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Is the future of Industrial – Multilevel Buildings?

The industrial boom is still in full effect and does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The strong demand for industrial space coupled with limited land supply in some areas is stirring up the commercial real estate industry; developers and owners are looking to expand vertically rather than horizontally. For example, the Prologis building, Georgetown Crossroads in Seattle has been called the first modern three-story industrial warehouse in the U.S. The trend of industrial intensification started in dense urban areas with high land value and limited space.

So, what is “Industrial Intensification?”

According to the article, From Horizontal to Vertical: Industrial Intensification Grows Up

Intensification refers to increased use of, or greater productivity within, industrial properties. It can range from higher ceilings with racking in distribution centers, to more shift workers, to investments in automation, or multilevel buildings in urban locations.

There are two ways to think about industrial land use:

Intensity is the amount of activity. It is measured as jobs per building or land area, or the volume of goods produced or processed per unit.

Density is the amount of building. It is measured as floor area ratio, site coverage or building heights/volumes.

Higher intensities are associated with higher densities, but this is not always the case. Exceptions are land-intensive industrial uses with high throughput activity that don’t require a large building, such as a lumber mill. These activities need land for truck loading, vehicle parking, and outdoor storage of equipment and materials.”

It is very common for developers in urban communities with limited land supply to build up when expanding outward is not an option. However, there is a long list of challenges including complex structural requirements when exploring multistory industrial buildings. Everything from a site’s geotechnical stability to the soil conditions to the additional support beams throughout need to be studied, reviewed and regulated. The consequences have potential to be life-threatening if industrial multistory buildings are not structured to life-safety code. Multilevel Warehouse Buildings need to be structurally sound to endure normal weather conditional patterns not mention seismic activity or other natural disasters.

For more challenges and opportunities regarding Multilevel (Multistory) Industrial, check out this article, Going Big: Large-Format Multilevel Industrial Buildings from Development on behalf of NAIOP,

Please contact Saunders Construction if you have any questions regarding the structural integrity of your industrial building or any type of building,

Posted Under: Industrial Real Estate