Maximizing Efficiency: Design Concepts for Cold Storage Facilities

Cold storage facilities require strict temperature standards. Designed well, they operate more efficiently and reduce maintenance costs. Learn three design concepts from Ware Malcomb principal Cameron Trefry that maximize real estate value for these unique facilities.

Cold storage warehouse owners are placing a higher emphasis on employee comfort to attract more workers. This is especially important as a labor shortage persists.

Maximizing Efficiency

Cold storage facilities must be located in areas that have easy access to transportation infrastructure that can reach a large customer base. They also need to be near raw materials, packaging and labor.

When designing your facility, consider the type of products you’re storing and the quantity you plan on storing in each room. Different types of perishables produce latent heat that must be dissipated through ventilation and cooling systems.

Cold Storage

Additionally, implementing automation capabilities such as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) in your warehouse will improve efficiency and reduce handling errors in your facility. Properly planning for these systems in your facility design can ensure you’re ready to take advantage of this technology from the beginning. The cong ty lap dat kho lanh tai ha noi can save time and money in the long run, while ensuring your cold storage warehouse can provide excellent service to customers.

Product Safety

Cold storage facilities are often used to store and ship perishable items, which require a high degree of specialized care. Working in such a facility carries several risks that must be taken into consideration to ensure worker safety, product integrity and warehouse efficiency.

Workers must use proper protective equipment such as warm coats, gloves and insulated pants when operating in cold storage spaces. Likewise, any warehouse that uses refrigeration systems based on ammonia must implement proper fire prevention measures.

Using sprinkler systems and regularly testing them is one way to mitigate fire risks. In addition, incorporating conditioned spaces into existing or new-construction ambient warehouses (a box-in-box approach) is another good way to limit fire risks and protect cold stored products from damage. Moreover, a well-designed warehouse layout can significantly reduce the number of trips required for workers to move between different functional zones.

Key Considerations

Cold storage buildings use two main types of refrigeration: vapor recompression and absorption. It is important for the design team to understand the requirements of these systems and their ability to operate within a particular building.

A critical owner equipment consideration is a refrigeration system that can operate on a continuous basis with minimal energy consumption and a small footprint. This is accomplished by integrating the system into the building design, which can reduce roof and floor square footage without impacting storage capacity.

Another critical consideration is that a cold storage warehouse should be designed as an enclosure that blocks outside air. This is important for both detached facilities and cold-storage spaces within larger buildings. For these attached facilities, large anterooms maintained at an intermediate temperature between outdoor and storage areas can help prevent condensation within wall and roof assemblies.

Best Practices

Having clear communication between all third parties involved in the cold storage supply chain is crucial to optimizing logistics. This helps to prevent product problems that can cause costly delays.

Using equipment that is specifically designed for cold temperatures is important. For example, touchscreens on equipment should be designed to be responsive with gloved fingers, and buttons should be large enough to feel through thick gloves. It is also important to replace batteries regularly, as they degrade faster in cold environments.

Lastly, it is essential to seal and insulate the building envelope properly to maintain a continuous vapor barrier. This can save a lot of energy over time. In addition, having efficient lighting is critical to ensure proper performance of tasks and visibility of safety signs for employees working in the cold.

Cold Storage Sustainability and Technology

Cold storage warehouses require a lot of attention when it comes to maintaining the correct temperature. This is especially true for fruits and vegetables, which require specific temperature conditions to preserve their quality.

Many cold storage companies today are embracing sustainable design and construction practices, often without realizing it. Using recycled insulation and eco-friendly building materials helps to reduce carbon emissions during production, while providing long-term cost savings through energy efficiency.

In addition to the service load from refrigeration, lighting, ventilation, and occupant traffic, cold storage facilities must dissipate latent heat produced by ripening fruit and other processes. Energy-efficient concrete slab installations and a high R-value building envelope help minimize this heat load, further reducing energy costs.

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