This state-of-the-art freezer-cooler facility utilizes the most advanced technology to ensure the contained product, Mrs. Smith’s® pies, stays frozen until distribution. A Design Build fast-track project, complex construction systems and careful planning resulted in the successful completion of the project in just under a year.
Constructed with a structural steel frame, tilt-up panels, and insulated metal panels, the temperature-controlled building features high-bay storage racks, 49 high-speed roll-up truck doors, refrigerated docks, blast freezing, export services, inventory management, rail/truck transloading, and a state-of-the-art mechanical room to maintain the temperatures needed for the products stored prior to distribution.
The refrigerated mechanical room contains 8 recirculating pumps for Freon and color-coordinated piping systems; every system has its own color, aiding the maintenance team in identifying and correcting any issues.
Operating in and maintaining the frigid temperatures of the facility is of utmost importance and is the basis for all designs and systems. The high-speed roll-up truck doors are set up in chambers to eliminate air leakage. Synched by a wire embedded in the floor, one door can only open after another is closed, guaranteeing minimum increases in temperature from the outside air.
The complex slab systems also represent an example of systems designed to function in freezing temperatures. The first subgrade slab contains heated wire throughout to prevent heaving and is then covered with a vapor barrier, running on top of the subgrade slab and up the Insulated Metal Panels (IMP) about 3 feet. On top of the vapor barrier sits 10” 35 pounds per square inch dense insulation to support the next layer of concrete and the heavy equipment used in the facility. The next layer, two layers of poly-slip sheet, prevents the bonding of the concrete to the insulation and helps the concrete move. Finally, a specially-mixed top slab is poured.
Bringing the entire facility down to the desired temperature of XXX degrees was carefully staged in a three week process. A slight decrease in temperature too quickly can cause the concrete to heave and crack. After successfully reaching XX degrees, all joints are caulked per the FDA and USDA requirements.
To top off the facility, the roof system features a 14” thick EPDM loose-laid roof; no glue was used to connect it to the decking, but was held down with ballasts.
Also included in the project is a connector building and drawbridge over railroad tracks to an existing storage facility. The drawbridge lowered down onto another freezer-cooler’s loading dock, also owned by Americold and keeping Baskin Robbins ice cream cool.