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Keen on collaboration

12 December 2012

Hormann loading bay equipment helps seal the envelope at the huge new BMW regional distribution centre at Prologis Park Pineham.

Hormann loading bay equipment helps seal the envelope at the huge new BMW regional distribution centre at Prologis Park Pineham

Working alongside the main contractor, Buckingham Group, Hormann has been instrumental in completing the new BMW regional distribution centre, at Prologis Park Pineham, on time. The 457,546 sq ft warehouse is part of a multi-million pound investment by BMW to further develop its industryleading parts logistics operations.

Delivering parts for BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and BMW motorcycle dealers throughout the UK and Ireland, one of the key requirements for this design was flexibility, to handle a wide range of vehicle types in the loading bays. To this end, architects, Stephen George and Partners worked with the specifiers and Hormann (UK) to fully ensure that this flexibility was achieved, in a design that has gained BREEAM Excellent accreditation and the best Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating for its size category.

As loading bays are critical, when it comes to the energy efficiency of a warehouse design, a great deal of work is put in by the architects to understand the options available. Peter Lomax, associate at Stephen George and Partners, explains: "While it is important we deliver a good looking building, we need to understand how each element comes together to ensure we meet real world requirements of the operation. We liaise with all parties to make sure that the right specification is created and the right products and components chosen. This extends to understanding future needs too." To meet the design challenge, Hormann has installed 22 loading bays with 4.5 metre long HTL-2 dock levellers fitted with one metre telescopic lips. This longer than average leveller, plus lip allows each bay to handle vehicle heights up to 660mm above dock height, to 440mm below. In addition, for further flexibility, two of the levellers have segmented lips to load vehicles that have a smaller opening than the standard two metre wide lip can use.

Double deck

To accommodate double deck trailers, 4.25 metre high sectional doors are fitted to the bays with 4500mm high DTS dock shelters that include an electrically operated roll up head flap to accommodate a wide range of vehicle heights. The vehicle docks and level access bays all have Hormann SPU insulated sectional doors. These doors feature 42mm thick polyurethane insulation that gives each panel a thermal U value of only 0.5 w/m2k, leading to a U value of under 1.0 w/m2k for the installed door.

Looking to the future, flexibility has also been included in this building design.

"Knock through" precast concrete door panels have been placed between the current loading bays so that additional bays could be easily installed should BMW's needs change. This also adds to the long term use of the building which could readily be modified for any future tenants. Extending the potential life of the building in this way helps to reduce its environmental impact, a key factor for the logistics industry.

On another Prologis development, an alternative option has been applied. In this case an increase in the number of loading bays has been anticipated in the short term, so insulated loading bay doors have been fitted instead of "knock through" concrete panels or cladding.

This way additional bays can be up and running very quickly with minimal disruption to the operation, while minimising overall environmental impact.

Environmental product declarations

These examples show, that when it comes to sustainability it is important that the architects, designers and planners have access to good quality, reliable data. To this end Hormann has begun producing data on all their product groups.

Environmental Product Declarations for multi-function doors have already been published and the dataset for industrial doors completed.

Collaboration between specifiers, architects and suppliers not only helps with sharing data but also ideas. Working with suppliers at the design stage can pay dividends, with build times reduced, new ideas explored and even new products created to suit a particular development or location.