Caunton provided the structural steelwork on a vast 800,000sq feet warehouse in Swindon for Household name B&Q. The developer of this massive building which comprises 2,400 tonnes of structural steelwork was Gazeley Properties and the main contractor was McLaren Construction.
With a footprint of 392 metres by 183 metres, the B&Q distribution centre is to be the largest building in Swindon - a town certainly not unused to major redevelopments - Motorola and Honda being international companies manufacturing there.
The building comprises six bays, each of a 30.5 metre portal. Column height to eaves is 16 metres. There are 4,350 separate hot rolled members - columns rafters etc. But the big numbers come when one aggregates the cold rolled members used for rails and purlins. There are 29,000 of these making up a total length of 70 kilometres.
Each portal frame span is formed with 457 section rafters brought to site in 16m lengths. Two of these sections are bolted together on site and lifted into place as one piece to form each of the six spans. Overall, the structure reaches a maximum height of 16m to the eaves.
The steel erection programme began in November 2010 and was completed by March 2011. Working from the gable end, which incorporates an internal office block, steel erection proceeded down the structure with Caunton erecting an impressive eight bays per week. On site the company had three 25t capacity mobile cranes, plus 14 cherry pickers for the erection programme. More than 350te of steelwork was erected every week by the Caunton erection team.
In addition to this there are environmental benefits too. B&Q decided to look at their whole distribution across the country following a review and it made sense to have a new regional centre in the south for high volume products, bringing goods closer to the stores therefore improving customer service as well as reducing transport miles, transport costs and CO2 emissions. The new centre in Swindon will in fact include key environmental initiatives.
This impressive distribution centre is due to be fully operational by the end of 2011.