We had a handful of questions about cold storage construction for Augie Gude, FCL Builders Senior Project Manager in the Southeast. We wanted to share his perspective on ways end users and developers can make their own cold storage projects more successful!
Q: In what ways do you see cold storage construction as being the same or different to other types of industrial construction?
A: At the end of the day, they all start in the dirt and work their way up. For cold storage, the devil is in the details and can be the difference between a successful project and not-successful one! It’s very important to review thoroughly with all designers and related trades during the pre-construction process, from below-slab to that last top layer of roof insulation.
Q: When should developers or cold storage owners get the General Contractor involved in the design & construction process?
A: As soon as possible! The earlier we are brought into the mix, the more effective the initial design will be. Owners may think they want “X” but really need “Y.” FCL excels here to help guide the Owners to the right fit for their needs. Always be asking the question: Is this change going to affect the lease rate? Maybe not, but if this change will convince clients that Owner is a superior cold storage developer, then it may be worthwhile.
Q: What types of measures during construction design can make a difference in the effectiveness or efficiency of a cold storage facility?
A: It is important to have accurate End User storage guidelines. If a building is over-designed, the cost per square foot will likely be more than it should be. If a building is under-designed, you will be chasing down changes through the end of the project and it will end up costing more, regardless. Another reason to bring in the GC early in pre-construction is to review the constructability of design, which can affect layout of the site and building to provide the best possible facility to the Owner or End User.
Q: What impact does collaboration with between the developer/owner, engineers and the Design-Build firm or GC have on cold storage design & construction?
A: The more front-end collaboration the better. The process is constantly evolving and no two buildings are the same. Whatever was done two years ago, there are now better materials, better efficiency, etc. that can be attained. Collaboration on the front end of a project between Owners, Designers and Builders is essential for the project to be successful.
Q: If a company is considering building a cold storage facility, what’s one piece of advice you have for them?
A: Sign it up and make a deal! There is only so much available cold storage space in the market, and what’s left seems to have a lot of eyes on it. There is a need for more cold storage space and we don’t see that going away any time soon.