Based in Brampton, Ontario, the Gay Lea Distribution Facility is the company’s largest distribution facility in Canada. The facility has 140,000 sq. ft of concrete flooring and features a total usage of 3,700 m3 of concrete, along with a shrinkage compensating concrete slab.

With the significant amount of traffic, movement and wear and tear on the industrial floor, Gay Lea required an innovative and advanced solution to ensure successful project delivery. In order to ensure that the industrial floor would last for years, high amounts of traffic needed to be considered in the design phase of the project.

The facilities design features an innovative solution which is the shrinkage compensating concrete floor that did not require any construction joints with features that sets this project apart from other facilities in Canada. The concrete mix was designed using Type K cement, a constituent of the mix that causes a volume increase in the concrete after placing, which induces compressive stresses intends to balance the tensile stresses caused by the tendency of concrete shrinkage. This is especially critical in a freezer facility where temperature changes are significant.

The shrinkage compensating floor expands within approximately 7 days after pouring, displaying shrinkage characteristics of that of normal concrete and it then returns to its approximate original volume. This provides Orlando Corporation Inc an extremely durable and long-lasting solution. It provides 30-40% greater abrasion resistance based on its hydration characteristics, the shrinkage compensating concrete floor is smooth, dense and helps prevent plastic shrinkage cracks. In addition, major performance enhancements of the concrete mix and long-term maintenance issues with construction joints are no longer an issue.

McIntosh Perry designed, reviewed and approved the jointless structural slab on grade design, and concrete mix design and requirements. This solution and its application are now being looked at for other non-freezer applications.

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