Part 2: Layout & Property Searching
Once the baseline measurement of the client’s needs has been established, then the search can begin. We take their needs and translate them into square footage based on a given clear height. For example, we can estimate that if a client needs to store 2,000 pallets that they are going to need about 25,000 square feet allowing adequate staging and processing areas. This assumes storing the pallets four high in a selective rack system (single deep). Be careful! Four high storage can mean 30’ clear versus 20’ clear for another. In addition, you must understand the effects of the rack system, sprinkler clearances, forklifts, code requirements, etc. Also, for some, high-density storage rack systems can be used causing their square footage requirement to decrease. On the opposite end, large or long products can dramatically increase the square footage requirement per unit stored. Understanding all the rack types and options is a critical component of this step. For example, push back rack requires significantly less square footage than a selective pallet rack.
Once there are some property choices that meet the client’s other criteria, (ie. location, costs), we can actually do a layout to see how a potential rack system will work in it. The shape of the building may prove to be better than another because of the particular aisle widths needed. Building column spacing and dock location may also affect storage counts. If the layout proves worthy, the storage height restrictions should again be reviewed. Important issues such as clearance to the lighting and sprinklers will be key issues. Do not assume that 25’ clear means you can store to 25’. It never happens. No one wants to find out after they sign a lease that their storage capabilities are going to be 25% less than they expected because they aren’t allowed to store over a certain height.
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