A new directive on tethered caps by the European Union (EU) will make plastic caps and bottles inseparable from July 2024. Throwaway plastic products like caps are small and easy to lose, often ending up as litter on the streets. The new directive aims to create a habit of efficient collecting and recycling of plastic across the union.
Our client ECOPET, a Polish packaging company, is creating one of the first plants in Poland to produce tethered caps. ECOPET appointed Arup alongside UNISM architecture studio to design their new cap production plant in the spa town of Naleczow.
For the 2,800 m2 plant, which will include a warehouse and office space, Arup has provided structural, mechanical, electrical and public health (SMEP) engineering as well as geotechnical consulting, author’s supervision services and road infrastructure design services.
2,800 m2 surface
1bn caps per year
Designing a factory around people
Our client wanted to design a pleasant and healthy environment for employees across the production plant – in the office area as well as in the production hall and warehouse.
Arup’s engineers developed a design concept to maintain the healthy indoor environment by ensuring the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems not only serve their purpose but help to create a well-balanced design suitable for a contemporary workplace. Focused on optimising the interior design, our specialists blended the complex HVAC systems within special openings in structure elements such as precast structural beams.
Virtual reality smooths collaboration
Virtual reality (VR) goggles facilitated the communication between engineering and non-engineering teams, enabling designers to show how different systems will function and harmonise with the interior when the plant opens its doors.
Using digital tools such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Revit software, Arup’s team confirmed the absence of collision points between structures and installations. Our specialists created a 3D model of the plant and automated a range of design processes including the design for the HVAC installations openings and reinforcement modelling, which sped up collaboration, shortened the project schedule and allowed for more precise designs.
The 3D model will also serve as a guide for the general contractor during construction.
Working with Arup is efficient as we align on the values around sustainable development and digital project delivery. ” Artur Grudzień General Manager, ECOPET
Plant location fosters sustainable commuting
ECOPET based their production plant in the town of Naleczow in southeastern Poland to reduce carbon pollution caused by the transportation of caps to clients. The town is home to Poland’s key mineral water producers, famous for its water resources rich in sodium, magnesium and calcium.
As the plant is located next to a train track, ECOPET will use a low-carbon transport to distribute caps to beverage companies across Poland. The plant is a 10-m walk away from a train station and ECOPET will offer e-bikes to employees to encourage sustainable commuting, while investing in building new bike lanes.