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cold storage construction finished by BUILD IT

Table of content:

1. Calculate the cost to build a cold storage room in Canada

While providing an exact cost for building a cold room in Canada is challenging due to the many variables involved, we can offer a general overview of the cost ranges based on the mentioned factors. Remember, these estimates are approximate and can vary significantly based on location, size, materials, and specific requirements.

Size of the Cold Room

Cold room construction costs are often calculated per square foot. On average, you can expect to pay around $100 to $300 per square foot for constructing a cold room in Canada. Smaller cold rooms will lean toward the higher end of this range due to the fixed costs associated with insulation, cooling systems, and other essential components.

Insulation Materials

Insulation costs depend on the type and quality of the material chosen. Basic insulation materials can start at around $1 to $2 per square foot, while more advanced and energy-efficient options like polyurethane foam insulation might cost $4 to $6 per square foot.

Cooling Systems

The cost of cooling systems varies based on the type of system and the cooling capacity required. Basic refrigeration units can start at $3,000 to $5,000, while more sophisticated systems with higher cooling capacities can range from $10,000 – $30,000 or more.

Location and Site Preparation

Site preparation costs can include leveling the ground, creating proper drainage, and ensuring the area is suitable for construction. Site preparation costs can vary from a few to over $10,000, depending on the complexity of the work and the location.

Door Systems

Cold room doors with proper insulation and seals are crucial to maintaining temperature integrity. Basic cold room doors can start at around $1,000 to $2,000, while more specialized rapid-roll or sliding doors can range from $3,000 to $6,000 or more.

Regulatory Compliance and Permits

Obtaining the necessary permits and ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations can add a few thousand dollars to the overall cost, depending on the region and specific requirements.

Electrical Systems

Electrical work for lighting, cooling systems, and other equipment can range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the electrical setup.

Additional Features

Additional features like shelving, racking systems, and monitoring equipment can add a few thousand dollars to the overall cost, depending on the extent of customization required.

Labor and Professional Services

Labor and professional services account for a significant portion of the cost. Architectural and engineering fees can range from 5% to 15% of the total project cost, while construction labor costs can vary based on location and project complexity.

Maintenance and Operational Costs

Budgeting for ongoing maintenance and operational costs, including energy expenses, regular maintenance checks, and potential repairs, is essential. These costs can vary widely based on the size of the cold room and the efficiency of the systems.

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Building a cold room in Canada can cost anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size, location, materials, and specific requirements of the project. To get an accurate estimate for your cold room construction project, it’s recommended to consult with experienced professionals in cold room construction and obtain multiple quotes from contractors in your area. This will help you create a comprehensive budget that aligns with your needs and ensures the successful creation of a functional and efficient cold room.

cold storage for medical facility by BUILD IT

Contrary to what the name implies, a cold room is more than just a refrigerator for your restaurant. Also known as “cold storage,” it is a key aspect of the food supply and distribution network. Changes in food processing, purchasing, and consumption have led to cold storage construction becoming a top priority for supply chain players.

2. Type of cold room construction

First and foremost, you need to select the way in which you approach the construction. There are numerous options that can help determine the best design for each cold storage facility. Choosing a construction type is an important facet when it comes to a building’s insulation and cooling. New construction for cold storage can be done with insulated metal panels, insulated concrete (be it tilt-up or precast), or both.

Additionally, a dry warehouse can undergo conversion to transform into a freezer/cooler. This is possible by installing insulated metal panels inside existing walls. This is a “box-in-a-box” option, and it is a great solution when the location you have your eye on is in a heavily built-up area. Specifically, an area with minimal land available. This allows a cold storage user to convert ambient space into a cooler, freezer, or cold dock.

3. Temperature control

When designing, you must consider how adjacent temperatures, product, and equipment loads can affect the spaces. At this point, you need to figure out how to achieve the necessary R-value for a cold room. For context, the R-value measures how well a two-dimensional barrier resists the conductive heat flow. Such barriers usually include a layer of insulation, a window, wall, or ceiling. After identifying the R-value requirements, you can move forward with selecting refrigeration equipment.

The expected operating cost, drawing from local power costs, is an additional key component in equipment selection. It also has a hand in determined R-values. It can potentially have cost implications for the end-user following the construction of the cold storage. However, by increasing the R-value, you could counterbalance the operating expenses and cost of mechanical system premiums.

4. Power supply and backup system

Cold storage consume a huge amount of power, with the lighting and HVAC systems utilizing most of it. Other components that require power are automatic doors, security monitors, and response systems. All of this adds to operational costs, which if you do not adhere to specific guidelines, can rapidly rise.

Furthermore, an additional power supply source being readily available as an alternative will boost costs even further. This backup power source, even at a bare minimum, must be strong enough to preserve the necessary temperatures. This way, the perishable goods will remain in good condition.

5. Sanitary conditions

Sanitary maintenance in storage environments is crucial for cold rooms where food is undergoing processing. These types of facilities are subject to frequent cleanings. This is why smooth construction methods are incorporated into the foundation, structure, finishes, trims, and other factors. These techniques get rid of recesses and crevices in order to hinder bacterial growth. Additionally, it reduces the chances of water collecting and languishing.

Another pivotal cold room construction technique is the floor heating system installation. Adding heat to an environment where it is nonessential seems counterintuitive, but it helps dry the floors after cleaning. Any moisture present in food storage or processing settings can increase the amount of bacteria. Consequently, it jeopardizes the food supply.

Maintaining your cold room is important, from the sanitary conditions to the aforementioned temperature control. Our construction services also specialize in facility maintenance and will be happy to provide assistance if you need it.

6. Above-ground vs. Below-ground cold room construction cost

The average above-ground unit derives from modular construction that presents fabricated metal panels with a 34 R-value. HVAC unit installations occur indoors, often settling close to a metal pole barn. This way, it saves on insulation, lumber, and concrete. Costs for electricity also experience a rise due to an increase in heat conduction gain. In total, the costs of such a unit are roughly $33,300. A basement unit, on the other hand, incurs upfront costs that typically exceed $50,000. To learn more about the costs of cold storage, check out our previous article, Examining Cold Storage Warehouse Cost.