DeLaval (DeLaval Services GmbH) is a global dairy equipment manufacturer, part of the Tetra Laval Group. The company employs more than 4,500 people worldwide and serves over 100 markets with net annual sales of around €1bn.
When DeLaval asked us to build a new distribution hub, the request came with a complex set of challenges. As well as needing new facilities to accommodate its growing business, the company had to store a wide range of products and materials with specialist requirements, from tiny spare parts like nuts and bolts to large robotic milking-machines that serve two cows at a time. These machines have to be cleaned with both acidic and alkaline agents, which can produce hazardous chlorine gas if they come into contact with each other.
As well as providing storage for such a diverse range of products, DeLaval also wanted the building to serve as headquarters for its distribution activities across Europe. DeLaval employs a total of 190 people at the site.
Working closely with DeLaval to understand every nuance of the business, and in partnership with the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), we put forward a proposal for a new Grade A warehouse complex that combined innovative solutions and state-of-the-art automated technology to support its processes.
To minimise the risk of the different cleaning agents coming into contact, we built a distribution centre with separate acid and alkaline environments, linked by a narrow bridge. As well as a small-parts warehouse and an empty hall for the milking robots, we designed a further part of the building specifically for storing rubber mats and the mattresses that keep cows comfortable when they’re resting.
To help DeLaval boost staff retention and focus on employee wellbeing, we delivered a bespoke office building connected to the distribution centre by a bridge, with a beautifully designed cafeteria. The centre also features sports and yoga rooms, a creative room where people can read, relax or meet up with colleagues, and electric car charging points.
Despite tight timescales for delivering the project, we incorporated last-minute changes to deliver a building with versatile, safe and efficient storage, and offices that are a pleasure to work in. As testament to this, the facility has been awarded LEED Gold.