Specifying features for leased space

      Advice on features to include in a leased production facility. June 6, 2001

We have an opportunity to lease a building that is currently being built. We can "spec in" features that we want. Some options we are considering are:
radiant heat
vents for spray booth

Any more ideas?

Forum Responses
1) Electrical and air drops where your workbenches are.
2) Where are you putting your dust collector--do you need outside discharge?
3) Good lighting in your finish area.
4) Water line for a shop sink and eye wash area.
5) 14' wide overhead doors are great for moving materials in and out.

A problem we used to encounter was the high cost of having an electrician move/add new service, when we moved/bought new machines or the type of work changed.

So, we added a buss bar in our new facility. Up front costs are not cheap, but the flexibility is well worth it. Our plant manager can move or add equipment without an electrician.

I would be wary of radiant overhead heating. We had to remove ours because it heats objects and not the air. Our products were getting warm enough to warp.

I'd go for 3-phase power. Even if all you do is break back down single phase, your electric bill will be much cheaper. Also, 3-phase used machinery is a lot cheaper than the same size single phase.

Good ventilation/exhaust fans in the end walls to keep the air circulating, ridge vents if in a metal building and plenty of insulation. 14' doors a must.

The floor is often overlooked--level, non-slippery, comfortable to stand on (or does it need to be concrete?), etc.

Natural light, windows are a plus. Concrete floors are okay for machines, not so good on feet, hand tools, and items that get dropped. Insulation is also not to be overlooked.

Depending on your current and future size, get twice as many amps of 3-phase power as you think you'll need.

Radiant heating works great for us (we put metal heat shields under the hottest part of the tubes to deflect direct heat away from things below). You need to have a way of adding humidity in the winter, no matter what kind of heat you have.

16' wide by 14' high main door. Truck loading dock? An enclosed room with ventilation for the air compressors, to cut the noise. We have skylights and windows in the newest part of the shop, very nice! Lots of lighting. An insulated office with outside air supply to slightly pressurize it, so the dust from the shop doesn't come in as bad. Fire sprinkler system. Overhead doors on both sides or ends of the shop for flow-through ventilation in the summer.

Do a CAD drawing of your shop and make tool "blocks" that you can move around on screen. Provide for future tools in your layout so you don't have to move everything to stay efficiently arranged. I'm in my 5th shop that has now had two additions. We just got through moving every tool in the shop, putting in more power, all new lighting, new air drops, etc. After 8 years of adding tools wherever they would fit, we were a disorganized mess!

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