Jost Kreussler, Head of Chetwoods Germany, reflects on multi-level logistics projects on which he and his colleagues are working and discusses future opportunities and developments in the logistics industry in Germany.

Until recently, multi-storey building typologies had not yet arrived in the German logistics industry. However, the booming logistics market, dwindling greenfield land supply, rising land prices and more innovative supply chains increasingly require the development of forward-thinking, multi-level logistics typologies.

One of the first two-storey logistics schemes in Germany was developed by Four Parx in Hamburg in 2020. The project comprises a total GFA of 100,000 m² on two levels plus 6,000 m² GFA for office use on the top floor and has been BREEAM certified ‘Very Good’.

Unlike in Germany, multi-level logistics in the UK has been under development for a number of years. With the expertise and proven track record of our work within the UK behind us, we were able to process inquiries from German logistics developers at short notice and in a result-oriented manner.

In the spring of 2021, we were approached by the company Goodman, which was looking for an innovative architectural practice with extensive experience in the design of multi-storey building concepts. Our German team was asked to rethink the concept for two multi-level projects in Hamburg.

Both concepts are characterised by maximum use of space on the individual levels, which is ensured by flexible and vertical traffic management features. These include straight and spiral ramps, cantilevered delivery and parking decks and connecting bridge structures. Supplementary leisure activities and areas, as well as innovative sustainability ideas, are also taken into account in the design to achieve the innovative approach that our client was seeking in a move away from the standard single-storey big-box typology.

At the beginning of 2022, we were approached again to support bidding processes for further multi-level logistics projects. These were 2 or 3-storey logistics centres with urban, light industrial and office use on the upper floors.

We are receiving enquiries from more and more logistic developers that demonstrate an increasing acceptance of the need for multi-level projects in Germany. Environmental, health and wellbeing factors are also featuring heavily in the briefs we receive from clients as the German property market strives to support the World’s drive for net zero. As part of a fast-evolving sector, industrial and logistics schemes are currently undergoing a design transformation, one which we welcome as it pushes the boundaries.

Chetwoods Logistics Experience and Reputation

With over 30 years’ experience in the industrial and logistics sectors, Chetwoods is considered to be an industry leader. We design and deliver everything from single units to large multi-modal developments and have forged a considerable reputation for our research and development work in this area.

We are exploring new ideas around multi-storey warehouses and urban logistics in our ‘Warehouse of the Future’ research programme, and are now delivering new logistics typologies including multi-level buildings and co-location with other uses such as residential and commercial on urban sites in the UK, Germany, Romania and China.

We also collaborate closely with clients, industry leaders and specialist teams to develop breakthroughs in improving the environmental performance of distribution buildings.

Images kindly provided by Goodman –