Following on from the successful completion of their North East Distribution Centre LPC were retained by Somerfield to design a composite Distribution Centre for the North West. The design criterion was to distribute in excess of 1.1 million cases per week with the capacity to meet increasing, future demands and store growth.
This second new facility was to follow the design and operating processes of the North East Distribution Centre and based on the Harmonisation principles agreed by Somerfield Stores, their third party operators and LPC for these new generation distribution centres.
Two green field sites, combining approximately 42 acres, were identified near to St Helens, Liverpool. LPC planned the site layout and submitted a SWOT analysis. This resulted in Somerfield choosing Lea Green, St Helens as the most appropriate. LPC prepared a full portfolio of drawings with supporting building performance specifications that were included as part of the main Building Contract Tender Document. The chosen site presented some challenges including a cycle way through the site as part of the Local Authority Development Plan. Careful planning by LPC ensured that site operated efficiently and without compromise.
The DC occupies the larger of the two site areas, split by the cycleway. The smaller site accommodates access through for rail head and overflow car park. Another difficulty for LPC to overcome was the shape of the site, which indicated a number of pinch points i.e. potential LGV ‘bottlenecks’. Our in house simulation produced real time graphics of the movements over the entire site and clearly demonstrated its ability to cope efficiently with the high volumes of LGV and workforce traffic, both now and in the future.
LPC planned the 580,000sq ft Composite DC with a 'flow through' philosophy, facilitated by one hundred and fifty goods doors, 12.5 metre eaves and the capacity to store approximately 28,000 full ambient pallets, fresh produce, chill and frozen chambers.
LPC maintained a role throughout the construction phase supporting Somerfield in the procurement and fit out of all logistical related items through to ramp up and go live.