The Cool Room Construction Process

  July 8, 2024      Construction

Cool rooms, walk in freezers, and general temperature controlled rooms all have a similar construction process. Overall, the main differences come down to how the room will be used and how cold it needs to be. If you’re about to build, or are considering building, a new temperature controlled room for your business, you’re probably curious about how the project will proceed.

Like many commercial construct projects, no two cool room installations are the same, but they do have similarities. Here at A1 Precision Solutions, we like to balance the unique aspects of a project with a routine and process we know that works to keep a project both on time and on budget. It’s all about recognising a projects unique challenges while relying on years of experience to get a job done.

Temperature Controlled Room Design

The first step in process of building anything is the design. This allows us to find out and understand what’s needed for the project as well as make sure that the cool room will work as intended for the client. The design process includes a few steps.

One of the first steps of the design process is determining what type of insulation is needed for the room. Insulation for temperature controlled rooms is usually in the form of insulated sandwich panels. An insulated sandwich panel has a core made of an insulating material, often made from polyurethane, polystyrene, PIR, or synthetic wool. On the outside of the panel is a skin designed to protect the insulation. The thickness of the panels and what they’re made of will depend on how much insulation is needed for the facility.

With so much focus on the insulation from on the walls and ceiling, it’s easy to forget about the flooring. Sandwich panels aren’t typically hard wearing enough to be used as flooring, but reinforced concrete is a good option as it’s easy to maintain and can withstand colder temperatures. Depending on the overall cool room design, insulation may be placed under the concrete before pouring.

Another important part of the design of a temperature controlled room is the refrigeration system. The size, power, and design of the refrigeration system will depend on the size of the facility it’s cooling as well as the temperatures it needs to achieve.

With the two most important aspects of a cool room accounted for, it’s also important to consider both doors and lighting. Doors are obviously a point where temperature can be lost, and these need to be designed to maximise insulation while also be easy to operate and also safe for workers. Lighting is potential source of heat in a temperature controlled room, but it’s needed for workers to be able to do their job safely. Because of this, LED lighting is often used and designed to give off as little heat as possible.

From there, any pallet racking and shelving for the cool room is designed to fit in the space as efficiently as possible. Temperature controlled environments can be expensive to both construct and operate, so space is always at a premium. This needs to be treated as a warehouse optimisation exercise in order to make use of the space as efficiently as possible.

Building A Temperature Controlled Room

Once the cool room is designed, it’s time to start building. The building process is similar to any project, especially because many of challenges unique to the project are usually addressed in the design process.

Proper site preparation is also key to any construction process. This ensures that the site is clean and clear and that materials can be delivered. Site preparation also includes making sure the utilities needed, such as electricity, are in place for the project to get under way.

From there, the insulated sandwich panels for the cool room are usually installed first. This can often be done concurrently with the installation of the refrigeration system, but this will depend on how the project is planned out. Either way, flooring is usually installed after the walls and ceiling have been installed.

With the actual room constructed and refrigeration installed, it’s not just a matter of flipping a switch and having a giant walk in refrigerator. Before finalising the project, it’s important to test the equipment for both functionality and safety. How this is done will depend on the nature of the facility.

From there, any storage, like pallet racking, can be installed in the cool room. For some facilities, it’s important that the concrete flooring is brought down to temperature before things like racking are bolted into it to prevent is from cracking due to contraction; while this may increase the construction time, it ensures success.

Fitting Out The Rest Of The Warehouse

Temperature controlled facilities often have other aspects to them apart from the cool room itself. These may included non-temperature controlled warehouse spaces, loading docks, and even fitting out an office.

Because of this, clients often find it useful to use a larger construction firm like A1 Precision Solutions. Not only are we able to construct cool rooms and walk in freezers, we’re also able to complete all aspects of warehouse and office construction. This allows clients to work with a single builder to complete the entire project end to end.

Feel free to get in touch with us to discus your next cool room or construction project.