The landscape of cold storage construction services is rapidly evolving; more and more companies are finding use for cold storage facilities than ever before. After all, businesses and consumers alike want the comfort and security of knowing there are plenty of nearby locations where food products and other consumer items can be stored to ensure that nearby locations are stocked with plenty of products and that restocking is a quick and seamless process.
Since cold storage facilities are more expensive when building and maintaining them than some dry storage warehouses, it is important to understand the special considerations of building these facilities and containers. Luckily, researchers have developed new advances throughout the years to help make construction easier while maintaining some of the special features of these facilities too. Some of the new technologies and considerations with cold storage construction to keep in mind include the following:
Location and Building Types Change
There are a lot of factors to consider when you need to choose a location to build your cold storage facility. Owners of more extensive facilities will often look to build on a site that is close to the manufacturing location, or they may even try to construct an area that is close to where the product is developed, such as where farmers grow and harvest food. However, you have to evaluate the local environment to ensure that it is feasible for maintaining a cold storage facility. For example, look to see the site grades, whether the area can handle the structural requirements of the facility, and how easy it is to access major roads.
One alternative solution is to use old warehouses and other buildings that are no longer serving their intended purpose. The buildings are already in place, which makes the process easier for everyone. By changing a few things about the area, you can repurpose it into a cold storage facility without significantly impacting the rest of the environment around it.
Make sure to do a full assessment of the area in person to see whether the space is right, and then make plans with other professionals to ensure that you can use that building for the intended purposes.
Another aspect to consider is the availability of labor. There are several complex systems you need to add to a cold storage facility – this means you need many teams of skilled workers to make it to the facility to get the work done. Check whether you will be able to get a team out to the location and whether there are places for them to stay while working before you fall in love with one location over another.
Specialized Building Needs
As you work on creating a suitable building for your cold storage needs, be aware that a few elements are necessary for this that can drive up the costs of the whole thing.
Some of these specialized building elements will include:
- Underfloor heating systems to prevent soil below the building from freezing
- Thermal control systems at building openings
- Spaces with more than one temperature zone
- Sophisticated control systems to help maintain optimal conditions throughout the whole facility.
- ● AS/RS system components to manage it all as well.
These are just a few of the items that you will need to add to your cold storage facility, so count these into the budgeting costs to ensure you get everything. Some additional needs may be expensive and require you to spend more upfront.
Nonetheless, they provide a good return on investment when designing this kind of business since, if you are not able to maintain the proper temperature, your food or other products can spoil, undermining the whole process and adding terrible expense.
The newest types of facilities may no longer look like some of the cold storage facilities from the past. Many of them will utilize some of the latest technology to help keep food and other products safe and lasting as long as possible. Taking the time to pick the right tools and technology for your facility will make a difference.
Complex Equipment and Regulations
When considering the process of developing a cold storage facility, it quickly becomes apparent you need some complex equipment and technology to get it all done. During construction, you also need to make sure that it all meets the regulations for your industry.
There are many types of equipment and technology that you can use in the cold storage facility. Systems that use HFCs are being phased out, and instead, most are looking at different options like carbon dioxide refrigerants and ammonia-based systems because they are more user-friendly and efficient.
Many companies are also taking the time to do off-site assembly of refrigeration units. These modular solutions are brought to the job site, ready to go. You can choose the type, size, and range of operating temperatures to make sure that you are getting the product that is just right for your needs.
Of course, the refrigerator is just one of the components that you need to worry about when creating a cold storage facility. Taking the time to look at all of the equipment you will need for the cold storage facility and then considering how you can pick the one that meets your needs and works to meet regulations too can make a difference in how well your cold storage facility will function.
The Bottom Line
Building a cold storage facility takes time and energy. While there are several different technologies out there you can use that will help you become more effective at it and can make the process easier, you still need to be prepared with a good plan before you jump right in. By knowing the common trends within the cold storage facility industry and working with the right professionals to put it all together, you will find that you can create a suitable site that is perfect for your needs.