New cold store in the pharmaceutical industry

State-of-the art cold store built with production still running

In the midst of operations and subject to the strictest health and safety requirements, NIRAS built a highly efficient cold store for a busy pharmaceutical company.

A state-of-the-art and energy-efficient cold store that meets the strictest requirements. This was the result, when in an existing building NIRAS built a brand new cold store for a customer in the pharmaceutical industry.

NIRAS served as lead consultant on the project and was involved from the initial ideas to the moment the store was completed in 2015. The project took more than two years and involved a large number of NIRAS’s process and building experts: from the classic building and installation professions to logistics and GMP.

One of the customer’s main demands was for the store to be placed in an existing warehouse building, which was also running at full tilt throughout the project phase. This led to a number of logistical challenges during the building phase: for example, the tradesmen had to work in classified areas with a high level of hygiene requirements.

Positive pressure above the whole ceiling ensures that the cooled air is evenly distributed.

One important aspect of the project was that the storage of the products had to comply with GMP requirements from the United States health authorities: FDA. In the context of the project, it was NIRAS’s task to validate that the requirements were complied with.

Part of the customer’s objective with the project was also to optimise storage logistics.

Several types of raw materials were stored together, which placed huge demands on fire safety. So the warehouse was fitted with a fully comprehensive fire alarm system, ABA, as part of the fire strategy and on insurance grounds.

The customer also wanted to deploy rolling shelves to make the very best use of the space: for example, by being able to pack pallets very closely together. This was demanding in terms of being able to distribute the refrigeration as best as possible. The solution was to use sunken cooling ceilings, in which positive pressure above the sunken ceiling ensures that the cooled air is evenly distributed throughout the store, regardless of how the shelves are placed.

During the project design phase NIRAS used CFD analysis to simulate the air currents in the storage facility. The result is that now the drugs can be distributed arbitrarily around the store to suit the customer’s wishes and needs.

The customer’s target for the maximum number of pallet places per DKK invested had to be combined with the high level of health and safety requirements. This entailed intensive user involvement, in which NIRAS had to involve many stakeholders when designing the store. From operating organisation to investor.

The result of the project is that now the customer has a high level of efficiency and an advanced, stable cold store, which has been validated to comply with the demands of the pharmaceutical industry.

In an subsequent customer satisfaction analysis NIRAS scored 4.7 out of 5.