The sustainable way of making logistics
Decathlon is the world leader in the creation, production and distribution of sports equipment. The first store was opened in 1976 in France from the idea to bring all sports together under one roof at the best possible price. Today the company has more than 50,000 employees and more than 550 stores all over the world.
The company has a strong focus on sustainability and environmental respect that materializes in the development of new stores that blend into their surroundings to harmonize nature with the pleasure of sports. In line with company values, Decathlon is now designing all new buildings in a sustainable way, including the new logistics hub, inaugurated at the end of April and currently undergoing LEED certification.
The new logistics hub located in Brandizzo, serves 25 stores and guarantees clients that products are delivered in the shortest possible time, with the lowest amount of CO2 emissions. This warehouse has a gross surface area of roughly 23,000 m2, and is divided into two units; one unit is mainly dedicated to picking, while the other one only stocks bulky material. The building also hosts a Click&Collect point for shop online goods collection and a regional laboratory to repair damaged Decathlon products.
Furthermore a new layout has been studied here and will be used in all new Decathlon warehouses worldwide. Two automated mezzanine floors have been inserted, allowing the process to be quicker, more sustainable and more profitable.
Because the building is undergoing LEED certification, the designers have had a strong focus on sustainability since the preliminary design stages, making green choices both in terms of a passive structure through the use of recyclable materials, as well as in terms of mechanical plants.
The lighting is based on high energy saving LED lights, managed by a BMS that allows empty areas to stay dark, lighting only the busy areas. On the roof they installed high performance photovoltaic panels, able to produce up to 350kW and be self-sufficient from an electric point of view in summer periods.
Considering the other LEED prerequisites they have designed rainwater collection for irrigation, a special sanitary system to save drinkable water, and above all energy recovery for extra cooling and heating needs thanks to the thermodynamic recovery of the roof-top units. As a matter of fact great attention has been paid to the comfort of the 150 employers of the logistics hub, air conditioned all year round.
Roberto Valentini, Project Manager at Decathlon Italia says: “Decathlon believes a healthy and safe environment helps workers to feel more comfortable and to better do their job. In Brandizzo we have thus decided to air condition the whole building, including the warehouse, granting a high level of comfort for all the employees.”
FOCUS ON HVAC
The HVAC system of the new logistics hub is based on 15 WSM high efficiency reversible air cooled roof-top units by Climaveneta. 10 of them are dedicated to the open spaces, 4 to the automated mezzanine floors and the last one to the laboratories, for a total air flow of about 340,000 m3/h. In further detail, they have installed 7 WSM/CE 402 with free-cooling and 8 WSM/ HR with thermodynamic heat recovery to maximize the energy efficiency under all weather conditions.
High COP index, higher than 5, allows not only for respecting the LEED certification prerequisites, but also for the system to outperform the output required by the regional legislation at -7°C and +33°C
In the warehouse air distribution is managed through thermostatic nozzles, while in the laboratories they have installed a high induction microdot channel, granting maximum comfort everywhere.
As a matter of fact even though the building is 14 metres high and the channels have been installed at 13.70 metres, it is possible to reach even the most remote zones in the facility.
Alessandro Bergui, M&E designer at Techbau SpA says: “Nowadays buildings are the first cause of pollution and CO2 production in world. We drive Euro6 and Euro7 cars, while we live in buildings not so focused on energy savings. For our and our children’s future it is essential to start thinking about buildings as we already do for automobiles, that is to say certifying energy performances.” And he continues:” Following this philosophy, at new Decathlon logistics hub we’ve tried to take the maximum advantage of renewable energies, since they don’t come from fossil fuels and don’t cause any CO2 emissions, by installing photovoltaic panels and selecting high efficiency HVAC units with air source”.
Sara Di Clemente