Three lessons we learnt while developing warehouses
Industrial property development (i.e. warehouses) relies on a myriad of engineering and design features, firstly to comply with regulatory requirements and further to provide clients with a superior home for their business.
When planning our most recent development of mini warehousing units we partnered with the Astek Property Group to ensure the construction of premium grade warehousing.
Here are three lessons we learnt during the process of development:
- When developing a property in certain areas, especially next to a national highway, there is a requirement from the JRA to introduce a system that can accommodate the drainage of storm water consistent with that of the property prior to development. Consider the difference between the drainage on undeveloped land verses that of a fully paved property. We had to make a plan to avoid downstream flooding onto the highway during a storm. We were advised to construct an attenuation tank on the property. The tank is an enormous structure, positioned below ground level that holds 302,700 litres of water. In the event of heavy rainfall, the water drains into the tank and slowly discharges into the natural water course at a rate of 0.14 cumec, which has been calculated based on rainfall volumes over the past 25 years.
- On the topic of water, we looked at market norms in the storage and distribution industries and noticed that a number of these businesses are looking for warehousing with a stacking height of higher than 3 metres. Currently regulation states that stacking above 3m necessitates an in-line sprinkler system in addition to the standard sprinkler system. This can be a costly exercise for the tenant as part of the fit out, so we decided to include it as a standard fixture in every unit. Each unit is therefore equipped for in-line sprinklers and we have two massive tanks, each with a capacity of 308 000 litres of water which supply the sprinkler systems in each unit in the event of a fire. When it comes to safety, you just can’t afford to take any short cuts and the more robust your contingency plan is, the more secure your tenants will feel.
- Looking beyond regulatory requirements for a moment, sustainability is always close to our hearts and although it often comes at quite a cost, we always endeavour to include elements of sustainability in our properties where possible. Luckily we were able to incorporate numerous aspects into this development that will equip individual tenants to reduce their footprint on the environment. For example, we found out that if you want to install photo-voltaic solar panels on the roof of a warehouse, you need to ensure that the roof structure is able to carry the load. We decided to make sure that the roofs of our units are equipped for this load, as we want to encourage tenants to rely more on off-the-grid power and solar is a good alternative. Another creative and simple design is inserting clear sheeting strips along the walls of the structure to allow for natural light and using light grey colour met klip-lok steel roof material which reduces heat gain. One of Fieldspace’s trademarks is ensuring that green areas are incorporated at every opportunity. We believe that with greenery on our properties, we provide a pleasing and attractive space for our tenants which is essential to creating a comfortable environment.
These are just three of many interesting features of property development and we look forward to sharing more of what we learn next.
If you are interested in leasing our mini warehousing units, please view our website.