The ever-expanding warehouse and self-storage markets require smart building solutions. Recent research reveals that the warehouse/distribution segment of the marketplace generated over $43 billion in revenue in the U.S. in 2018; MBMA reports, too, that annual self-storage industry revenue (as of April 2020) is around $38 billion with the market sector continuing its growth cycle. Additional data shows that construction spending on these facilities was about $1 billion annually in 2006 and now exceeds $5 billion.
As these markets continue their upward trend, it is increasingly important for facility owners and developers to choose building solutions that will best serve their processes, protect inventory, and keep costs down. To meet these goals, a metal building system is the best choice for a warehouse and storage facility.
Metal building systems provide the quality and value that warehouse and storage facility business owners need to get their facilities up and running. From low life-cycle costs to long life spans, metal buildings are proven winning solutions when it comes to long-term cost savings. Durable and low maintenance, custom-engineered metal buildings and metal roofs can reduce construction times and provide the ability for future expansion. Also, ease of construction of metal buildings, which can be erected at least 30% faster than conventional construction, allow facilities to start generating income that much sooner. As delays are rare when it comes to the metal or steel building construction process, there is little concern about incurring additional costs related to construction timeframes.
Star builder Youngquist Brothers, a general contractor located in Fort Meyers, Fla., notes that its small warehouse project, Gulfcoast Industrial Campus Building 1, is a great example of how a metal building system can reduce cost and expedite time frames, which, Youngquist indicates, was among the main reasons the project utilized a Star metal building system rather than conventional construction. This particular project featured Double-Lok roof panels and 26-ga. PBR wall panels.
Flexibility and Versatility
Metal building systems are among the most customizable options out there, making them a particularly good option for warehouses and storage facilities where the use of space is the very heart of the business. In fact, a metal building’s structural system can be tailored to meet any design need or functional use. One of the biggest advantages of custom-engineered buildings is that there are few or no interior columns, as well as the ability to accommodate overhead, rolling or sliding doors. This design advantage means the interior layout provides considerably greater floor plan flexibility than you might find in a conventional building, allowing for virtually any configuration, which adds value and convenience.
As an illustration of this flexibility, we can look to HD Indoor Storage, a self-storage facility in Soudertson, PA. For this project, Star builder Schlosser Steel Buildings used interior metal partition walls so that the owner could separate tenant spaces up front but still have the ability to move walls later as a tenant needed more or less space. This project included 24 12’x 14′ galvanized framed openings for doors and 13 partitions.
Additionally, paramount to the inner workings of a warehouse or storage facility is the ability to move large, heavy loads on an ongoing basis. Material handling systems must have the required unencumbered space. A metal building not only provides access to run cranes due to higher clearances, but also the structural strength for heavy equipment and the capacity to operate technically advanced robotic systems within the space. This, plus the virtually limitless building size capacity, creates an ideal environment for warehouses or storage facilities.
Durability and Weather Resistance
Not only do metal buildings maximize storage space and allow for process efficiencies, but a metal building’s sturdy exterior panels also have the strength, durability and longevity to protect the inventory inside, a feature that defines a successful warehouse or storage business.
Additionally, metal roofs provide superior performance in terms of weather resistance, with the ability to withstand the harshest elements. From watertightness in the face of heavy rains, high wind resistance, and fire resistance to an ability to handle heavy snow, metal is an ideal choice.
Also, since metal buildings allow for superior insulation, inventory is kept safe with the added benefit of energy efficiencies that can help keep heating and cooling expenses down.
As an example, the use of Star R-38 roof and R-13 wall panels provided greater energy efficiencies for a recent warehouse project in Abilene, Texas. In this instance, ACI Enterprises, Inc., a Star builder, chose those panels for both energy efficiency as well as for their strong construction advantage.
Regarding another warehouse project, the William C. Huff Warehouse in Naples, Fla.. General contractor, Tamiani Builders, indicated that Star’s IMP products provided the ideal solution for this facility located in a hurricane zone. The customer desired R-30 efficiency and high wind load design to protect valuables during a hurricane event. Star’s IMP products provided the best solution. This building went through a live test of Hurricane Irma in September 2017 with no damage to the structure or walls, a testament to STAR’s design and engineering.
Finally, the fact that metal products are resistant to rotting, warping, mold and mildew, high quality metal wall and roof panels, as well as the exterior finishes used generally carry manufacturer warranties that cover between 25 and 35 years.
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