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The Unexpected Challenges (and Solutions) of Multilevel Warehouse Design

Costco
  • By Russ Hazzard, Jonathan Chang, Development Magazine (photo of Vancouver, B.C. Costco by Raef Grohne)

Experiences in Canada and Asia provide case studies for building these complex properties.

Over the past 15 years, multilevel warehouses — particularly those used for retail purposes — have been a growing trend across Asia and, more recently, in the United States. However, some challenges accompany their design and construction that are not encountered in the traditional approach to large-format retail. With operational criteria at the top of the list, these challenges vary heavily based on several factors, including location, footprint, environment, jurisdictional requirements, and cultural and community influences.

The increase in demand for and construction of multilevel warehouses has unearthed numerous unique considerations not present in traditional warehouse environments. These challenges — each intricate in their own right — have required creative solutions and careful programming to successfully bring each project to life.

Parking and Vehicle Flow

One of the most critical design challenges for vertical warehouses is the traffic flow of vehicles and the structure’s parking. While the goal is to keep the sales level on a single floor for ease of operations and the consumer’s shopping experience, parking for multilevel warehouses can reside either above or below grade. Both options have pros and cons: Below-grade parking requires excavation, which can increase costs and complications. However, it provides a solution for lot coverage or height restrictions in situations where those apply. Above-grade or rooftop parking is preferred as it saves both construction time and money.

Customized resolutions to optimize vehicle traffic flow and increase ease of parking have also been employed, varying from warehouse to country to country. For example, in Sinjhuang, Taiwan, indication lights for open parking spaces are used to determine capacity at a glance. In Suzhou, China, car ramps at the entrance steer customers directly up to each floor, allowing them to bypass complete levels. Larger-than-regulation parking spaces — typically very compact in Asia — are also used, granting customers peace of mind. There is no need to worry about maneuvering around tightly packed vehicles in the garage. As an added benefit, large spaces also increase vehicle flow; running in and out of an area is completed in one move vs. two or three.

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RECAP – Industry Forum: Charlotte’s UDO and Next Steps

UDO dom photo

June 23, 2022:  More than 100 commercial real estate professionals registered to hear a panel of local industry professionals share their feedback on the latest draft of Charlotte’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Roger Manley (BB+M Architecture), Jon Morris (Beacon Partners), Tim Sittema (Crosland Southeast) and moderator Rob Nanfelt (REBIC) discussed their participation and impacts the new ordinance will have on the future of commercial real estate development.

Some of the highlights included:

Affordability after the UDO's implementation.  Yes, development and housing costs will go up. But the new draft should offer more flexibility.

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2040 Planning Academy Starting Tuesday, June 21

2040 Planning Academy

2040 Planning Academy Starting Tuesday, June 21

Do you have questions about all the development you see in CLT? Do you want to know more about how CLT plans for its future? Are you interested in influencing the future of your neighborhood?

The 2040 Planning Academy, formerly the Community Planning Academy, is a free 5-class program aimed at helping residents better understand the role planning plays in building communities. Through group discussions, presentations, and interactive activities, participants will learn when and how they can be involved in planning processes and help influence the future of their community.

The application window is open starting today, Tuesday, June 21, 2022, and will close on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at midnight.

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A Compelling Argument for More Solar in CRE

 

originally published by BRIELLE SCOTT for NAIOP National with permission to share

Solar

Environmental, Social, and Governance mandates (ESG) are becoming a reality not only in large enterprise businesses but also in their entire supply chains. Forces from upstream as well as downstream, combined with pressure from stockholders, stakeholders, employees, and customers, are ushering in a new era where ESG practices are no longer considered optional.

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Could Your Building Help Meet the Soaring Demand for Lab Space?

 

originally published by JEFF JANICEK AND JASON UTAH for NAIOP National with permission to repost. 

Lab Pic

Lab sciences are one of the most talked-about sectors in real estate right now – but how can a traditional office building owner court these companies as tenants? By understanding what lab sciences leaders look for in potential lab and office space, commercial real estate owners can determine whether their buildings might be prime candidates for this dynamic market.

Read the Full Article!

Driverless Delivery Trucks Coming to a Road Near You

 

originally published by KATHRYN HAMILTON, CAE for NAIOP National

Driverless Car

On a seven-mile stretch of Arkansas roads this fall, retail giant and tech innovator Walmart began testing a new type of delivery truck: autonomous vehicles running a loop route that requires the truck to navigate intersections, obey traffic lights and merge on dense roadways. Notably missing? A driver. These trucks are the first ever on the roads without a safety driver.

Read the Full Article Here!

Digital Tools Increasingly Vital to Success of Construction Projects

Originally published on April 26, 2021 by Linda Strowbridge for NAIOP E-Newsletter.

Despite its traditional roots, construction has started to transform into a digital industry. Building information modeling, geospatial technologies, prefabrication and modular construction, drone services, augmented-reality wearables and other technologies are increasingly becoming a larger and more crucial part of successful, efficient, profitable construction projects.

“An Overview of Emerging Construction Technologies,” a NAIOP Research Foundation report, details the recent advances and new horizons in construction technology. Authors Andrew McCoy, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Building Construction at Virginia Tech, and Armin Yeganeh, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Tech, talked to NAIOP about what these technology advances mean for construction firms and commercial real estate companies.

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Investors Jump Into Proptech Designed To Make Buildings Greener

Originally published on April 19, 2021, by Larry Getlen for CommercialObserver.com.

Clockworks Analytics makes building software that, among other benefits, helps to build owners optimize energy performance and improve indoor air quality.

It’s little surprise, then, that for Clockworks, like for many other product makers in the environmental prop-tech space, business is booming.

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CLT Development Center Announces Digital Plan Room Launch and Training

Join the CLT Development Center for the launch of our new Digital Plan Room! 

The CLT Development Center has partnered with ePermitHub to launch the Digital Plan Room, a new electronic document review solution that is seamlessly integrated into the Accela Citizen Access environment. The Digital Plan Room is the next generation of electronic plan review. This solution will introduce many new features to optimize the plan review process, making it easier and faster for design professionals and plan reviewers to communicate so reviews can be approved faster with greater efficiency.

The Digital Plan Room system includes:

  • Simple file uploads and automated versioning at the sheet level
  • Collaborative issue/condition communication for plan review comments
  • Seamless user experience within Accela Citizen Access

Join the CLT Development Center for our virtual customer training session Friday, March 5th from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM to learn more about the enhancements and latest features, ask questions and get answers. Cate Marshall, ePermitHub Project Manager will be moderating with a live demo/walkthrough conducted by our project consultant, Seth Axthelm. Those unable to attend the virtual training session will also be able to watch the session recording on our website!

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City of Charlotte Non-Residential Building Code Ordinance Update

Public Input Sessions

The City of Charlotte’s Great Neighborhoods Committee is in the process of reviewing and evaluating the city’s current Non-Residential Building Code (NRBC) Ordinance. The NRBC Ordinance addresses interior, exterior, and property maintenance standards for commercial businesses. The NRBC ordinance was created in 2009 and has not been reviewed since it was originally passed by Charlotte City Council. 

Violations to the NRBC Ordinance can range from buildings open to vagrants and criminal activity to broken windows or major structural issues. If commercial buildings are not properly maintained, they can have a negative impact on surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. Therefore, the City of Charlotte is seeking community input for the review and evaluation of the ordinance through four virtual meetings and an online survey.

MEETING DATES/TIMES

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COVID-19’s Impact on CRE: What We Know Today (and Don't)

Join NAIOP Charlotte on Tuesday, March 24th at 2-2:30 p.m. ET for The Advantage Series is an exclusive member benefit, delivering expert insights into the latest research to help you make informed business decisions.

Repercussions from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are far-reaching and still quite unknown, but one thing is for certain: the impact on commercial real estate will be substantial. A week ago, CRE fundamentals were solid; will that improve our recovery timeline? What do experts see for the potential future of the industry? How do you recognize a deal today, and know whether it’s better to act quickly or hold? The questions are numerous, and NAIOP is here with guidance to support you today and get you thinking ahead for tomorrow. Have a question for our speakers? Submit it now.

Speakers:
Larry Lance, Executive Vice President-Asset Services, EverWest Real Estate Investors, and 2020 NAIOP Chairman
Al Pontius, National Director of Office & Industrial, Marcus & Millichap
John Chang, National Director of Research Services, Marcus & Millichap

Click Here to Register

Service Resiliency is Make-or-break for Today's Tenants

Posted on August 22, 2019

By Linda Strowbridge

Strategically parked over a manhole on a downtown Manhattan street, John Meko spent months working inside a 20-foot storage trailer and learning about resiliency the hard way.

Meko was wrestling with the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. His employer at the time was an internet service provider (ISP) that supported about 200 office buildings in New York City, primarily in the Financial District. The massive storm and flooding had destroyed electrical and internet infrastructure throughout large sections of the city, and businesses were desperate to regain service so they could resume their operations.

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The Future of 5G in the Commercial Real Estate Industry

Posted on August 9, 2019

By Jeff Gudewicz

According to the Pew Research Center, 95 percent of Americans own a cellphone, with 77 percent owning smartphones. As traditional broadband usage has dropped in recent years, keeping tenants connected through a cellular signal has become more important than ever for those who want to stay competitive in the commercial real estate industry. And with 5G on the horizon and poised to become a disruptive threat to traditional Wi-Fi and wired internet systems, as well as a key force behind the rise of smart cities, connectivity is going to become more integral to daily life than ever before.

What is 5G?

5G, or the fifth generation of wireless technology, is a standard designed to deliver data speeds greater than 1 gigabit per second and low latency of less than 1 millisecond. This means much faster data speeds (100 times the speed of 4G LTE) and less delay between the request for a data transfer and the start of the data transfer in a cellular environment.

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Expanding Applications for Modular Construction

Posted on July 18, 2019

By Shawn Moura

Modular construction has come a long way since a 2010 issue of Development magazine profiled the building process in “First Look – The Skyscraper’s New Look.” Commercial real estate developers are adopting modular construction – in which building components are manufactured at a facility and then transported to a construction site for assembly – for a broader range of applications and for larger projects. The process is best suited to projects that primarily consist of repeated and uniform spaces. For these projects, modular construction can substantially reduce construction time and improve quality control.

The extent to which modular construction relies on prefabrication varies from project to project. Writing for the New England Real Estate Journal, architect Henry Wheeler explains that projects can range from incorporating prefabricated electrical and plumbing system kits to partial modular construction (where portions of a room are assembled as a pod that is placed into a building) to full modular construction, where entire rooms are manufactured offsite and installed on-site. In the case of hotel rooms that are assembled using full modular construction, “every room element is pre-fabricated and replicated including the walls, windows, carpet, fixtures, accessories, and even artwork.”

Click here to read more.

Commercial Real Estate and the Big-Data Deluge

Posted July 11, 2019

By Trey Barrineau

Awash in granular digital information, companies are diving headfirst into high-tech solutions so they can make more deeply informed business decisions.

The technological advances shaking up nearly every aspect of modern life are starting to have significant impacts on commercial real estate.

“The biggest trend we’re seeing is this whole digital disruption in our industry, from ubiquitous linked sensors to the technology that’s going into smart buildings,” said Dale Dekker, AIA, AICP, principal with Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, during a recent NAIOP event. “It’s truly driving commercial real estate in a whole new way.”

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NAIOP Insights: Trending in Commercial Real Estate

Posted on April 23, 2019

 

The biggest thing happening in commercial real estate is digital disruption.

Traditionally, construction and CRE have lagged behind other industries, but technology is changing so rapidly it's setting the framework for how we look at CRE. It's no longer a 40-50 year asset – it's a dynamic process continually being reshaped by the convergence of technologies.

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Big Data in Office Buildings Holds Promise Despite Privacy Worries

Posted on March 29, 2019

By Margarita Foster

Property managers are using “dynamic and multidimensional” information for operations but not yet for tenant engagement.

A white paper published by the NAIOP Research Foundation titled “The Office Property and Big Data Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together”found that office building owners are capturing, storing and analyzing data to operate building systems but not to recruit and retain tenants.

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CRE Must-Reads

Posted on January 21, 2019

  • Debunking The Three Myths Of Commercial Real Estate Technology - Forbes (Jan. 2, 2019) Read more
  • Google's Take on Co-Working and Sharing Spaces - GlobeSt.com – Subscription required (Jan. 7, 2019) Read more
  • In 2069, Your Food Will Shop for You - Medium (Jan. 3, 2019) Read more
  • Opportunity Zones: Navigating A Path to Investment - Newmark Knight Frank (December 2018) Read more
  • The surge in online-shopping returns has boosted the warehouse sector - CNBC (Jan. 4, 2019) Read more
  • Why developers are offering 'experiences' to attract suburbanites - Washington Post (Jan. 3, 2019) Read more
  • The Year Ahead: Down But Not Out - GlobeSt.com – Subscription required (Jan. 7, 2019) Read more

How Technology Will Change the Brokerage Business

Posted on January 16, 2019

Written by Joan Woodard

Commercial real estate is in the midst of a digital revolution, and some of the biggest upheavals will affect professionals who work closely with property owners and tenants.

Technological innovation is accelerating in the commercial real estate space, and it has the potential to disrupt a large segment of the brokerage business.

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Using Big Data to Curate Personalized Experiences

Posted on December 18, 2018

By Brielle Scott

If you’re familiar with the movie Moneyball (based on a nonfiction book of the same name), you know that in the film, the Oakland Athletics general manager and assistant manager take a unique approach to building their baseball team within the constraints of their limited budget. Instead of relying on the more subjective information often used by their competitors, like the way a certain player runs or wears their uniform, the two used a sophisticated analysis of multiple empirical data sets to track players’ in-game activity and statistics to guide their decisions.

At CRE.Converge 2018 in Washington, D.C., Brookfield’s Global Head of Corporate Development/Executive Vice President Kevin Danehy likened the Athletics’ evidence-based approach to the way building owners and operators could leverage big data.

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