Building Magazine


Alberta firm wins award for vertical warehouse design

NAIOP has selected Ware Malcomb, a contemporary full-service architectural design firm headquartered in Irvine, California, and Riddell Kurczaba, a design consulting firm located in Calgary and Edmonton, as winners of the 2013 Distribution/Fulfillment Center Design of the Future. In its second year, the competition invited architectural firms and design teams that work with developers and owners to submit concept plans for utilization trends, sustainability elements and new building technologies of a distribution/fulfillment center to be opened in 2020.

“Just as the days of shopping via catalogues have gone by the wayside, today e-commerce is transforming yet again how consumers purchase and receive goods, and the resulting impact on commercial real estate could be far reaching,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, president and CEO of NAIOP. “By addressing this dynamic now, designers are not only able to showcase the creative talent of their firms, but also identify potential logistical challenges, technological needs and cost savings, all of which in the end affect the overall consumer experience.”

Ware Malcomb’s concept features a 1,950,400-total-square-foot warehouse spanning five levels high where the brains of its sophisticated delivery system (robotic picking devices and a conveyor spine) are located in the center of the building. Massive structural steel beams hoist office space to the top of five levels, overseeing central command operations. The exterior of the building features elements of sustainability hidden to the naked-eye, including 56,000-square-feet of green roof space, 300,000-square-feet of solar panels and a horizontal projection for rain water collection that wraps the building’s perimeter.

Riddell Kurczaba sees the future of distribution fulfillment on the rise, literally, in the form of vertical warehousing. The firm’s concept titled, “The Swarm,” encompasses 800,000-gross-square-feet, of which 500,000-square-feet is allocated for retail warehousing in the building’s central core and 300,000-square-feet of residential and office space occupies the building’s perimeter. Intelligent networks with light rail transit (LRT) lines streamline delivery of consumer and materials goods throughout the building, and customers can still access street-level retail stores.

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