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May 17, 2019
Fisher Construction Group
Fisher Construction Group of Burlington also earned the 2019 Excellence in Innovation award for its NewCold Advanced Logistics project in Tacoma.
Fisher designed and built NewCold Cold Storage in a way that offers the greatest possible storage density. The freezer portion of the warehouse is nearly 12 stories high. The height and storage density make it possible to store the same volume of products on one third the footprint, using half the energy.
The environment of the freezer is controlled by a system which reduces the oxygen to 16.5 percent saturation by a nitrogen exchange process. Sealed off from humans, the strictly controlled system eliminates the possibility of fire. No longer limited by the high cost of in-rack fire protection systems, product can be stored substantially higher and saved from accidental sprinkler trips.
While not a new construction technique, the rack supported structure as a high-bay cold storage is highly innovative. Throughout the project, the integrity of the freezer and pick areas thermal envelope was of highest importance, with the greatest emphasis on the low oxygen high-bay freezer. The team conducted design review meetings, thermal pre-construction meetings, construction detail verification reports and final testing to ensure that the building shell was a zero energy-loss envelope.
Supporting the thermal-envelope integrity, the facility is built with extensive vapor/thermal barriers, specialty movement details to address the thermal contraction of the structure, and airlocks for all pass-through openings, including double interlock fast-acting airlock doors for all conveyor pass-throughs. The product’s thermal chain is maintained with the freezer to frozen pick floor and then automated truck-loading transfer.