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Streamlining Project Success

Executive Summary

WAVE, a leading building services consultant, specialise in  project management, design, and technical evaluations. WAVE’s support goes beyond writing specifications and project management, it encompasses a full end to end project support. Including scoping, selection, cost control and quality auditing services. This case study shows how WAVE supported Bidfood, a prominent food service wholesaler with refrigeration project and design support for a new build distribution centre is Glasgow. Bidfood had the challenge of expanding its depot network to meet growing demands while aligning with sustainability goals. WAVE played a crucial role in designing and overseeing installation of an efficient and environmentally friendly solution for the project.

The project involved the creation of three distinct refrigerated areas with specific temperature requirements. WAVE broke down the project into three stages: initial scope and design meetings, technical and financial evaluation, and finally the installation stage.

The successful completion of the project resulted in several benefits for Bidfood. The use of an environmentally friendly refrigerant reduced their carbon footprint, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. The integration of warm gas defrost improved efficiency, and state-of-the-art technology ensured maximum energy efficiency. Strict budget management and quality control measures instilled confidence in the reliability and longevity of the refrigeration system.

Overall, the collaboration between WAVE and Bidfood resulted in the successful delivery of a tailored and efficient refrigeration system design, meeting the specific requirements of the project.


WAVE’s support encompasses cover all aspects of Refrigeration and HVAC consultancy including design, installation, project management, strategy, and system modelling, to deliver tailored services that meet your specific needs. Our team has extensive experience in the industry and can handle complex projects while ensuring high-quality solutions are implemented that exceed expectations.

The client Bidfood is one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, with 26 depots across the UK with plans to open more in 2024. Bidfood as a subsidiary of Bidcorp and is listed company on the JSE in South Africa and operates in both developed and developing economies across five continents. With a strong emphasis on foodservice, Bidcorp combines well-established market positions with rapid growth prospects, offering substantial future benefits. By strategically catering to the diverse needs of the industry, Bidcorp’s customer base is positioned to fully meet the requirements of the foodservice sector.

This case study highlights how WAVE, supported its client Bidfood, in a project involving the design and installation of a refrigeration system in their newly constructed 90,000 sq. ft site in Glasgow. With a focus on ensuring the detailed design met the Bidfood specification and addressed site-specific elements of the project.

Figure 1: Bidfood’s UK Locations

WAVE played a pivotal role in selecting and collaborating with the refrigeration installation contractor. WAVE provide a in depth technical and financial evaluation of the initial contractor proposal. Then a comprehensive review of the detailed design submitted by the chosen refrigeration contractor. Pre-start onsite, WAVE provided crucial attendance at both online and in-person Design Team Meetings, as required by the main construction contractor. To ensure project adherence and quality control, WAVE also committed to post-contract monitoring and attendance. With an overall program duration of 44 weeks, the refrigeration fit-out phase took 20 weeks. Throughout this case study, the collaborative partnership between WAVE and Bidfood showcases the success of their efforts in delivering a tailored and efficient refrigeration system design for the project.

The Challenge

Bidfood, faced a significant challenge in expanding its local depot network in Scotland to keep up with business growth and rising customer demands. The selection of a site in Glasgow laid the groundwork for constructing a modern and spacious 90,000 sq. ft facility, aimed at relieving strain on existing depots and delivering high-quality service in the region.

The challenge was not only to meet the project requirements but also to align with Bidfood’s sustainability goals, aiming to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and move toward greener depots. By utilising the latest advancements in refrigeration systems, WAVE’s expertise played a crucial role in designing an efficient and environmentally friendly solution for Bidfood’s new facility in Glasgow.

Figure 2: Frozen Store


The project required the creation of 3 distinct refrigerated areas. A 2,202 m2 Frozen store at -25°c, a 414 m2  Chill store and an 860 m2 marshalling area both controlled between 2 and 4°c. To meet the challenge for this project, it was broken down into 3 distinct phases.

Stage 1: Initial scope and design meetings

During this stage, WAVE initiated a series of design meetings involving the project stakeholders, including Bidfood, the architects and main contractor. These meetings served as a platform for collaborative discussions, ensuring a thorough understanding of the project requirements and objectives. WAVE facilitated the development of the Refrigeration installation project requirement document, which outlined the specific criteria and guidelines for the refrigeration requirements of the project. Additionally, design reviews were conducted to assess the required cold room sizes and gather essential data for the design process.

Based on the gathered information, WAVE’s team proceeded with the refrigeration load calculations, system sizing, and outline drawings. They meticulously analysed various factors, such as load requirements, equipment sizing, and layout considerations. These calculations played a key role in ensuring that the refrigeration system was designed to meet the specific needs of the project. The resulting overview specification and drawings were then provided to the prospective installers. This gave them a  clear outline for the of the project and allowed them to provide accurate costs.

Stage 2: Technical and Financial evaluation of contractor proposals

The second stage focused on WAVE conducting a comprehensive review of the submissions of the prospective contractors. This involved a technical and financial evaluation of contractor proposals submitted for the project. This evaluation process played a crucial role in assessing and analysing the suitability of the Contractors initial proposals.

The technical evaluation focused on scrutinising the design proposals to ensure they aligned with the Glasgow project’s specific requirements. WAVE thoroughly reviewed all technical aspects, such as equipment selection, system layout, and compliance with the refrigeration specification outlined in the RIPR document. The aim was to ensure that the proposed designs met the highest standards of functionality, efficiency, and quality, while addressing the site-specific elements essential for the successful completion of the project.

Simultaneously, WAVE conducted a detailed financial evaluation of the contractor proposals. This involved a meticulous review of the cost estimates, pricing structures, and budgetary considerations provided by the refrigeration contractor. By assessing the financial aspects, WAVE sought to ensure that the proposed designs were not only technically sound but also financially viable and aligned with the project’s predetermined budgetary parameters. The technical and financial evaluation performed by WAVE provided crucial insights for Bidfood, enabling them to make informed decisions in the selection of the most suitable contractor to carry out the refrigeration installation for their Glasgow facility.

Stage 3: Installation stage

Following the completion of the evaluation process, WAVE transitioned into the installation and monitoring phase. This involved a comprehensive review of the chosen contractor’s design, along with monitoring the ongoing 20 week fit out programme and carrying out site inspections and quality monitoring to ensure standards we met, and the specification was adhered too.

The review of the contractor’s design involved checking the contractors heat loss calculations, pipe sizing, equipment selection and project programme.  WAVE then closely audited and reviewed the design proposal submitted by the chosen refrigeration installer. Then through meticulous scrutiny and collaboration, WAVE ensured that the design proposals adhered to the project specifications and met the required standards.

WAVE actively engaged in on-site review and liaised closely with the Contractors to address any design-related issues and provide necessary guidance. In addition, WAVE facilitated additional meetings, conducted pre-snag inspections, and actively participated in defect resolution.

As part of their quality assurance measures, WAVE conducted a thermographic scan of the insulation envelope. This scan allowed for the identification of any potential thermal leaks or anomalies, ensuring the effectiveness of the insulation system. Additionally, WAVE witnessed the system pressure test and commissioning to validate the proper functioning and performance of the refrigeration system.

Throughout these implementation stages, WAVE’s involvement ensured that the project progressed smoothly, meeting the design objectives, technical requirements, and industry best practices. Their active participation in design reviews, site inspections, and quality control activities contributed to the successful implementation of the project.

Figure 3: Refrigeration and plant delivery area

Results and Benefits

The successful completion of the project by WAVE resulted in numerous advantages for Bidfood. One notable benefit was that the new refrigeration system maximised energy efficiency while also meeting the required specification and functionality. This was all achieved using the environmentally friendly refrigerant R744 assisting Bidfood continue to work towards its target of greener depots.

By integrating heat reclaim through a discharge plate heat exchanger to provide space heating and glycol under floor heater mat, and the integration soft gas defrost for chill and cold storage evaporators the overall efficiency of the system was further increased. The integration of LT desuperheaters and integrated control and monitoring systems ensured optimal performance while minimising energy consumption. Combined with integrated energy monitoring allowing for ongoing performance monitoring. WAVE’s expertise in specifying and successfully implementing these features allowed for optimised performance and minimised energy consumption, reducing Bidfood’s ongoing operational expenditure and carbon footprint.

The refrigeration load was spread across two dual temperature systems each capable of serving 70% of the total refrigeration duty. The gas coolers were also sized with an additional 10% capacity. By Implementing these features this ensured  additional resilience for the system against extreme weather events and allows for future expansion.

In addition to strict budget management was another advantage of the project. WAVE’s meticulous evaluation and monitoring of contractor proposals, as well as continuous expense oversight, guaranteed effective cost control throughout the project. By ensuring close adherence to the specifications and proposals WAVE ensured that Bidfood received the full benefit from the project at the agreed cost.  This prevented any unexpected budget overruns, ensuring that the project remained within the predetermined financial constraints.

Furthermore, the project’s emphasis on quality management ensured that the final deliverables met the highest standards. WAVE’s technical evaluation of the contractor proposals and their active involvement in design reviews, on-site inspections, and defect resolution guaranteed adherence to project specifications and industry best practices. As a result, Bidfood could have confidence in the reliability and longevity of the refrigeration system for its new facility.

Figure 4: Cold store marshalling area


The successful completion of the project highlighted the effectiveness of the collaborative partnership between Bidfood and WAVE. By leveraging WAVE’s technical expertise, Bidfood were able to overcome the challenges of expansion, meet rising customer demand, and continue to deliver high-quality service. All the while staying by while ensuring strict budget management and quality control and optimising energy efficiency. Which significantly contributed to Bidfood’s success in expanding its depot network in Scotland.

WAVE played a pivotal role throughout the different stages of the project, from facilitating collaborative design meetings to conducting a comprehensive evaluation of contractor proposals. Their expertise and attention to detail ensured that the refrigeration system and installation met the highest standards of functionality, efficiency, and quality.

Overall, the collaboration between WAVE and Bidfood serves as a testament to the importance of strategic design, meticulous evaluation, and quality assurance in achieving project success. Through effective collaboration and a focus on innovation, Bidfood and WAVE have set a benchmark for delivering efficient and sustainable refrigeration solutions in the foodservice industry.

WAVE are involved in all aspects of Refrigeration and HVAC design, project management and technical evaluations. Perhaps you’re looking for help with one of the below, or something completely different, just ask!

  • Sizing and design of equipment and pipework – specialist Refrigeration and HVAC design services to select equipment, ductwork and heat emitters, pipework isometrics and more.
  • BIM Modelling -As experts in Building Information Modelling (BIM) we can bring commercial and retail projects life!
  • Scoping Surveys- A thorough site survey is essential for Refrigeration and HVAC systems to accurately assess the space, identify potential challenges, and determine the most effective design and installation solutions.
  • Final account verification-  providing a comprehensive assessment of project expenses, ensuring that all costs are accurately accounted for and aligned with the agreed-upon contract terms and specifications.
  • Feasibility Reviews – have you been told about a new technology but not sure what it does or what difference it will make? We can make sense of it.
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