Warehouse opts for a
range of steel options
Work is progressing on a vast regional distribution hub near
Bristol for retailer The Range.
An enormous £90M warehouse
at Central Park in Avonmouth,
under construction for retailer
The Range, will be the largest
Birmingham-based commercial property
developer Stoford has ever delivered.
Providing more than 111,000m2 of space,
it will be the biggest single building in the
South West and one of the largest in the UK.
It is claimed to be the equivalent size of 15
With good transportation links and close
to the Second Severn Crossing, the hub will
bring 1,000 jobs to the region and inject
millions of pounds into the local economy.
Stoford Developments Director Tony
Nash says: “Central Park is an excellent
location with first class infrastructure,
including the nearby motorway, on-site
The Range distribution
Stoford, The Range
Steel tonnage: 3,500t
False ceilings at either
end of the building
provide access to the
direct rail freight services and adjacent
Chris Dawson, founder of The Range
adds: “This distribution centre is a big
step in the expansion plans that I have for
the business; it’s non-stop for us. When
the warehouse is up and fully operational,
it will act as a training hub for smaller
distribution centres around the country.”
Main contractor McLaren
Construction started work on-site in
2016 with an extensive piling programme
kicking off proceedings.
As the site is close to the banks of the
River Severn, the ground contains soft
alluvial deposits and a total of 16,000
concrete piles have been installed, to
a depth of 20m, in order to support
the ground slab, the steel-frame of the
warehouse and its internal racking
To keep the programme on schedule,
the construction sequence was arranged
so that Caunton Engineering erected the
steelwork immediately behind the piling
The sequential operation was then
repeated with the cladding and roofing
contractors along with the concreting
team installing the ground slab following
on behind Caunton’s steelwork erectors.
Overall, the building measures 480m
in length, which equates to 60 × 8m-wide
bays. It has six spans of 36.5m giving the
warehouse a total width of 220m.
Caunton Engineering Site Manager
Dave Chadwick says: “We split the erection
programme into eight phases, with each
one consisting of up to 10 bays in length
and the full width of the building.”
The roof was strengthened at either end
of the building to support two sprinkler
platforms at low level.
Extending for five bays at each end and
covering the entire width of the warehouse,
the false ceilings are hung from the rafters
and provide maintenance access to the low
level sprinkler system.
All of the rafters were brought to site in
18.25m lengths. For the erection process
two sections were bolted together on the
ground to form the entire span, which was
then lifted into place using one of Caunton’s
on-site mobile cranes.
One end of the warehouse contains a
single-storey office block, measuring 16m
(two bays) × 45m-wide, which equates to
about one and half spans.
This internal steel braced frame is
attached to the perimeter steelwork and
topped with a composite slab. Flexibility
has been designed into this part of the
steelwork so a second storey could be added
in the future.
Another notable feature of the warehouse
is the fact that there are 104 loading dock
doors within the wall panels, and a couple
of external canopies that accommodate
14 goods-in/goods-out level access doors.
Adjacent to the canopies, on the inside of
the warehouse, are two further transport
Steel erection hub office areas.