6 Key Points to Consider in Coastal Warehouse Construction

By Frederick Tartt posted 08-10-2020 01:25 PM


Harbor or coastal warehouses are an integral part of port infrastructures across the world and help in storage and transit logistics. Siting them along the coastline next to the ports is necessary and practical for shipping companies, agencies, and port authorities. 

As per the engineers at FRE Composite Inc, construction along the coastline has unique challenges that engineers must address when building warehouses in this environment including the use of corrosion-resistant fiberglass conduits. Here are 6 essential points to consider when undertaking waterfront warehouse construction projects.

Check local requirements

There are zonal building laws that guide all construction projects, whether private or commercial, in any civic jurisdiction. If you are constructing along the waterfront, check with the local port authorities who are likely to control the land on the coastal strip. 

Zoning criteria could be the intended usage of the facilities constructed in a given area. The project owner must conform by building a warehouse suited to the zone’s user specifications.

Examine flood action

Knowing the effects of the elements on buildings in the area is key to designing a warehouse that will withstand the vagaries of nature, especially continuous water assault. Engage experts to study the flood zones for technical evaluation that can be incorporated into the design and choice of materials to use in construction. 

This environmental impact assessment survey gives the contractor a better overview of the situation on the ground before the commencement of the works and can, therefore, deliver high-quality standards for the project.

Compensate for erosion

The relentless seaside storm surge and wave action can eat into the building’s foundation structure. Carry out a thorough technical evaluation and factor the implications in the warehouse design and material grade to avoid the possibility of tilting to one side or sinking altogether. 

You also need to plan the height of the warehouse with this factor in mind to ensure the foundation is strong enough to carry any weight from added floors.

Foundation type

Depending on the topography and soil type at the construction site, the contractor has to design a suitable foundation type. In some places, it could be necessary to raise foundations by using backfill material to create a pad for the concrete slab or pilings for the same purpose. 

You may also consider the closed foundation option with perimeter walling or the open type supported on piles or piers. Whatever foundation type is chosen must be suitable for environmental conditions at the site to sustain the building’s structural integrity and longevity.

Correct choice of materials

Buildings along the coastal area are vulnerable to strong water action and floods, powerful winds, sand, and seawater corrosion. This requires top-grade quality materials specially fabricated for these harsh conditions. Going for anything cheaper and lower in quality is a recipe for disaster and costly in maintenance resources. 

Using poor quality roofing material will see you dealing with leakage and seepage sooner than expected, while non-marine grade paint will peel of equally faster. Pay special attention to decking and roofing materials besides installing high-quality fiberglass conduits, windows, and fans suitable for coastal conditions

External infrastructure

Port warehouses require unique yard facilities to handle multiple types of cargo, containers, and heavy lifts and cargo handling equipment. The design of the external yard will determine the usability of a warehouse and is critical for the project to meet its intended purpose. 

Besides access roads for easy ingress and evacuation, there must be a provision for rail sidings to cater for bulky haulage. The design of the yard must integrate and complement the functions of the warehouse fully.