WDP builds custom-made warehouse for The Greenery fresh produce corporation
WDP specialises in building and renting custom-made warehouses. WDP spends many hours together with the customer in the design phase to create a warehouse that meets the company’s every need while keeping it affordable.
After all, the customer’s business activity determines which additional specifications are required of the warehouse in addition to four walls and a roof. For example, the storage of food must comply with several food safety regulations.
It was no different for The Greenery, a Dutch company that supplies fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms to supermarkets, restaurants, and wholesalers. The Greenery and WDP teamed up in 2015 in a long-term partnership focused on redeveloping the existing sites in Breda and Barendrecht.
To do so, WDP demolished the existing buildings in various phases before replacing them with new, modern warehouses. To date, the two Barendrecht properties (property A and B) have been partially renovated; a third warehouse (property C) is next.
When renovating the three warehouses, we took several important characteristics of The Greenery’s business activities into account:
1. Insulation and energy usage
The Greenery stores food at low temperatures in cold cells in Warehouse B according to a box-in-box installation. This means that there is an extra building shell built around the cold cell with a floor, walls, and a ceiling so that the cold cell is even better insulated and uses less energy. Because of this construction, and the cooling fans that are installed on the roof, The Greenery’s warehouse has been additionally reinforced.
The box-in-box construction reduces the cooling costs. But this doesn’t mean that they still don’t use a lot of energy for the cold cells. The Greenery’s buildings therefore also have extra capacity compared to a “standard warehouse”.
This is why WDP will be installing solar panels on the roof of the new warehouses in a later phase. This will allow The Greenery to use sustainable and less expensive energy.
2. Cooling and condensation
WDP has installed heated floors in the warehouse in which the cold cells are located. After all, it is warmer outside of the cells than inside, and this difference in temperature generates condensation. In order to prevent dangerous situations due to slippery warehouse floors, additional heating has been installed in the floor.
3. Lighting for inspection purposes
One element that - often unexpectedly - turns out to be incredibly important for a fresh produce corporation like The Greenery is lighting.
When official inspectors come to audit the products, it is essential that the colour of a tomato in one warehouse matches the colour of a tomato in the other warehouse. To a large extent, this depends on the colour emitted by the lightbulbs that are used.
The Greenery wanted to get rid of the florescent bulbs used in the older warehouses and replace them with more sustainable LED bulbs. After a lot of puzzling, WDP managed to get new lighting in each warehouse, old and new, that all emit the same colour of light.
WDP ensures that the new logistics property complies with all the required regulations. For The Greenery, this means that everything complies with the HACCP food safety standards, among other things. More specifically, it must be easy to clean the building and there must be pest deterrent systems in place.
In order to combat pests, the warehouse must be sealed as well as possible and all cracks must be repaired. Moreover, there may not be any shrubbery or lawns near The Greenery’s warehouse because rats or mice could hide in there.
The activities for the company behind the familiar blue crates (the so-called “fust kratten”) that you can see in your supermarkets holding the fruit and vegetables, EPS, take place in property A.
These crates are cleaned and washed in one part of the warehouse using a large washing unit. Once clean, they are stored in another part of the warehouse until needed for storage or transporting the fresh produce.
One of the unique characteristics of property A, with an area of 24,000 m², is the fact that this crate washing installation generates an incredible amount of moisture. This is why not only the roof but the walls of the warehouse have been given an extra coating to combat condensation. A sloped concrete floor has been installed under the washing unit to easily drain the excess moisture away.