Though warehouses have been in use since centuries, their usage and functionality was more or less limited to storage and stockpiling of goods. With the advent of the modern facets of e-commerce and retail as well as the modernisation of the economy, customers are increasingly demanding shorter arrival times for goods, immediate order-fulfilment and accurate deliveries.
Factors that influence modern warehouse construction methods :
Consumers requiring near-immediate access to goods has changed the ways warehouses operate as well as initiated the need for a more strategic and foolproof approach to modern warehouse design and the construction that follows it. There are few things that should be borne in mind before designing a warehouse and going for its construction. These factors have been enumerated below.
- Understanding the parent business of the warehouse facility that is to be designed: When designing a build-to-suit warehouse, all the detailed information pertaining to the working knowledge of the systems as well as the processes and the technology that the customer plans to employ, is to be taken into account because various businesses have various needs and the warehouses should be designed accordingly to those specifications and requirements.
- Understanding e-commerce: Warehouse design teams should be well aware of the e-commerce industry and its operations as well as the speed of the internet and the demand of the consumers. This will help them in designing warehouses with integrated facilities that are essential for the warehouses to operate as successful distribution and fulfilment centres.
- Achieving Sustainability: A good warehouse design helps the warehouse in meeting the organisational goals of the business that it is a part of as well as striking a balance between this objective and employing green and eco-friendly practices in its operations that will considerably reduce the carbon footprint of the organisation as a whole and progress towards sustainable development.
- Acceptance of non-traditional warehouse design: With the shortage of ideal flat places, increase in the number of warehouses to be constructed in highly populous locations, and the need for increasing the vertical height of the warehouses; it is evident that non-traditional warehouse designs are on the rise. It is a crucial challenge to design in uncharted territories and also involves high costs and risks. Thus the designers and architects can take assistance from software that will help them to visualise the space before they initiate the design.
Techniques employed in modern warehouse construction :
Warehouse construction contractors are gradually designing warehouses which are multi-functional facilities and are safe as well as comfortable to the users. Warehouses are often observed to be massive structures, but with the implementation of modern techniques; the time and cost of construction of warehouses are reduced. This is a welcoming prospect for businesses owning warehouses. Few techniques that are being employed in warehouse construction currently, are being discussed below.
- Prefabricated steel buildings: Most of the commercial applications like warehouses employ this technique because the components and the materials in use allow for a lot of flexibility and storage of goods in open or enclosed spaces or extremely high spaces.
- Post-frame construction: Popularly known as timber framing, this method of construction drives timber logs into the concrete foundations and then ideally lay other construction elements to create a framework over which a variety of materials like brick, stone, vinyl or wood can be placed. This is an extremely sustainable, cost-effective, flexible and light-weight operation.
- Tilt-up construction: Being most popular in the US, this technique uses horizontal construction of wall panels and mounting them up on concrete slab foundation and securing them with footings. It is extremely effective for construction of commercial spaces.
These are modern warehouse construction techniques. For leading warehouse construction practices, the businesses involving warehouses should employ deft architects and engineers who understand their operations well and can design and construct the ideal facility according to their needs.