Submitted By: Weifield Group Contracting
Owner: Ferguson Enterprises
Lead Design Firm: Ware Malcomb
General Contractor: Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.
Electrical Firm: Weifield Group Contracting
The 450,000-sq-ft warehouse and distribution facility is the national supply company’s largest distribution warehouse west of the Mississippi River. The building supports a variety of business groups and allows for accelerated delivery to customers in the Denver market and surrounding regions. The facility also serves as a model for more than 40 similar warehouses the owner plans to build nationwide.
During the design phase, the electrical subcontractor value-engineered the lighting fixture package, conduit and cabling, resulting in large cost savings for the owner. To be as efficient as possible while accelerating the schedule, in-house prefabrication was utilized for all freestanding power panels and transformers within the warehouse.
This approach afforded opportunities for innovation, such as prefabricating charge points for 40 forklift chargers. Total station surveying technology was used to pinpoint installation points for the warehouse’s 1,100 light fixtures, which were installed in the 40-ft ceilings from 18 scissor lifts. Well into the construction phase, the project team was tasked to incorporate advanced robotic technology, with approximately 35 robots that automatically pick, pack and deliver inventory in a multitiered storage system. At the last minute, the owner discovered that the automated portion of the warehouse required a preaction fire alarm system more complicated to install than conventional fire alarms.
Photo courtesy Weifield Group Contracting
The necessary modifications to support the complex technology were assessed, designed and incorporated into the work plan in close collaboration with the general contractor, other trade contractors and specialty suppliers. Impressed with the early performance, the robotic technology provider assigned installation of the entire electrical system for that part of the project to the electrical contractor rather than relying on its own specialty consultant.
Weifield’s adaptability was further tested by a series of owner-requested changes. The underground area for exterior pipe storage had to be re-roughed in multiple times as the owner revised the location and power needs, with one change requiring removal of freshly placed asphalt.