Building knowledge and connections

Metl-Span provides 72-foot-long panels for award-winning cold-storage facility in New Jersey

April 14, 2022

FreezPak Logistics opened its fifth state-of-the-art freezer warehouse facility in New Jersey, using insulated metal panels (IMPs) up to 72 feet long from Metl-Span.

The 140,000-square-foot facility is located on the border of two communities, Elizabeth and Newark, and was recognized as the 2021 Industrial Deal of the Year Award by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), during its annual Commercial Real Estate Awards. The warehouse includes 18 docks, 46 car-parking stalls and 25 trailer-parking stalls.

“FreezPak Logistics was looking to build a public refrigerated warehouse for frozen food storage,” says Kate Lyle, Director, Industrial Cold and Food at Ware Malcomb of Irvine, Calif. “A priority of the design was to maximize their building clear height, their ‘cube’ for the site. The overall building height was limited to 75 feet and the design team worked diligently with Industrial Building Group and the developer to design a 66-foot clear freezer.”

Part of the design goal was to minimize the stack joints for the IMPs around the freezer envelope. Lyle says Metl-Span was able to provide IMP lengths that, in spite of the building’s height, required no stack joints on two sides of the freezer. Cold Storage and Industrial Building Group of Montgomery, Texas, also worked with Metl-Span to develop details that covered the stack joint location with the blue accent stripe around the building and allowed for 32 faux windows to be attached to the outside of the metal panels. These faux windows were required by local jurisdictions.

“There were many jurisdictions in the U.S. that would not allow the building of a 75-foot-tall freezer,” Lyle says. “The FreezPak Logistics project received the support of two jurisdictions: Elizabeth, N.J., where the project is located, and Newark, N.J., which is across the street from the site. The project brings much needed cold storage to support local businesses like grocery stores."

“We went with Metl-Span because they could get us the 72-foot panels we needed,” says Wade Hudson, project manager for Cold Storage Construction. “Also, having the panels delivered from their (Prince George) Virginia plant was the most economical.”

Hudson says his company routinely constructs buildings of this size and was onsite for this project for four months. Cold Storage Construction installed more than 100,000 square feet of 6-inch thick CF42 insulated metal panels … half of that square footage was made up of panels 72 feet long. The exterior 24-gauge panels were coated with PVDF Almond. The remaining 20,000 square feet of interior partition metal panels were 4-inch thick CF45 panels in SMP White. All interior panels were 26-gauge in SMP White.

The 6-inch-thick panels provide an R-value of R-48.

One unique feature of this warehouse is that half of the building offers an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) and half is a standard vendor neutral archive (VNA) system.

“This is the 17th freezer building I’ve built and we’ve used Metl-Span on all but one of them and that one has some significant long-term performance issues,” says Karl Dickman, Owner/Partner of Industrial Building Group, LLC. “We’ve had a lot of manufacturers pursuing us to use their IMP Products, but we simply refuse to make any adjustment due to the long-term performance of the Metl-Span products.”

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