How to Design Large Commercial Spaces
Construction and designing of large commercial spaces is a demanding job. You need to have a broader outlook on the final finish and look at many aspects of design from the very beginning. Every bit of construction determines the conditions within which the facility should be used for longevity of the construction and also for smooth operations. Here we brief few points which are to be considered while planning to build and design the factory or industrial units.
The type of material manufactured, processed or stored
Each industrial unit whether it manufactures clothes, machines, glass, steel or plastics, produces a specific and different environment during production which the construction and the design of the factory should withstand. Depending upon the nature of the material to be processed, the type of flooring, ceiling, ventilation, temperature and humidity varies and so does the construction requirements. The equipment utilized also varies and according to the size of the equipment the bay size, roof height and the working space is allotted for smooth functioning of operations.
Room for Flexibility and Expansion in Manufacture and Storage
The construction of large commercial spaces should enable manufacture of similar, supplementary or complementary products in the unit. Many a times it happens that manufacturers intend to change or expand their business for better profitability. In this case they may require hard construction and the factory should be able to bear the changes.
Considering today’s environment with modern equipment and techniques, there is always a scope of improvement and expansion of the unit. So it is always better to consider future scope of expansion at the time of buying plot and also before beginning of the construction. The plot should be large enough to allow expansion. The construction should allow expansion, breadthwise, lengthwise and also addition of floors. Here we give you some tips and tricks to develop a layout which helps in increasing the space of the manufacturing unit.
Adequate foundation should be constructed to allow addition of floors and also sufficient support system should be provided on the ground floor to bear the weight
- Have only the required number of pillars or columns, this helps in changing of layout easily without any obstructions and hurdles. Avoid construction of permanent walls or partitions.
- Ceiling height is quite important to allow easy handling and installation of equipment within the premises and maneuver new equipment. The height also plays an important role in maintaining temperature of a warehouse or store.
- Roof strength plays an important role when the manufacturing process involves development of heat, smoke or material which can decrease its strength.
- All the equipment should be provided with individual motor drives and overhead electrical grid to control supply to electricity near the equipment.
- The flooring should have good strength so it can bear heavy machines
- In case you want to expand the ground floor consider using non-load bearing end walls which allow for easy expansion.
- The factories and industrial units are being constructed in definite shapes which allow easy expansion of the commercial building design projects
Make sure the layout has adequate space for basic amenities such as heating, lighting, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment. Make sure the unit also has adequate lighting system which adds life to the place and also create interest in the environment. The firefighting equipment should be handy in case of emergency and also stand-by power equipment. All the units should be housed separately including the sewage-treating systems. A dull lighting system will create a dull environment and is prone to cause accidents. Good lighting helps in producing good quality products due to better visibility and reduced strain on eyes.
The light varies depending upon the weather and also the time of the day. The characteristics of Good Lighting:
- Light should be even on
all the places
- It should be diffused
- Should be of sufficient intensity
- Dazzling light is a strict NO
The first look or impression of the factory is the elevation. It speaks a lot about the interiors of the unit. Use appealing colors, and the exteriors of glass or metal to add elegance. The material used outside for elevation should also reflect the type of place the unit it is.
Needless to mention, the unit should be strong, durable, safe and also pocket-friendly. Keep your unit safe from outsiders and burglars by fencing wires and laying broken pieces of glass. Modern techniques such as solar fencing and CCTV cameras are also a good option.
If the manufacturing unit produces noise, measures to reduce noise should be considered while construction as it can cause fatigue in workers and can even result in deafness. The plant should be designed considering the acoustical properties. The noise producing equipment should be installed in a different unit, and the equipment should be properly maintained and lubricated and where possible spring rubber or felt should be used.
Large commercial spaces should be mandatorily provided with adequate provision of basic facilities for employees such as washroom and toilet facilities, cafeteria, change-over room and parking spaces. The floor space should be efficiently utilized to improve house-keeping and maintain cleanliness. Large spaces also allow for better supervision of manufacturing of materials in processed and finished products.
As natural light will not be available all the time, one has to depend on the artificial lighting. Tungsten filament lamps, Fluorescent tubes, and Mercury vapour lamps can be used.
When designing a layout for warehouses and storage facilities, the following points should be considered
Flow of materials
Fast moving material should be kept near the entrance and the slow moving at a distance from the entrance. This helps in controlled and uninterrupted movement of materials across the floor.
Allocation of Space
Operational stock should be given the maximum space and the administration office should be allocated a relatively small space.
If the material produced is sensitive to temperature, humidity or light, adequate measures should be taken to protect it.