After having installed Firestone Building Products’ UltraPly TPO thermoplastic roofing membrane on their production plant in Brussels, in 2019 Belgian chocolate producer Barry Callebaut again chose it to waterproof their brand-new Global Distribution Center, also called the “Chocolate Box”.
UltraPly TPO 1.5 mm
This completely automated warehouse acts as a logistics hub for the global distribution of Barry Callebaut products. In total, over 125,000 pallets of Belgian chocolate can be stored and distributed to the whole world. The location is strategically chosen, halfway between the Port of Antwerp and their production plant in Aalst, which is the biggest chocolate factory in the world.
The Chocolate Box supports Barry Callebaut’s goal to become carbon positive by 2025. It is the first building in the Benelux with a “BREEAM Outstanding” certification, the highest standard in sustainable logistics. The building is fully energy-positive, as it can completely fulfill its own energy consumption. In order to achieve this certificate, the newest techniques in sustainable building were used: solar panels, air treatment groups, rainwater and heat recovery, humidity control, insulation, and geothermal energy.
The well-being of the employees, another essential part of the “BREEAM Outstanding” certification, is ensured through access to natural daylight throughout the building, zones for relaxation, and storage facilities for e-bikes, among others.
Construction of the Chocolate Box began in the summer of 2019 and was completed less than 24 months later. In order to meet the project’s tight deadlines, Firestone Building Products’ Master Contractor MUTEC worked simultaneously on three jobsites. The main roof of the Chocolate Box has a concrete prefab structure with “double T” elements, which allow a quick and efficient construction of the roof. A polyethylene vapor barrier was laid over the concrete structure, followed by PIR insulation panels. To ensure a perfect fit and avoid material waste, Firestone Building Products delivered the UltraPly TPO roofing membrane with a specific width of 2.65 m. About 12,000 m² of solar panels were installed on top, capable of generating enough electricity to power 1,000 households.