[Solution]Facilities Layout

For Denver-based ProLogis, a provider of distribution facilities and services that added 17 million-sq-ft of industrial space through the first nine months of last year, the average size of a new building six or seven years ago was around 150,000 sq ft. Today the average building size is 375,000 sq ft. The average clear height used to be around 28 ft. Now the average height ranges from 32 to 36 ft. Other new facility design trends include more parking for trailers, more dock doors, improved sprinkler systems, and better lighting and floors. As more manufacturing has moved overseas, companies are importing more products into ports on the east and west coasts. They need larger facilities to handle high volumes of product coming in by the container load. As the working height of facilities increases, flat floors become more important for rack stability and the accurate and safe operation of very-narrow-aisle configuration as well as for automated storage and retrieval systems. Market forces are expanding the four walls (and the ceiling) of new warehouses and distribution centers.

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