Finding the right industrial building for your business can be a complex task. You have to factor in different structural elements and make several cost considerations. You also have to prepare for any contractor and service limitations and build-out or renovation policies.
To help you plan your investment, here’s an overview on the sector plus some important points to take note of.
Industrial buildings have a variety of uses, from warehouses and distribution centres to workshops and factories. Many are also suitable for retail purposes such as supermarkets.
Function aside, structures can be identified by their long spans, high bays and clear and flexible internal space. Most come in a cost-effective steel portal frame construction that features columns and rafters. According to a 2012 Construction Markets survey, more than 95 percent of industrial shed buildings in the UK use steel frames. Concrete and timber together account for less than 2 percent.
Price-wise, you’re looking at £45 to £65 per square metre for steel portal frame units with an eaves height of 4m to 8m. Buildings with 10m to 13m high eaves are a bit more expensive at £55 to £75 per square metre, as they require heavier frames.
Although final quotes may be your concern, the following are also key in your search for an industrial building.
- Of the cost drivers for industrial units, building height is one of the most critical considerations. Determined largely by the structure’s function, this also impacts ancillary accommodation requirements. Just remember, the higher the building, the more costly the steel frame will be.
- A fire-protection strategy is necessary for industrial units with mezzanines, internal offices or upper floors. So the design scheme should reflect the level of fire protection required.
- Location matters. Site configuration and constraints will affect both your design and budget plans. Most companies opt for an out-of-town complex or park, as its size and layout are more conducive for industrial structures. Urban locations like the city centre are not as flexible and tend to be costly in terms of logistics.
- If you intend to lease an industrial building, there are often charges such as special taxes and property fees that are not included in your monthly rent. These additional expenses should be set out in writing, indicating how much each charge is and how often payments need to be made. Find out as well if your lease covers certain utilities and services, so you can set aside funds if necessary.
- In industrial parks, renovations and build-outs may be subject to a number of limitations. For instance, you may be required to work with specific contractors or vendors. Also inquire if there is any necessary approval you need to secure and timeframe you need to comply with.
- A local planning authority can help you ascertain if your proposed development is permitted. So before you finalize any details, consult the local planning authority to ensure you won’t be breaking any laws. If an application for planning permission is required or should there be any restrictions, he or she will let you know.
Whether they are used as depots, factories or stores, industrial buildings are structured to provide you with maximum flexibility and commonly use steel portal frames. But the sector also has its own set of requirements and limitations, so make sure you take these into account at the planning stage.
With careful consideration and review, you can find a reliable unit that will give you the best value for your money.