Project Agility – Distribution Center
New Albany, OH
With headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, L Brands is a fashion retailer and includes brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. In order to consolidate their ever-important supply chain operations, the corporation embarked on the construction of a new distribution center at the Personal Care and Beauty Innovation Campus in New Albany, Ohio.
As warehouse needs are constantly changing, the design for this facility needed to focus on flexibility. With most distribution centers, the building contains conveyors, sorting equipment, racking systems, truck docks and super flat floors, however, a portion of this structure and mezzanine is configured for conference rooms, offices etc. The building was designed to accommodate future expansion of office space into the distribution center, if needed. In order to allow the owner to re-organize or change the function of the building without needing to modify the lateral support, the SMBH team chose steel moment frames to prevent the need for interior bracing.
Speed to market was critical for this unique large-scale project, so the schedule was very aggressive. The facility also has very tall racking systems which make the columns roughly 45 feet tall. At this height, columns are sized to prevent the structure from deflecting an excessive amount. One goal was to not have this large building dominate the site. We were able to achieve this aesthetic by mounding the grade around the building to effectively hide roughly 1/3 of the structure’s height. This gives the appearance from the outside that the building is only approximately 2/3 its actual height.
The name of the project is very applicable to the how the project functioned. “Agility” was required from the project team because the design was evolving on a daily basis. These changes made coordination between trades a constant process, and in the end, the project was completed with success.