Cold Room Construction: Multiple Design Elements

In its most basic form, a cold room is a storage facility designed to uphold a certain temperature to protect refrigerated or frozen goods stored within it. Although easier to describe, cold room construction can be a demanding task. Designing a cold room can be overwhelming and extremely complex especially with close attention to detail. Cold room construction is not a layman’s job. An experienced team of cold room experts can not only help you cut back running costs but also reduce unnecessary heartaches in the future.

Basic Design Elements of a Cold Room

Cold room construction relies upon multiple design elements coming together in total harmony. When cohesively installed together, these elements can really impact overall performance and enhance the cold room’s utility by reducing energy costs. Here are some essential elements to consider when constructing a cold room:

  • Space Layout and Size

    Your storage capacity strongly relies on the space layout and its size. Depending on the product that the facility will be housing, it is important to utilize the available to maximum capacity. For instance, if your cold room’s intended location has high ceilings and you will be storing material for long terms, we suggest adding in a few high shelves to utilize the space. Moreover, the size of the place and the material that it will be housing also determines the refrigeration system that will be installed.

    Additionally, if you are building a cold room within a vacant unfinished building, you can also opt for preconstructed fixed cold rooms. However, if you are planning to install one in a constructed locality, we suggest opting for modular cold rooms as these can be easily assembled on site.

  • Material for Storage

    When it comes to cold room construction, one of the main elements to consider is the material that the storage envelope will be holding. Depending on the shelf life of your material, you may want to build a cold room closer to distribution centers. Additionally, adhering to high standards of food quality during all stages such as processing and packaging is also important to ensure the viability of your cold room.

  • Energy Consumption

    If you ask any cold room owner, they will sadly tell you that the most expensive part about having a cold room is the running energy costs that sometimes increase in high-stress periods. Cold rooms are built to uphold certain temperatures that ensure the safe storage of material that they house. Therefore, they are often working overtime if certain features are not installed to reduce their running costs. For instance, by installing foam insulation within panels, or cold room curtains, and low energy-consuming lighting systems, users can significantly reduce their overall energy costs.

  • Refrigeration System

    The refrigeration system is perhaps the heart of the whole operation. Without a reliable and efficient refrigeration system, a cold room can not function at optimal levels. However, it is important to consider multiple facts before investing in a refrigeration system. For example the size and capacity of a cold room. There are some essential features of a refrigeration system.

    These include:

    • Compressor
    • Condenser
    • Circulation fans
    • Refrigerant gas
    • Evaporator coils
    • Expansion valve

  • Refrigeration Controls

    In the tech-savvy world of today, data analytics are the most important feature in determining machine efficiency. Therefore, we found that installing automation systems can help reduce overall costs and optimize the running of the cold room. Moreover, with a central computerized system managing and minding the temperature within the cold room, users can easily make necessary changes that can help enhance the system’s overall performance. Additionally, automation systems are also inbuilt to identify areas that require maintenance. Therefore protecting the expensive parts of the refrigeration system from getting damaged.

  • Roofing and Insulation

    Cold room storage spaces need to be installed with proper roofing and inoculation systems to ensure efficiency. Whether you opt for a modular cold room or a fixed one, users must make sure to get polyurethane foaming insulation to help reduce the loss of cold air. This foaming insulation is installed in the crevices and points of connection between the roof and walls to help block any air pockets that may cause cold air to be substituted with warm and humid air.

    Additionally, users can also add reflective material on the walls and roof to reduce the burden on the refrigeration system. A proper roofing and insulation system can help reduce overall energy costs and protect the refrigeration system from burning out.

  • Airflow Management

    It is important to understand how moisture and heat transfer across cold rooms through air travel. Due to cold air sinking, it is most likely going to escape the cold room via doors and openings. As cold air slips out of the cold room, warm air takes its place and draws in moisture that can condense and form ice on different surfaces within the cold room. Therefore it is important to constrict cold room door openings to prevent this mechanism from happening. By carefully designing openings that constrict air transfer, users can reduce energy costs and maintenance costs associated with the refrigeration system.

    Moisture can cause ice formation that can turn to frost if not properly dealt with in a timely manner. Ice tends to expand therefore can also damage insulation and other surfaces within the cold room. Therefore, installing cold room curtains or dehumidifiers can help manage airflow and reduce ice build-up.

  • Adequate Flooring

    Like every surface in the cold room, your flooring needs to be on point as well. This will include making sure it is made with high-quality concrete material, completely leveled, and free of cracks. Most cold room building experts also recommend additional insulation layering to create essential vapor barriers that can help reduce cold air leakage. Additionally, cold room floors must be post-tensioned to prevent any expansion joints as these can otherwise become spaces for ice and frost build-up.

  • Electrical Utilities

    Cold rooms require a lot of energy to work efficiently therefore it is important to install proper electrical amenities that can prevent power loss. Cold room construction experts build electrical systems within the overall design of the cold room to enhance the utility of the cold storage space. Some common utilities to consider include installing voltage readers and managers to help ensure a steady supply of electricity from the grid. Additionally, there should be standby generators to prevent the material housed within from getting damaged. Another important feature to consider is the location of the electrical room. The electrical room should be easily accessible by owners and not housed within the cold room’s main area. This room is essentially your command center, therefore ensuring its proper functioning will help with distributing power optimally.

Conclusion

Cold room construction is an expensive project and should not be taken lightly. Every feature of the cold room storage needs to be vetted out properly to ensure maximum utility, optimal performance, and reduced energy costs. It is recommended that users build redundancies into the original design of the cold room to help reduce overhead maintenance costs and prepare for unforeseen circumstances. Moreover, a cold room construction project should never be hurried. Instead, it should be built upon a strong design and plan that has been vetted by multiple experts so that there is less room for error.

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