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High Performing Buildings – October's Roundup

a photograph of the packing area at The Chocolate Box
28 October 2021 | Updated 04 November 2021

This month, we are focussing on high-performing warehouses and industrial spaces.

The growth of e-commerce could drive demand for 92 million sq ft of warehouse space across the UK by 2024, according to new analysis from global real estate advisor Knight Frank. 

By examining five-year data for online sales, take-up of warehouse space and retailers’ warehousing networks, Knight Frank forecasts that for every additional billion pounds of online retail sales, 1.36 million sq ft of warehouse space is required. 

Knight Frank expects this shift in consumer behaviour to remain after the COVID-19 pandemic and forecasts that growth of online grocery sales alone could create demand for 7.1 million sq ft of warehouse space to 2024. 

Which warehouses are demonstrating excellence in terms of sustainability, energy efficiency and wellbeing?


Watch the Video




The World's Most Sustainable Chocolate Warehouse


“The Chocolate Box” is the world’s largest and most sustainable chocolate warehouse, based in Lokeren, Belgium.

The building, spanning a total surface of 12 football fields is also the first building in the Benelux which is “BREEAM Outstanding” certified.

The warehouse will be the logistical hub for all packed Belgian chocolate and decorations products, produced in Barry Callebaut’s chocolate factories in Wieze and Halle, Belgium.

The Chocolate Box is the result of a successful partnership between Barry Callebaut, the real estate developer WDP and the city of Lokeren. With a total investment amount of 100 million euros, it is the largest investment Barry Callebaut has ever made in its operations network. 

In the fully automated high bay warehouse, 41 meters high, up to 125 000 pallets can be stored at a constant temperature of 18°C. Over 120 employees, of whom 40 are in newly created positions, work in the warehouse.

The building is fully energy-positive, as it can completely fulfil its own energy consumption. Solar panels, air treatment groups, rainwater and heat recovery, humidity control, insulation and geothermal energy are also used

The wellbeing of the employees is ensured through access to natural daylight throughout the building, zones for relaxation and storage facilities for e-bikes.



Picture: a photograph of the solar panels at The Chocolate Box


117,500 sq ft Wine Warehouse


Winvic Construction Ltd has recently been appointed to deliver a 117,500 sq ft warehouse in Andover for Berry Bros. & Rudd, a London-based fine wine merchant.

The building will generate its own energy supply, will operate with rainwater harvesting and have electric vehicle charging points.

The single-storey warehouse will have the capacity to store over 14 million bottles of wine at optimum temperature and in a humidity-controlled environment.

This will be achieved through an enhanced specification roof and wall system that provides a superior building envelope with excellent thermal performance and internal climate control, removing the need for a secondary internal construction.

An EPC rating of A+ and BREEAM rating of "Very Good" is hoped to be achieved. Winvic will be fitting out the 2,500 sq ft open plan office space and also undertaking the external works, which include utility and drainage installation, hardstanding and landscaping works, and the creation of access roads, pavements and car parking for 27 vehicles.

Winvic’s Director of Industrial, Distribution & Logistics, Danny Nelson, commented: “We have a lot of experience with temperature-controlled facilities, so we’re delighted to be working with long-standing client Goodman once again on this cutting-edge fine wine storage warehouse. This project offers us the opportunity to showcase our strong BIM Level 2 skills and digital design resource – as well as expertise in delivering carbon neutral projects – and we are looking forward to delivering this ultra-secure facility in Andover for Berry Bros. & Rudd.”


A Net-Zero Warehouse


The Port of Tyne operates a net- zero port-centric warehouse, run entirely using clean energy from renewable sources.

Warehouse 21 is used by a wide range of the Port’s third-party logistics customers, including many household brand names. All internal materials handling within the warehouse is conducted using electric vehicles powered through renewable sources and the lighting within the facility is provided by energy-efficient LEDs.

As part of Tyne 2050, the Port’s transformation strategy, over £2 million has already been invested into new clean energy assets and logistics facilities. This includes energy-efficient LED lighting across the entire Port estate and electrified materials handling equipment, all supported by an advanced warehouse management system.

A fully net-zero warehouse demonstrates the Port’s ongoing commitment to helping its 3PL customers achieve their environmental sustainability targets, whilst also improving the carbon footprint of the wider logistics and transport industry. 

“Offering green warehousing services is critical to our 3PL customers, because it means these businesses can source the space they need, while also meeting their sustainability targets,” says Matt Beeton, CEO at the Port of Tyne. “Net Zero achievements are a key part of our Tyne 2050 strategy and at a time when there is exceptional demand for warehousing, we can offer customers the advantage of high quality port centric warehousing, efficiency and sustainability.”

The Port of Tyne set out ambitious environmental sustainability targets in its Tyne 2050 strategy, including becoming a carbon neutral port by 2030 and all-electric by 2040. In addition, the Port intends to become a testbed for new clean energy technology by 2025. A range of initiatives are already well underway to enable the Port to achieve these objectives and by the end of 2021, over 27 per cent of total CO2 emissions will have been reduced through switching to clean alternatives. In 2020, these improvements were recognised by Maritime UK, which awarded the Port of Tyne two industry awards, for Clean Energy Operator and Clean Energy Enabler.

Port centric logistics is a popular option for many businesses looking to reduce road haulage miles after shipping goods into the UK from global suppliers.  Government statistics show that HGVs account for around 17 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions from road transport and around 21 per cent of road transport NOₓ emissions, while making up just 5% of vehicle miles. Figures show that moving goods by sea using coastal shipping services saves around 80 per cent CO2 compared to the road transport alternative.

Storing goods directly at the Port means any onwards shipping is minimised because goods are only moved as necessary. Now as a result of working with the Port of Tyne, port-centric logistics customers can further reduce the CO2 emissions remaining in their supply chains, by benefiting from the Port’s sustainable materials handling.

The Port of Tyne has over 50,000m² of fully racked and Customs-approved port-centric warehousing available for commercial customers. Warehouse 21 is a multi-use warehouse and provides high quality storage for tea and a range of consumer and industrial products.

Picture: a photograph of the packing area at The Chocolate Box

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 28 October 2021


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