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Shop Talk: Architect Explores The Evolution Of Self-Storage Facilities

Jeff Dallenbach, AIA, managing partner with Archcon Architecture released an article on the Architectural Considerations in Self-Storage. Dallenbach describes, “Self-storage has evolved over the years from metal buildings built in a field on the outskirts of town to multi-story facilities built in urban environments.”

Bellaire CubeSmart Storage, Houston, TX, Schwob Building Company, Archcon Architecture, CEI Materials W5000 MCM Panels, MBCI Horizontal Wall Panel, MBCI Vertical Wall Panel Bellaire CubeSmart Storage, Houston, TX, Schwob Building Company, Archcon Architecture, CEI Materials W5000 

Architects attribute the evolving nature of self-storage to teams that are general contractor led and sort of “paved the way by developing turn-key projects for their clients,” Dallenbach further explains. Yet, it cannot be solely a general contractor job due to variances in code compliance and a matter of standards, codes, requirements, and sustainability factors that require architects that specialized in self-storage construction.

Bellaire CubeSmart Storage, Houston, TX, Schwob Building Company, Archcon Architecture, CEI Materials W5000 MCM Panels, MBCI Horizontal Wall Panel, MBCI Vertical Wall Panel Bellaire CubeSmart Storage, Houston, TX, Schwob Building Company, Archcon Architecture, CEI Materials W5000 

Dallenbach explains, “The city-review process, variance issues, international building code, accessibility code (ADA), international energy conservation code, and city amendments are complex and always changing. An experienced self-storage architect can assist in the early phases of design to avoid potential project-ending issues.”

In this competitive marketplace, a vital aspect of the facility is exterior design. As Dallenbach describes, “no matter what type of facility you develop, one primary goal is visibility.” Dallenbach has seen a trend in exterior self-storage design quoting the need for “…vertical elements, vibrant colors, differing materials, and glass can all be utilized to emphasize a facility and draw in clientele.”

Bellaire CubeSmart Storage, Houston, TX, Schwob Building Company, Archcon Architecture, CEI Materials W5000 MCM Panels, MBCI Horizontal Wall Panel, MBCI Vertical Wall Panel Bellaire CubeSmart Storage, Houston, TX, Schwob Building Company, Archcon Architecture, CEI Materials W5000 

The Bellaire Storage facility in Houston, Texas was designed by Archcon Architecture and features a shared wallspace exterior. The façade is composed of metal composite panels, MBCI Horizontal Wall Panels and MBCI Vertical Wall Panels. The use of metal components complements the building’s stone and glass materials, offering a contemporary and exciting design. The three different metal materials were fabricated by CEI Materials utilizing customized system technologies.

Bellaire CubeSmart Storage, Houston, TX, Schwob Building Company, Archcon Architecture, CEI Materials W5000 MCM Panels, MBCI Horizontal Wall Panel, MBCI Vertical Wall Panel Bellaire CubeSmart Storage, Houston, TX, Schwob Building Company, Archcon Architecture, CEI Materials W5000 

Self-storage is as Dallenbach describes an evolving marketplace with developers continuing to innovate  by expanding opportunities to include postal facilities, high-end wine storage and flex offices. For instance, wine storage facilities would be considered Class A buildings and require a location with a medium income level meant to attract wine collectors and local restaurants.

Innovation takes place not only in technologies and energy efficiency but in concepts and design. With an expansive market it takes a team of architects, engineers, general contractors and fabricators to develop spaces that people are eager to utilize.

Source: Archcon Architecture 


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