Walmart has opened its newest distribution centre in Surrey, British Columbia.
The 300,000-square-foot, $175-million facility is part of Walmart Canada’s ongoing $3.5 billion investment in supply chain operations.
The Surrey Grocery Distribution Centre is built on a dense, vertical automated storage and retrieval system from Witron. It will provide ambient, fresh and frozen grocery goods to 45 Walmart stores in British Columbia. Distribution through the facility will reduce long-haul truck trips from the company’s Alberta distribution centres.
The 66-foot tall Witron system has allowed the DC to use about half of the land that would be required to build and equivalent traditional facility. The ASRS will allow the DC’s 250 staff to make as many as 150,000 order picks per day.
The building will eventually be home to Walmart’s electric fleet, including semi trucks and a fully electric yard truck fleet.
The DC has been built with sustainability in mind. Large windows throughout the facility promote natural light in the perimeter to reduce reliance on electricity. Where lighting is needed it is LED and uses intelligent controls, which can reduce energy consumption by 70 percent.
Refrigeration systems use environmentally preferable CFC free carbon dioxide (CO2), and the HVAC system is designed to reclaim heat rejected from the refrigeration system and use it in radiant under-floor heating. High volume ceiling fans help maintain temperature throughout the facility.
The outdoor environment was also part of the planning, with natural water filtration systems to protect local waterways and a fish hatchery in the vicinity. As well, 18,000 new plants have been included on the site, and a park and picnic area will let staff get outside during breaks.
Walmart says the facility is on track to be zero-waste.
“Achieving the Province’s legislated GHG reduction targets requires a shift towards low-carbon heating options and the highest performing buildings,” said Bruce Ralston, B.C.’s minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation.
“This new facility, featuring state-of-the-art technology that focuses on sustainability and achieving zero-waste, is a big step in the right direction.”