Big projects such as construction of warehouses cost a lot of time and money. Although the return on investment may be favourable, there is no doubting the costs involved. That is why it is important to optimise the construction of big projects to bring costs down. In this article we will be looking at how to minimise building costs in warehouses.
The earliest ways of saving on building costs in warehouses is in the design phase. This is where the construction costs are essentially decided, and where the largest avenues for cost saving can be explored. An experienced design team can be invaluable here.
Although the designers don’t have a say over the type and the required capacity of the warehouse, they can optimise it to make best use of space. Land costs are one of the biggest problems in warehouse constructions. In order to save space here, try designing racking which will best utilise the height of the warehouse. Also consider making aisles longer and narrower to allow for greater volumes of goods.
Although greater height leads to less land area used, be careful not to go too high. Keep the roof of your warehouse no greater than 12.2m above the floor. Past this height, fire sprinkler requirements change, increasing costs.
The designer should also consider making the warehouse square although rectangular warehouses tend to be the norm, they can lead to money wasted on construction. Square footprints reduce the amount of tilt-wall panel required, which is three time more expensive than floor slabs.
Although the location of the warehouse can be hard to control at times, making the right choice for building site location can make a significant improvement to the project finances. As well as choosing a flat surface to minimise earthwork, consider the surroundings of the warehouse. Importing lots of materials for construction will require the site to have efficient access to roads and railways. Another aspect is the site’s location to community workforces, as well as water and sewage lines. Although not directly affecting design and building costs, this can help minimise transport and logistics costs.
Material Building Costs
Material costs fluctuate over the years and so making smart decisions over what exactly the warehouse will be constructed from goes a long way to reducing building costs. Just as an example, steel costs can be a major contributor towards overall project cost for construction, and so minimise the amount required.
Consider building the warehouse with a white roof. White thermoplastic polyolefin roofing costs the same as the traditional black ethylene propylene diene monomer roofing, but can help with temperature control when working in a hot region. White roofs will reflect the sun rays keeping the building cooler. This will save on any required air conditioners or other temperature regulation.
Lighting is another cost saving parameter. Here, fluorescent lights have a competitive advantage over metal halide lights. Although the initial cost may be higher, operational costs are much lower meaning the initial cost is recovered over only one year. This is also a great factor when considering sustainability aspects of the design.
Regardless of the cost of construction or design, ensuring accurate and precise project estimation can save costs on warehouses or any other types of large projects. There are plenty of online tools or applications these days which can give you a quick and easy construction estimate. However these are only algorithms, and won’t have quite the insight of a seasoned estimator. Experienced estimators look beyond just land and material costs.
For instance, political changes throughout the world can alter material costs. With Brexit forthcoming an experienced estimator may suggest construction materials easily procured in the UK so as to negate the effects of a volatile pound.