Distribution Centers

In Mexico, Walmart is ramping up its distribution capabilities with a number of new distribution centers to expedite and improve product delivery to its stores. The new distribution centers will allow Walmart to strengthen and expand its logistics operations, with the goal of reducing time and costs in the supply process.

With an ambitious multi-year schedule for program completion, Walmart’s plan involves the construction of new distribution centers and the upgrading of existing centers. The retailer has engaged SSOE as one of their strategic partners to help design and build new centers in Chihuahua, Tabasco, and Chalco, with potential for additional projects. The facilities in Chihuahua (35,000 m2) and Chalco (60,000 m2) are dry warehouses, while the facility in Tabasco (38,000 m2) is a refrigerated distribution center—a project requiring unique refrigeration experience that other A/E firms in Mexico were unable to provide.

SSOE’s phased design approach prioritizes close communication and coordination between multiple Walmart divisions (including logistics, human resources, safety, and operations) and the SSOE project team. This includes continuously updating coordination and communication tools used for project delivery, and leading workshops and design review meetings that incorporate 3D Virtual Reality walk-throughs. This approach ensures that the integrated design team is able to focus on project goals and provide an operationally efficient and flexible design.

The benefits of SSOE’s ongoing partnership with Walmart include in-depth understanding shared by all team members of Walmart’s goals, needs, and business objectives, as well as the ability to ensure consistent implementation of Walmart’s global design and construction standards from project to project.

Fast-track LEED Certified New Store

14% less energy use for long term savings. Environmental pilot for future facilities.

As part of the Army and Air Force’s initiative to construct all new buildings to green standards, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) made plans for a new, sustainable retail facility on the Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. The one stop, state-of-the-art facility, serving more than 50,000 active, reserve, and retired military personnel and their dependents, was one of the first AAFES facilities to pursue LEED Silver certification. It was also part of the USGBC’s pilot program to develop LEED guidelines for the retail industry. SSOE spearheaded the design of the facility with a with a food court, sales area, specialty vendors, onsite fuel stations, outdoor lifestyle areas, and a loading dock, while also leading LEED certification efforts.

SSOE designed a data / voice, fire alarm, and mass notification combination system for this 167,000 SF facility. As part of the data communication system, a wireless study was performed to determine the best placement of wireless internet antennas. The wireless system was designed to comply with the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard.

Using more than 20% recycled materials, the facility also features an energy management system to coordinate efficient lighting, heating, and air conditioning systems that reduce energy consumption and costs. A roofing membrane reflects 78% of sunlight minimizing energy use within the facility and water-efficient equipment reduces water consumption by 20%. A central cooling tower and chilled water system provide a high efficiency means to cool the complex. Using 14% less energy than a traditional similar facility, AAFES has used this environmental model as a pilot example of how to conduct future design and construction projects. Other distinctive aspects of the project include implementation of Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) standards relative to siting considerations, building controls, and security systems.