If we consider how typical Industrial and logistics buildings have developed over the last 25 years, has there been that much change? Sure, the building fabric has become more technologically advanced. The building structure remains much the same albeit reshaped in size and proportion, service areas have grown to accommodate larger vehicles etc. However, the ‘industry standard’ building now faces more challenges than ever to adapt to technological advancement, multi-modal accessibility, social pressure and hierarchy.
The logistics facility of the future should be designed to meet the demands of ecommerce and embrace emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, automation, electrification storage and generation, 3D printing, robotics, use of drones, digital railways, smart transportation and the Internet of Things. One of the challenges for the supply chain will be to deliver innovation by responding to, adopting and implementing these technologies. Those that do so will become more efficient, effective and productive.
Our vision responds not only to technological advancement but also the challenges facing the environment. As demand increases, we believe that logistics facilities should form part of a wider framework consisting of mixed-use, multi-occupancy, multi-level development considered and delivered as essential infrastructure serviced by multi-modes of transport. A logistics park for the future, a destination. Parks should consider not only the retail consumer experience but also the integration of office, residential and public amenity uses powered by renewable energy sources.
Tackling the perception that residential and logistics do not mix is crucial. The introduction of electric vehicles and smart transportation will, in part, address concerns over noise, air quality and congestion. Considering scale, layout, circulation and accessibility will integrate logistics with other uses and ultimately deliver added value on constrained and expensive land.