Case Study - Municipal Record Storage

Maximizing Efficiency for
Varying Product Size & Record Storage

A large Atlanta area government municipality realized they could no longer rely on their current storage buildings to continue to adequately service the surrounding community. All areas, from records storage and evidence to supplies and emergency services, were disjointed and had become inefficient. Their leadership set out to upgrade and lift their service to a level that will carry them into years of organizational success. They partnered with McGee Storage & Handling to ensure that their new storage solution was one that would accomplish their needs and exceed their expectations.

The Mission

Their first task was to find a new building, one that would accommodate all their areas of storage. All areas would be separate, but would have synergies gained by having them all under one roof. The building was to be a modern warehouse with an adequate fire suppression system, and enough ceiling height to handle high pile storage. An office space was also needed to give the facility a modern edge with upgraded and advanced technology. Storage types were varied with common bulk pallet storage and an abundance of varied, unpredictable product sizes. Record storage boxes also were a must-have, and would need to be easily accessible from two areas.

The Challenge

There were several unique challenges that were made themselves known in the early stages of the project:

1. Design and furnish a pallet rack system to handle standard pallets, and be able to take advantage of ceiling height to allow flexibility for product size and weight.

2. Record storage boxes were previously stored in a three-level shelving structure, the new challenge was to avoid the use of fire suppression and extension electrical on three levels of structure in the new design.

Overall, the main challenge of this project was to find ways to be economical in all facets of the design, saving space for products of varying sizes, and eliminate the need for excessive fire suppression and electrical systems.

The Solution

To overcome the initial need for a new building, the municipality partnered with a prominent global commercial real estate firm. This firm as well as the municipalities’ representatives worked with McGee for over two years helping land on a final agreed upon solution.

Selective pallet racking was chosen for several of the areas. The varied product size and desire to access all pallets without shuffling others made the solution more about vertical beam spacing than design. Several back-and-forth renditions were made, and the final drawings were approved. Interlake Mecalux and Nashville Wire were the manufacturers of choice to supply materials.

The record storage, boxes previously stored on a there story shelving mezzanine - structure, was a greater challenge. What made this area different was the need for extensive storage and ease of retrieving boxes, but at the same time with very slow box movement. The previous three-story mezzanine would allow placing many people in the system at one time, placing and pulling boxes. Normally this is - a great selling point, however, further analysis allowed McGee Storage & Handling to recommend order picking from man-aboard order pickers that could easily keep up with input and output levels.

The issue now became, “how do we stock boxes 25’ tall and not have to include in rack sprinklers?” The answer was the create transverse flue spaces every 5’ working with Nashville Wire and Dacs “flue-keepers” were added to assure boxes left the proper flue spacing to allow water to penetrate. This solution - saved the municipality -millions of dollars in needed structure and in system fire suppression and lighting.

The Results

After extensive solution discussions and design ideas, the result leaves this municipality with a flexible system that still allows for plenty of growth for years to come. The decision makers did not want a cheap solution, they demanded the best value solution. In our opinion, the dollars spent were a very good use of the taxpayers’ funds. McGee Storage and Handling handled all aspects: Design, Engineering, Permitting, Installation, Inspections. All completed on time and with only a minor change order that amounted to approximately a tenth of one percent of the total project cost. A job well done!

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