In partnership with grocery innovators Kroger and Ocado, Ryan developed, designed and constructed a massive 338,000-SF technologically advanced warehouse that primarily uses robots to fill grocery orders. The first of its kind in the United States, this Kroger Ocado Fulfillment Center (FC) is one of 20 such facilities to be built nationwide.
Located 30 miles from Orlando, FL, the Groveland FC is a near replica of Ryan’s first FC in Monroe, OH. The four building levels are meticulously designed to accommodate various stages of grocery gathering. Known as the hive, the fourth-floor features Ocado’s robotic technology, where hundreds of autonomous mini-fridge-sized robots hustle on a grid of steel beams housing plastic food storage bins, gathering items from the bins as they go. Conveyors carry the robot-collected food to the lower levels for packing and loading by humans. The orders are sorted by location, loaded onto trucks and driven directly to customers’ front doors. The project also includes an attractive exterior office featuring a video display wall and double-story break room.
Truly an integration of technology solution and building, the Groveland FC inspired creative solutions. Even before construction began, Groveland’s 60-acre site required a month-long gopher tortoise relocation effort. Nearly 150 burrows were examined and more than 50 of the endangered tortoises were safely re-homed. Other challenges included rains from Hurricane Michael, as well as soil movement to accommodate a more than 80-foot grade change. Ryan’s multi-faceted approach enabled architecture + engineering and construction to work seamlessly through numerous fast-paced changes from Kroger and Ocado. Frequent calls and meetings, guidance from the Monroe project team, and flexibility kept the project on its tight 13-month schedule.