The new Costco at Perth Airport will employ over 250 people on a 14,000m2 floorplate, more than three times the size of a normal supermarket. The store includes a full suite of wholesale products as well as an Optical Centre, Hearing Aid Centre, Tyre Centre, and Fuel station. Building Contractor Georgiou commenced early works in August 2019 with the store opening in March 2020. Opening day queues stretched over 1km long, amidst the impending Coronavirus crisis which sparked the panic buying of staple goods across the country.
Since 2013 ACOR has assisted the chain to deliver 6 membership warehouses and 1 distribution warehouse, alongside a select panel of consultants equipped to provide consultancy services across Australia.
The design challenge for a typical Costco warehouse is that it operates as an industrial warehouse during stocking operations and converts to a retail store during opening hours. The ground slab must take the wear and tear from industrial pallet jacks whilst maintaining the bright, clean finish associated with an attractive retail environment.
Most buildings are designed for one purpose, i.e. retailing or warehousing. In Australia, there are only a handful of retailers that allow the general public to walk through what is effectively an industrial warehousing area. A key design specification for Costco is the use of unreinforced ground slabs. Not common in Australia for buildings but a design preference for Costco worldwide. The design of the slab also needed to account for the hearing aid centre, which has to be isolated from the main slab to prevent noise transmission. The dimensions of the building structure have been designed to suit the manufacturing process to reduce costs.
ACOR was on board the Perth project from the start, undertaking due diligence studies and participating in liaison with the Perth Airport team to negotiate what Costco wanted in terms of site preparation.
A key success of the Perth project is the trust that has been built amongst the regular consultant team and the client. Each member of the team has built a clear understanding of one another’s role, meaning that projects can be designed in a more efficient manner.