TBS Distribution Centre, Frating Green, Colchester, Essex
The 30 acre site was developed to provide 24,000 sq. m. (260,000 sq. ft.) of distribution warehouse and 4,000 sq. m. (43,000 sq. ft.) of offices. 9,000 sq. m of the warehouse was highbay with a height to haunch of 16.5m. The slab in the highbay area was suspended on approximately 1,000 piles to accommodate racking leg loads of 16 tonnes, whilst 4,000 stone columns were used to improve the ground under the low bay slab.
In order to avoid the usual problems and maintenance associated with joints in industrial floor slabs, a new design concept was used whereby the suspended slab in the high bay warehouse was reinforced only with short steel fibres instead of continuous loose bar reinforcement (steel fibres are used regularly in ground bearing slabs instead of mesh). The slab was cast in only four pours with no joints other than the two day joints.
This was the first slab of its kind in the UK