In climate-controlled buildings, insulation is very important to energy efficiency. This is especially true for heated spaces in very cold climates. Another challenge is condensation created by cooling humid air. Condensation must be piped outside the building and dispersed. One way to handle condensation is to install heated condensation drains. This device collects the condensation from the HVAC unit, heats it until it evaporates, and thereby eliminating the need to pipe condensation outside the building.
If possible, install air curtains between the door to an exterior or a staging area. This air curtain is a series of heavy-duty plastic sheets that help hold the heated or cooled air in the building but allows the customer to easily pass through it. There are several industry vendors that produce outstanding inexpensive and tension adjustable roll-up doors with excellent hardware.
Partitions are another design consideration. One superior design technique is to attach partitions tracks from the front to the back of the building first, then cut the tracks that fit inside the building at the rear of the spaces. This allows for changes in the future if the unit mix is incorrect.
Recently, developers have begun to abandon the 5’x10’ storage space configuration in favor of 10’x5’ storage spaces. This makes the space much more marketable as there is a wide, eight-foot-roll-up door. This is especially true if the unit is located on a five-foot interior corridor. It is much easier to load a sofa into a 10’x5’ rather than a 5’x10’ space.
Roll-up doors are typically better than swing doors. The price difference between roll-up doors and swing doors is not that great and roll-up doors do not swing into the corridors.
In today’s market, facility operators have begun to plan for an extremely attractive foyer or reception area. A clever idea is to think of an upscale hotel lobby. Bright decor, specialty lighting, treated concrete floors and wider hallways attract interest. Further, large storefront windows give the customer a sense of security.
The right use of tile, carpeting, and wall finishes will make your office a showplace. Install granite countertops in your offices. Granite wears indefinitely, never loses its style, and is much more professional than Formica.
Track lighting and recessed can-light fixtures add an air of professionalism and design to the office environment. Avoid the boring look of fluorescent fixtures in your business office.
Your office should have two customer contact areas. A high counter (40 to 42 inches) for a customer to make payments quickly and conveniently, and a low counter (30 to 32 inches) for the customer to sit at while initially renting the space.
Your office design should allow the employees to maintain a clean, sterile office environment. Copiers, fax machines, and stackable trays should be in a back office out of sight of the customer. Consider a lounge that contains an internet connection, fax machine, phone, and conference table.
Overall, today’s self-storage facilities are becoming much more upscale than a decade ago. Keep in mind that most renters are female. Remember to take a long hard look at the security of a facility. They must feel safe and comfortable while on your premises.