Camp Darby Commissary


Architecture / Engineering


Commercial / Retail


26,325 SF


Camp Darby Commissary

The existing Camp Darby Commissary was located in a 1953 warehouse building. The warehouse building was a large vaulted masonry and concrete structure and did not meet seismic requirements. The existing commissary occupied 32,767 SF, only 6,023 SF of which is sales area.  Some of the other existing commissary facility deficiencies included: limited parking near the facility, a roadway across the front of the store, no loading dock, non-compliance with ATFP standoff distances, no fire protection system, and walk-in freezers and coolers were obsolete and were inaccessible by pallet jack due to raised floors with no ramps.  The sales area was unattractive with a low ceiling and narrow aisles. There were no patron toilets or interior décor.

As a part of the design project, an addition/alteration project and three alternative new store solutions were developed. The best new store alternative was selected. The new commissary at Camp Darby is a 26,325 SF facility with 10,965 SF of sales area. The Sales Area includes 564 lf of gondola shelving, 32 lf of produce display cases, 36 lf of meat display cases, 36 lf of dairy display cases, and 25 doors and 48 lf of frozen food display cases. Typically a store this small does not include a Deli, but because of the large number of patrons utilizing the existing Deli, a Deli/Grab-N-Go area located at the front of the store was included to continue to provide Patrons with the services to which they have become accustomed. The store has 4 checkout registers, all handicap accessible.

The site for the new store was not deep enough for a standard receiving area, so side oriented receiving doors were utilized reducing the depth of the project site footprint substantially. The new store site development includes 77 parking spaces with 1 dock height receiving door and 1 at-grade receiving door.

The exterior is designed utilizing the Italian Tuscan style architecture along the main facade. The store is constructed of steel columns with a space frame roof structure. The exterior walls were constructed of clay masonry and concrete panels with stucco finish. Italian clay roof tiles adorn the entrance façade in keeping with the Tuscan style of architecture. The low slope roof over the sales area includes skylights that provide daylighting in the Sales Area and the Warehouse. As with all commissaries Cromwell designs, heat recovery from the refrigeration system is also included to further increase energy efficiency. The store is structurally designed to meet the requirements of category ‘D’ seismic design.

The administrative offices have been located on the ground floor adjacent to the checkout area, enabling store operations personnel quick and easy access to patrons and the checkout area. Major mechanical and electrical areas are located in a ground mounted mechanical center in the service yard and in an electrical room at the rear of the building. This was done to free up space on the floor plan for sales and processing areas and to avoid constructing a mezzanine area that could interfere with future remodeling efforts.

Backroom areas include staging/receiving areas, damaged merchandise area, produce storage and processing, meat and dairy chilled storage, frozen food storage and sensitive storage. A covered MHE charging area has been located outside of the staging/receiving area to alleviate the need for special exhaust systems required in interior battery charging areas.

Once the 35% design for the new store was completed, Cromwell hired a local Italian AE firm to accomplish the final design work on this project. Cromwell reviewed each submittal prior to issue, and ensured that the store was designed to comply with DeCA design criteria, DOD criteria and US life safety and ADA codes. Hiring an Italian AE ensured that local Italian codes and ordinances were met, and satisfied the status of forces agreement (SOFA) the US has with Italy.