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Coping with the logistics surge

By Rob McNaughton


pHp Architects

IT’S been another busy year for pHp with many large projects under construction and completed over 2018 to 2019.

There has been a massive surge in the logistics sector as the UK continues to shift its shopping culture from the High Street to online. The influence of Amazon in the way people shop has caused an upturn in other businesses, increasing and improving their online offering.

Logistics buildings are now high-tech facilities with a maze of mechanical handling equipment moving goods around, reducing the time from intake to dispatch. The hunger for next-day delivery and the ease of returning unwanted product makes these new facilities a hive of activity.

Over the past 12 months we have been involved in eight logistics buildings on site, as architects and lead designer. Including mezzanine space, the total floor area created within these eight buildings is 5,378,038 square feet, with a range from 196,025 square feet to 1,419,007 square feet. The tallest of the buildings has a high bay of 35 metres.

The buildings were developed by Roxhill/Segro, Mulberry, dbsymmetry and First Panattoni, and built for Amazon, XPO and Nestle, Kuehne &Nagel, The Stobart Group and BSH Home Appliances, with another building for an undisclosed occupier and two buildings built speculatively.

The current drive in the logistics sector looks set to continue with further projects secured at East Midlands Gateway, Coventry, Bicester, Crewe, Corby, Burton on Trent, Waltham Abbey, Wakefield and three further large scale logistics parks in the pipeline. In total the development potential within these sites is over 20m square feet.

The largest of these sites is being developed by Roxhill/Segro and built by Winvic Construction. The site is just north of East Midlands Airport at J24 of the M1. The project involved major infrastructure works to land, road and rail. To the land: moving millions of tonnes of earth to create flat plateaus suitable for constructing mega sheds. To the roads: including M1, junction 24 and 24A and the surrounding road networks. To the rail: involving a new rail spur form the Midlands Mainline to an intermodal railfright terminal. Four units have been built on this site starting this time last year. The accompanying aerial photo shows the scale of this development.

Within other sectors, 100 Avebury Boulevard in Milton Keynes will be completed this year. This is an eight storey 140,000 square foot office with retail on part of the ground floor. 100 Avebury Boulevard is located near the railway station and is the largest new office building built in MK since 2009 when The Pinnacle was constructed (which pHp also designed).

Other projects within the office, education, civic, leisure and manufacturing sectors continue to move forward. The interior design capability of the business continues to add a supplementary skill to the diversity of the projects that pHp are involved in.

Contact Peter Haddon and Partners on 01604 858916 or visit the website www.peter-haddon.com

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