Feature, Industrial

Top ten inspirational warehouse designs

The freewheeling KOP Warehouse in Belgium.

When it comes to lighting a warehouse, low energy schemes are always key. This can be achieved through different means such as installing control systems and by utilizing daylight. Here are ten inspirational lighting designs for warehouses that put limiting energy consumption at their centre.


1) Karndean Warehouse – Pittsburgh – United States – Natural light revolutionises dark space

The socially responsible flooring manufacturer, Karndean, opted to redevelop their warehouse in 2015. The new structure was designed to reduce energy use whilst dramatically increasing the amount of natural light available.

The finished article features skylights placed to compliment LED lighting fixtures, revolutionsing a building that formerly had very little natural interior daylight.

In the warehouse space Sunoptic’s prismatic skylights have been installed along with I-Beam IBL LED high bay fixtures from Lithonia Lighting.

The new system also employs light sensors to further reduce energy by dimming the LEDs based on the amount of daylight available in the warehouse. The sensors were carefully positioned and calibrated to maximize the natural interior daylight by LaFace & McGovern technicians, using an Acuity Controls LC&D GR 2400 control system.

In total, two hundred LED light fixtures and seventy-three skylights were installed during the construction project.


2) Glen Raven Logistics – North Carolina – United States – Smart lighting reduces energy costs 

Glen Raven Logistics is a fabric company based in North Carolina. Lighting in the company’s warehouse was updated in order to ensure energy savings and better performance.

Before the work was undertaken the interior lights used to stay on for most of the day, even when there was little activity in the building.

To tackle this problem smart lighting has been installed that can recognise when the building is going through a peak in users and when the warehouse starts to empty in the evening. In response the lighting can either dim down or shut off completely.

The new lighting scheme reduced the number of fixtures from 274 to 122, which represents a 56 percent reduction.

Cree CXB Series High Bay fixtures were installed, incorporating zero re-strike time. This allows the integrated motion sensors to quickly turn on when any movement in the warehouse is detected and turn off with an adjustable timing sensor that can be changed to suit operational or personal preferences.

In the Glen Raven facility, the off time is set at four minutes after sensing no motion in the warehouse. This feature is now delivering considerable energy savings for the company.


3) CooperVision Distribution Centre – Farnham – United Kingdom – First use of state of the art plasma lighting 

The innovative Farnham based contact lens distribution centre features state of the art, high-efficiency plasma lighting. The 11,200 m2 warehouse is one of the first facilities in the world to be lit in such a fashion.

Maintenance of the old T5 lighting system had become expensive and the company wished to slash costs and reduce energy consumption. An automatic dimming and control system was also required. 

The number of plasma fixtures installed compared to the original fluorescents was reduced from 285 to 190.

Because of the new fixtures lighting levels have increased from 250 lux to 450 lux in open areas and 300 lux in aisles. An energy saving of 39 per cent is also being made.


4) Lidl Distribution Centre – Heerenveen – The Netherlands – Eco-friendly lighting system leads the way

Lidl’s new distribution centre in Heerenven features a forward looking, eco-friendly lighting system, that is helping the company to set hallmarks for sustainability.

The distribution centre has been equipped with control systems that use presence detectors to turn lights off when the warehouse is empty, in order to save energy.

A daylight based dimming system has also been utilised in the project, which adjusts the lamps according to the amount of natural light entering the building at any one time.

The introduction of Maxos LED luminaires from Philips, in conjunction with the instillation of the new control systems has prompted an energy saving of 45 percent to be recorded. The project has also been awarded a distinguished four-star BREEAM-NL certificate for sustainability.


5) Wincanton Warehouse – Essex – United Kingdom – T5 fixtures prove their worth

A combination of T5 fluorescent fixtures and an innovative control system have been installed at the Wincanton Warehouse. The new scheme is now delivering a 60 percent energy saving, proving that T5 fixtures are a viable alternative to LED lighting.

Dexeco upgraded the warehouse’s existing 400W SON lowbay luminaires with energy-efficient alternatives. After conducting a site survey, the Dexeco team proposed a design that features over 300 Dexeco Verteco T5 fluorescent luminaires complete with integral R14 sensors. The R14 sensor and DSI dimming gear for daylight regulation and presence detection, allows each fitting to be programmed individually from ground level using a remote control.


6) Yeo Valley Warehouse – Bristol – United Kingdom – Temperature controls render cooling systems obsolete

Olivewood and Ayjay Group were commissioned to replace bulky legacy light fittings with energy-efficient Chil-LED units. Theold light fittings left scorch marks on the ceiling as evidence of their high heat output. This would lead to a build-up of warm air near the ceiling of the cold storage warehouse reducing the amount of useable storage space.

Chil-LED channels any heat produced by the LED chips to a heat-sink above the ceiling  insulation skin where it is dissipated into the air. This new system means that expensive energy hungry cooling systems are no longer an imperative.


7) Paykar Bonyan Panel Factory – Tehran – Iran – Natural light defines forward looking design

Built to satisfy the Iranian construction boom, the Paykar Bonyan Panel Factory in Tehran was designed so as not to resemble traditional warehouses. Created by ARAD Architects the warehouse features a perfect balance between day light, which floods in through skylights in the ceiling and LED lumianires. The site features a 3700 sqm production plant with a 350 sqm mezzanine, which is home to the technical management team. There is also a 500 sqm space for offices, showrooms and mechanical rooms that are located near to the production plant. There is a 500 sqm management building with a VIP suite and receptions that are connected to the main bulding via a bridge.


8) Preferred Freezer Services – New Jersey – United States –  Increased light quality improves site safety 

Preferred Freezer’s old warehouse lights were plagued with cooling costs and energy bills. The re-lamping that was often required cost time, money and effort, so the company began to look for a better way. Fixtures that increased the temperature within the firm’s warehouses, prompting expensive cooling systems to kick in, were also causing problems.

Working with Liberty Lighting, fixtures by Acuity Brands were installed, in an attempt to solve the warehouse’s problems, while greatly increasing the quality of light within the building and reducing energy costs.

‘One of the biggest benefits from a quality standpoint is the clarity of light that you now have, both on our loading dock and in our freezer,’ says Dan Albretsen, general manager for Preferred Freezer. ‘When you walk into the freezers that have been converted, there is a white, crisp light. You can see the numbers on the cases much more clearly.’

The new look Preferred Services warehouse has one-year payback.


9) KOP Warehouse – Puurs – Belgium – Intuitive design turns traditional warehouse design on its head 

Designed by the Brussels-based firm URA and located in an industrial zone near a railway, the KOP Warehouse is an attempt to turn the traditional warehouse design on its head. 

The structure is composed of raised concrete volumes set under a skin made of glass and corrugated metal. At night the patchwork facade glows and in the day natural light floods into the space.  The facility totals 17,000 square meters, of which 15,000 are devoted to storage (offices account for the remaining space). URA commented that in designing the building the agency ‘did not look for a new typology, but rather reduced the archetypical form of the warehouse to its essence.’


10) Nike – European Logistics Campus – Belgium

This state-of-the-art distribution network in the center of Europe allows Nike to serve a vast network of retailers and consumers not just on the continent, but around the world. The warehouse is a futuristic building that does not in anyway resemble the traditional warehouse design of yesteryear. Natural light is provided by windows that have been installed all around the building.

A unique daylight capture system and smart, automated LED lighting work to reduce electricity costs, while reducing the environmental impact of the campus on its surroundings. Daylighting has been proved to improve employee wellbeing and better productivity.