As explained earlier, this type of rack-supported structure consists of flooring on which the storage structures are built, along with the racking units between which the handling devices (which can be either fixed-route or free-moving) move. These are the main elements that comprise the interior of rack-supported warehouses and, along with the loads, are protected by two components which, together with everything inside, make up the building as such: the roof and the walls. Let’s have a look at these.
A common option when creating the roof for this type of warehouse is to use steel panels that are either bolted or welded onto a frame which, in turn, is fixed to the superstructure of the pallet racking units. This frame can be constructed as a sloping gable or shed roof, or even as a flat roof (as in the photograph below), depending on local climatic conditions.
In terms of elements used to cover the sides of these buildings, the wall normally consists of panels that can be fixed in three different ways: either directly to the structure of the racking units, with an intermediate frame attached to that structure, or, as a third option, with an intermediate fame attached to an independent frame.
The structure can also be enclosed using a concrete wall up to a certain height. This option is a common choice for facilities with adjacent buildings used by the auxiliary services in the warehouse.
The choice of one system or another must be made based on a range of different factors, such as the height of the building, the normal wind strength where the facility is built, the thermal and climate conditions there, and the material used for the walls. There are other important aspects relating to the structure and installation of the building in self-supporting warehouses, but these are more architectural issues than industrial design issues.
Combined construction systems
It is common for these self-supporting systems only to be used to build storage areas, i.e. the warehouse. Other areas, such as reception, dispatch, order preparation, etc., are normally housed in conventional low-level buildings attached to this.
This option reduces costs, since conventional construction methods are used only when strictly necessary.