Processor of poultry products Plukon in Geel showed their ambitions by planning to substantially expand their existing warehouse space. Project Manager Edwin Wouters was in charge of keeping everything on the right track while conquering challenge after challenge together with team edibo.

The project

The expansion of the food company was a direct construction against the existing buildings on site:

  • Around 1,000 m² of newly added warehouse space
  • Partially cooled, partially dry storage warehouse space with integrated separation wall
  • Box-in-box construction principle to create a food-safe environment
  • New exterior pavement surrounding the new warehouse

Apart from installing the technology, our constructive challengers took on all the works. We started the preliminary and foundation works in late 2023 in order to start the above-ground construction works right after the winter construction leave. The project was completed early June 2024.

The challenges

Project Manager Edwin Wouters was in charge of this project’s coordination. There were three particular challenges along the way that were overcome with verve by Edwin and his team.

1. Constant rain as persistent challenge

“The works were initiated during a long rainy period. This meant that we had to deal with a wet subsurface and a high water level – while we urgently had to start pouring the subfloor for our concrete floor. We performed a plate bearing test every few days to check whether the subsurface had sufficiently dried up. Unfortunately, the water didn’t drain in time and we had no choice but to apply the subfloor.”

“An unstable subfloor can be compared to the principle of a mattress. If you put weight on it, the mattress will slump. It is not strong enough to provide the counterweight that is needed for the weight on top of it. In construction lingo: you are creating an unbalance which increases the risk of cracks later in the concrete floor on top of it.”

“In order to monitor the timing, we opted for a 30-cm cement-bound bedding on stabilised sand. This allowed us to guarantee a solid and stable subfloor to carry the top layer later.”

Apart from installing the technology, our constructive challengers took on all the works during this project.

2. Continuously shielded from production

“Because this was a direct structural expansion, we needed a clear logistical planning; the production activities in the existing building would continue throughout the duration of the works.”

“Within the context of a food processing company, this translates to: implementing the highest caution. There couldn’t be any factors that may cause contamination to the quality of the food. This did bring along some logistical challenges; we had to put well-defined arrangements in place with regard to installing the dust curtains whenever we needed to drill holes or open up walls.”

“Moreover, the new warehouse doesn’t have any entrance gates so we needed a creative solution to get our building material into the new construction space – without disrupting production. We solved this by installing the high-speed door between the site and the existing production buildings earlier than initially scheduled. This way, we were able to build in a minimal distance to the site and we were able to bring in our materials and goods in a controlled yet swift manner through the loading dock. Always under the strict supervision of the building consultant.”

3. Food safety first!

“The new building section with the cooled warehouse was built according to the box-in-box principle. This was needed to 100% exclude contamination of the processable food products. Sandwich panels, consisting of food-safe panels and finished with a similar coating, make up a type of ‘box’ within the existing building structure. Later, we installed food-safe doors, collision protection and gates. Combined, they take away all opportunities for corrosion and other potential contamination factors.”

Typical edibo?

According to Edwin, what was the distinguishing factor of our constructive challengers?

“A deadline of about six months for a project of this magnitude is pretty tight. That planning was topped off with very specific specifications from the client and the architect. The GDesign team of architects had a clear vision for this future building, which included a lot of preliminary communication and interaction surrounding the design plans and the 3D models. However, thanks to our open and flexible approach this is something we are completely accustomed to at edibo.”

“Not to mention that edibo had already successfully worked with this client in previous collaborations. From day one, our quality was trusted and relied on. Something we managed to confirm once again in this project as well.”

Food company in the scaffolds?

Are your construction plans for your future food company slowly taking shape? Please know that at edibo we have accumulated over 40 years of experience and expertise across a wide variety of industries, including the food industry. Our guarantee? That we have the right proficiency with regard to food safety and we know how to translate this knowhow to a high-quality building project.

Feel free to contact edibo and share your future building plans with our experts. Our challengers welcome your ideas.