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Coastal Heights Distribution Centre

Summarize the project's program, features and achievements?

The Coastal Heights Distribution Centre in Surrey, BC, Canada, not only demonstrates the versatile and aesthetic capabilities of tilt-up concrete but also underscores a commitment to innovation and sustainability in large-format distribution facilities. Spanning an impressive 428,000 square feet within the Campbell Heights business park, the Coastal Heights Distribution Centre stands as the pinnacle of Orion's building portfolio in terms of shared footprint. The facility's grand scale, with a 36-foot clear ceiling height and expansive 10-acre building slab, optimizes operational efficiency and volume capacity, making it a critical hub for logistics and distribution.

A significant feature of this project is the use of 341 insulated tilt-up concrete panels, which together cover a surface area of 142,491 square feet. These panels are not only functional, providing excellent thermal insulation as per the latest ASHRAE energy code standards, but also aesthetically appealing, featuring intricate details such as reveals and embedded steel items. The composite sandwich insulation system integrated within these panels further enhances their energy efficiency and sustainability.

The facility boasts 49 loading docks and 52 overhead doors, designed to facilitate smooth traffic flow and accommodate high-volume logistics operations. This feature is particularly beneficial for its primary tenant, Skechers, enabling efficient distribution and storage capabilities for their operations in Canada.

Coastal Heights Distribution Centre is a flagship project that showcases the potential of tilt-up construction to achieve large-scale, aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally sustainable buildings. Its role as Skechers' first distribution center in Canada highlights its strategic importance and the successful implementation of advanced building technologies and practices. This project exemplifies the flexibility, beauty, and efficiency of tilt-up construction. It stands as a testament to the innovative spirit and environmental consciousness that defines the best of tilt-up achievements.

What obstacles were overcome related to the schedule, budget, program, specification, site, etc. on this project?

During the construction of the Coastal Heights Distribution Centre project, Orion Construction faced a significant hurdle—an unexpected shortage of cranes to lift the large panels required. Orion Construction took a bold step and decided to bring in a 500-ton alternate crane from the United States. This solution required extensive coordination and logistics, but the team was determined to keep the project on track. The construction crew immediately contacted their network of contacts and worked tirelessly to secure the necessary equipment. Their persistence paid off as they successfully arranged for the massive alternate crane to be transported from abroad. Once the alternate crane arrived, the crew wasted no time integrating it into their operations. The skilled crane operators maneuvered the colossal machine skillfully, lifting each panel with precision and expertise. The project regained its momentum, and the construction progressed smoothly.

In addition to the crane shortage, the team encountered several other significant challenges. Ground pressure issues and a high water table necessitated raising the entire site footprint by one meter, a considerable feat for a project of this magnitude. The project was further complicated by extreme weather conditions, including heat waves and atmospheric rivers, as well as supply chain disruptions that impacted nearly every trade involved.

Orion was tasked with an 18-month completion deadline, and they delivered on schedule, achieving final inspection and turnover to the client right on time. This remarkable accomplishment demonstrated the team's ability to overcome adversity and maintain a commitment to excellence throughout the project.

Please communicate any engineering complexities or unique features of the panel design for this project?

A key engineering strategy used in this project was the sequencing of over 200 insulated concrete panels. This strategy allowed for the continuation of construction productivity by, for example, enabling the pour of interior slabs at a later date, after the tilt-up of walls and the completion of steel and roofing installations. This approach not only optimized construction timelines but also minimized disruptions and facilitated better coordination among various construction activities. The precision in planning and executing the panel sequencing exemplifies significant ingenuity in managing large-scale construction logistics and schedules.

Additionally, the project incorporates sound barrier and privacy tilt-up walls, which serve dual purposes: enhancing the facility's acoustic performance and securing privacy, which is crucial for the operations of a major distribution center like Skechers. These walls were also designed to complement the overall aesthetic of the building, integrating functional requirements with architectural considerations. The design and implementation of these multifunctional walls showcase creative solutions to the combined challenges of acoustics, privacy, and aesthetics within the tilt-up construction framework.

What is the potential for this project's impact on the community and/or environment?

The Coastal Heights Distribution Centre project has the potential to positively impact the community by creating opportunities for businesses and economic growth while simultaneously demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. From a community perspective, the project addresses the growing need for light industrial lease space in Surrey, specifically in the Campbell Heights business park. By providing a state-of-the-art facility spanning 428,000 square feet, the project created opportunities for businesses to establish a presence in the area, potentially leading to job creation and economic growth. The facility's collaboration with Skechers, one of the world's leading footwear companies, further highlights its significance as a hub for major players in the industry, potentially attracting other reputable businesses to the region.

Using insulated concrete tilt-up panels designed according to the latest ASHRAE energy code standards showcases a dedication to energy efficiency. The incorporation of sustainable practices and design features helps minimize the facility's ecological footprint, setting a precedent for future developments in the area. By prioritizing environmental responsibility, the project contributes to the long-term well-being of the local region, promoting a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to construction.

Main banner image for Coastal Heights Distribution Centre

Project Location

Surrey, BC V3S 3W7

Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
Andrew Fyfe

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Distribution Center
Paint (Flat)
Cantilevered Panels
Embedded Items
Stacked Panels
Sandwich Panel (Composite)
Number of Floors:
Number of Panels:
245 panels
Total Floor Area:
427,969 sq ft (39,758 sq m)
Project Footprint:
425,869 sq ft (39,563 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
43 ft 11 in (13.39 m)
Widest Panel:
25 ft 9 in (7.85 m)
Largest Panel:
901 sq ft (83.7 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
127,417 lbs (57,795 kg)
Tallest Cantilever:
21 ft 1 in (6.43 m)
Longest Spandrel:
25 ft 3 in (7.70 m)