Big Chill Distribution Facility - Ruakura

Tainui Group Holdings
October 2023
Cold Storage

In a very short time frame for a project of this nature, Apollo delivered the design and build of the 12,000m2, Greenstar 4, Big Chill Distribution cold-storage facility at the Ruakura Superhub in Hamilton. The $40 million facility showcases, not only sustainability and efficiency, but also innovation within the state-of-the-art building. This remarkable success stands as a testament to Apollo’s expertise and their dedication to success in design and build projects.

Situated on a 30,000m2 site the facility comprises two 2,500m2 freezers, two 2,500m2 chillers and offers a total of 16,760 pallets spaces with versatile storage solutions to cater for both short-term transit and long-term storage needs. The primary function of the facility is to store and distribute a mixture of imported and local frozen and chilled consumer goods throughout the Waikato region. If you’re purchasing frozen or chilled goods at supermarkets in the region, there’s a high chance it has come from Big Chill Ruakura!

Apollo made a commitment to the client to complete this project under a rapid construction timeline of just 12 months. With this tight timeframe, ongoing environmental challenges, infrastructure and site access hurdles, as well as labour shortages the project seemed impossible. Apollo pushed through these adversities and made it a reality. Through early engagement of subcontractors Apollo were able to develop a successful project design and delivery programme which, despite all these challenges, remained fixed. Not only this, but a true motivator for the success of this project, is the sustainability features. Once finalised the facility will become the first Greenstar 4 cold-store in New Zealand, Apollo worked closely with the client and stakeholders to ensure the required Greenstar criteria was being met. This is a remarkable achievement and has now set a benchmark for future cold-storage facilities in the country.

A huge part of the project was ensuring that maximum operational accuracy and efficiency was achieved for the tenant. A Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) guidewire system was incorporated which calculates the optimal trajectory for reaching rack locations enabling simultaneous horizontal and vertical movement of mechanical handling equipment. This minimises energy consumption and maximises overall efficiency in operations.

Without the commitment of the Apollo team, their systems, and design management knowledge under the design and build delivery model, this project could never have been such a success. The facility is now fully operational and all feedback to date has been extremely positive.

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