By appointment to her majesty the queen - manufacturer of steel framed buildings A.C Bacon Engineering Ltd

Boxed up and ready to go

The largest potato store in East Anglia...

A C Bacon in partnership with Thurlow Nunn Standen Ltd, have completed a 12,000 tonne box potato store and grading area at Sutton Gault, near Ely, for P J Lee & Sons; thus creating what is believed to be the largest potato store in East Anglia.

Built on the site of a former machinery storage area, the state-of-the-art building was delivered on time and on budget by a team of dedicated contractors under the supervision of Jeremy Nunn of Thurlow Nunn Standen Ltd; with A C Bacon providing the complex steel frame, insulated cladding and access doors.

Insulation and ventilation were key to maintaining cool temperatures needed during crop storage through to the month of June, retaining high quality in the hope of achieving a premium price per tonne. Kingspan composite panel cladding sheets provided the insulation, combined with ventilation expertise from Omnivent; resulting in the running hours being 50% less than the older storage facilities on-site. The building can be segregated into eight storage areas, each with the ability to maintain their own climate requirements. The introduction of a 250kW solar photo-voltaic system on the roof also contributes, not only to the running of the store, but also the whole site during peak production.

24 lights in the 26 metre x 58 metre central grading area ensure effective grading of crop into store. The building was constructed enabling the grading area to be converted into storage area for a further 2040 boxes after grading has completed.

24m wide 'hangar' doors provide safe, efficient, unhindered access to the central hub from which all of the eight storage areas can be serviced. Boxes at the front of the grading/additional storage area can be removed, within an afternoon, allowing a grader to be set up.

Christopher Lee said “The 12,000 tonnes of potatoes were previously distributed to various stores within a 40 mile radius of the Pack House. The shed was designed in a way to maximise storage until the later May/June markets. From cladding choice to lights and ventilation systems, the project demanded high quality components to create one of the largest potato storage facilities in the UK. It is our 'flagship' store and we hope to have the opportunity to build another of similar size on-site in the next few years. At P J Lee & Sons we are passionate about potatoes and this is reflected in the store design.”

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