incredibly high level of accuracy, to accommodate both the storage systems, machinery and handling equipment, as well as the forklifts and automated machines that move goods around, even a minor degree of inaccuracy can cause major problems.

By utilising BIM technology, construction companies such as Clugston Construction can review building data to drive efficiency, boost sustainability and minimise waste during the build process. Prototyping structures virtually ensures facilities not only meet the requirements of the retailer, but also maximise efficiency for day-to-day activities taking place at the warehouse.

“The glass, bricks and cladding of a facility can be constructed to bolster the strength of the building or meet BREEAM and sustainable measures.”

Progressions in construction methods are enabling warehouses and distribution centres to be built to keep up with the speed of the internet and the demands of modern consumers. Careful consideration should be given to both the construction procedures and materials utilised during the build to ensure that the facility is both high quality in its appearance and contextually appropriate for the purpose it is going to serve. The glass, bricks and cladding of a facility, for instance, can be constructed to bolster the strength of the building or meet BREEAM and sustainable measures.

Similarly, such structures can be constructed from materials that resist break-ins and guard against outside tampering to protect against unwanted intrusion and theft, due to the high value of stock they usually contain. External and internal windows, doors and gates, for example, can be manufactured from heavy-duty and robust materials and fitted with advanced locking devices to create a safe haven for hazardous and expensive materials.

Integrated security systems such as access control and video surveillance can further protect valuable stored materials, whilst safeguarding against theft, vandalism, and unauthorised entry.

Ongoing maintenance As purpose built, state-of-the-art facilities, it is imperative that modern warehouses and distribution centres remain in the best possible condition throughout the building lifecycle, especially if they are to keep up with the growing demands of retail customers. Warehouse estate management, however, is difficult job to master, especially at a time when warehouses and distribution centres are undergoing a rapid transformation.

Given the complex array of machinery and material handling equipment in place, such as advanced storage and retrieval systems, each with their own individual requirements, as well as traditional lighting, HVAC and fire prevention systems required for day-to-day operations, running a high performing e-commerce warehouse operation can be complicated. TOMORROW’S FM | 29

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