Self-storage facilities provide storage solutions for individuals and businesses in cities and suburbs, but did you know that the design and layout of these types of facilities play a crucial role in their functionality, accessibility, and appearance? Every detail, from parking spaces to construction materials, contributes to the overall efficiency and success of the storage facility.
In this article, we’ll explore some practical tips for designing self-storage site plans and constructing them, with a special focus on the potential of TRUEGRID® permeable pavers.
Understanding Self-Storage Facility Design
The design of a self-storage facility is critical for its operational efficiency. Efficient facility design considers unit mix, accessibility, safety, and aesthetics. The layout should allow easy navigation for customers, and the units should be arranged to maximize utilization of the available space. Moreover, the design should include considerations for future expansions or changes, should the need arise.
Common Site Layouts
Generally, self-storage facilities adopt two common site layouts:
- Single-Story Facilities: In this design, buildings are spread out across the lot. This layout requires more land but allows for drive-up access to units, for increased convenience for customers.
- Multi-Story Facilities: For these types of facilities, buildings are stacked vertically, usually with a looped drive design for easy navigation. This layout is more land-efficient, but may require elevators and more walking for customers.
Options for Constructing the Parking Lot
The design of self-storage facilities includes the crucial element of paving the site, with common materials used being asphalt, concrete, and occasionally, loose gravel or permeable pavers. Each of these materials has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Asphalt is a widely popular material due to its cost-effectiveness and long-standing tradition. The advantages of using asphalt are mainly its relative inexpensiveness and suitability for areas with low traffic, such as self-storage units. This type of pavement can last longer in these conditions compared to high-traffic areas such as grocery store parking lots.
There are several downsides to asphalt. Maintenance of asphalt lots requires resealing every 5 years and resurfacing every 10 years, which can be both time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, asphalt can get sticky during hot summer days and absorb heat, which can result in a heat island effect that could make the self-storage facility uncomfortably hot.
Concrete is another commonly used material for paving self-storage businesses. It is similar to asphalt in terms of durability, cost, and maintenance needs, as it also requires resealing every 5 years and resurfacing every 10 years. The smoother texture and the usual grey or off-white color might be preferred by some business owners.
Concrete has its downsides. While asphalt struggles in heat, concrete tends to suffer in cold temperatures, where it can become brittle and prone to cracking. The primary reason for using concrete over asphalt might be the aesthetic. Concrete can be altered with graphics, stenciling, and colors to create a unique aesthetic that differentiates the business from others.
Loose gravel is the least expensive option, but it requires constant maintenance effort. Due to the amount of traffic a self-storage facility gets, loose gravel can spread and grind down into dust, which can turn into mud during rain, which creates a mess. Despite being a good temporary solution, the drawbacks of loose gravel make it an unfavorable choice for many self-storage business owners.
Permeable pavers are an alternative solution that not only creates a professional-looking paved area, but it also has environmental advantages. Permeable pavers stabilize gravel, to prevent it from spreading or grinding down into dust. They are made from 100%-recycled plastic and can last 20 years or more with minimal maintenance. The pavers also have a built-in drainage system, which eliminates the need for additional drainage grates and piping.
Advantages of TRUEGRID® Permeable Pavers in Self-Storage Design Construction
Parking or lot spaces in self-storage facilities should offer durability, permeability, and aesthetic appeal. One innovative solution that ticks all these boxes is the use of TRUEGRID® permeable pavers. They provide a myriad of benefits that can enhance the function and look of storage facility designs.
TRUEGRID® pavers are designed for heavy use and loads, to ensure that they can withstand the high traffic typically associated with self-storage facilities.
Permeable pavers offer 100%-permeability, and can absorb stormwater with zero runoff, to help eliminate issues associated with detention ponds and flooding.
Grass or gravel can be used to fill the TRUEGRID® pavers, which provides a naturally attractive finish that adds aesthetic value to your storage facility. It is worth mentioning the unique possibility of grass parking lots, which can contribute to the “green” solution and will add a touch of natural beauty.
Achieving an Eco-Friendly and Functional Self-Storage Site Design with TRUEGRID® PRO PLUS® Pavers
As a paving solution, TRUEGRID® PRO PLUS® pavers are a superior eco friendly option for a variety of reasons:
- TRUEGRID® pavers are eco-friendly and are made from 100% recycled plastic, to contribute positively towards circular economy goals and reduce waste generation.
- They’re designed to be permeable, and to help ensure that rainwater is effectively absorbed with zero runoff.
- TRUEGRID® permeable pavers significantly reduce the risk of water pooling, flooding, and related damage, and also contribute to groundwater recharge and reducing strain on stormwater systems.
Permeable pavers are cooler than asphalt and concrete paving resulting in reduced surface and air temperatures.
Built to Last 25 Years Or More
A key advantage of TRUEGRID® PRO PLUS® pavers over traditional concrete or asphalt is their high durability and longevity. They are designed to last up to 25 years or more with minimal maintenance required, to help save costs and resources over time.
Additionally, they allow for a quicker and easier installation process, which results in less energy consumption and lower emissions during the construction phase.
Multiple Finish Options
In terms of aesthetics, TRUEGRID® PRO PLUS® pavers can be filled with a variety of aggregate colors, which is a more natural and visually appealing alternative to grey concrete or black asphalt. This flexibility allows for customization according to the specific aesthetic requirements or local availability for cost savings.
It’s worth noting that TRUEGRID® pavers have been trusted and installed by many notable organizations such as Google, AutoNation, and Whole Foods Markets, which reflects their suitability and efficacy in various commercial and industrial settings.
Start Designing Your Self-Storage Facility with TRUEGRID® Today
Are you in the process of designing a storage facility? Parking will be a major consideration as you finalize your plans and TRUEGRID® has the most durable and eco-friendly solutions on the market today.
Our heavy-duty TRUEGRID® PRO PLUS® pavers provide 100% permeable coverage, are easy to install, and are maintenance free.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your site plan design!