Sheds

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Sheds Barrett erected a 19,000m2 three span high bay warehouse at Kingswood Lakeside Business park, Cannock in six weeks Logistics drive shed expansion Healthy demand for industrial portal frames, and especially large distribution warehouses, looks set to keep steelwork contractors busy for some time to come. Demand for large portal frame sheds is buoyant ley, one of Europe’s biggest developers of distribu- in the UK. The typical project is increasing in size tion warehouses, says that the size of the typical and steelwork contractors have plenty of work. project is on a rising trend. “Ten to 12 years ago The market shows no sign of peaking, particularly around 100,000sq ft was typical. The trend now is as far as large distribution warehouses are con- to a standard size of 220,000 to 400,000sq ft or big- cerned, with developers increasingly working with ger.” the construction industry to find ways of erecting Andrew Marston, commercial manager of Bar- the buildings in ever-shorter timescales. rett Steel buildings, goes even further. “A few “The market for industrial sheds is operating years ago half a million sq ft for a big retailer was with a very high level of demand,” says Bob King, unusual. Now a million sq ft is not unheard of.” A business development manager of Billington Steel recent Barrett project for Debenhams in Peterbor- Structures. “Some major contractors are pre- ough was 762,000sq ft. booking work with us down the line. They’re aware It might be thought that demand for regional the market is warming up and making sure they distribution warehouses would be limited on the Ikea’s new Doncaster can get their projects built.” grounds that the number of supermarket, retail distribution centre, being Steel frames already account for over 96% of the and DIY chains that need developments of this size built by Billington market for single storey industrial buildings, ac- is relatively small, but this is not the case, says Mr Structures, will have nine cording to figures for 2004. Fitzpatrick. bays. The three central bays are 37m high. Mr King says the biggest area of work at the “Retailers and other businesses are outsourcing moment is large distribution sheds, though there their distribution to third party logisticians or stra- are also a lot of retail projects on brownfield tegic partners such as Exel and TNT. In a number sites which tend to be smaller because the sites of cases these partners are then requiring units ei- themselves are more compact. “They’re typically ther for specific contracts or sites for multiple cus- 20,000sq ft rather than 200,000,” he says. tomers where there are economies of scale from Richard Fitzpatrick, commercial director of Gaze- running more than one contract from one unit.” He 20 NSC May 2005


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