How to

26 September 2016

Modular Cold Rooms - The Pros and Cons

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Large scale cold storage is all well and good, but if you're not shipping goods out, and need to keep your own supply either for catering, retail or small scale distribution, you don't exactly need a warehouse. Modular cold rooms are becoming more and more prevalent, and many businesses and establishments swear by them, but there are drawbacks.

Deciding whether or not modular cold storage is right for your purposes might seem like a daunting task, but as is often the way with these things, the best first step you can take is to examine the benefits and the drawbacks, so here's a handy list of all the most significant ones:

PRO - Easy Installation

This used to be a major drawback of modular units, but with modern advances it's become remarkably straightforward. Standard units are built from panels and cam locks, so even if the unit has multiple compartments, it can be up and running in a matter of hours or even minutes.

CON - Size Limitations

While storage modules come in a variety of different sizes and structures, you might not be able to find one which fits your exact needs or allocated space, which can mean either opting for one that's too big or too small. In the former case that means wasting energy and in the latter there are obviously issues with excess goods. 

PRO - Deliveries

If you're working in a kitchen, taking delivery can be an utter nightmare, as goods are shuffled through a busy working environment, or work actually comes to a grinding halt to accommodate it. The typical solution is to take deliveries either very early or very late in the day, but with a cold storage unit, neither are necessary, as the goods can simply be wheeled into the unit and left to be shelved.

CON - Temperature

Perhaps the biggest drawback of modular cold storage is the fact that the temperature remains consistent throughout the entire unit, so if you have goods which need to be stored at different temperatures, you won't be able to just keep them there. There are workarounds, like cabinets you can install, but this is costly, and takes up space.

PRO - Energy Cost/Planning Permission

Most cold storage modules are small enough to be classed as temporary buildings, so you don't need any planning permission to install them. Better still, modern modules come with low energy packs, so you don't have to worry about energy costs skyrocketed, or indeed environmental impact. A few years ago, solar powered cold rooms started to appear and they're increasingly becoming more prevalent.

CON - Safety

This isn't so much a negative point as something to take into serious consideration. Cold storage modules carry almost all the same safety risks as a kitchen floor, but the health and safety guidelines are far more vague. Non-slip floors are the most significant thing, but also, crucially, making sure that only one person is going in and out of the unit at any one time. Regular cleaning and maintenance checks are also essential, and time consuming. 

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop.