Sparepro Head Office and Warehouse Facilities
Size: 26 947 m²
Cost: R171 500 000
Completed: March 2022
Location: S&J Industrial Estate, Germiston, Johannesburg, Gauteng
Located on the northern boundary of the S&J Industrial Estate, the new Sparepro Head Office and Warehouse Facilities displays bold architectural design elements and innovative planning, providing a sizeable new build in Johannesburg’s economic hub.
The client wanted to relocate to a more centrally-accessible location that would promote financial stability and sustainable business growth to their core customer market in the Johannesburg region. S&J Industrial Estate was identified as a suitable place to generate a concept of connection and integration of business. The primary aim was to create a purpose-built head office with an increased visual footprint. This was made possible by being alongside the N3 eastern bypass.
The client’s brief required that, although they would be utilising some mechanisation and automation, no staff would be retrenched, but rather strategically positioned in the new warehouse organisation for business efficiency and accuracy in their tasks. Focussing on a greater capacity and improved efficiency, the design provides an immersive environment for all customers and staff, while still embodying Sparepro’s quest for consistent innovation and continued culture of service excellence. Ultimately, through innovative design and spatial planning, the building encapsulates a sophisticated and client-friendly showroom, a warehouse with a superior management system, and optimised offices with streamlined operations.
The warehouse design took into consideration the client’s storage requirements based on existing stock and projected company growth. The client requested a mechanical and partly-automated storage solution to provide a platform for a narrow-aisle storage system. Consultation was done with the client to understand the unique business activity of inbound and outbound stock movements to design the docks, doors, and apron suitable for typical yard traffic. The facility’s bulk storage system dominates over 70% of the warehouse area with 20% allocated for the picking area.
The client significantly researched and conducted visits to similar operations in Europe and Asia before undertaking the system design. The design ensured sufficient space for internal expansion, achieved with a full eaves height clearance and coordinated positioning of structural columns planned together with the storage system design. This all allows for flexibility for future changes as the client’s business grows. Logistic professionals assisted in designing and interfacing these elements to ensure they support operations and allow for an ergonomic and optimised flow.
The S&J Industrial Estate is located between the City of Johannesburg and the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality within Gauteng – South Africa’s economic hub. Both these metropolitan cities are pursuing goals towards low-carbon economies. The CoJ recently adopted its Climate Action Plan to reach the target of a net-zero emissions and resilient city by 2050, and has issued a letter of support for the S&J Industrial Estate and its commitment to Climate Protection. The S&J Industrial Eco-District Estate is expected to be the first project in South Africa, and outside of the USA, to register for and achieve the Eco-District Certification.
Office: A mix of single and double glazing was used in the office areas, with solar shading to the exposed glazed element. Tinted, sun-controlled windows with independent thermal control for defined offices were also implemented. The offices are insulated with the roof slab for thermal comfort and control. LED lights are used for external areas and are controlled with day-and-night sensors. These lights are also used throughout the internal office areas and, as with the lighting in the warehouse, these are master switched.
Warehouse: Large areas of translucent sheeting allow natural lighting into the warehouse. Battery charging is done by means of a modular high-frequency charger that uses less electricity to do the same amount of work as other chargers. The warehouse’s conveyor and sortation system has photoelectric sensors that are mounted at the end of each conveyor section. When the respective sensor is triggered, the downstream conveyor will sequentially start-up. A ‘dieback’ philosophy will kick in based on the accumulation and transportation lines reaching full saturation and will auto-start once the downstream saturation is removed. A ‘sleep mode’ philosophy monitors the activity on all sensors moving downstream and will allow the system to auto-sleep if no activity is detected. If any sensor is activated or triggered, the system will start up sequentially. 50 mm energy-lite insulation was used for thermal temperature control in the warehouse an electro-mechanical ventilation system can be mechanically opened and closed to flush out and circulate air – especially hot air.
Water and planting
The ablutions have dual-flush toilets and low-flow water-saving taps, while the showers are only on for a limited amount of time with insulated hot water piping and heat pumps used throughout. Fire suppression systems are used within the premises, with no biosphere-degrading gas.
The site’s green spaces include mostly indigenous plant and tree types that are drought tolerant (xerophytic), requiring minimal water once established. A selection of indigenous, water-wise trees and groundcover plant species have also been chosen due to their resilience in difficult growing conditions. A manual turf valve system was implemented for irrigation. The landscape maintenance team strictly monitors the water requirements so that the watering of plants is kept to a minimum. And an automatic sprinkler installation has been designed to recirculate water when the pump set gets tested. The water from the storage tanks is circulated back into the tanks during the weekly pump run.
MEET THE TEAM
Owner/client: Abland Property Developers on behalf of Redefine Properties and GGP Investments
Tenant: Sparepro Motor Parts & Accessories
Architect: Empowered Spaces Architects
Developers: Abland Property Developers and Redefine Properties
Project manager: Abland Property Developers
Quantity surveyor: Ibp Central Quantity Surveyors
Civil engineer: Kantey & Templer
Structural engineer: Kantey & Templer
Consultant: Plae Interiors
Principal contractor: WBHO Construction
Electrical engineer: OneZero Consulting
Fire consultant: Ronald Koekemoer & Associates
Logistics consultant: proMHS
Empowered Spaces Architects