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A deeper look at cold room construction

ASKIN - Shannon
Chris Wormald

National Construction Manager


What are businesses looking for in a cold storage facility?

“Cold storage facilities are a necessity for the majority of businesses in the food chain to keep their products fresh.”

These facilities are required to maintain temperature without fluctuation or temperature loss during the day to day operations. Businesses want a user-friendly construction in the way of clear access to products stored, while increasing the structure’s capacity to allow for maximum pallet or racking space.Insurance is a major factor for businesses when designing and building their facility and this is where the different panel cores come into play.

FM as a global insurer have very specific requirements and system approvals, and products such as XFLAM which have FM approval, can help reduce risk and reduce premiums. Each project will be assessed differently and dependent on the risk engineer and insurer, so best to check with them during the design. Longevity is another feature businesses want in a cold storage facility. Both products stored and the building that stores it. Once the facility is up and running, the business wants as little maintenance as possible to avoid upsetting day to day operations. Having issues that need repair, impact access or possible storage space, can majorly impact a facility, so it’s important to get the build right first time round.

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“What’s the most important aspect of a building a cold room facility with insulated panel?”

The quality of the insulated panel is an important aspect. Our industry has seen an influx of cheap insulated panel product claiming to have the same properties, NCC certification and Global insurance approvals as the Australian made products. It’s important to do your research and engage a reputable IPCA (Insulated Panel Council of Australasia) Code compliant member.

What are the three biggest challenges of cold room facility construction and why?

“Each project can have its own challenges. But for the most part, I’d have to say access, safety and timeframes are the three major challenges in construction.”

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In the commercial or hospitality sector, accessing the smaller rooms can be an issue. These rooms are usually tucked away in the back of a shopping centre or restaurant precinct.
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Safety for the ASKIN business is paramount. The nature of our business means working at heights and lifting large insulated panels into position.
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Timeframes can be challenging during construction, especially for larger facilities. No matter the delays or severe weather issues, the handover date never moves.

What about the build itself?

“Using reputable installers is essential. They must have skills and knowledge for the correct application of external sealants, ensure the insulated panel structure maintains its vapour seal, and understand thermal tracking and cold transfer.”

Most importantly here, is the understanding of the specific building codes, testing standards and approvals to ensure each building is constructed in compliance with the relevant standards and as they have been tested.

ASKIN - Shannon

As the National Construction Manager, Chris brings 25years experience across Commercial, Industrial and Domestic construction. He is a carpenter by trade and holds builders’ registration in multiple states."

Chris WormaldNational Construction Manager