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Ci provided the architectural design for F.W. Webb’s new 1,060,000-square-foot central distribution facility in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Read on for a case study on the project to share how we approached the design. 



F.W. Webb is the largest wholesale distributer of plumbing, heating, HVAC, refrigeration and pipes, valves, and fittings in the Northeast.

Ci Design provided design services for F.W. Webb’s new 1,060,000 SF central distribution facility, which included 110,000 SF of corporate office space in addition to its distribution center.


The Londonderry, NH facility sits on a 75-acre lot with significant topography. It is less than a mile from the Merrimack River near the intersections of I-93 and I-293.

The New England location experiences long, snowy winters.

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F.W. Webb needed to double its distribution capacity and wanted to accommodate a robust program into its new building. The design of the new 1/4-mile long facility needed to solve for site challenges, including topography and climate.

The large facility also needed to allow for both pedestrian and vehicular circulation while maintaining the safety and productivity of its employees at all times.

Finally, it was important that the design captured all of the program requirements needed for a distribution center and large-scale corporate office space without impacting the operations of the facility.


In designing the facility, Ci had to consider site positioning, circulation, and maneuverability to ensure that the cross-dock truck circulation did not interfere with employees circulation and parking.

We located the office space towards the front of the facility to create the required separation of the program elements. We also located all of the site amenities and functions in one central area to decrease pedestrian circulation around the facility. This created employee flow efficiencies that aligned with material flow efficiencies of the building.


The 110,000 SF corporate office space included all of the required amenities to allow employees to work efficiently without circulating through the distribution area. It included the following spaces:

  • 80,000 SF stack office appenditure

  • Training room

  • Cafeteria

  • Breakrooms

  • Call center

  • Executive offices

  • Boardroom

  • Amphitheater

  • New workplace solution strategy

  • Specialized workstations for each department

  • Parking

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The massive distribution center was designed to operate effectively without interfering with the safety and efficiency of the employees working in the facility. It included a variety of systems, structures, and spaces to allow for complete control over the distribution.

  • Complex material handling conveying systems

  • Two four-story pick modules

  • Cross-docking terminal

  • Tractor-trailer and fork truck washing station

  • Branding station with decal application

  • Tractor-trailer maintenance station

  • Fork truck maintenance station

  • Tractor-trailer and fork truck parking


The snowy New Hampshire climate made it important to consider snow handling and/or removal in the design of the building. It would be very inefficient to have individuals shovel the 16 acre rooftop, so the clients elected to design the roof structure to support the winter snow.



F.W. Webb’s new central distribution facility in Londonderry, NH employs over 140 people. The company more than doubled the size of its former central distribution site in Amherst, NH, leading to a significant increase in its distribution capacity. Moreover, the new facility has allowed F.W. Webb to maintain a safe work environment for its employees, even over such a massive site, and to optimize the efficiency of its operations.


The central distribution provides service for 80 locations in nine states. It holds a full inventory of products that a contractor would need to build, maintain, remodel, repair or run homes, buildings, facilities, plants, and processes.

The building will accommodate the company’s rapid growth and future expansion plans throughout the Northeast.


The site constraints coupled with the need to separate the corporate offices from the activities of the distribution area meant that the office space had to be located in an area that received less natural light than the rest of the building. Lesson: Most projects include a design compromise to achieve the client’s most prioritized goals.


Ci assumed a standard height for fork trucks in designing the door opening in the warehouse facility. We later learned that F.W. Webb also uses fork trucks with masts to reach greater heights. To accommodate the increased height dimension, Ci had to make the door opening taller while the project was underway. Lesson: Ask about the use of non-standard vehicles and equipment and, if appropriate, detail out the non-standard dimensions.

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