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Midlands Industrials Drop 30 Degrees Below Zero


The Midlands' logistics property scene suddenly got a whole lot colder — by as much as 30 degrees below zero — thanks to the U.K.'s largest single-site temperature controlled warehouse.

Russells Construction is building a £10M, 61K SF cold storage facility for Yearsley Logistics. The project is the first part of a £65M, 385K SF development of a 20-acre site, known as SuperHub South.

The first phase of the depot at the Great Haddon Employment Zone near Peterborough is set for completion in September, when the temperature will be pulled down to minus 30 degrees Centigrade and the depot will immediately become operational. Subsequent phases will follow over the next few years.

SuperHub South will serve the South of England and the major shipping ports with an eventual 150,0000-pallet capacity.

Steel framework of the new Yearsley cold store

Taking such a large area down to -30 Celsius is a challenge for contractors and consultants.

“The building fabric was carefully selected to allow the envelope to be fully sealed to ensure a consistent internal temperature of minus 30 degrees and prevent moisture entering the cold store chamber," Russells Construction Head of Specialist Team Jonathan Rhodes said.

"This not only prevents the creation of ice build-up but also reduces the operational cooling costs. We’ve also introduced a new refrigeration system which also acts to prevent ice build-up and cut ongoing costs, which is built off site, thereby also reducing installation time.” 

Refrigeration is by way of an innovative modular, air-cooled, low-charge ammonia system. This system gives improved operating efficiency and reduces refrigerant charge.

The team incorporated AEW architects, engineers Healey Consulting, Star Technical Solutions refrigeration consultants, cladding specialists ISD Solutions and Schaeffer Racking.