Collaboration completes Ocado Fulfillment Centre roof in four months

Project:  Ocado fulfilment centre
Client: Ocado
Roofing contractor: FK Group
Waterproofing membrane: IKO Armourplan PVC

In less than four months, SIG Design & Technology, IKO Polymeric and FK Group have completed a 48,000m2 roofing project for one of the biggest online grocery centres in the world. An incredibly tight programme minimised material waste and time on site, thanks to a number of innovations developed specifically for the project by the three businesses working collaboratively.

The new fulfilment centre for premium British online supermarket, Ocado is based in Erith Kent, and will be operational in 2017. It will handle 200,000 orders a week and represents £185 million of investment in the locality.

The project started in September 2015 and was completed in December, a very short construction programme for the large scale roofing project.

IKO Polymeric, the UK’s only single ply manufacturer, developed several innovative solutions to complete the job while minimising waste of roofing products, both in manufacture and on site.

Steve Hall, Managing Director of full building envelope contractor, FK Group, comments: “IKO Polymeric demonstrated its usual proactive approach with innovations such as the manufacture of bespoke roll lengths and specific membrane overlap positioning which allowed significant efficiencies to be achieved on site.”

Standard length membrane is typically 20 linear metres which then has to be cut or extended (by fixing on additional sections) to fit the required dimensions. IKO Polymeric manufactured its Armourplan PVC single ply membrane in bespoke rolls of 22.35, 19.20 and 8.00 linear metres to reduce both waste and installation time for this project.

Another first was manufacturing half of the rolls with the membrane overlap positioned on the opposite side to the other half of the rolls. This 50/50 split meant the contractor could deploy two teams to work simultaneously on either side of the ridge, each rolling the membrane out in the same direction. Standard practice is for one team to work on one side at a time.

New Installation Technique

The FK Group also developed a new technique for the project, welding eight rolls together to create a large (320m2) membrane ‘blanket’. Half were then rolled back and then adhesive was applied to the area, instead of installing one roll at a time. This sequence was only possible because IKO’s Polymeric’s PU adhesive can be exposed for up to 25 minutes.

These innovative manufacturing and installation methods enabled approximately 5,500m2 to be installed each week.

Dave Schofield, Commercial Manager for SIG Design & Technology explains how confidence in supply was assured; “To ensure the smooth and efficient delivery of the roofing system, we organised a bespoke trailer for each load. Goods were collected in the afternoon and hauled overnight to arrive on site between 8:00am and 9:00am the following day. Roofing materials were unloaded within a ninety minute window and because pre-arranged signature securities were in place, all the goods were accounted for.  The Design & Technology logistics team provided a slick and professional service working closely with our hauliers, IKO and FK.  A great team effort.”

Steve Hall adds: “Working alongside FK Group, IKO and SIG Design & Technology made a significant contribution to the success of this job. As a key part of our supply chain, they helped us to develop and deliver a bespoke solution to our client in impressive time.”

Ocado fulfilment centre – collaboration completes roof to £185m project in four months case study

More information