centre in the UK and when it opens in 2017 the company says it will have the capacity to handle in excess of 200,000 orders per week.

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