The Amazon fulfillment center near Spokane, Wash., is one of many centers across the country for the e-commerce giant where products are stored and then shipped to consumers who have made purchases through their online platform. As many as 1,500 employees work alongside robots to confirm orders, get them loaded onto trucks and then send them out the door to their final destination.
The 750,000-square-foot facility has four floors.
During the planning phases for the massive structure, architects and designers realized they had a large area to cover when it came to the exterior walls.
Metl-Span insulated metal panels became the preferred solution.
From Floor to Ceiling
At the outset, architects knew they needed to achieve uniformity in look for the building’s exterior, a request that came from the building owner.
“[Amazon] wanted a single product that went from the top of the concrete footing up to the roofline,” said Bill Thordarson, regional manager, Bain Associates, which served as the manufacturer’s representative on the project. “That’s about 50 feet.”
Contractors installed nearly 10,000 square feet of Metl-Span CF Mesa insulated metal panels. The lightly corrugated profile on both faces of the panel created symmetry on the outside of the building. The panels spanned between 42 and 49 feet in length.
To create the right design aesthetic, architects chose four different colors for the panels – Polar White, Sandstone, Zinc Gray and Smoke Gray.
“With the ability to choose different colors, the building avoids a monochromatic look,” Thordarson added. “It has some texture and aesthetic quality to it.”
The CF Mesa panels are manufactured with an offset double tongue-and-groove system, allowing the panels to slide into each other for ease and efficiency in installation.
In addition, the panels are only fastened on one side, which allows for a concealed system.
This versatility added to the visual appeal of the building’s exterior wall, creating a seamless flow from panel to panel.
Running Hot and Cold
As an insulated metal panel, CF Mesa panels are manufactured with foamed-in-place insulation. The panels deliver optimal thermal performance, another mandate when constructing the Amazon fulfillment center in the kind of climate experienced by Spokane, Wash.
“It gets superhot in the summer and supercold in the winter,” Thordarson remarked. “The beauty of the foam-insulated panels is that you’re also achieving a superhigh R value, so you don’t have to worry about insulating the inside of the building.”
CF Mesa panels are ideal in cold storage applications such ascooler buildings, freezers, food processing buildings, dry goods warehouses, and any structure where temperature control and insulation values are critical.
Opened in June 2020, the Amazon fulfillment center outside Spokane has spurred additional development in the area.
During peak holiday periods, the facility employs as many as 3,000 people.