Shoprite, one of WSP Group Africa’s longest-standing clients, called on WSP to assist with two distribution centres in Centurion and Durban. 


  • Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa
  • Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa


  • Shoprite Checkers

Project Value

  • ZAR <214.8 million

Project Status

  • Completed in 2013

Design Challenges

In 2000, Shoprite Checkers contacted WSP to provide HVAC, electrical, refrigeration, insulation, fire detection, smoke ventilation, sprinklers and access/security control at its Centurion Distribution Centre and Office Park. The sheer size of the site and buildings required somewhat unusual approaches to be considered. Firstly, the distances between buildings dictated an 11kV supply, with a two-part bulk electricity tariff providing opportunities for consumer load management. Secondly, the size of the dry goods store required novel approaches to its internal distribution.

In 2009, some nine years after the first phase (the dry goods storage facility) of the warehouse was developed, Shoprite extended the warehouse with a 50 000m2 warehouse facility, a 16 000m2 returns area and two-storey office building, staff facilities, a 4 000m2 safety store, a truck repair centre, a truck refuelling depot and new generator plant housing. For this extension, they commissioned WSP to provide all the structural, mechanical, electrical, refrigeration and wet services engineering services.

And in 2011, following the successful Centurion extension, Shoprite Checkers extended its Durban Distribution Centre with a dry goods warehouse, return centre. Safety store and perishable facility. Once again, WSP was called into provide all structural, mechanical, electrical, refrigeration and wet services engineering services. 

Solutions provided

The entire site of the Centurion Distribution Centre is equipped with modern intruder alarms and digital closed-circuit television systems to improve safety and security. The systems are interlinked with digital communications systems. The dropped temperature store uses special marine-grade detectors to function in the high humidity, low temperature environment. There is an emergency lighting system if there’s a power failure at night. The main refrigeration plant is a state-of-the-art computer-controlled and monitored system, using triple reciprocating soft start compressors. Refrigerants include a combination of environmentally friendly ammonia and glycol, with a minimised R404a refrigerant component for the extra-low temperature freezer.

For both the extensions, WSP offered full co-ordination of all building services as well as integration within building structure. The team was responsible for the structural design of warehouse floors and super structures, as well as all building services, including air conditioning, ventilation and smoke ventilation, electrical, wet services, refrigeration, insulation, fire and smoke detection, sprinklers, access/security control.

Our services provided

  • HVAC
  • Electrical 
  • Structural 
  • Mechanical 
  • Wet services engineering 
  • Refrigeration
  • Insulation
  • Fire detection
  • Smoke ventilation
  • Sprinklers 
  • Access/security control