How to Design a Warehouse

by Gilbert Manda; Updated September 26, 2017
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A warehouse is designed to accommodate goods or materials and handling equipment. It is also designed for the operations of receiving and dispatching of goods. Space planning inside a warehouse varies according to the type of goods to be stored. Generally, a warehouse must allow regular circulation of workers, vehicles and machines required to handle goods and materials.

Step 1

Find a suitable and convenient location for your warehouse. Plan a building appearance with a reasonably good appearance. The appearance of a warehouse, including landscaping, is important in competitive real estate markets if you want to sell or lease it someday. Design a warehouse with higher bays with features that can safely accommodate handling equipment, broadband connectivity access, and distribution networks.

Step 2

Create space for bulk items and rack storage if this is a general warehouse. Also, make space for bin storage, aisle and receiving and shipping goods. You must designate areas for packing and crating, as well as office and toilet space. Include vapor barriers to contain and maintain humidity at desired levels when designing a controlled-humidity warehouse.

Step 3

Allot freeze and chill space if this is a refrigerated warehouse. A refrigerated warehouse is designed to preserve the quality of perishable products. Focus on ensuring the warehouse spaces are functional in any of the types of warehouses to allow easy loading and shipping of goods. You also must have the safety of employees in mind in any of the designs. It is important to have an environment that is a comfortable setting in which workers can thrive.

Step 4

Allocate as much space as possible to storage while providing sufficient circulation paths for staff and forklift trucks. Create spaces for power and utilities. Loading docks must have one electro-hydraulic deck level per every five truck bays. Based on the kind of goods being stored, you might need a network of power and utility lines throughout the space.

Step 5

Take into account the weather such as snow and wind when designing. Build stronger racking in seismic areas. Warehouse spaces usually include one floor drain for every two bays of storage and sand and oil traps in waste lines.

About the Author

Gilbert Manda has written financial news since 2000. He holds a professional diploma from the London School of Journalism, a Bachelor of Science in global business and public policy from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University London.

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