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Designing High-Bay Facilities

More Than Just a Warehouse

September 2nd, 2023 - 2 min read

When it comes to designing a high-bay facility, do not underestimate the difficulties involved. We recently had a client who approached their local Spacesaver distributor with a concern - their architect the idea that their high-bay project was nothing more than "just a warehouse." In reality, a high-bay facility is a lot more than that.

So, what goes into designing a high-bay facility that's not just about shelving but also about supporting functions? Let's explore the key aspects that should be considered:

library off-site loading dock

1. Loading Dock - Privacy Matters

A loading dock is a crucial component of a high-bay facility. To enhance functionality and security, it's advisable to specify landscaping to create a more private loading dock area. This not only ensures smooth operations but also adds an element of safety and aesthetics to the facility.

library off-site staging area

2. Staging Area - Organized Storage

Efficiency matters in a high-bay facility, and that includes having a staging area. This area is essential for storing boxes of materials that have recently been acquired, items returned from the campus, or those awaiting transportation to the campus. A well-organized staging area streamlines operations and prevents clutter.

library off-site blast freezer

3. Blast Freezer - Pest Prevention

Pest infestation is a real concern, and freezing can help mitigate this risk. That's why many high-bay facilities have a blast freezer located in or near the intake area. This is just one example of how specific functions need to be considered in the design process.

library off-site sizing storage

4. Sizing Matters - Space Efficiency

Instead of organizing materials by call number, consider sorting them by size. This approach can increase space efficiency by an additional 15 percent. Staff can sort incoming materials by height and depth, placing each volume in archival-quality paperboard trays of various sizes. This simple change can lead to significant space savings.

library off-site special collection

5. Specialty Collections - Customized Storage

If your high-bay facility will house specialty items like maps or large, flat materials, it's crucial to plan for it. Allocate space for flat file cabinets in a climate-controlled area and consider perforated shelving to promote air circulation. Customization ensures the safe storage of unique items.

Safety and ADA Compliance - Non-Negotiable

In any high-bay facility, safety, and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are non-negotiable factors. Here's what you need to know:

High-density mobile aisle entry sensor safety light diagram

Safety Features

Spacesaver has always prioritized safety and pioneered numerous safety features in the industry. Their powered systems, many of which offer controlled, selective access, are UL system listed and CSA approved. The safety system you choose will depend on your specific needs and access requirements, so it's wise to contact Spacesaver for a personalized needs analysis and recommendations.

ADA Features

Ensuring ADA compliance is crucial, and Spacesaver understands the importance of adhering to accessibility guidelines for buildings and facilities. While specific regulations may vary by location, Spacesaver's storage consultants are well-versed in local requirements. They can provide guidance and assistance in finalizing your space plans, ensuring that your high-bay facility is accessible to everyone.

In conclusion, designing a high-bay facility goes far beyond shelving. It involves careful consideration of various functions, safety measures, and compliance with accessibility standards. If you're embarking on a high-bay project, it's essential to work with experts who understand the nuances and can tailor the design to your unique needs. Your high-bay facility should be a well-organized, efficient, and safe space that serves its intended purpose seamlessly.

ada high-density mobile system diagram showing measurements

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